Top Ten 2015

I hope you enjoy(ed) these as much as I did. Merry Christmas!


The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion by Tracy Daugherty

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

See How Small by Scott Blackwood

Erratic Facts by Kay Ryan

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Snobs by Julian Fellowes

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi by Peter M. Wayne, PhD with Mark L. Fuerst

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 edited by Rebecca Skloot

Unless It Moves the Human Heart by Roger Rosenblatt


2015: It’s a Mystery

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“Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.”                        MICKEY SPILLANE

My 2015 list this year includes Mystery, Suspense, and Thrillers!

Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn. Chet the Dog is so famous he has his own website-

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. The “good girl” runs into a bundle of trouble.

Last Words by Michael Koryta. He didn’t know it at the time, but they were the last words he spoke to her.

Little Black Lies by Sandra Block. Black lies are definitely worse than white lies.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. No doubt this will be on many best lists!

The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham. This ferry will take you on a wild ride.

Orient by Christopher Bollen. Strange things are occuring in the town of Orient on Long Island.

The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo. Some parts of this book are “unbearably grizzly”!

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis. A twisty, psychological thriller debut novel.

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain. Another winner from author Chamberlain.


Carol’s Top Ten of 2015!

I read my heart out this year, and as a result, have some must-read titles to share with you.

My favorite ten books published or read in 2015 were:

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

The Whites by Harry Brandt

The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

In Wilderness by Diane Thomas

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Watkins

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

& Because I can, I add the following honorable mentions:

Summerlong by Dean Bakopoulos

Run You Down by Julia Dahl (& its prequel, Invisible City)

This is Your Life Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

& Hoping your 2016 is filled with joy (and some excellent reading)!   ~Carol

Beth’s Top 10 Reads of 2015

congratulations by the way
George Saunders is one of my favorite short story authors and when I discovered his graduation address, I was more smitten with him than ever before.  His words are beautiful and blunt.

dexter is dead
I was a big fan of the Dexter TV series and pleased to discover it was based on Jeff Lindsay’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter.  This final book in the series gives the reader closure that the TV series didn’t.

felines of new  york
This satirical publication personifies the cats of NYC.  It’s witty and entertaining, and best of all, the author, Jim Tews will be visiting RRPL on January 27th!

furiously happy
Jenny Lawson suffers from crippling depression, but she sure can laugh about it.  This book offers irreverent insight into mental illness.

girl on the train
This book won’t go away.  Is it the best book ever?  Not even close.  Is it my favorite book ever?  God, no!  So why is it here?  I liked how much I hated all of the characters.  It was an easy page turned, and it also introduced the concept of prepackaged gin and tonics to me.  Why don’t those exist in the U.S.?

hand drawn jokes
This was an odd but entertaining graphic novel about…shoot, I don’t think it was really about anything.  But it made me laugh.

ill give you the sun
This coming of age story captures the audience and is beautifully written.  It pulls at all of your heart strings and no matter how long ago you were a teen, it takes you back to the time when you learned that nothing is black and white.
Did you listen to Serial?  I probably asked that question 3 dozens times in the first few months of 2015.  This book has nothing to do with the podcast, but it was a similar story about someone being sentenced based on questionable evidence, and the consequences of that sentencing.

Are you feeling emotional or have you recently lost someone important to you?  If so and you don’t want to dwell on it, don’t read this book.  If you’re feeling emotionally resilient or up for a good cry, give this a go.   Scott Simon, the NPR host, recounts his time spent by his mother’s bedside during her last days.


why not me
If you were to tell me seven years ago that I would some day love the actress who played Kelly Kapoor from NBC’s The Office, I would have laughed in your face.  Between The Mindy Project and her books, I’ve come to the realization that Mindy Kaling is my idol.  She’s business minded, strong willed, intelligent, and absolutely hysterical.



Dori’s Top Books of 2015

Every year I say this and every year it’s true: I did not read nearly enough this year! I’ve been perusing all the lists of Best Books including my RRPL coworkers’ lists and realized that I’ve missed so many – the pile on my nightstand is calling…

In the meantime, here’s a list of books, in no particular order, that thrilled, chilled, amazed, and enlightened me – books that took me to other places, be they the heads of other people, fantastical lands or back in time.

The Book of Aaron by Jim Shepard: told through the eyes of a young Jewish boy as the Nazis sweep through Warsaw – the emotional impact, the plain, raw language – just wow.

The Whites by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt: I’ve never read Price before, but I am now a fan. A gritty look at crime and cops in New York with a well-drawn cast of characters. I listened to it and the narrator really captured all the voices.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik: a fantastic fairy tale for grown-ups – go strong women!

Purity by Jonathan Franzen: while maybe not the best of Franzen, it’s a fascinating look at secrecy vs. transparency – in families, in societies and on the internet.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: a weird, violent and really different book that sucks you in with its fantastical story and its offbeat, kick-a@* heroine.

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald : a memoir about recovering from the sudden death of her father – beautiful writing, natural history lessons and a look at T.H. White – an odd mix that works perfectly.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – I love, love, love Lauren Groff – her lush and lyrical writing makes me swoon! It’s the president’s favorite book, too!

A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler: another audiobook – I’m a sucker for a family story and this slow, meandering look at the Whitshank family through the years resonates.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: this timely book by a writer at The Atlantic is a letter to the author’s son about his experiences as a black man in America. It’s both eye-opening and beautifully written with soaring and passionate prose.

Speak by Louisa Hall: this novel surprised and moved me – it’s told from a number of voices across centuries and explores artificial intelligence while stressing our essential needs for communication and connection.

Enjoy and Happiest of Holidays!

