January 1, 2016

The 15 Best Books of 2015

The 15 Best Books of 2015. I read 148 books in 2015, and these are the titles I loved the most!

During the first half of 2015 I read 80 books, and I picked my favorites of those here. From July-December I read 68 books, for a grand total of 148 -- you can see more nerdy book stats here

[If you just happened to stumble across this post, and are like "What the what??! She has kids, how does she read that many books??" -- check out my 10 Tips to Help You Read More.]

Since 15 books is roughly 1/10th of what I read last year, and because it's nicely symmetrical to pick 15 books for 2015, without further ado: the 15 best books of 2015, in no particular order.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. A really, really good mystery - J.K. Rowling's genius strikes again. I was genuinely surprised by the ending, which rarely happens to me, given how many mysteries I read.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Station Eleven is beautiful, and lyrical, and unforgettable. Possibly my favorite post-apocalyptic novel ever.

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater. I LOVED this creative little book. It's one of those times that I'm sad that it didn't exist when I was a kid. My 9 year old self would've been in seventh heaven. I plan to gift a ton of copies of this over the next few years as Eleanor's friends hit the right age for it.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. This made a lot of "best of" lists this year, with good reason! It's funny and charming and romantic, and perfectly satisfied my Anglophile cravings. I was reading it during all the hype for Princess Charlotte's birth, so that was a fun coincidence.

The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester. I'm a big U.S. history buff, but I learned so much from listening to this book! I keep finding myself sharing interesting facts from it with people. Well, I think they're interesting anyway. Ha! 

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth. It's sweet and sad (the story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's who falls in love), and I can't stop thinking about it. It's probably kind of cheating, since it doesn't come out till this month, but I read a galley early, so I'm popping it on my 2015 list.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I devoured this book, even though a lot of the video game references were over my head. It was so much fun, I almost wish I was a gamer!

Winter by Marissa Meyer. I'd been dying to read Winter for more than a year, and Meyer didn't disappoint. It was a very satisfying conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles. I love that the ending was mostly happy, but that none of the characters were left completely untouched.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Guys, this book is AWESOME. It's dark and bitter and angry and beautiful, all at the same time. I listened to it on audiobook, and caught myself literally pacing in anxiety as I listened. I don't want to say too much and spoil it. So don't google it! Just go read it. NOW.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Unbroken lived up to all the hype for me. It was mesmerizing and tragic and unputdownable. I haven't been brave enough to see the movie though.

The Lake House by Kate Morton. I've been waiting a long time for this one, and Morton didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed the Cornish setting, and the modern story in particular - I found Sadie a very relatable heroine.

The Martian by Andy Weir.  I really loved The Martian. The audiobook was superb and addicting, and then I thought Matt Damon was perfectly cast in the movie.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I didn't want to put more than one Moriarty book on this list, even though I read five of her books in 2015! BLL was the first I read, and I think it's still my favorite. She captures school politics so perfectly. And the fact that for the first 90% of the novel you know that someone is dead, but you don't know who the killer OR the victim is... it's just brilliant writing.

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley. I read a lot of Kearsley books this last year, and this one was my favorite. It's her newest book, and, like all her books, features dual story lines, in the modern day and in the past. Her modern heroine had Asperger's, which made it extra interesting to me.

Angels Burning by Tawni O'Dell. This is a dark and sad mystery, that somehow also manages to be funny and entertaining. I was surprised how much I liked this one - maybe Oprah knew what she was talking about when she picked one of O'Dell's books for her book club.

And there you have it! The best 15 books of 2015. I just have to mention Ariana Franklin's The Siege Winter, and Adrian McKinty's Gun Street Girl though. (Funnily enough they're both mysteries. And actually, they're probably both better than A Desperate Fortune. I just wanted to fill the last spot with a Kearsley novel, since I read so many last year.) And Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Georgette Heyer's Frederica would also have made it, if I hadn't decided to leave out re-reads.

Do you agree/disagree with my list?

I reviewed some of these books for Shelf Awareness. And got some of them at the library. And bought a few for myself. If you'd like to buy one of them too - click the book's image.