Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Favorite Books of 2015 // Bookworm

I think about books a lot, and when I read one that is just AMAZING, I tend to note it. It occurred to me recently that I never shared my favorite books of 2015...! 

Granted, I started reading intently in July... so there isn't a HUGE pool... but I thought I would share it now!

Here are my top 5 books from 2015! (in order I read them, they are not ranked)

1) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I downloaded this from our online library, and I'm so glad that I did! I just tore through it on the plane to Alaska. The book is about two young magicians who are involved in a competition. I can't say much more, as I think the mystery is a big part of reading it and enjoying it. :) Also, don't think circus-y circus. It's more of a magical and atmospheric take on the idea of a circus. Though I would have liked a little more background on all of the magical details, I would definitely recommend it if you like YA and fantasy! - KC started reading this when I was done, and could barely put it down. He would stay up super late trying to get further into it each night. I have since recommended it to at least 5 other people!

2) Hector and The Search for Happiness by François Lelord

This book is from Plucky's book club Plucky Reads
It is very short, and written in a very simple way, which I really loved. It follows a psychiatrist named Hector, who is treating many patients who are unhappy, but do not know why they are unhappy. So he decides to travel around the world in search of happiness. He meets many interesting people along the way and compiles a list of what happiness is and is not. It was easy to read and a hopeful book. I appreciated how even when Hector was in difficult situations, the book was not depressing. It was more focused on the big picture, on gratefulness in struggle, and moving toward happiness. Something that I found lacking in other books I read in 2015. This has also been made into a movie, and I can't wait to watch it. :)

3) The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison  

I started reading this book, and immediately fell in love with Don Tillman and the way the story is told. It is quick, it's fun, and it's hilarious. Picture Don as a mix between Sheldon Cooper, Hector (from Hector and the Search for Happiness), and Harold Crick (Will Farrell's character in Stranger than Fiction). He is an extremely calculated and intelligent geneticist. He decides that having a life partner would enhance his life, but he knows he isn't interested in smokers or picky ice cream eaters, so he devises a very logical questionnaire to rule out the undesirables, thus calling it "The Wife Project". Along the way he meets Rosie, a woman who is not at all a desirable life partner, but she does need help finding her biological father. Being a geneticist, Don offers to help and his world is turned upside down. I told KC how good this was. He read it in less than 24 hours. Might I just say, this man is not a huge reader (normally). He did however, read at least 10 books in 2015. :) He loved this one too. Highly recommend!

4) Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

I have seen this book all over Pinterest and now goodreads for quite a while.... but once I started hearing what people thought of it, I knew that I needed to read it soon! I got it an e-reader copy from the library, and I read it in just two evenings. I could not put it down! The story takes place in regency England (think Austen time period) and centers around Marianne, a young woman whose mother has recently died, and consequently her father has gone to France. Marianne is stuck in Bath with her grandmother and a tiresome suitor (the description on this guy... visible cringing and squirming on my part!), while her older twin sister is in London being introduced into society. When she gets an invitation to visit her sister and her friends at an estate in the country Marianne gladly accepts. In turn her grandmother vows to give Marianne her inheritance, provided she can become a proper young lady during her visit. On the carriage ride over, a terrifying encounter has her coach stopping at an inn where Marianne meets a mysterious and arrogant stranger. Though he may not be as arrogant as he seems... he's interesting mix of Mr. Darcy & Mr. Wickham. I'm not Austen obsessed, and I haven't really read any other regency set pieces... but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Go get it, now! :)

5) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help has been out, and popular, for quite a few years now. I finally picked it up at a thrift store in 2015. I figured if I was going to read something for the reading challenge category, "Kickass Females," this would be a great one right? Well, it is. I love historical fiction, and I LOVE this book! The story follows two African American maids (Aibileen and Minny), and one young wealthy white woman (Eugenia) set in 1960's Mississippi. The book is written from the perspective of each of the three women, and follows them as they plan to expose the truth about being a maid in white households via the interviews and stories of maids in the community. Eugenia records, edits, and sends the stories away in hopes of publishing them, and sparking change. For some reason, I especially love reading books that take place during the civil rights movement. This one was no exception, and it really opened my eyes to a world that I hadn't explored in detail before. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about American history a little more, or to anyone who enjoys a well spun piece of historical based fiction. This book is really wonderful, it left me feeling both wrecked and hopeful. That's writing talent.

BONUS: A Christmas Memory was the longest short story I read by Truman Capote, and it was my favorite. It is about a young boy and his "friend," an elderly cousin. Every year the two have a tradition of making fruit cakes for their friends and family, but they don't have any money. It's a lovely story of friendship, resourcefulness, and quirky characters. As the story progresses you notice that something is off, and then it becomes somewhat sad. But I loved the story, and I loved the characters. I would highly recommend this one!!

What were your favorite books you read last year?

Have you read any of these?

Thank you for reading friends!!



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