Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Books of 2015


Previous Book Lists. Scroll down.

(1)The Woman Who Stole My Life - Marian Keyes(gift)****

(2)Rage Against the Dying - Becky Masterson*****

(3)Fallen - Karin Slaughter not rated, dropped, could not invest myself

(4)Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

(5)Maxine - Claire Wilkshire {BC}****

(6)Boundless - Kathleen Winter*****

(7)Walt - Russell Wangersky***

(8)Lost - Joy Fielding 0

(9)August - Gerard Woodward 0

(10)The Dwelling - Susie Moloney 0

(11)Natasha - David Bezmozgis****

(12)A Place Between the Tides - Harry Thurston**

(13)Sweetland - Michael Crummey*****

(14)Open House - Elizabeth Berg****

(15)The Son of a Certain Woman - Wayne Johnston*****

(16)The Time Between - Karen White*

(17)Home Safe - Elizabeth Berg**1/2

(18)A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole*

(19)The Post Mistress - Sarah Blake 0

(20)A Man Called OVE - Fredrik Backman*****

(21)House Rules - Jodi Picoult*

(22)The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)*

(23)Lila - Marilynne Robinson****

(24)The Freedom in American Songs - Kathleen Winter****

(25)The Rules of Engagement - Anita Brookner*****

(26)The Bulgarian Connection - Fay Weldon 0

(27)Ordinary Mayhem - Victoria Brownworth*

(28)Life Before Man - Margaret Atwood*****

(29)Necessary Lies - Diane Chamberlain**{BC}

(30)The Ship of Brides - JoJo Moyes***

(31)The Devil You Know - Elisabeth de Mariaffi****

(32)So Beautiful - Ramona Dearing****

(33)Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather(re-read)****

(34)Surfacing - Margaret Attwood (re-read)****

(35)Frances & Bernard - Carlene Bauer*****

(36)Once Upon a Time There was You - Elizabeth Berg***

(37Sweetness in the Belly - Camilla Gibb***

(38)Pearl - Mary Gordon*****

(39)Life with Three Dogs - Abigail Thomas***

(40)The Divine Ryans - Wayne Johnston***

(41)The Daring Ladies of Lowell - Kate Alcott***

(42)The Friday Night Knitting Club - Kate Jacobs**

(43)First Frost - Sarah Addison Allen****

(44)The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt**

(45)The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins***

(46The Year of Fog - Michelle Richmond***

(47)The Invisible Wall - Harry Bernstein****

(48)The Smart One - Jennifer Close****

(49( All is Vanity - Christine Schwartz***

(50)Lost Lake - Sarah Addison Allen**

(51)Our Souls at Night - Kent Haruf*****

(52)A God In Ruins - Kate Atkinson*****

(53)Life after Life - Kate Atkinson*****

(54)You May Know Them - Ray Guy***

(55)Somewhere in France{BC} - Jennifer Robson*

(56)The Green Road - Anne Enright*****

(57)The Elegance of the Hedgehog{BC}***** (reread)

(58)The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy - Rachel Joyce (companion book to The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry)***

(59)The Summer We Came to Life - Deborah Cloyed 0

(60)Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders - Greg Malone*****

(61)Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson****

(62)Rise & Shine - Anna Quindlen***** (I'm biased)

(63)Nora Webster - Colm Toibin - could not get passed the first 40 pages, tossed. 0

(64)The Time of Crystal Water - Katherine Gosier

(65)The Boy in the Trees - Mary Swan****

(66)The House at Riverton - Kate Morton****

(67)A Paperboy's Story - Kevin Lewis** Oddly clinical for such an emotional memoir.

(68)The Cure for Death by Lightening - Gail Anderson Daugatz**

(69)The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zavin{BC}*****

(70)Saint Maybe - Ann Tyler**** (I think this is a re-read, familiar)

(71)Home - Marilynne Robinson - dropped could not engage

(72)An Imperfect Librarian - Elizabeth Murphy*

(73)Plain Song - Kent Haruf*****

(74)When Will There Be Good News - Kate Atkinson****

The very best, for me ~ unputdownables, with brief comments.

(1)Boundless - Kathleen Winter. A wonderfully written account of her journey to the Northwest Passage and her inner journey to herself. Not to be missed.

