Books of 2015: Which Ones were Worth the Read?

Happy Thanksgiving!  It’s gift-giving season, so I’m thinking about the books I want to put on my wish list. In November I saw a number of best of 2015 lists, and I’ve only read a few of the books on these lists. So I’m curious which of these books, if you read them, were worth the read?

  •  The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
  • Missoula by Jon Krakauer
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  • A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
  • Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
  • Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
  • The Shore by Sara Taylor
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

I’ll do a best-of-year post in December, but two of my favorite new releases this year were Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart and Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. Also good were Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt, The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, Girl at War by Sara Novic, The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher, and Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.

And just so you don’t think I’m all about receiving books this holiday season, keep an eye out for some December book giveaways!  Also, I wanted to share a great promotion called Give A Book. For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Facebook and Twitter before December 25, Penguin Random House will donate a book to First Book. You can tweet about giving a book to friends, family, or donating to a local book drive. The website has a “giving map” where you can find local book drives, although I wasn’t able to pull up anything in my area. Check it out, and give a book this holiday season!

  13 comments for “Books of 2015: Which Ones were Worth the Read?

  1. November 23, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Of your list, I’ve only read The Shore by Sara Taylor, but really enjoyed it. It’s a surprisingly devastating read: none of the reviews I read before getting it mentioned how violent it gets in places, but the landscape descriptions are beautifully evocative and it explores generations of a single family in a way similar to Faulkner, which I liked a lot.

    • November 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks for the comment, I’ve been curious about that one. I’ll definitely give it a read.

  2. November 23, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I don’t read a lot of new releases (especially contemporary fiction) so I’m not much help. I did read A God in Ruins, and in some ways preferred it to Life After Life, but it was somewhat spoiled for me by Atkinson’s vitriolic attitude towards Steiner/Waldorf schools (the kind of school my son attends). A personal reaction, maybe, but it was difficult to read page after page suggesting that sending one’s child to such a school amounted to child abuse! I liked Sorcerer to the Crown but didn’t find it to be as well written as other similar works like the Temeraire books and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I’m hoping that will improve with future books in the series.

    • November 23, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks Lory. I don’t know anything about Steiner/Waldorf schools, but now I’ll read with a grain of salt. Sorcerer looks good but there are just so many fantasy series out there.

  3. November 23, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I haven’t read it yet, but I really want to get to Krakauer. I believe it to be an important topic for colleges and law.

    • November 23, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      I agree! It’s such an important topic. I’ll have two nieces in universities next year, and I’m nervous for them. Krakauer wrote one of my favorite books, Into the Wild, so I think he’ll do a good job with a tough subject.

      • November 24, 2015 at 6:24 am

        I’m looking forward to your review (if you choose this book). 🙂

  4. November 23, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    From your list, I read The Beautiful Bureaucrat and Our Souls at Night. I was a bit disappointed by the former, but the latter was completely, quietly satisfying.

    • November 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Glad to hear you liked Kent Haruf’s book! I loved Plainsong so look forward to reading his others.

  5. November 25, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I only read one book from your list which was The Rest of Us Just Live Here. I want to read V.E. Schawb’s book though!

  6. December 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Another push for the Kent Haruf…so beautiful. I also agree with you that Girl Waits with Gun was so much fun. You made me quite happy I had an e-galley without the cover blurb to spoil a rousing ripping good story. Loved the strong characters.

    • December 3, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks for commenting! I hope I didn’t spoil for anyone, I try hard not to do that. I often think the less you know going into a book, the better. I’m looking forward to reading more Haruf — the new book is on my hold list at the library!

  7. December 5, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Unfortunately, I haven’t read any of these, so I can’t give you any advice. I want to read The Rest of Us Just Live Here – and now I’ll have to read the rest of your comments to see which other ones I should be reading!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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