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!

Fiction

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

Non-Fiction

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

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

-Lauren

 

 

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.

fatesfuries

3. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

mistborn

4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

uprooted

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

26154406

6. Bingo’s Run by James Levine.

bingos run

7. Lock In by John Scalzi.

lock in

8. The Martian by Andy Weir.

martian

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!

~Megan

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!

Fiction

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.

Non-fiction

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

My Top Ten Tales in 2015

top-ten-books

All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudson

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhorn

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas

Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

Enjoy!

~Emma

 

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!

Fiction
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!

Nonfiction
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!

—Stacey