My year in books 2015

Since Goodreads has a nice feature to display the books one has read in any given year, I thought I delve a bit into the books I read in the year 2015.

These are all the books I read in 2015: My year in books 2015

Wow, quite a few books 🙂

First, lets get the statistical stuff out of the way:

How many, exactly? –  96 books, which comes to about a book every 4 days. A bit down from the 114 books I read in 2014.

Turn the pages –  33,808 pages read. Average page length of 365 pages/book

Who has the time? – Calculation my average reading speed of about 50 pages/hour this comes to 28 days and 4 hours reading. About 1 hour and 50 minutes per day on average.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? – 9 books I read were in German, 87 were in English

Little Boxes – 28 books were Science Fiction, 26 were Fantasy, 13 were Literary Fiction, 9 were Urban Fantasy, 7 were Non-Fiction, 4 were Young Adult, 4 were mixed short story collections, 3 were New Weird, 2 were Horror. Yep, I still mostly read Sci-Fi and Fantasy, even though Literary Fiction was slightly up from last year.

Cutting Edge – 21 books were published in 2015, 75 were older books

Well, were they any good? – I gave five stars to 22 books, four stars to 37 books, three stars to 21 books, two stars to 11 books, one star to 5 books. It looks like I mostly like what I read. Or mostly read what I like. Either way is good 🙂

But who cares about numbers, what about the BOOKS?

The best Non-Fiction: Capital in the 21st century by Thomas Piketty


This was surprisingly competitive given that I didn’t read that much Non-Fiction this year. Still, Piketty takes this one for making a clearcut argument how unrestricted capitalism leads to extreme inequality. Not much to challenge my own political convictions, but it might actually help in shifting the mainstream economics into a saner direction. Surprisingly readably for what is basically an economics textbook.

Runner-up Non-Fiction: Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell


Still the best read about the Spanish Civil War. Crucial to understanding Orwell’s sharp opposition to Soviet-style Communism in his later books, too.

Worst Non-Fiction:Der islamische Faschismus – Eine Analyse (Islamic Fascism) by Hamed Abdel-Samad


Unscientific to the extreme, intellectually dishonest and pandering to the islamophobia of the German non-muslim majority. This book has no redeeming qualities at all.

Best Literary Fiction: Spieltrieb by Julie Zeh


A disturbing look at two basically sociopathic young adults. Tempered by wonderful language this one hit home and stayed with me.

Best Science-Fiction: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson


This 880 page monster shows how good hard science fiction can be if done right. Dense, at times even technical,this realistic look at near future space travel morphs into far future space opera spanning a thousand year period. A must read for anyone who calls himself a Science Fiction fan.

Weirdest book: The First Bad Man by Miranda July


This one all rests on the incredible fucked up protagonist. There is not much you can say about the book without spoiling it, but get it if you like a little weird in your life. This could have crashed and burned so easily, but somehow Miranda July pulls it off.

Worst Book: The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld


They say the ones we love are the ones that can most easily hurt us. This book should have been everything I love: Postapocalyptic World, anarchist politics, a strong female protagonist.
Preachy beyond even my ability to enjoy, card-board characters and a deus-ex-machina ending that was simply insulting to the reader. Ouch. This one hurt.

Runner-up Best Book: Lifelode by Jo Walton


There should be more of this kind of book. Christened „Domestic Fantasy“ by Sharyn November this book is quiet, but packs an incredible emotional punch nonetheless. Jo Walton is simply a master. Unfortunately this is out of print and not even available in ebook form.

Best Book: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

fifths season

N. K. Jemisin’s best work so far. This book tells a single story via three different viewpoints in a fascinating fantasy world. The themes are heavy (Slavery, Racism, Sexism), but it is told in a crisp, sharp, understated way without even the slightest hint of preachiness. The  marriage of forceful plot,unique structure and awesome characters is what makes this one the definite best book of 2015.