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Looking Back: 2015 in Reading

Some highlights from my 2015 reading (not necessarily published in 2015):

  • Best contemporary romance: Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

  • Best paranormal romance (a category I didn’t even know I liked!): Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

  • Best erotic romance: Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

  • Best historical fiction: The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne

  • Best angsty, dark, don’t-want-to-even-admit-I’m-reading-this-stuff romance: Ruin and Rule by Pepper Winters

  • Best literary fiction: Euphoria by Lily King

  • Biggest disappointment: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

  • Biggest surprise (a.k.a. Harlequin romance I actually liked... though I admit I haven’t read many): Texas Fire by Kimberly Raye

  • Book that’s still sitting on my shelf that I can’t get myself to pick up: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

In 2015, I think I read a record number of books. Definitely over 100, maybe even close to 200.

How did I manage that? It was certainly not because I had a lot of leisure time on my hands. In addition to three book/story releases, I works as a editor and translator, and I also have a family that likes my attention. It’s true that many domestic tasks could have used more attention, but that’s never been my strong suit.

Here are a few guesses as to why I read more this year than in other year in memory:

  1. I worked on cutting out aimless Internet time. It’s still a work in progress—sometime I still find myself in the middle of some article about getting your kids to be more grateful thinking ‘why am I reading this?’—but each time I find myself there, I tried to ask myself this question: Would I rather read this article, or would I rather read a novel? Usually, the novel wins.

  2. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about spending my time "pleasure" reading. As a former English teacher, I can’t help but read with a critical eye, so every book is a mixture of pleasure reading and learning. If Stephan King says it’s what writers should be doing every day, who am I to argue?

  3. I’m reading what I’m in the mood for, not what I think I should be reading. My editing jobs tend to be dense academic books, the kind offered in graduate courses. After working on one of these, for a few hours, I find myself craving genre fiction—where the author take more responsibility for entertaining the reader (as opposed to literary fiction, where the reader is expected to work harder to meet the book).

  4. I’m (mostly) TV-free. Not entirely. I watch things with my husband or family to be with them, but my first choice of entertainment is reading.

2016 had begun. What should I read this year? What do you recommend, romance or otherwise?

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