2015 book list

2016's book list off to a good start

2015 books:
(with my very favorites of the year marked with asterisks)

  The Dream of a Common Language, Adrienne Rich
  The Art Forger, B.A. Shapiro
  The Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
*Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier
  Living Treasures, Yang Huang
  The Baker's Daughter, Sarah McCoy
  The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton
  Poisoned Nation, Loretta Schwartz-Nobel
  The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
  Free to Play, Peter Gray
*The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  March, Geraldine Brooks
  Glass, Paper, Beans, Leah Hager Cohen
*Life from Scratch, Sasha Martin
*People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
  A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
*The Bees, Laline Paul
*The Nourishing Homestead, Ben Hewitt
  The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
  The Undertaker's Daughter, Kate Mayfield
*All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  Mudbound, Hillary Jordan
  The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards
  Buddhism for Couples, Sarah Napthali

and, with Claire: Little House in the Big Woods
                            Little House on the Prairie
                            Farmer Boy
                            On the Banks of Plum Creek
                            By the Shores of Silver Lake
                            The Long Winter
                            Little Town on the Prairie
                            These Happy Golden Years
                            The First Four Years

here are the lists from 2013, 2014

looking back over these lists from the last three years, it seems I average 25 books a year.  so I suppose a book every two weeks, roughly.  I go in spurts.  there are times that I inhale a book in a couple days, only to start another immediately after.  there are also times that I can't quite pick the right one and go weeks without a book in my hand.  I've found another kind of stall as well- the stall after an incredibly moving book where I'm just not ready to get the taste of it out of my mouth yet, just don't want to invite anything new in just yet.  as was the case after finishing Cold Mountain, The Grapes of Wrath, and All the Light We Cannot See (in the past I know I've felt that way with The Snow Child, Me Before You, The Poisonwood Bible, The Invention of Wings, and others...).

I'm starting the year off strong and recently finished my first two books of 2016, The Telling- by Jo Baker, and Little Woman in Blue, by Jeannine Atkins.  I've got a thing for books that tell more than one story at the same time (as in The Telling), and if the stories are about women and one of them lived long ago, I'm likely to get hooked pretty quickly. 18th and 19th century historical fiction with strong female characters seems to be my cup of tea these last few years.  today I started Miss Emily by Nuala O'Connor and so far, so good.

which brings me to the obvious question, which is...... what are your favorites? what are you reading now?


  1. I can't seem to put down Debbie Macomber's books right now. Recently I bought You & Me Forever (by Francis and Lisa Chan), Little Women and Hoodwinked (by Karen Ehman and somebody else). Oh! And I'm considering Harry Potter and My Side of the Mountain with the boys. And the Narnia books. I have an ever growing list. First world problems.

    1. the Narnia book sand Harry Potter are ones I plan, eventually, to read with Claire. and I need to read Little Women- I've actually never read it!

  2. I am not an avid reader, preferring to craft and I can't do both at the same time. However, this year I am going to make a concerted effort to read more or try the audio books.

    1. ah- that explains my craft projects that I have such good intentions of taking on and then they sit there, ignored. I'm reading instead. I'd like to find a balance where I keep up the reading and tend to some long-awaited crafting....... knitting projects, stamp carving, quilting....... all things I want to spend some time on!

    2. hmmmm........ could I 'audio-craft'? ;)

  3. Wow! You read a lot. I'm giving myself an objective of 10 books this year. And even that has me nervous. LOL! But thank you for sharing your favorites. I've reserved a few of your suggestions at the library. :-)

    1. the fact that I've got just one kiddo, and that she loves her own audiobooks these days helps a lot with giving me opportunities throughout the day to read a chapter or two.

      would love to hear what you think about any of the ones you read- and hope you enjoy them if they're ones I recommended!

  4. I'm pretty diligent about tracking my books on Goodreads.com. Last year I read 60 books but quite a few of those were audiobooks. I tend to get through a lot more of those because I'm in the car for 2 hours a day for my commute.

