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Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 In Review

Wow, 2015 is over!! From Thanksgiving everything just flew by, I apologize for the sporadic content; the holidays snuck up on me and so did my research paper for class. Insane is all I can say. 2 classes left and then the final exam and I will be done with my Masters – about 1 more year, can’t wait!! Tomorrow I will be sharing my goals for 2016, but I wanted to take a few minutes to review 2015.

I am so thankful for the relationships I have established and grown over this year in this crazy blog world! The Historical Novel Society Conference in June was such incredible fun with a fabulous group of ladies – loved getting to know Stephanie (Layered Pages) and Erin (Flashlight Commentary) better and seeing my good friends Amy (Passages to the Past/Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours), Meg (A Bookish Affair) and Sarah (Reading the Past) again. I’ve even recently engaged in community with a bunch of these ladies and more to share ideas and help each other be the most successful we can be and made some new friends. The Historical Fiction community is an excellent one to be a part of.

Here are some book stats for 2015.

BOOKS READ: 51 (this exceeded my goal on Goodreads of 45 and was more than I read last year too – so I call that a win!)

BOOKS REVIEWED: 46 (this is more reviews than last year, and includes 12 that I didn’t get reviewed in 2014 that I had read. However, to that end, I have 13 I read and I still plan on reviewing that I didn’t get to this year.)

PAGES READ: 13,104 (more than last year by about 3,000 pages!!!)ΓΌ

HOURS LISTENED: 199.88 (this tapered off with less time spent in the car commuting – now I have a 15 minute ride and it has been more difficult to listen at work with the incessant questions I am answering for new employees.)

TYPE: (some may overlap)
  • Hardcover: 1
  • Paperback: 16
  • ARC: 25
  • Audio: 13
  • E-Book: 21
  • My Personal Collection: 25 (of the 25, 9 of those I had to read for my classes, but they still count!)

GENRE: (may overlap)
  • Historical Fiction: 29
  • Young Adult: 6 (part of this is due to some re-reads of Gossip Girl and Little House books)
  • Contemporary Fiction: 4
  • Romance: 7
  • Non-fiction: 17
  • Comedy: 1
  • Mystery: 1 (only if you count it as Historical Mystery – I didn’t read any of my regular mysteries this year)
  • Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi: 1
  • Western: 6

SETTING: (may overlap)
  • England: 7
  • France: 8
  • Ancient Rome: 2
  • Scotland: 3
  • America: 18
  • Ancient Egypt: 1
  • Fantasy: 1
  • Middle East/Africa: 4
  • Germany: 8


FIRST LADY READS/PRESIDENT READS:  0/1 (WOW I need to work on this one again!)

  • MK McClintock (4)
  • Cecily von Ziegesar (2)

Favorite books Read in 2015: (in no particular order, not all released in 2015):
  • The Conqueror’s Wife by Stephanie Thornton
  • The Lake House by Kate Morton
  • A Year of Ravens by Ruth Downie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, Russell Whitfield, E. Knight
  • In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne

Most anticipated of 2016: (in no particular order)
  • Titans by Leila Meacham
  • Fall of Poppies by Jessica Brockmole, Hazel Gaynor, Evangeline Holland, Kate Kerrigan, Jennifer Robson, Marci Jefferson, Heather Webb, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig
  • The Forgotten Room by Karen While, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig
  • The Vatican Princess by C.W. Gortner
  • The Dutch Girl by Donna Thorland
Well, I read A LOT of books about WWI, WWII, and the Nazis the year thanks to my classes – those reviews will be coming in January and February, get ready for them. I have noticed the trend over my time blogging that books set in England and France had held less and less interest for me (although they are still in the top tier of locations I read) and more unique locales have garnered more of my interest (such as Tibet, the Byzantines, Ancient cultures, and of course early United States). I have a feeling 2016 is going to find me reading a bunch of sequels or series continuations.
I enjoyed the survey questions from The Perpetual Page Turner that I used in my year-end review last year, so I wanted to explore them again for 2015.

Book you read in 2015 that you recommended to people most in 2015?

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – that is after it was recommended to me by several other bloggers. I loved the writing style and told many friends about this one after I inhaled the book on a flight back from the HNS Conference.

My husband will also attest to my unending discussion of Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne that has resonated with me long after I read it back in January. Stonewall Jackson holds me fascinated like Benedict Arnold does. Both are men that I am supposed to hate, but I find admirable qualities in them. I even had to hold off on reading further at one point in Gwynne’s book because I didn’t want Jackson to die and I knew it was coming.

Best series you discovered in 2015? 

The Montana Gallagher series by MK McClintock. There are 4 books out currently (a few were released in 2014, but I didn’t hear about them for the first time until this year) and at least 1, if not 2, more books on the horizon in this series. I love how the west is written and how the characters feel so true to life. I inhale each of her books.

Favorite new-to-me author discovered in 2015? 

Kate Morton – I actually have had two of her earlier books, The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton on my bookshelf for a couple years, but never had the chance to read them and didn’t know much about them when I picked them up at the bookstore at that time. I snagged The Lake House for review because I had heard good things about the author, and I couldn’t agree more!

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlan. I raved about this cover from the moment it was revealed. I love the bright colors and the beautiful reflection of the grand home in the water in the foreground. Gorgeous!!

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Ok, so I didn’t really read anything in 2015 that I had been holding out for a long time to read – but I didn’t have any intentions of reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah at all until several blogger friends basically told me I was crazy and I picked the book up about 7 months after it was published after their thorough convincing!

Favorite Book You Read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously?

This is going to sound like my answer from 2014, but The Conqueror’s Wife by Stephanie Thornton – she just brings any world she writes about to vivid life.

Best 2015 debut you read? 

The Sisters of Versailles by Sallie Christie – I loved how she brought the court to live through the 4 sisters and made me actually care about this time in French history.

What have you learned about your reading habits in 2015? Did anything surprise you?  Stay tuned tomorrow for what to expect in 2016 for The Maiden's Court. Thank you all for sticking with me through the years!! 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Great summary of your year! I thought I was done analyzing my reading, but I forgot the most important part.....I forgot my list of favorites! I guess I'll be doing another post!

    1. Well now they will get their own special post that they deserve!


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