Okay, maybe a slightly misleading title. But hey, it got your attention, didn’t it! 🙂 A more accurate title would be “My very late 2015 wrap-up post, including a list of my favourite books from that year”. A bit cumbersome as far as titles go, which is why I went with the punchier, albeit less informative one. But enough about the naming of blog posts (who really cares), let’s look back on the year that was…
2015 was an incredibly busy year for me. Four new books in the You Choose series were published — Night of the Creepy Carnival, Alien Invaders from Beyond the Stars, Super Sports Spectacular and Trapped in the Games Grid. And while these were being published, I began work on my new series of books, The Royal Flying Doctor Service Adventures. The first two books in that series, Remote Rescue and Emergency Echo, get released in February this year. On the speaking front, there were lots of school and library visits, along with appearances at literary festivals and conventions. The highlights were The Somerset Celebration of Literature, Sugar City Con and Voices on the Coast.
And then there was the Young Australians Best Book Award (YABBA). You Choose: The Treasure of Dead Man’s Cove won a YABBA in the “Fiction for Younger Readers” category. That was pretty AWESOME!
[I blogged about it on my site.]
Despite the busyness of the year, I managed to do a fair bit of reading. Unfortunately I didn’t do all that much reviewing. Rather than trying to do one long review per blog post, I ended up doing posts with multiple shorter reviews so that I could cover more books. And I still didn’t manage to tell you about all the ones I read. My first couple of posts for this year will try to catch up on some of my favourites from 2015.
Which brings me to my list of favourites. Drum roll please!
Favourite children’s book
This time around it’s not a single book… it’s six books! The Warlock’s Child is a wonderful fantasy series co-written by Paul Collins and Sean McMullen. They are: The Burning Sea, Dragonfall Mountain, The Iron Claw, Trial by Dragons, Voyage to Morticas and The Guardians. Great adventure books with interesting characters and AWESOME dragons.
Favourite Young Adult book
Tough choice this year as I read some pretty amazing books. Honourable mention goes to Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Epic, sweeping space opera with a healthy dose of romance that is extraordinary in the telling. (I will be reviewing it properly soon.) But top honours goes to The Rest of Us Just Life Here by Patrick Ness. This book is PERFECT! Perfect in plot, character and telling. (I’ll also review this one soon.)
Favourite Grown-up Book
Okay, this book was actually published in 2014, although I read it in 2015. But it was just too good not to include. Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott. I confess that I don’t read many grown-up books these days because, frankly, most of them end up boring me. But this one was brilliant!
Read my review in the “Mini Reviews” post.
Favourite comic/graphic novel
Another tough category this year, as I read so many great titles. But my favourite would have to be Afterlife with Archie, in which the zombie apocalypse begins in Riverdale. Dramatic, sometimes funny, often brutal and surprisingly poignant. I promise to review this properly soon, along with all the other Archie titles it prompted me to go out and read.
Favourite Non-fiction book
I read LOTS of non-fiction for research, so I don’t pick up all that many as part of my down-time reading. But when one of my all-time favourite authors writes a non-fic book, how could I possibly pass it up? Atmospheric: The Burning Story of Climate Change by Carole Wilkinson is superb reading.
Read about the Story Behind Atmospheric.
Favourite older book
During 2015 I read A LOT of older books. Honourable mention goes to Watership Down by Richard Adams, THE undisputed classic of the anthropomorphised animals genre. But I am a Sherlock Holmes fanboy, so I’m afraid I just can’t go past Sir Arther Conan Doyle’s The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
Read reviews of both these books in “Three Reviews”.
OVERALL FAVOURITE FOR THE YEAR OF 2015
Without a doubt it is The Rest of Us Just Life Here by Patrick Ness. I love this book SO MUCH! Everyone, go out and read it RIGHT NOW! I mean it… RIGHT NOW! Waste no more time with delay… RIGHT NOW! Look… here’s a link so you can purchase it. Am I being too pushy? You know what? I don’t care! GO READ IT!
So there you go — 2015 in a nutshell. ‘Twas a great year for me in terms of reading and writing. And 2016 is already off to a grand start. I look forward to reviewing it in twelve months time… or maybe a bit longer if I’m slack. 😉
Catch ya later, George