Books in 2015: a discovery in themes

As 2015 is drawing to a close (only 2 weeks left, people! Time to really get working on those resolutions! Unless you’re like me, and you gave up somewhere in January), it’s time to do the usual thing, and start reflecting on these past 12 months.

Now I don’t think I’ve said this here yet, but a couple of months ago I noticed that I seem to have picked most of my books according to a couple of big themes.

This definitely didn’t happen on purpose, it just kind of…happened. But it’s still interesting to see how there can be major themes your interests center around. My themes for the year were:

  • Space/science 
  • Ancient Greece 
  • LGBTQ+
  • Crime/mystery 

So let’s take them one at a time.

Space/science (fiction)
Books in this category:
-The Martian (Andy Weir)
-The Kraken Wakes (John Wyndham)
-An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (Chris Hadfield)
-What If? (Randall Munroe)

Admittedly, my space/science theme largely goes beyond books, and into social media. This is, after all, the year in which we had the Pluto flyby, lots of Mars news, the #yearinspace for astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. It’s also the year of The Martian, both the movie and the book, that propelled the Mars missions into mainstream media.

I did notice that all the authors in this bit are male, so, here’s to fixing that in 2016!

Ancient Greece
Books in this category:
-The Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller)
-Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
-Weight (Jeanette Winterson)
-Percy Jackson & The Sea of Monsters (Rick Riordan)
-Aesop’s Fables
-The Iliad (Homer) (currently reading)

This theme started right when I read the Song of Achilles. I was already planning on reading more of the Percy Jackson series, but after TSOA my interests really kicked off. I’m not just blaming the one book though – it definitely helped that I started following Jean Bookishthoughts on Youtube.

Still, while I am still interested in Ancient Greece and hoping to expand on that in 2016, I can also tell my interests are pulling me in other directions too. We’ll see what happens next year! But for now, at least, I know that I learned enough about Ancient Greece to really notice how blatantly wrong the Disney Hercules movie is. (It’s a good thing I didn’t like it that much to begin with).

LGBTQ+ 
Books in this category:
-Lies We Tell Ourselves (Robin Talley)
-A Hero at the End of the World (Erin Claiborne)
-Vixen (Rosie Garland)
-The Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller)
-Beauty Queens (Libba Bray)
-Everything Leads to You (Nina Lacour)
-Tipping the Velvet (Sarah Waters)

LGBTQ+ topics have always been a topic close to my heart, but for some reason I never read that many books in the genre. This year, I really worked on improving it, though as you can see I’m still severely lacking in the BTQ+ part of LGBTQ+. I’m taking this into account for 2016, and am already on the lookout for more books on gender.

Still, I did really enjoy reading more diversely, so I do consider this a good year for LGBTQ+ reading!

Crime/mystery 
Books in this category:
-The Murder at the Vicarage (Agatha Christie)
-Lady in Dread (Ryerson Johnson)
-Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)
-Grijs Gebied (Marion Pauw)
-Murder She Said (Agatha Christie)
-The Cuckoo’s Calling (Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling)
-Dust and Shadow (Lyndsay Faye)
-The Moving Finger (Agatha Christie)

Ah yes, the completely unexpected topic of 2015. I honestly never thought I liked crime novels (which is silly because I’ve loved Sherlock Holmes for ages). But then I picked up an Agatha Christie out of curiosity, and I was hooked. I still have several crime/murder mysteries in my TBR stack, so expect more of these next year!

As for general themes, I think you can see that I’ve been reading much more novels written by women. This was part conscious decision, and part something that just kind of happened. Booktube has also played a big part in this, considering a lot of the recommendations are about books by women, so subconsciously you do tend to pick it up more. This, too, is a trend I like and will bring with me into the next year.

All in all, I really enjoyed figuring out these themes, and I’m curious to see if this happens again next year!

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