Best Books of 2015

Last year because I was reading law book and studying I did not even reach my own book challenge, so I set the sights low for myself this year, hoping to get back on track and start reading more. I challenged myself to read 30 books and I’ve read 39, plus I’m halfway through two more books and hope to finish them before the year is out. I’m very pleased with my accomplishment of meeting and exceeding my goal, as well as, tackling some of my “Want to Read” list and never ending tbr pile.

Here are my favorite books of 2015 in no particular order.


Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is an amazing book. I can’t believe it took me this long to track down a copy and ready it. Read my review here.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is a perfectly intricate plot that plays across years and worlds. A must read. My review is here.


InterWorld is another wonderfully written book by Neil Gaiman, this time with a co-author Michael Reaves, about multiple universes and how the tiny decisions in our lives have rippling affects. Read my review here.


The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman is the final book in his The Magician’s Trilogy and is full of flawed characters and wonderful world building. As I said in my review:

“Real life in all its glory and sadness spills itself across the pages and that is the beauty of Grossman’s characters. Not that they have magic and spells, but that they have life, and they live it.”


Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the final chapter in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. I actually liked this book the best in the series, which was a wonderful surprise. You can read my full review here. But be warned there may be spoilers about the first two books in the series.


Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet is a fun light urban fantasy tale about a grim reaper, but the story has depth and the characters are fully developed. But my favorite part of this book is her female characters have actual agency, a nice shift from many of the urban fantasy series I read this year. Read my review here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish where fellow book bloggers, and anyone who wants, can contribute to a themed top ten list. This weeks discussion centers around Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch. (I’ve not stuck strictly with movie adaptations, sorry.) These are in no particular order, unless you count that they are in the order I thought of them.

1.The Magicians by Lev Grossman will be adapted into a TV series on the SyFy channel. Love The Magicians, read my review, and I can’t wait for this show. You can see a sneak peek here.

2. Mocking Jay Part 2: I love Katniss, and while the movies may not be exactly like the books, I still love them. So very much.

3. Paper Towns by John Green. First I need to read this book and then I can watch the movie. I’ve avoided John Green even though I know he is an excellent writer because I avoid sad endings, and from what I hear that is all his stories. But this trailer entices me to delve into that abyss.

4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. My husband is not a fan of the adaptation of The Hobbit. And I get it, they added a lot of unnecessary things to make it a three movie money maker, but I still really want to see it.

5. Supposedly Matched by Ally Condie is in the works to become adapted into a movie. I always thought it was written rather like a screen play than a novel at times, and if done properly, would be a really pretty movie.

6. Cinder. This book has only been optioned, but I really really really hope this becomes a movie and I can watch it and fall in love with the universe the Marissa Meyer created allover again.

7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, also only optioned, but I am crossing my fingers and toes real hard and I hope this becomes a movie some day!

8. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Why or oh why are these books not been made into movies! Ugh. I want to see them. Please?

9. Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Apparently this one has made it to the writing stages. This might be a hard adaptation, considering that the people can hear each others thoughts, but it would be interesting, and I would definitely go and see it.

10. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. While this was not my favorite adaptation of a classic piece of literature, I do think this will be a fun movie. Also, Matt Smith is in it? Yes please.

It’s the Weekend and I’m Catching Up

Gah. I have never felt so overwhelmed, except when I was studying to take the bar. But it is Self Care Saturday and I am doing all the things that I love that I haven’t been able to do because of all the overwhelming things. I’ve gone through a lot of audiobooks that I want to write up and I’ve seen great things come across my Facebook and Twitter accounts that I want to share as well. So here goes my attempt to catch up on my nerdy business. And go.

They are making a GD TV show about the MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman. Go to the link and watch the official trailer. Now. (via JohnMichael)

I’m waiting.

OK. I will assume you’ve seen it. AAAHHHH! I can’t even. I want to quit all the things and find the episodes that are in production and binge watch them and force them to make more!!!! Why is it not 2016 yet???

What if Game of Thrones was Disneyfied? Would it look like this? (via George Takei)

Speaking of George Takei if you are not following him on Facebook. You really should be. He posts some amazing things that are sure to make your little nerd heart pitter and patter.

