Book Reviews / Bookish Discussions

Favorite Fiction of 2015

Overall it was a great reading year for me. I didn’t get as many read as I would have hoped. Nor did I tackle the ever growing TBR pile as wanted. (Stats and 2016 goals to come in a few weeks)

These ten novels are the ones I pushed the most this year and they’ve stayed with me for many different reasons. Why did these books make the cut? I have a few sentences stating so and maybe you’ll consider giving one a try. Click on each title for full gushing and they are listed in order of when I read them. I also think any of these would make decent book group picks.

Favorite Fiction 2015

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara.  This book wrecked me in March and I knew pretty much anything I read would pale in comparison. The topics are very tough, I won’t lie, but sometimes the darkest stories bring in the most light.

Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller.  It got me out of my A Little Life slump and back into a world filled with survival, suspense and much to talk about.

Hausfrau – Jill Alexander Essbaum.  I love books about women, marriage and mental illness. This one has it all and leaves much to discuss. March turned out to be my best month of reading!

The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah.  We parted ways many years ago, Hannah and myself. I wasn’t looking to read another “Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit” book and felt like the war novels were everywhere lately. But I gave this a chance and so glad I did. This historical fiction novel focuses on the women of war, specifically two sisters and the different paths they take.

The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson.  I don’t read enough thriller/mystery/suspense novels. Maybe because I’m difficult to shock, but this one actually made me yell out loud. Several times. I’m also wary of reimaginations/recreations of classics and Swanson’s take of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train was excellent.

Our Souls at Night – Kent Haruf.  This short book with simple and honest prose was beautiful. I’ve been reading more books lately with themes of elders in their final years and this one did me in. Maybe it was because it was his last novel before he died. I don’t know but I want to read his backlist more than ever.

The Beautiful Bureaucrat – Helen Phillips.  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Dystopia isn’t a genre I read much of and this weird, confusing and creepy novel had me captivated from page one. I’m still scratching my head but Phillips’ writing and play on words was brilliant.

The Animals – Christian Kiefer.  This wasn’t on my radar at all until I saw some tweets from fellow readers exclaiming love for this book. Second chances, dark pasts and the connection to animals was beautifully intertwined.

Black River – S.M. Hulse.  I haven’t seen this book on any favorite lists and it hasn’t had the buzz it totally deserves. Aside from A Little Life this book was one of my top favorite novels all year. Dark with a western feel.

Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff. Again, I enjoy reading books about marriages and this one is more dysfunctional than the characters want you to believe.

How can you pick only 10, you ask? Well, next week I’m going to recap my favorite short stories/short story collections that I read this year because next to novels, they are my fave.

And now…please share one book you loved so much this year that I missed along the way.


8 thoughts on “Favorite Fiction of 2015

  1. I’m surprised to see that I’ve actually read 4 books on your list – all of which I liked a lot. Our Endless Numbered Days made my top 10 (which hasn’t been posted yet) and The Animals and Fates and Furies would have made my top 20. Not sure where to put Hausfrau – I liked it, but I thought the best thing about it was the discussions that came out of it.
    The one book I would recommend to everyone from my list is Do You Think This Is Strange? by Aaron Cully Drake. It’s Canadian, so I don’t know how available it is anywhere else, but I’m doing my best to spread the word. 🙂

  2. I’m incredibly flattered that Our Endless Numbered Days has made your top 10 – most of which I haven’t read, so my tbr pile has certainly grown. A book that I read and loved this year, which I think isn’t out until early January in the US is The Past by Tessa Hadley. A quiet book about family, but wonderful.

  3. I LOVED A Little Life, The Beautiful Bureaucrat, Hausfrau, and Fates and Furies. Three of them made my favorites list, and the other is on my underhyped but deserving hype list. The Animals is on my must read list, too. Such great books you’ve chosen!

  4. Pingback: Best Books Of 2015: #30Authors Edition • The Book Wheel

  5. I was lead to your blog/list via a FB post by the author, Hulse of Black River. It was one of my top five books this year, absolutely! I’d add the little touted book The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell. Although this book is a memoir so not exactly a match for this particular list. I enjoyed your comments and have transferred a couple of titles onto my to read list.

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