Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's topic is "Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015".

The books on this list are some of my favorites I've read this year but that does not mean they are what I'd consider "5 star" books or that they'll make my final list of the best of 2015. Some of the books were published a few years ago and I just got around to reading them this year but most were published in 2015.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah--My review

I have a feeling this book will be my "best book of 2015" winner. I can't imagine anything beating it for the top spot. When I found out Kristin Hannah wrote a historical fiction novel, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd liked Home Front but it was emotionally overwrought at times. This WWII novel far exceeded my expectations with characters I cared about, a gripping plot and historical detail.

Both of these books look at degenerative diseases (Huntington's Disease and early onset Alzheimer's) and how they affect the individuals who have them as well as their families. Genova has a gift for portraying these characters and what they are going through. It makes for emotional and powerful stories.

Partly set in the 1960s and 2000's in the fictional college town of Plainview, Indiana, the novel tells the story of Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean from their teen years when they were called "The Supremes" to adulthood and the challenges they now face. I think readers who liked The Help and Steel Magnolias would like this one. It is laugh out loud funny and sad at the same time. I highly recommend the audio book with its excellent narration (or the print version if you're not into audio).

A Man Called Ove by Frekdrik Backman

This Swedish novel is wryly funny with its curmudgeonly "anti hero" Ove, a recently retired widower who doesn't have much to live for until new neighbors move in with their young daughters and upend his life in a good way. Ove is grumpy but he has a tender heart under that crusty exterior and it is entertaining to watch how he changes or reveals the truth about himself. We read this in my book group. I might not have picked it up otherwise but I'm so glad I had the chance to read it.

Flame Tree Road by Shona Patel

Flame Tree Road is a prequel novel to Teatime for the Firefly. The main character is Biren Roy, a young man in 19th century India who wants to change things for the better, specifically the rights of girls to have an education and better treatment for widows. Just like with her first book, I loved the author's descriptive writing style and vivid setting.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers--My review

This YA contemporary novel just made me feel so much emotion particularly anger and sadness at what Romy endures in her school and community because she chose to speak up about her rape and people chose to protect the town golden boy and vilify and bully her instead. Courtney Summers takes on really important and relevant topics like rape, slut shaming and bullying without the book coming across like an after school special.  I think it's an important book for teens and adults to read and talk about.

The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace--My review

This debut YA fantasy novel makes my list because I loved the world building and the characters. The story drew me in from the start with its adventure, suspense, romance, and magic.

I loved this YA contemporary about a teen whose boyfriend died and her plans for convincing everyone that she is doing okay. Something Emery Lord does a good job with in her books is her portrayal of friendships and the importance of friendship to the main character. The book isn't just about a romance but also about friendships, family relationships and personal growth.

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski--My review

The YA fantasy novel The Winner's Crime makes my list as a strong sequel to one of my favorites from last year, The Winner's Curse. This book introduces new characters and more complications for Kestrel and Arin and their people. I love the complexity of the world and the suspenseful plot. I just wish it hadn't ended with a cliffhanger!

Invaded by Melissa Landers

I think of this series as an accessible YA science fiction "lite". This sequel to Alienated shows what happens when Cara goes to the L'heir colony and Aelyx stays on Earth trying to get humans to trust him and the alliance. Both characters have to decide what they really want and if their relationship can overcome many obstacles. At the same time there are plenty of secrets and a mystery to be solved. Alienated had plenty of lighthearted moments and romance and Invaded still has some humor and romance but is necessarily a little darker. I  hope there will be another book as I don't think their story has finished yet.


  1. I love that we agree on The Nightingale. I thought it was brilliant and at first I was skeptical of Kristin Hannah writing a historical novel, but I was blown away. I hope she continues with historical novels in the future. I also included The Start of Me and You as one of my favorites. I really want to check out The Storyspinner and All the Rage....I've heard great things. Fantastic list, Christina!

  2. The Supremes looks nice- I love that title. That alone makes me curious. :) I'll have to look into that one.

  3. I have so many of these books on my TBR, especially Alienated and The Storyspinner. Great list!

    Christina @ Books & Prejudice

  4. I've heard so many great things about The Story Spinner. I may need to bump it up on the TBR! Great list!

  5. Invaded was a great sequel. :)

    Check out my TTT.

  6. All the Rage made my list too! Inside the O'Briens almost made my list as well. It was so good. I haven't read Still Alice yet, but I have seen the movie. I need to get on reading that one soon.

  7. Nice list of books!! Thanks for sharing your favorite reads of the year so far with us!! I have some new to me titles to check out and potentially add to my ever growing reading wishlist!!

    Here's a link to my TTT post for the week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/06/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-ive-read.html

  8. The Nightingale is making so many people's lists! I need to pick it up.

  9. Oh! All The Rage was SO good! I still need to read The Nightingale, but I'm hoping to get to it soon! I'm so thrilled to see The Start of Me and You on your list. The book was awesome! :)

  10. All the Rage was incredible, but definitely a difficult (yet important) book to read. And LOVED The Winner's Crime - cannot wait for the next book!

    Awesome top ten :)


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