2015 Reading Challenge: A Year of Books




I have come to realize (but not yet accept) the fact that there just isn't enough time to read all the books I want to read.  My "To Read" list is constantly growing, and no matter how dedicated I am to exploring the stories, novels, biographies, etc., new books and authors continue to emerge and I just can't keep up.  Nonetheless, 2015 was another productive year of reading and I completed the "book a week" reading challenge by finishing 52 books in the year.  I love looking through my list for the year and remembering where I was when I read every book -- in the airport on my way to NYC, laying on the beach of Lake Michigan at my best friend's bachelorette party, relaxing on a lounge chair in the backyard of my new house, or curled up on the couch with a cat in my lap.

I discovered my love of Jo Nesbo and rediscovered my love of Stephen King.  I came across some young, up-and-coming female authors (Caroline Zancan and Naomi Jackson).  I explored some new works by classic authors (Judy Blume and Harper Lee) and dove into the next era of J.K. Rowling (AKA Robert Galbraith).  I read the memoir of Oliver Sacks, who passed away earlier this year.  And I joined my first book club that continues to grow as we head into the new year!

Here are a few of my favorites from the year...

15 Best Books of 2015 (in no particular order):
Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
At the Water's Edge, by Sara Gruen
The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline
The Monuments Men, by Robert M. Edsel
Local Girls, by Caroline Zancan
The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
The Leopard, by Jo Nesbo
The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich
Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax
Finders Keepers, by Stephen King
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley

2015 Complete List:
The Christmas Train, by David Baldacci
Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez
Flirting with Felicity, by Gerri Russell
Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
Frog Music, by Emma Donoghue
The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo
A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler
Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul, by Mark Victor Hansen
The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby
A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley
Harvesting the Heart, by Jodi Picoult
Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
I'll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich
The Monuments Men, by Robert M. Edsel
The Leopard, by Jo Nesbo
MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood
A Sudden Light, by Garth Stein
The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay, by Andrea Gillies
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories, by Tim Burton
'Tis, by Frank McCourt
The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
Beach Town, by Mary Kay Andrews
The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich
The Rumor, by Elin Hilderbrand
The Rocks, by Peter Nichols
Let Me Explain You, by Annie Liontas
Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler
What to Eat When You're Pregnant, by Nicole M. Avena
Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
At the Water's Edge, by Sara Gruen
Landline, by Rainbow Rowell
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Legend of Sleepy Hallow, by Washington Irving
The Grass is Singing, by Doris Lessing
The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith
Finders Keepers, by Stephen King
The Halloween Tree, by Ray Bradbury
The Raven and Other Short Stories, by Edgar Allan Poe
Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax
The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch, with Jeffrey Zaslow
In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume
Local Girls, by Caroline Zancan
Off Balance, by Terez Mertes Rose
On the Move: A Life, by Oliver Sacks
The Star Side of Bird Hill, by Naomi Jackson


I already have a list going for 2016!  There are a lot of old and new books that I can't wait to get my hands on in the upcoming year, some great recommendations from friends, and I'm especially excited about diving into a few new nonfiction reads.  I also plan to try out audio books on my long runs as I train for my upcoming half marathon!  Here's my list so far...

Books to Read in 2016:
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson
The Light of the World, by Elizabeth Alexander
We Never Asked for Wings, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry
This Side of Paradise, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
USSR: Diary of a Perestoika Kid, by Vladimir Kozlov
Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel, by Dan Ephron
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert
A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
A Few of the Girls, by Maeve Bincy
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll
The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
Lust & Wonder, by Augusten Burroughs
Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, by J.K. Rowling
Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective, by Pat Summitt



Cheers!

Comments

  1. I love your book lists every year! I like reading through your list to pick out a handful to try to tackle myself. Of course, I am lucky if I can read 10 books a year. This year I'll try to make it 12. How many hours do you spend reading a week to get 52 books in a year?

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    1. Thank you! I honestly don't know how many hours I spend reading because some books you could read in a day (Great Gatsby) and some take me three weeks (Cider House Rules), but it's fun to read a wide variety. I've also started listening to audiobooks when I run. I'm always so inspired by your gardening blog, so I hope to do more with my garden this spring! :)

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