    My favorite audiobooks of 2015 (I rated 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads):
    Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
    I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
    Land Girls by Angela Huth
    The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin
    The Witness by Nora Roberts
    The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw (non-fiction)
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    Crazy Love You: A Novel by Lisa Unger
    Split by Swati Avasthi
    Angels Walking (Angels Walking, #1) by Karen Kingsbury
    Chasing Sunsets (Angels Walking, #2) by Karen Kingsbury
    The Highway by C.J. Box
    Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    My favorite paper books of 2015 (I rated 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads):
    Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    Seasonal Disorder: Ranger Tales from Glacier National Park by Pat Hagan
    Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills
    In the Company of Others (Father Tim, #2) by Jan Karon

    1. I have a Goodreads account and every now and then I go and update it with my read books.... but mostly I use it to keep track of books I want to read. I've never really down audiobooks, but if I were in the car by myself for a couple hours everyday I'm sure I would!

      The only one of these I've read was The Fault in Our Stars. I really liked that one. Thanks for the list!

  5. If you like those books, I would highly recommend The Signature of All Things (didn't check your previous years' lists, it may be on there already).. What a story.

    1. that is one that I actually own and have tried to read and couldn't get past the beginning for some reason. I think it was just timing though, and I'm going to give it another shot!

  6. Wonderful list and a few new ones for me to add to mine.

  7. A great list of books for sure. If you like books that tell more than one story you might like Kate Morton's books - I just finished listening to two of hers.

  8. I only read 20 books last year (I keep track on goodreads.com)
    Sadly, out of those 20 I would only recommend one - A Cooks Tour (Anthony Bourdain).
    Hoping this year I'll turn a few more pages.

    1. I like Goodreads, and I use it mostly to keep lists of the books I want to read. every now and then I do update my reads on there though. I think 20 books sounds pretty good- but it is sad to think that you didn't really enjoy many of them! hope you find some you like a lot more this year~

  9. I'm reading the Outlander series right now and have been for months. they are seriously long books. The last two books have been about their homestead in ,of all places, Black Mountain NC. :)

    1. oh I've heard of these! some sexy scottish guy in there, right? (along with some good historical fiction, of course....) I had no clue they were set around here! do you like them?

  10. I couldn't get into the Miniaturist, and I'm glad it doesn't have one of your stars to make me feel like I missed out. I STILL have Poisonwood Bible on my shelf, maybe 2016 will be it's year. I am currently enjoying The Midwife of Hope River and have already finished The Water's Edge.

    1. a friend recommended the Miniaturist to me as an 'interesting' read and so I grabbed it at the library. I got into it after a while, and there were certain things I enjoyed- certain parts, etc. but it definitely wasn't one of my favorites of the year- not even close. oh Poisonwood Bible is one of my very favorites ever, ever, ever. hope you love it.

  11. For some reason, I got in a Jane Austen kick lately and read Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park (for the nth time). I just love her writing and wit. I may dive into another one or two before I'm done (Emma or Persuasion, or perhaps Sense and Sensibility). I do have another book requested from the library, though - The Forgotten Seamstress. Like you, I love those historic genres with strong female characters. Thanks for your lists!

    1. I've never read any Jane Austen! um, I saw the movie Pride and Prejudice and very much liked that though....... not that that is saying much, I guess. I'll give her a try. What's your most favorite of hers? I'll have to add The Forgotten Seamstress to my list!

    2. Start with Pride and Prejudice. It goes well and there is great wit, and a beautiful romance. Her books are slow reads - the language is wordy, but perfect, in my opinion.

  12. oh! i love your booklists. they always provide me with lots of reading inspiration :) a friend just sent me home with a whole stack of steinback although i don't think "the grapes of wrath was one of them" he described each one to me and when i couldn't choose which to start with he insisted i take them all. i am currently reading heather ross's "how to catch a frog" and i LOVE it. it jumps around with lots of different stories from her life... so far mostly from her childhood. but this woman's stories!!!!! oh my! i just find them incredible and i find that i fall very easily into her writing style. definitely recommend this one.

    1. thanks for the recommendation! sounds like something I would like. I've yet to read any other Steinbeck, but I most definitely will now.

  13. oh... and little house! a big favorite here as well :)
    i am currently reading a book with the kids now called "the penderwicks: a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy"
    it was recommended by the daughter of the friend who sent me home with a stack of steinbeck. we are really enjoying their adventures. i also just ordered "escape from warsaw" to read to my older children. haven't read it in years but it is a historical fiction book from world war 2 and i read it when i was my oldest daughters age and it really made an impact on me. i am hoping to share some of this on my poor neglected blog at some point :)

    1. Claire LOVES the Penderwicks! We haven't read the book yet but she listened to the audiobook (so I guess she has kind of read it...) about a million times when we got it from the library a couple months ago. looking forward to reading more about your reads :)


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~