I did this last year, and don’t know if anyone cared or not, but eh, I enjoyed it so I thought I’d do it again. Here are my five favorite books I read last year. As I’m a writer myself, my readers often ask me what my favorite books are, and I think they’re disappointed when my personal reading choices don’t mirror what I write. Consider yourself warned.
NOTE: they weren’t necessarily published in 2015; I just read them then. They’re listed in the order I read them.
The Best Books I Read in 2015:
The Death Class by Erika Hayasaki
On the surface, this nonfiction book is a look at a popular college course on death and the charismatic professor who teaches it. But the book is so much more than that. It’s a human interest story about students struggling to deal with mental health issues and learning to find their own ways in life and coping with the hassles of growing up and coming of age. It’s about an extraordinary professor who teaches dignity in dying and, as such, helps her students embrace the fleeting essence of their lives. I highly recommend this to everyone, everywhere. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
The second Bill Hodges book (though you don’t have to read the first to enjoy this one). This is definitely up there with my favorite King novels. I couldn’t put this one down! The fact that it involved a writer and a lost manuscript only added to my enjoyment of the story. If you’re a fan of Mr. King, definitely check out this series. I can’t wait for book 3!
Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County by Kristen Green
Set in my own backyard, practically, this opened my eyes to things I hadn’t known existed, literally. I naively thought Brown v. Board of Education “fixed” segregation overnight. Boy, was I wrong. Though this was a bit heavy-handed at times, it was a real eye-opener, and enlightened reading in today’s troubled times.
The Martian by Andy Weir
I was late to the party and just read this book this year. Of everything else I read, this was seriously the number one best book, bar none. I seriously could not put it down — and as I read the Kindle version, I couldn’t flip to the end to see how it all played out (which I tend to do when things get hairy!) so I was up until two in the morning just so I could finish it. I thought I’d read it before seeing the movie, then ended up not seeing the film because I didn’t want to spoil the book, it was that good. I might catch it on DVD at some point, but GOD! This book! If you haven’t read it, go read it NOW!
Horns by Joe Hill
If nothing else, 2015 was the year I discovered Joe Hill. Oh, I knew he was Stephen King’s son, and I had NOS4A2 on my Kindle for ages, but I hadn’t read anything by him until this past August. Then I couldn’t STOP reading him! Everything he writes is magic, same as his father — the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree in this case (thank God). Of all his novels to date, though, Horns is definitely my favorite. It unravels slowly, like an intricate puzzle, and as the pieces begin to fit into place, I found myself reading faster and faster just to be able to see the bigger picture. I loved loved LOVED this story. I’ll definitely read it again in the years to come.