My Favorite Books from 2015

Ah, 2015, you were a good year in my reading life, even though I didn’t write or say much publicly about the books I read. Maybe my reviewing habits will change in 2016.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, after much agonizing and re-reading of my private reading journal, below is a list of my favorites of the 106 books I read or listened to in 2015. I read all of them as books printed on paper unless otherwise noted as audiobooks. I don’t think I happened to read any ebooks at all in 2015.

My favorite print novel published for adults was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Alfred A Knopf 2014).

Honorable mentions go to The Knock-Off by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza (Doubleday 2015) and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2014).

My favorite print novel published for teens (aka YA or young adult) was Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli (Balzer & Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers 2015).

Honorable mentions go to The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2015), Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2014) and Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz (Disney-Hyperion Books 2014).

My favorite audiobook was Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, performed by Eileen Stevens (Blackstone Audio 2015; print version published by Balzer & Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers).

Honorable mention goes to Judy Kaye for performing all of the Sue Grafton mysteries starting with N is for Noose. I discovered her work when I listened to 2015’s X. (Random House Audio 2015; print version published by Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House).

My favorite sequel was Lair of Dreams: a Diviners novel by Libba Bray (Little, Brown and Company 2014). I listened to the audiobook, which was masterfully performed by January LaVoy (Listening Library 2014).

Honorable mention goes to Winter by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel and Friends 2015).

My favorite re-read in 2015 was Hotel by Arthur Hailey, originally published in 1965 by Doubleday, I think. I had to request it through inter-library loan through my local public library and it was a totally different read from when I first read it in the early 1970s. It is historical fiction now and I am a lot older, too. I enjoyed thinking about how the world and I have changed.

Honorable mentions go to Feed by M. T. Anderson (Candlewick Press 2002) and The Diviners by Libba Bray, both of which I “re-read” as audiobooks this time, performed by January LaVoy (Random House/Listening Library 2012) and David Aaron Baker with ensemble cast (Listening Library 2003), respectively.

My favorite nonfiction book was The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language by Natalie Goldberg (Atria Books 2013).

My favorite graphic novel was Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books 2015).

My favorite new-to-me author is Lori Rader-Day. I read and loved both of her dark, “discussable” thrillers in 2015: The Black Hour (Seventh Street Books 2014) and Little Pretty Things (Seventh Street Books, an imprint of Prometheus Books 2015). I also enjoyed and learned a lot from her talks at the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, Indiana during the summer of 2015.

I resist setting reading goals or accepting reading challenges (although I understand their appeal) so I’ll just say that I’m looking forward to continuing my reading adventures in 2016. Happy Reading to you in 2016, too!

© 2016 Hope Baugh

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