I read a total of 121 books in 2015 – that was a new high for me! Picking my favourite books from that list was not easy an easy task, but here goes (they’re ordered chronologically when I read them, and not ranked):
My Top Books of 2015 – Fiction
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (completed Jan 18, 2015) – This one started slowly for me but when I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. I’m in the minority where I actually prefer Wolf Hall to Bring Up the Bodies.
- Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (completed Feb 6, 2015) – This was another slower read. It took me 2-3 weeks to complete but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved how different the perspectives were from character to character. This book should have won the Pulitzer, IMO but such is life. So pleased that it won the Booker!
- The Bees by Laline Paull (completed Mar 25, 2015) – I listened to this one on audiobook and it was fantastic. I’m a fan of anthropomorphic literature in general and this was no exception.
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (completed April 5, 2015) – I read this one over Easter weekend and could not stop thinking about it long after it was over.
- The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (completed April 6, 2015) – I listened to this one on audiobook and thought the narrator did a terrific job. The book is great and the audiobook did it justice.
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (completed May 10, 2015) – I freaking loved this book. I loved the writing style, the story, the characters, and everything else.
- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O’Toole (completed Oct 1, 2015) – I listened to this one on audiobook and though I didn’t love the narrator, I loved the story. This is one of those modern classics with very mixed reviews and I’m happy to say that I ended up liking it as much as I did.
- Slade House by David Mitchell (completed Oct 8, 2015) – I loved the creepy vibe of this one. This was my first David Mitchell novel, but will definitely not be my last.
- Winter by Marissa Meyer (completed Nov 15, 2015) – Winter was such a fun read and a great conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles. I ended up reading this 800+ page book in one day – I couldn’t put it down. Admittedly, there were some cheesy parts but over all I thought it was a fun and easy read when I really needed one.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (completed Dec 31, 2015) – I listened to this one on audiobook (which was narrated by Will Wheaton) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though this book is widely loved by readers, I was pretty skeptical about it. The premise felt gimmicky but I ended up having a lot of fun listening to it. Yes, I had a few small problems with it but overall, it was such a fun book to listen to that I was bummed when it was over.
My non-fiction list was a lot easier to compile since I read only about 20ish books in this genre.
My Top Non-Fiction Books of 2015
- Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (completed Feb 1, 2015) – though I thought her essays were a bit of a mixed bag, for the most part I really enjoyed reading them.
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (completed Aug 21, 2015. I listened to this one as well as Why Not Me? on audiobook and had a great time with both. Overall, I preferred her first book to the second because the second felt a bit like retreading material covered in the first one. In any event, Mindy is a joy to listen to so I highly enjoyed this one.
- In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park (completed Nov 22, 2015) – I admit that I knew next to nothing about North Korea before reading this book. I knew that it’s run by a dictator and that it’s borders are highly guarded and that it has some prison camps in the capital. Other than that, I was clueless. This memoir floored me and made me realize how ignorant I am. I was incredibly moved by this young woman’s story and I still continue to think about her.
- The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (completed Dec 4, 2015) – This was such a fun read considering the terrifying topic it covers. Fascinating, creepy yet oddly hilarious.
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (completed Dec 23, 2015) – I read Krakauer’s Into Thin Air last year and I can’t say that I enjoyed it that much. This one, however, was fascinating. The story of Christopher McCandless giving up everything he owns and committing himself to a life as a tramp until his death was so compelling that I couldn’t put this one down.
- How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor (completed Dec 29, 2015) – I have to admit that I am not a die-hard Star Wars fan. In fact, I only watched the first six in the series for the first time this fall and thought it was just okay. Despite not having watched the series unit recently, I knew a lot about it just from the role it plays in our western culture. This book basically explains how it imbedded itself in our culture so deeply as well as documenting the struggle that George Lucas had in making it. After reading this book, I rewatched the original trilogy and had a whole new appreciation for it.