Thursday, December 31, 2015

Final 2015 Book Reviews & A Book Giveaway

I read 86 books this year and (with today's post) have reviewed each of them here on my blog. [For the complete list and links to my reviews, check out my Books Read page.]

The Rosie Project is a funny, well-written story that we'll be discussing at the library book club meeting next week. The story is told from the perspective of Professor Tillman, a geneticist who lives his life very scientifically and schedules every minute of each day (94 minutes to clean bathroom each week). He decides to look for a wife and creates a multi-page questionnaire to screen candidates, which leads to hilarious scenarios like the Ice Cream Incident. He also meets Rosie, who he eliminates as a wife candidate immediately because her question to number 1 on the questionnaire (do you smoke) is "yes." Rosie is looking for her biological father and is definitely not a match for the professor, but he decides to help her in her search, which leads to more FUN scenarios. This was an easy read that I highly recommend.



My final four books for the year are all children's/young adult books. The first three are books that Robbie and I listened to on our recent road trip. We've exhausted all the Nancy Drew Mysteries that our library has on audio, so we started our trip with the first of the Hardy Boys books. We enjoyed The Tower Treasure, but had to laugh at how the boys were able to carry on complete conversations as they road down streets and highways on their motorcycles. I didn't read many of the Hardy Boys books in my youth, so it was FUN to listen to this story of the Hardy Boys solved their first mystery on their own.

I've always enjoyed Beverly Clearly books, and Ribsy is a favorite. Robbie didn't remember it until the story started and is pretty sure it's one of the books his elementary teacher read out loud to the class. We both enjoyed this FUN story of Ribsy trying to find his way back to Henry Huggins after getting lost in a shopping mall.

I first read The Cricket in Times Square several years ago when my niece was reading it for a school assignment.This is a wonderful story about a cricket from Conneticut that gets stuck in a picnic basket and ends up in the Times Square subway station where he meets a mouse and a cat who become his friends. He also meets a young boy and his family who run a newsstand. It's a great story of friendship and music and how fame can change something FUN into an activity that's no longer enjoyed.

Robbie gave me A Long Way From Chicago as a Christmas gift. This little book is a Newbery Honor Book written by Richard Peck. Each chapter tells the story of Joey and Mary Alice as they visit their grandmother each summer for seven years (1929-1935). The stories, told from Joey's point of view, recount their arrival by train and their adventures . . . and often sound like tall tales. It's a FUN book about family and small town life and ends with a beautiful chapter as Joey is on a troop train heading to the war. Robbie inadvertently ordered two of these books from Amazon. He contacted Amazon to return one copy, and the company refunded his money but noted that it was not necessary to return the extra book. So, I have an extra copy that I'd love to share with one of my blog readers! Leave a comment by Thursday, January 7, and let me know that you'd like to be in the drawing for this FUN book. I'll announce the winner here on my blog. Everyone is welcome!

How many books did you read this year? Did they include any of the ones I've reviewed here today?


  1. I read The Rosie Project and enjoyed it, too. Some of the others I read long ago!

  2. Oh, and Happy New Year! Please don't add my name to the drawing; I've read that one, too. :-)

  3. I've not read any of these books and would love to be in the drawing! I've read a lot of books this year but I don't think any the same as you. I've been buying them from the local charity shop, from Amazon on my Kindle and been passed a few by friends. Some have been young adult as I love them. Also read a couple of books that Penny had to read for her Batchelors degree in Creative Writing including Margaret Atwood who I hadn't read before. Penny reads very different books from me and it is fun to read her selections. I haven't kept count this year but I know that I have read a lot as I am a prodigious reader! Here's to some great reads in 2016! :)

  4. I think I've read a book or two...have read your blog. :) would love to be in the drawing.

  5. A Long Way from Chicago sounds interesting. I love "period" books. My total for the year is 48 books. I keep track of them by adding a category on my Kindle called "books read 2015." I read The Rosie Project several months ago for my book club. I enjoyed it---the search for Rosie's father was crazy! I've read many of the books you reviewed this year, but no others in this post.


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!