~ Dori


Lauren’s 2015 Top Ten (and then some…)

This year I’ve got an even split between fiction and non-fiction! While I am always reading both, I definitely read more fiction in general.  I guess if it’s non-fiction it’s something I’ve heard about and really want to read, so I am usually not disappointed. Here are some of my favorites I’ve read the past year–and a chunk of bonus books!


Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Crimson Petal

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

One Plus One

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

I'll Give You the Sun

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman


Thunder and Lightning

Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future by Lauren Redniss

Dead Wake

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Why Not Me

Why Not Me?  by Mindy Kaling

Publicly Shamed

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson


Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

My bonus section is reserved for series that I love and that have taken up a lot of my reading time this year–they are mostly historical fiction/mystery, with a little YA and sci-fi/fantasy thrown in.  Any of these books’ “partners” in their respective series are a GO.

As Chimney SweepersCareer of EvilMortal Heart

Curious BeginningWinter




Megan’s More than 10 Top Picks of 2015

Normally I love making lists of books, but I agonize over these end of the year favorites lists. After reviewing all the books that I read this year I discovered that this is the first time in many years that I read more adult (non-YA) books that YA books. Does this mean I am a real grown-up now? I hope not! I also noted that this was a year dominated by science fiction, fantasy, and amazing graphic novels.  Ok, let’s get started!

  1. The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones.

string diaries

2. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.


3. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.


4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik.


5. The Passenger by Lisa Lutz. (This is a bit of a tease as it isn’t due out until March 2016)


6. Bingo’s Run by James Levine.

bingos run

7. Lock In by John Scalzi.

lock in

8. The Martian by Andy Weir.


9. Descender, vol.1: Tin Stars by Jeff Trillium.

tin stars

10. Rat Queens, vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery and vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygot by Kurtis Wiebe.

rat1 rat2

Of course, I can’t finish this list without mentioning some of my favorite YA books.

laborden salt to the sea walktheearth wrath Everything everything fixer Wicked will rise Under a painted sky all the rage all the bright places

Happy Reading!


Steve’s Mighty Top Ten

So here’s my top ten list for the year, succinctly summarized for you, with a bonus thrown in. Enjoy, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker

Two lawmen attempt to contain outlaws in the Old West.

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Offbeat vampire love story.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Correspondence between friends on the  Guernsey Islands.  Fictional but you would swear these letters and stories are real.

Joyland by Stephen King

Young carny tries to solve murder mystery during his summer break in 1973.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

The top novel on the Battle of Gettysburg.


The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

You would think that a book about college rowers trying to make the 1936 Olympics would be a snoozer, but it’s just the opposite!

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck

Two grown brothers, one’s a real quirky dude,  hit the trail in a historical wagon during modern times.

Pete Rose: An American Dilemma by Kostya Kennedy

Biography on the legend.

Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest by Carl Hoffman

Hoffman tries to solve the mystery of Rockefeller’s death once and for all.

The WWE Attitude Era by Jon Robinson

A trot down memory lane during the explosive WWE attitude era of professional wrestling.

And for those adventurous enough to borrow through SearchOhio:

Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession by Dave Jamieson

Fascinating look at the history of baseball cards in America.

– Steve

Stacey’s (current) Top Ten of 2015 (plus a few)!

It’s true! Once again we’ve hit that sweet spot when we can take time to celebrate all the good stuff in the world -like eating (too many) yummy cookies, or singing Christmas carols in a round, and always sharing a few of our favorite reads from the past year with you all! I like looking at my list of books -of course I keep a list! how else would I ever remember?- but it’s hard to keep the number of titles to ten. As much as I struggle with the task I know others struggle as well -I can’t wait to see: 1) what made it on everyone’s Top Ten list for the year and 2) how they work in a few extra titles!

Stacey’s Top Ten (kinda) in 2015 -alphabetical by author of course!

Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora -darker side of human nature but also funny!
Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman -a sweet and moving story.
Ready Player One *and* Armada by Ernie Cline -I listened to these and thank Wil Wheaton for making great stories even better!
Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich -ah, finally!
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans -World War II in London is the backdrop for this story of connections and community.
The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land (all in the Magicians Series) by Lev Grossman -if you’ve ever read any kind of epic fantasy? This series is for you!
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins -true, there were bits I had to skip due to being squeamish and weak but it’s still one of my favorites for the year!
How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz -it’s all about the characters in this one.
The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard -this one might make my list again next year… it’s that good.
This is the Life by Alex Shearer -brothers.
All This Life by Joshua Mohr -there’s so much going on it’s hard to explain, maybe just take a chance?
Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig -the last of the Pink Carnation series and it’s all you’d ever want it to be!

Rising Strong by Brene Brown -she always has something to teach me.
Missoula by Jon Krakauer -disturbing to read but would make a great book club discussion.
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson -she tackles the serious topic of mental health with a huge dose of humor.
Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery -I had no idea I wanted to learn so much about cephalopods until I read this book.

Aimed at the younger crowd -but truly enjoyable for all ages!
Mosquitoland by David Arnold -Mim Malone and her travels are unforgettable.
Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman -a grrl power fairy tale? More please!
Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly -Calpurnia is ne of my favorite fictional friends.
Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab -I can’t wait for the next in the series.
The Marvels by Brian Selznick -great story + great art =great read.

You may have counted more than ten titles… I will sell you the ok-ness of my long list by saying, “There are only twelve authors listed in ‘Fiction’ and four authors in ‘Nonfiction,’ making a grand total of sixteen authors! That’s the top ten, plus five for it being 2015, plus a bonus for the coming year!” …and? Are you buying it?

I hope you enjoy (or have enjoyed?) some of the titles that made my list! And I wish you all a happy, healthy, and wonderful Holiday Season!