A Reader’s List of 2015 Best Books

I like to think I’m a voracious reader. When I lived in Italy for a brief stint of six months – without a TV, a radio, or enough Italian to have interesting conversations beyond “Where’s the bathroom?” and “I’ll have the pizza please” – I read 60 books in 24 months. I have never reached such reading heights since.

Enter 2015 as a good example of how far I’ve fallen.

Granted, I did write a book this year and that should count because I read, re-read, and read that thing about thirty times. And I am writing another, which has made a pretty big dent in my ability to focus, imagine, and think about other worlds, other characters, other plots and timelines.

In total, I read a scant 17 books this year – had the best intentions with 7 others – and loved 4 of them (for comparison, here’s last year’s list).

A quick caveat: The whole experience of writing, publishing and putting a book on the public bookshelf for people to poke at, pass over, review and star has changed how I feel about reviewing and starring the books I read. I feel much kinder now and want to give everything five stars. Alas, I’m also an old English teacher gone to pasture.

My apologies in advance if you loved a book that I did not love. Clearly the issue is with this reader.

Top Books of Wow

(In the Order of Wow-ness)

  1. All the Light We Cannot See
  2. Station Eleven
  3. The Lost City of Z
  4. We Were Liars

Most Hyped, Less Loved

  1. The Girl on the Train
  2. The Bone Clocks

In the Land of Meh-bee

(Most Meh of Them All First)

  1. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
  2. Istanbul Passage
  3. The Golem and the Jinni
  4. A Spool of Blue Thread
  5. In the Garden of Beasts
  6. A Discovery of Witches
  7. Fangirl

I Read This? Are You Sure? I Don’t Remember It At All

(Most Unremembered First)

  1. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
  2. To Say Nothing of the Dog
  3. The Song of Achilles
  4. Longbourn

The Best Intentions, But I Probably Won’t Finish

  1. Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor’s Life at Sea
  2. Around the World in 80 Days (Jules Verne)
  3. Around the World in 72 Days (Nellie Bly)
  4. The Innocents Abroad
  5. Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone
  6. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
  7. In the Unlikely Event

I’m always on the lookout for a good book. So if you’ve got a recommendation, pass it along. I’d love to check it out. As you can see, I’m in need of some books for 2016.

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