Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Well-Read Redhead's Best Books of 2015!


It is time to announce...

The Well-Read Redhead's Best Books of 2015!

As I always disclaim with this list: you may be surprised by some of my choices...and some of my non-choices.  There are books on here that, in my initial review, I enjoyed but maybe wasn't completely gushing over.  And there are books not on the list that I mentioned as potential favorites when I wrote my reviews.  But at the end of the year, when I make this list, I go by what's really stuck with me--after months have passed, what are the books that are still leaving an impression?  Still giving me something to think about?

As in past years, this list is in no particular order, and with links to my original reviews:

1.  Day Four   by Sarah Lotz
If you haven't read Lotz's The Three yet, do that first, and then do yourself a favor and read this book.  The Three was on my 2014 favorites list, and the sequel did not disappoint!

2.  The Shore  by Sara Taylor
Potentially the most unique novel I read this year.  I can't wait to see what else Taylor has in store.

3.  The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
One of the only 5-star reviews I gave all year.  This story is heart-wrenching and beautifully told.

4.  Missoula by Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer is still one of my favorite nonfiction writers.  He handles this delicate subject with the same objectivity and fastidiousness that is the trademark of his other works.

5.  The Library at Mount Char   by Scott Hawkins
A truly awesome reading experience from cover to cover, made even more enjoyable because I did not originally expect so much from it!  I love it when a novel makes me bend my typical genre preferences.

6.  Hausfrau   by Jill Alexander Essbaum
This novel made me feel all the feelings.  Not the most uplifting choice on my list, but certainly one that continues to stay with me.

7.  Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Few nonfiction writers can bring their subjects to life the way Larson can.  These real-life events read with the suspense of a fiction novel, while still capturing all of the historical detail needed to make this an enlightening read.

8.  Station Eleven   by Emily St. John Mandel
You had me at "post-apocalyptic literary fiction."

9.  The Sixth Extinction  by Elizabeth Kolbert
This is one of those books for which I did not write an especially amazing review, but due to the fact that I continue to mull it over and over, and hit my friends with random factoids from it all the time, it has still earned a spot on the favorites list for this year.

10.  The Girl on the Train  by Paula Hawkins
Ughhhh, I feel so bandwagon-y and lemming-like putting this on here.  I mean, it's on every list EVER, right?  But I can't deny it was one of the top 10 books I read this year.  Fact.

That's a wrap!   What made YOUR best-read list for 2015?


  1. Almost all the books you mentioned are on my TBR list! And bandwagony or not - I liked The Girl on the Train too :-)

    Tanya Patrice

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one ;) Hope you get to some of these reads in 2016!

  2. We share some faves! The is a good reminder for me that I need to get to The Sixth Extinction, too...been wanting to read it for so long.

    1. I think you would love it! Kolbert uses a unique format for her nonfiction, and I always learn so much from her.

  3. Love your list - and who cares if everyone else loved Girl on the Train - you did and that's what the point of this list is!
    Station Eleven made my list last year and Missoula was definitely a favorite nonfiction for me this year, but didn't make my overall Top 10 list.

    1. Yes, I was a tad late on Station Eleven! I need to go read your faves list, I am so behind on checking in with my favorite bloggers. :)

  4. Ohhhh this is a great list, I have some books I'm adding to my TBR list thanks to this post!

  5. Oh yes, The LIght Between Oceans. Loved it.

    1. I would say that book gave me the strongest emotional reaction this year. So good!

  6. There is a reason for the bandwagony nature of The Girl on the Train. It is really a good book, and made it to my top ten list as well.

    Unfortunately, I forgot to add Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer on my top ten list. I loved this book when I read it earlier this year, and I now mean to read everything he puts out.

    1. Into Thin Air is excellent! My favorite of his is Where Men Win Glory. Fantastic journalistic nonfiction.

  7. Great list! I really want to pick up The Library at Mount Char and The Light Between Oceans.

    1. Even though this list is not in any particular order, I'd say those might be my two favorites of all the favorites! :)

  8. Wow, so many great books in here. I've not read them all, but am familiar with them since everyone talks about it so much. I really loved Dead Wake, and am very interested in Missoula. Krakauer is great in non fiction.

    1. Huge Krakauer fan! I have enjoyed every book he's written thus far.

  9. I haven't read any of these top 10 books of yours! Usually there is one of them on the list so I've got a ton to choose from in trying out in 2016!

    1. Yes! I think you would especially enjoy The Light Between Oceans, Girl on the Train, and Hausfrau.

  10. I'm glad The Sixth Extinction was such a good read for you! I'd really like to get to Dead Wake and Missoula in the coming year myself :)

    1. Yes, it's certainly stuck with me! I'm not very caught up on my book blogs, but if you're doing the NF book club again this year, I'm hoping to join again when I can. Still can't wait to get to Being Mortal, wish I'd had more time for it during the book club!

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