Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top Thirteen Reads of 2015

 2015 has been an interesting year. This blog sprung into a full fledged life and for long time I actually consistently kept putting out posts every week. And I loved it and I'm determined to get back into the swing of things. I shall not desert this small piece of the blogosphere. In short, I got a job in late September and I've been crazy busy ever since. My reading has suffered, my blogging has suffered, and my writing has suffered. Actually, I've being slogging through a wretched case of writer's depression (think writer's block multiplied by ten but worse).

Anyhow, I'm straying from the intention of this post. 2015 has been quite the year for books. I read numerous books that I felt were mediocre and an equal amount that took my breath away with how well written and stunning they were. Here are my top thirteen reads of 2015 in no particular order.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  What can I say about this beautiful book? I loved it as dearly as I loved the film adaption. Sadly, I can only recommend it with the warning that it does contain a large amount of bad language that keeps me from letting my younger sister read it for now.

Pied Piper by Nevil Shute
  This is another one where I just sit here and scratch my head wondering how on earth I can possibly describe it? I first learned about it while going through a list of the author’s works on Wikipedia and after reading the synopsis, I knew I had to read it. Fortunately for you, I actually managed to pull myself together and write a coherent review here.

The Prince of Fishes by Suzannah Rowntree
  I had the opportunity to review this book on its release and fell in love with Miss Rowntree’s writing. Solid historical fiction with a fantasy/clockpunk twist, this one has me excited for the future of Christian fiction. And gave me a desire to acquaint myself more with the Byzantium empire. My review.

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
 Dickens, you brilliant, brilliant writer. I love your quirky characters, your complicated and intricate plots, and this your last completed novel.

A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd
  WWI, sinking ships, and promises to dying men catapult nurse Bess Crawford into a world of mystery involving the family of one of her deceased patients. A splendid piece of historical mystery, though not for those who might be disturbed at verbal references and descriptions of a violent death.

Greenmantle by John Buchan
  The second book in Buchan’s Richard Hannay series, I loved it even more than I enjoyed the first book The 39 Steps. There’s a flavor and sense of honor to these that is unusual in others of the genre. It makes them stand out.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
  I read this lovely piece of historical fiction in a read along with this dear lass. Sutcliff knew how to transport her readers back in time. You could feel the crisp wind blowing across your face as you journeyed through Roman occupied Britain with her characters.

Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
  The most tightly written mystery I’ve ever read. The list of suspects is only four and all of them were playing cards together when the murder occurred. Which one of them committed the crime? And how did the innocent three not see it happen? Highly recommended. My favorite of Christie’s Poirot novels.

Leave It to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
  Wodehousian comedy as only he could write. Psmith is mistaken for a Canadian poet and taken to Blandings Castle where chaos ensues with imposters, burglars, and ever efficient secretaries.

Wanderlust Creek and Other Stories by Elisabeth Grace Foley
  It is no secret that I devour everything that Elisabeth writes. I’ve followed her blog for ages and have read everything she’s published. Released in March, I bought it and read as soon as it was released. I wrote a review here.

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
  I had heard much praise for this book and bought it when I placed my great Amazon order when Wanderlust Creek released. This brilliant piece of creative advice is a must read. I highly recommend it to you all.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  On a fateful March day I borrowed The Fellowship of the Ring from a friend on impulse. And am I glad I did. Tolkien's epic style of storytelling in this battle of good vs. evil, his meticulous world building, and the craftsmanship with which he wrote this trilogy won me over.

Flight From the Reich: Refugee Jews, 1933 - 1946 by Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan Van Pelt
  The Jewish refugees of WWII and formation of the modern state of Israel has become an interest of mine ever since I read Bodie and Brock Thoene's Zion Covenant series in 2014. This book is a fantastic starting point for anyone even slightly interested in the topic.

 What are some of your favorite reads from 2015?


  1. I really loved The 39 Steps, so I'm curious about Greenmantle! And that plot for the Christie novel is certainly intriguing. I haven't read any of the Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries -- do you prefer one over the other?
    Standout reads for me in 2015 were Emma, Dear Enemy, The Secret Adversary, and Every Living Thing.
    I hope your job is going well, and that your bout of writing depression clears soon! Recently I've been having trouble nailing down a new story idea. I have several, and it's really just choosing to commit to one that's bogging me down. It's kind of a little writer's block; I can't imagine having writer's block multiplied!
    It was so good to see your blog post pop up! I've missed them :)
    I hope you have a wonderful year!

  2. Mary - Thank you, Mary for your dear kind words. It's such an encouragement. And I sympathize entirely with your case of writer's block. Nailing down story ideas is a mountainous task sometimes. Sometimes, I wonder if we writers overthink it too much.

    If you love "The 39 Steps", I would definitely read "Greenmantle". It is my favorite of the two.

    Admittedly, I have only read one Miss Marple mystery, but Poirot is definitely my favorite of the two. So glad "The Secret Adversary" made one of your top reads. You should definitely get a hold of the next two books in her Tommy and Tuppence series. I love Tommy and Tuppence so much! *squeals like a fangirl*

    "Emma" is on my to read list and has been for some time. It is a classic I definitely want to get around to this year.

    Again, thank you ever so much for commenting! It brightened my morning considerably!

  3. I feel so honoured to be on this list alongside some of my most-revered authors, Hanne-col!

  4. Suzannah - Well, you deserve such a ranking! "Prince of Fishes" made my year and I cannot wait to dive into "Pendragon's Heir" this year.

    Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


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