(2)Sweetland - Michael Crummey. An amazing novel of one man remaining on a resettled island outport off the coast and refusing to leave. Incredibly constructed. It deserved all the awards and accolades.

(3)Frances and Bernard - Carlene Bauer- wonderfully surprising read. For example: P152: "I am now beginning to see why people marry. It's necessary to have a bulwark against family - to have someone who is not imprisoned in the insanity and yet is close enough to it that his or her observations on the inmate population have the ring of objectivity."

(4)Pearl - Mary Gordon. Beautiful descriptive book that takes place mainly in Dublin. P161: "the demanding grammar of the Irish language." Yes.

(5)Our Souls at Night - Kent Haruf. I adore Kent Haruf so definitely prejudiced. Brilliant thoughtful writer.

(6) A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson. P 71 "Teddy wondered if everyone had done well out of the war except for those who fought in it." Brilliant description of deadly warfare in WW2 from the air.

(7)Life after Life - Kate Atkinson. Brilliant.

(8)The Green Road - Anne Enright. P300: "The next morning she wondered what it was she had wanted before she wanted a drink." Beautiful story of a distant mother.

(9)The Elegance of the Hedgehog" - Muriel Banbury. Re-read for book club. Loved it all over again.

(10)The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin. Adored.

(11)A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman. Charming, funny, emotional.

(12)Plain Song - Kent Haruf. Beautiful writing.

Biggest disappointments: "The Girl on the Train" and "Goldfinch" and "Nora Webster"

Also I tend to use books as pure and utter escapism so a non-fiction has to be really engaging before I consider it. Case in point for last year was "Boundless" and also "Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders." I read squadrons of "self-improvement" tomes for years until I came to the realization that every journey is unique and we self-improve (or not) as we toddle along. We all write our own stories.


  1. So many books,so little time, as they say. Our reading lists don't converge, so I'm going to read some reviews of what you've read.

    1. I think you stick to the more intellectual books, Hattie, I'm the flighty "entertain me!" butterfly.


    2. Not really. I just tend not to review the more lightweight stuff.

  2. I too love Ken Haruf's writing and have meant to read more of his books. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I know SJG I adore his writing, always leaves a mark on me.


  3. Oh dear! We were bound to disagree eventually - like all good friends. I really liked The Goldfinch. x

    1. So many loved it Anne and I tried desperately, I just didn't care about him and his everlasting journey. Sorry. Did you like any of my "likes?"

    2. I haven't read any of the others, oh apart from The Girl on the Train which I QUITE liked! Sorry! My reading is insanely random; I was talking to a friend about the trials she was experiencing in hospital with the general hierarchy of info-dissemination and she said out of the blue, "my late brother wrote about it all" So I Amazoned:
      The Ceremonial Order of the Clinic by P.M.Strong, patients, doctors and medical bureaucracy.
      I know! Quite a mouthful... an interesting read pinpointing how doctors can demean or relax a patient.
      Also a book of poetry by a cousin I don't really know who lives in Greenwich, London and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. Like I say - random! xx

  4. I love books I read alsorts but my one love is travel my mum used to say our Meg has wanderlust I have travelled all over the world and I love to read about places that maybe if I live to be 150 I might just see them all Meg

    1. I think I'm done with travelling Margaret, but we can never be sure of anything. Changing minds without apologies is one of the gifts of old age.
      I do hope you complete your travel dreams, or at least be well on the way :)


  5. Good list, if it ever happens I'm not shoveling, I'll pick one.

  6. Ah the shoveling season, ours hasn't struck yet but we're braced.


  7. I, too, thought A Man Called Ove was one of my favorites this year, although my "this year" is 2016 and not 2015. I just read it a couple of books ago. While I did admire "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," and it stays with me, I don't have a solid grounding in the philosophers, and I found it hard work to read. It was worth doing, and I'm glad I did. I see you have a lot of Elizabeth Berg. I usually love her writing but for some reason have dropped her these last few years. I'm going to have to catch up again.

  8. I could claim that I purposely properly italicized one book, but since I wasn't sure HTML worked on Blogspot, put quotes around the other. That insured that only one would be wrong. That would be a lie. It was my darned RA-induced fogginess again.


Comments are welcome. Anonymous comments will be deleted unread.

Email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom if you're having trouble.