2015 is over. I have a feeling it was a malevolent little beast, content to make things more difficult. I'd go on, but it’s 2016 now and we should look to the future. Not Back to the Future Part II's future, mind you. That's the past. I know. It's hard to keep up.
I will say some positive things about my recently departed year. I finished another novel (Buy it on Amazon!) and got the first draft of another novel done. I met and befriended a wonderful writing group. I met the world's best dog, even if she isn't joining us for 2016. There's also a good Rocky and Star Wars movie in theaters. It’s been a while since that's happened at the same time.
I also, against all odds, made my reading goals. Over the last several years, I have steadily increased my reading challenge on Goodreads. This year the number was 58. Until December, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that I wasn't going to make it. As it turned out, I hit 59 of 58 books. I also managed to get all of Popsugar's 2015 reading challenge done as well. They have a similar 2016 challenge. It is a far more flexible list than 2015’s. Find my 2015 entries below.
Now let us go on to 2016. I'm going to try to finish another book. I'm going to try all sorts of new things too. Sushi with Eel. It's going to happen. I think. I'll write something under a pen name. You'll never know. Some of you will know. Why am I even putting this here?
I hope you will also conquer 2016. We need to let these years know that we are the boss. Go on some adventures. Get some stuff done. Try some new stuff. I'm going to up my reading goal to an even 60. Join me, won't you?
Mac's Annotated 2015 Reading List
1. A book with more than 500 pages: Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America by Peter Biskind
2. A classic romance: From Russia With Love(1) by Ian Fleming
3. A book that became a movie: For Your Eyes Only(2) by Ian Fleming
4. A book published this year: Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
5. A book with a number in the title: 2030 by Albert Brooks
6. A book written by someone under 30: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
7. A book with nonhuman characters: Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno
8. A funny book: This Way to Spaceship by Rhys Darby
9. A book by a female author: A Fighting Chance by Sen. Elizabeth Warren
10. A mystery or thriller: Moonraker(3) by Ian Fleming
11. A book with a one-word title: Armada by Ernest Cline
12. A book of short stories: The Twilight Zone: 50th Anniversary Edited by Carol Serling
13. A book set in a different country: Thunderball(4) by Ian Fleming
14. A nonfiction book: Serling: The Rise and Twilight of TV's Last Angry Man by Gordon F. Sander
15. A popular author's first book: Casino Royale(5) by Ian Fleming
16. A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet: Dr. No(6) by Ian Fleming
17. A book a friend recommended: A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'Engle
18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning book: Orwell(7) by Michael Shelden
19. A book based on a true story: Gene Roddenberry: The Man and the Myth behind Star Trek by: Joel Engel
20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list: Star Trek: Voyager: Homecoming by Christie Golden
21. A book your mom loves: Still Foolin' Them by Billy Crystal
22. A book that scares you: Four Past Midnight(8) by Stephen King
23. A book more than 100 years old: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
24. A book based entirely on its cover: Redshirts by John Scalzi
25. A book you were supposed to read in school by didn't: Animal Farm by George Orwell
26. A memoir: Let's Just Say it wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton
27. A book you can finish in a day: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox
28. A book with antonyms in the title: Live and Let Die(9) by Ian Fleming
29. A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Star Trek DS9: Demons of Air and Darkness10 by: Keith R.A. DeCandido
30. A book that came out the year you were born: Doctor Who: The Aztecs by: John Lucarotti
31. A book with bad reviews: Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart
32-34. A trilogy: The Phantom of Menace, The Clone Army Attacketh, and The Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge by: Ian Doescher
35. A book from your childhood: Pure Drivel by Steve Martin
36. A book with a love triangle: Side Effects by Woody Allen
37. A book set in the future: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season by Mike McMahan
38. A book set in high school: Running with Scissors by: Augusten Burroughs
39. A book with a color in the title: Goldfinger(11) by Ian Fleming
40. A book that made you cry: Orson Welles of Mars(12) by Mac Boyle
41. A book with magic: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
42. A graphic novel: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 1(13) by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
43. A book by an author you've never read before: The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison
44. A book you own but have never read: Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt
45. A book that takes place in your hometown: The Outsiders(14) by S.E. Hinton
46. A book that was originally written in a different language: Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
47. A book set during Christmas: On Her Majesty's Secret Service(15) by Ian Fleming
48. A book written by an author with your same initials: Rosewater by Maziar Bahari
49. A play: Requiem for a Heavyweight by Rod Serling
50. A banned book: The Spy Who Loved Me16 by Ian Fleming
51. A book based on or turned into a TV show: Star Trek DS9: Section 31: Abyss by David Weddle and Jeffrey Lang
52. A book you started but never finished: Diamonds are Forever(17) by Ian Fleming
Honorable mentions (books that never qualified under the categories from the list)
1. Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller
2. Without Feathers by Woody Allen
3. Getting Even by Woody Allen
4. Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen
5. This Island Earth by Woody All-- er, Raymond F. Jones
6. Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr.
7. Lovelife by Rob Lowe
8. My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall
(1) Love is right there in the title. Sue me.
(2) I use both the term "become", "movie", and for that matter "book" somewhat loosely.
(3) The biggest mystery is how anyone would be thrilled by this. Man, Fleming is taking a beating in this list. Also, they never go to space. Rare example of the movie being better than the source material? No, actually. No.
(4) Due to ongoing litigation, this comment about the work of Ian Fleming will be similar, but legally distinct from any intellectual property appearing in previous comments.
(5) He sure is popular on this list...
(6) Yes. I love him. He's a misogynist. He's a Hall of Fame Racist. If I ever again hear the term "Chinese Negro" I'm going to scream. But he can sure put together a thriller better than anybody before or since.
(7) Yes. I know. Orwell was only a Pulitzer nominated book. I cheated. Ian Fleming said I could.
(8) Mainly scary because you realize Bronson Pinchot plays the villain in the "The Langoliers." Insert your own Ian Fleming remark here.
(9) Hey! This Ian Fleming thing is finally paying off!
(10) The Bajoran System. Terok Nor. The Alpha and Delta Quadrants. All on my bucket list. In 2016, I plan on visiting them all. Also, Ian Fleming makes the locations Bond travels to feel like Atticus Finch's deepest, darkest thoughts.
(11) Seriously, guys. For the 2016 list, you can do a lot worse on weird titles than everyone's favorite drunken bigot, Donal Ian Fleming.
(12) Cry and scream and laugh and lose sleep and wonder what the hell I'm doing with my life and wondering why I spent all year reading James Bond novels. Buy it on Amazon now!
(13) Not counted in my total books read, mainly because it’s a graphic novel, but also because James Bond doesn't show up until The Black Dossier.
(14) If you can find another book set in Tulsa, I'd like to hear about it. I don't think Bond ever made it out here.
(15) Imagine if you will my delight when Bond sobers up long enough to realize its Christmastime.
(16) Ireland was appropriately mortified by the Bond books from the get-go. Fleming's attempt to write a Bond story from the woman's perspective is as horrifying as you'd imagine.
(17) And boy, am I glad I finally did.