2015 was the first year in a long time where I didn’t have homework or mountains of history books to read, so I had high expectations for myself. I would read every day! Have a book with me constantly! I would return to my younger days where I could knock out a book every few days!

Unfortunately, I was sorely mistaken as 2015 was also the year that I planned a wedding, moved twice, spent a huge amount of time applying for jobs, binge-watching Netflix and knitting instead of reading. I must also note that the books in this list are the ones that I finished…I started a number of books without being interested enough to finish them. So without further ado, here are the books I read last year.

Gone Girl– Jillian Flyn

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Read among many glasses of wine and sleeves of Thin Mint cookies, I loved this book. The twists, the turns, the genius, the sociopath. Extremely well written. 

The Fault in Our Stars – John Greene

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Being a YA novel, this book was read in less than 24 hours. But I loved John Greene’s voice and way of writing things, even if the book reduced me tears.

Paper Towns– John Greene

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Immediately following TFIOS, I jumped right into Paper Towns. While it was a bit of a letdown following TFIOS, I enjoyed the lightheartedness of it as well as the mystery. And I’m a fan of people who add history into current day novels– and do it well.

Island Under the Sea – Isabelle Allende

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This book was a little more “take it or leave it” and one that started off well and then started to wane and slow down towards the end. The historical context was fascinating and it was interesting to read about a time in history in a region (Haiti) that I know little about. Yay for learning!

The Undertaking– Audrey Magee

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This was another book I read in under 24 hours. Set from the point of view of the Germans in WWII, it was a fascinating and heartbreaking story of German civilians as well as the grunt soldiers caught in terrible times and terrible situations.

Leaving Time– Jodi Picoult

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I’ve honestly read so many Jodi Picoult books that they’ve started to run together and always know that there’s a twist coming. All the same, the book was interesting enough and I learned a ton (no pun intended 😉 ) about elephants.

Lila -Marilynne Robinson

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I found this on one of those Pinterest book lists and right away, I didn’t like it all that much. The writing was confusing and circular, and although the main character warranted some confusion it was hard to make heads of tails of, even at the end. So yeah, this one could be skipped.

Z A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald- Therese Ann Fowler

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This is the novel I read on our honeymoon, and it was a great book to read at the beach! I am a sucker for historical fiction (if you couldn’t tell already), and with a cat named Gatsby I thought it would be great to learn something about Zelda. Zelda was a great and vibrant character, Fitgerald was an awful drunk, and this book was very well written.

The Queen’s Fool- Philippa Gregory

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I knew better. I’ve always been disappointed by the books I’ve read by her (only two others?). Always. I don’t understand why people rave about her. Alas, this was another ill-fated Pinterest recommendation. It started off just fine, but then it just kept g o i n g and g  o  i  n  g. But since I was already past the halfway point when I realized that I hated the book, I was determined to finish it. My husband came upon me at one point and asked me what I was doing and I replied “I’m trying to finish this d**n book!!” I’ve learned my lesson. Philippa is not my friend.

Royal Wedding– Meg Cabot

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My inner 14-year-old insisted I read this. I read all of the books as a teenager and couldn’t resist the opportunity to get closure to a series that I had loved. And it was very similar to the other books, albeit more suggestive than the former books. It was also reminiscent of a soap opera. I powered through it much like the above book just to have the series over and to have closure.

The Cove– Ron Rash

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Decent story. Good writing. Not my favorite. It was difficult to pin down exactly where this took place- Appalachia during WWII? And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why the town hated her so much. A birthmark? Really? That and being a little weird leaves her and her brother abandoned? 

At the Water’s Edge– Sara Gruen

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LOVED this book. The 1910s, WWI, the Loch Ness Monster and a mystery meet. If you enjoyed Water For Elephants, you will definitely enjoy this book.

The Last Days of Dogtown – Anita Diamant

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The last days of a little outcast community and the characters that live in it. While it wasn’t a bad read, it also wasn’t Diamant’s The Red Tent. The story also left me in a semi-depressed mood and a bad feeling in my stomach.

The Storyteller– Jodi Picoult

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This is the first time that I can remember where Picoult dives into the past- WWII. While using the backdrop of what she writes best, court cases, she also had me enthralled by the characters’ different experiences. And, as always, there’s a twist at the end. 

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2015 was not the best year in books for me, to say the least. I failed at reading as often as I had wanted to and then ended up with hits or misses. For this year, I subscribed to a service called Scribd, a virtual library that lets you read on your tablet, computer, or phone. So far I’ve read a book a week and I hope to continue that trend. One of my favorite things about Scribd is that you can rate each title after you finish it and they’ll recommend other titles based on what you like.

What were some of your favorite titles from 2015? I’m always looking for great books!

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