This next video is about two people who were given special effects make-up to show themselves and their soon to be spouse what they will look like over the next 70 years. It is a very amazing and heartwarming video that had me shedding more than a few tears. (via Tara Dee)

And you just gotta love the following hot chocolate mug even if you aren’t a huge basketball fan. It is just so cute! (via Loretta Milan)

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Book Review: The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

I borrowed The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman from my local library. The Magician’s Land is the third and final book in Grossman’s series The Magician’s. I’m in love with Grossman’s darkly thrilling magical universe and was both excited and sad to start the last book in the series. You can read my reviews of the The Magicians and The Magician King.

the magician's land

Summary from the author’s website:

Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers buried secrets and hidden evils and ultimately the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying. . .

Quentin finds himself shunned from the one place he dreamed about his entire life, and he survives it. More, he becomes who he always tried to be, someone who faces his trials with courage, intelligence, and sometimes maturity. But mostly, he finds himself. Quentin has actually learned from his life experiences. I love when characters grow and become who you hope they will become.

Plum, a senior at Brakebills, finds herself in the middle of an adventure at Quentin’s side While Quentin’s journey is well on its way, her’s is just beginning. I liked their mentor/mentee relationship. It was a nice break from romantic relationships, but just as meaningful and engaging. Plus, Plum is a great character and I really liked what she brought to the series. In some ways she reminded me of me, though I’m not into pranking people. But I do always have a plan, and it usually goes about as well and Plum’s do.

While Fillory is still a huge part of the story, Quentin and Plum’s quest and their magical treasure hunt adds an element of creativity and fun to the novel that I really enjoyed. The magic in The Magician’s gniverse never gets old, or boring. Grossman adds new and interesting twists that make sense with the continuity of the universe but add delightful touches to an already entertaining world.

But my favorite aspect of this series is that it is not always light and happy, that darkness pervades not just the antagonist side, but the protagonist side as well. Quentin is not perfect, nobody is perfect. Plum suffers from depression and mood swings and the desire for something more, which leads her to make unwise choices. Magic doesn’t always help the characters, some times it just makes things harder. Real life in all its glory and sadness spills itself across the pages and that is the beauty of Grossman’s characters. Not that they have magic and spells, but that they have life, and they live it.

Lev Grossman Interview

Watch this Geek and Sundry show, from GoodReads group The Sword and the Laser, where the hosts interview Lev Grossman author of The Magician King. It sounds like there will definitely be another book about Quentin and his friends! Woot. (Grossman’s interview is from 5:25 to 14:15 if you want to skip the rest of the show).

Book Review: Codex

Codex, by Lev Grossman, is the story of a man who takes a vacation from work and gets deeply involved in the mystery and intrigue of a man and a woman fighting over the history of family by searching for a hidden codex. It is exciting, intriguing, extremely intellectually driving story. Several times I re-read a paragraph because I knew I had not fully comprehended the intelligence of each sentence the first time.

Here is the blurb:

Edward Wozny, a high-flying twenty-something personal banker, is about to take his first vacation in years. But before he can quite relax an unusual assignment comes his way: A wealthy, aristocratic client is asking — insisting even — that he help her inventory the private library she and her husband have inherited.

Edward enlists the help of a young woman who has a better grasp of history than he does, and an unlikely friendship develops. Both of them are awkward nerds of the first order who live complicated lives without fulfilling all the nerd stereotypes. One of the things I love about Lev Grossman’s writing is that his stories revolve around nerdy people without falling into every stereotype of fat people on couches gaming. I did find the ending got bogged down in the exposition of all the mathematical and historical reasoning behind every action instead of just describing the action and believing the audience is smart enough to figure out most of the reasoning on their own. I admit to skimming some of the more detailed paragraphs and skipping to the actual actions and emotions of the character. But all in all the book was excellent, full of vibrant moods, emotions, and complicated writings of history and love and life. A must read for those interested in more than escapism but wanting fiction to explain book binding, medieval writing, and how two people can find friendship in working toward something together.

Read another review here.