Best Books of 2015

In 2015, I set my goal for the Goodreads Reading Challenge at 100 books.

(To my delight and surprise, I actually ended up reading 102 books)

These were my favorites:

1) SHOTGUN LOVESONGS by Nikolas Butler 
Oh man… I knew after reading the first five pages that this was going to become one of my all-time favorite books, and I was so right. This book is now sitting solidly in my Top 5 Favorite Books of All Time.Fun fact: The main character is rumored to be based on Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (trust me – it’ll be obvious if you know the story of Bon Iver), who is a longtime friend of the author.

2) FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
This book delighted and inspired me SO MUCH this year. Another book that made onto the list of my favorite books of all-time.

3) THE ANDY COHEN DIARIES: A DEEP LOOK AT A SHALLOW YEAR by Andy Cohen (by Andy Cohen, obv).
OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. So gossipy and fun. And Andy is a HILARIOUS writer!

4) PENNYROYAL ACADEMY by M.A. Larson
This is a perfect read for a cozy all-day reading sesh by the fire: A fairy-tale fantasy with a girl-power twist.

5) OFF SEASON by Anne Rivers Siddons
I’ve been a fan of Anne Rivers Siddons since I was in middle school, and this is the best of everything she does so well – the gorgeously intricate characters, the sweeping sense of place, and the dreamy other-worldly elements make this the kind of read you want to sink down into.

6) THE HUSBAND’S SECRET // BIG LITTLE LIES // THE LAST ANNIVERSARY // WHAT ALICE FORGOT by Liane Moriarty
This year I fell in love, hard, with Liane Moriarty. Her books are like a box of Godiva chocolates – a delight to dig into, and simply too good to be called a guilty pleasure.

7) HEADS IN BEDS: A RECKLESS MEMOIR OF HOTELS, HUSTLES, & SO-CALLED HOSPITALITY by Jacob Tomsky
I loved this book so much I wrote a review on Amazon about it. I LOVED IT THAT MUCH. It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, gossipy, and even a lil’ (okay, a lot) educational.

8) THE INTERESTINGS by Meg Wolitzer 
The characters in this book…goddammit.

9) YES PLEASE by Amy Pohler
I mean. Like you even have to ask.

10) AS YOU WISH: INCONCEIVABLE TALES FROM THE MAKING OF THE PRINCESS BRIDE by Cary Elwes
If you love The Princess Bride as much as I do, get thee to this book. It will only make you fall in love with the movie 1000 times more.

11) A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness
Another magical book to sink into on a rainy or snowy Saturday or Sunday.

12) WELCOME TO MY WORLD by Johnny Weir
I love me some Johnny Weir. While he stayed more on the classy vs. gossipy side than I would have preferred, this was a super fun read.

13) THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johanson
Ditto.

14) FUNNY GIRL by Nick Hornby
Thoroughly delighted by this book. The main character is so refreshing and the banter is so incredibly witty. 

15) THE MAGICIAN KING by Lev Grossman
 I really liked Grossman’s trilogy. There were some low points to the story overall, but I dug the dark and sort of sinister quality of this adult-esque Harry Potterish series. 

16) THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
Absorbing with an excellent twist – cannot wait to see this on the big screen.

17) GRACE: A MEMOIR by Grace Coddington
For the 12 yr old in me who was obsessed with high fashion and supermodels, this book was an absolute dream. Grace Coddington is a queen.

18) WAITER RANT: THANKS FOR THE TIP – CONFESSIONS OF A CYNICAL WAITER by Steve Dublanica
Similar to Heads In Beds, this is a super fun, gossipy (celebs!) dive into the world of being a waiter in NYC.

19) FIRST FROST by Sarah Allen Addison
I read this on a rainy fall day right before Halloween, which is the perfect time to read a book like this. It reminds me a lot of PRACTICAL MAGIC…by the end you’re a little sad to have to leave the sweet comfort of the main characters’ world.

20) THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL: THE REAL STORY OF MY MOTHER & ME by Brooke Shields
SO MUCH GOSSIP. A little redundant on the whole alcoholic mother thing, but when Brooke talks about her costars and love interests…oh man. DISH. DEEP DEEP DISH.

For 2016, I’m setting a goal of reading 125 books, and I’ve already got some books in my queue that I’m really psyched to dig into, but I would LOVE your recommendations: What were your favorite reads this past year (or of all-time)? Spill it!

 

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

2 comments on “Best Books of 2015

  1. I’ve read a lot of these books, but some I haven’t and I’ll have to add those to my to-read. If you’re in the mood to listen to an audiobook or two, you should listen to Shotgun Lovesongs – they do it with four different readers and it was excellent. Such voices. Also Funny Girl was a great listen and the Cary Elwes one had actual “guest stars”. It was fantastic. (you should also listen to Things I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe)

    • I actually *just* started being able to tolerate audiobooks, April…for me, it all depends on whether I already like the voice. But I will DEFINITELY check out the Cary Elwes audiobook – that sounds amazing – and the Rob Lowe one for sure! The Shotgun Lovesongs one sounds like it could be cool, too…although that’s one of those books where I already have a strong vision of what I feel like all four main characters sound and look like inside my head, so messing with that with tricky? But Funny Girl is one that I would totally check out! Thanks for the recommendations!!

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