As 2015 turns into 2016

2015: what. a. year.

As we get toward the end of the year, I end up reflecting a lot on the year that came before. And oof, was 2015 kind of a doozy. In with a bang, out with a whimper right? Sounds sort of fitting as I write this post with less than a half dozen hours to spare before midnight, knowing that with my lovely post-Christmas cold I won’t be staying up until midnight. Whimper, indeed (or maybe more of a whine, actually.)

2015 started off with a couple tough things: the loss of my cat sister, the loss of my debut book contract, all amidst an epically snowy winter in Boston that basically made it impossible to do anything or go anywhere for almost two months. (Oh, and living in fear that the roof over my office would collapse under several feet of snow.) But those hard moments gave way to some of the best times of the year and some truly life-changing moments.. Finding out that my book was going to find a new, wonderful home after all! (And my new publisher buying a second book, which I’m revising now). Trips to France, NYC, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, the California desert, and Washington state. Meeting Judy Blume (!!!) and Hanya Yanagihara. Seeing the most-excellent Broadway bound musical Waitress. Welcoming two new nephews to the family. Setting a personal record for the half marathon. Riding my first Ferris wheel! Getting to know so many brilliant, funny, hilarious, and kind middle grade and YA writers, also debuting in 2016. It’s been quite a year.

And finally, it’s almost here — the much-awaited 2016, when my book actually goes out into the real world! In the darkest days of last year’s crazy snow-covered winter, it was hard to believe it would ever be 2016.

Somehow, managed to get here in one piece. Phew.

2015: a year in books

It’s been my tradition since my first year as a public librarian to note my ten favorite books read in the given year. In 2015, I read 149 books (150 if I can manage to finish Jesse Andrews’s The Haters — we’ll see as I still have half the book to read and Jurassic World competing for my attention).

In no particular order, these are my favorites. Some middle grade, some YA–even some grown-up books!

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

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