A Few of My Favorite Things: Books 2015

I think there’s always a part of me that will miss having a book blog. After putting together December’s Culture Consumption, I started wondering… what WERE my favorite books of 2015? To figure that out, I pulled up my Library Thing account and started sorting by date finished, and then I started looking at the ratings. Anything four stars or higher got written down on the appropriate list: a full five stars are listed as favorites, and four and four-and-a-half stars were honorable mentions.

Why Library Thing instead of Goodreads? Because LT allows for half stars, which means when I’m rating on Goodreads, I might round up or down depending on how I want the rating to look on that site. LT is a more accurate reflection of my thoughts.

I also did not include a few of the fun, children’s type books on the list. I’m a sucker for Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader series, and Simon Tofield’s Simon’s Cat books are adorable. So they didn’t get counted.

Before I review my favorites and honorable mentions, I did want to make a few points:

1) 2015 was the year I seriously considered not buying anything unless it was written by a favorite author, or unless I’d heard SO MANY GOOD REVIEWS from trusted sources I absolutely had to check it out. That didn’t happen, but when I look over my favorites, I find that impulse rather telling. There’s a part of me that’s tempted do try it for 2016.

2) There are a lot of amazing books that came out in 2015 that I haven’t read. Some I mean to, some I don’t, and some are just waiting impatiently in my TBR. If there’s a book you loved but don’t see on the list, just ask: it might be languishing in the TBR, just waiting for an extra shove to the top!

And now, for my favorites (all rated five stars on Library Thing), in alphabetical order by author’s last name:


What does this list tell me? The new Star Wars books that take place after Return of the Jedi were huge hits for me, which is pretty incredible, since I’m very well-read in the Expanded Universe/Legends canon. Rachel Bach’s trilogy kicked ass and took names, not letting me read anything else until I’d consumed the whole thing. The final Kitty Norville book is a sentimental favorite.

But of the books listed here, I’d give Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts extra stars if I could: those books were amazing to me, and while I would recommend any book on this list, those three I’d recommend no matter who you are.

And now, my honorable mentions (all rated four and four-and-a-half stars on Library Thing), in alphabetical order by author’s last name:

 

As for this list, it’s kind of interesting to look at certain titles and wonder why I didn’t rate them higher at the time. But I stand by my initial reactions: I had REASONS to rate these books as I did, and until I re-read them, I don’t want to change ratings. That said, Jo Walton’s My Real Children, Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance, Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword, and Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem are definitely on the list to re-read, and truthfully, if I bundle the VanderMeer with the other two books in the trilogy, the whole Southern Reach trilogy is a five-star trilogy all the way. I can’t wait to read it again.

So what do my 2015 favorites tell me? I’m still devoted to certain authors of urban fantasy, science fiction (romance) is totally still my jam, I had three friends publish their debuts this year and I’m biased (shout out to Jen, Rhonda, and J.L.!), and Star Wars is awesome.

What were your FAVORITEST reads of 2015?

4 thoughts on “A Few of My Favorite Things: Books 2015

      1. I don’t see how anyone could have hated The Goldfinch; I think it’s one of the best books I have read in the last five years. Did you ever read Tartt’s The Secret History? That one was also very good. Also, do any of your favorites qualify as “A romance set in the future”? It’s one of the categories in my reading challenge and I don’t want to read something awful.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry, it took me forever to reply!

          1) I’ve not read a thing by Tartt. My friend who hated it said it was just too dark, no one to root for.

          2) Absolutely: the Rachel Bach trilogy definitely fits the bill, as does the Star Wars: Lost Stars (if you consider Star Wars to be future instead of “…a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….” Also applicable would be Rhonda Mason’s The Empress Game.

          Not read this year, but that would qualify: Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace, Sara Creasy’s Song of Scarabaeus, Sarah A. Hoyt’s Darkship Thieves, Sandra McDonald’s The Outback Stars, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Cordelia’s Honor, and for an odd pick, try Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga (which is also a graphic novel; you’ll have to pick up Volume 1 of whichever edition you try).

          Have you read Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow? It’s a beautiful, beautiful book and in some ways might be considered “a romance set in the future.” But you should read it regardless and then figure out which category it fits into!

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