Friday, January 1, 2016
My 2015 Retrospective
My most viewed post in this blog's history has changed. It is now the very first post on this blog, Lilia Litvyak of the White Lily. I am delighted that there is so much continuing interest in this World War II Russian woman aviator.
My most viewed 2015 post was on Book Babe this year. It was my review of
the World War II thriller, A Chance Kill which also displayed my interest in aviation. My most viewed 2015 post on this blog during the year of 2015 was my review of an alternate World War II baseball novel, The Lost Tribe. So it's safe to say that WWII was a winning theme for me in 2015.
2015 was the first time I did a giveaway on this blog. The giveaway didn't attract many entries, but I thought it was successful because the giveaway post had the second highest number of views among my 2015 posts on this blog. I hope to do other giveaways in the future.
And now without any further delay I present:
The 2015 Golden Mask Awards
Best Book I Read in 2015
The War Against Women in Israel by Elana Maryles Sztokman
It was also the best non-fiction I read in 2015. I reviewed it on this blog
Best Fiction I Read in 2015
Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons
It was the best book published in 2015, the best fantasy novel, the best YA novel and it was also the best indie book having been published by Curiosity Quills Press. I reviewed it on this blog here.
Best Mystery I Read in 2015
Hurricane by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Although I read a bunch of excellent mysteries over the last year, this one dealt with themes that felt most significant to me as someone deeply concerned about environmental issues. I reviewed it on this blog here.
Best Historical Fiction I Read in 2015
The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
I read this late in the year, and didn't have time to review it due to heavy review commitments in December. So I'll comment briefly here on why it impressed me so much. This magical realist novel that begins in the 1960's deals with a fated friendship between an indio boy in a small Mexican village and a girl from a caravan of wandering Romani (usually called gypsies) who wanted to become a famous singer. Despite the initial opposition of their two peoples, they become sources of support for each other. I was very moved by this beautiful book that builds bridges across cultural divisions. I also admired the mythology that Esma, the Romani girl, constructed for herself.
Best Contemporary Fiction I Read in 2015
The Translator by Nina Schuyler
Although I rarely read contemporary fiction, this one caused me to reflect a great deal about translation. I reviewed it on this blog here.
Best Net Galley I Read in 2015
In A Different Key by John Donvan and Caren Zucker
This history of autism will be published this month. Thanks to Net Galley I was able to review it in advance of publication on this blog here.
1/31/16 Over the course of January 2016 my review of In A Different Key has become my most viewed 2015 post on this blog.
Best Bookplex Book I Read in 2015
Stalking Los Angeles by Tom Berquist
This YA contemporary fiction won my affection because of the strong commitment that the author showed for wildlife through his inspiring story. I reviewed it on this blog here.
Since I am going back to graduate school to complete my MLIS degree (Masters of Library and Information Science), it's very likely that I will be posting much less in 2016. I will try to contribute quality posts even though I can't maintain a high level of frequency.