Best Books of 2015

It’s that time of year, the time where we read everyone’s ‘best of’ lists for the year. I do enjoy reading the book lists. As I was reading over my list of all of the books that I have read this year, I was surprised that most of the books that garnered my appreciation and wonder were non-fiction. I didn’t think that I had read much non-fiction this year but my list proves me wrong. So in keeping with that, I will produce a non-fiction list as well as a fiction list.

Best Fiction
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. A dark, dreary story but the writing was excellent.

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin. Again, a dreary story but the writing was so beautiful.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. This book is in keeping with Girl on the Train and Gone Girl but the ending even had me surprised.

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. An enjoyable retelling of Sherlock Holmes

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. After looking at this list, I am convinced that for some reason I am drawn to the dark and depressing tales. This book was jarringly graphic but the words used to describe the kidnap victims inner turmoil were jarring as well.

Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. An enjoyable children’s book that shows us how children should be taught.

Rain/Reign by Anne Martin. Another children’s book. Rose’s story of how she deals with life as a person of Aspergers struck deep inside of me and of my children as well.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. It has been a long time since I have been so deeply moved by a book. There are multiple layers to this story, layers that equally have you pondering it’s ramifications.

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fennolara. Another book that shows how education should be.

The Genevieve Lenard series by Estelle Ryan. I know. I’m cheating. But the whole series is good, I can’t just pick one book. I am usually not a fan of book series. I will read the first book but will wait a few months if not longer to move on to the next, but I read the first seven books of this series in a month and a half and am hoping to read the latest book before the end of the year. I loved Dr. Lenard and how she maneuvers the world of art insurance fraud.

Non-Fiction
As You Wish by Cary Elwes. I am long-time enthusiast of The Princess Bride. It was a treat to read about the goings on behind the scenes of the making of this classic movie.

An Experiment in Criticism by C.S.Lewis. In reading this book, I know now which kind of reader I want to be.

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs. Intriguing read, even though it shattered the pedestal on which I had placed C.S.Lewis. I realized that this icon was just a man, a human like myself–sinful but loved and delighted by God.

The Romantic Rationalist edited by John Piper. A series of essays about the various facets of C.S.Lewis and his faith.

How Dante Can Save Your Life by Rod Dreher. The life lessons that Dreher had learned while leading Dante also helped me to come to terms with some issues in my life.

Secrets of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield. Excellent memoir of how a lesbian university professor became a Christian. What struck me the most was the theme that hospitality is the foundation of evangelism.

Wild in the Hollow by Amber Haines. The writing in this book is word-music. The author is breathtakingly gifted in the art of writing. The writing is what made this book onto my favourites list but I must say that the flowery language sometimes got in the way of what the author was trying to say. I was so intent on the word combinations that were used that I didn’t always pay attention to what was being said.

Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey. This was my first time reading Sarah Bessey but she has me hooked. Currently, I am reading her first book, Jesus Feminist. I am a huge fan of Sarah’s now. I totally related to what she was saying in this book. I loved how she sat in her spiritual confusion and stayed there until things started to make sense. She didn’t leave Jesus but, rather, realized that maybe there were different ways to follow him. She cobbled together her own faith, a faith that was her own but was still biblical and rooted in doctrine. I am hoping to write more on this book and what it has done to my own faith.

Music of Silence by David Rast. Since reading ‘Found’ by Micha Boyett last year, I have been enamored by the practices of the monks. This book shows us how the monks pray through the day. My interest has deepened. I love how praying through the hours enables us to be more present and intentional in our days.

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One Response to Best Books of 2015

  1. Carol says:

    I read a few books by Steinbeck a long time ago & have been thinking about re-reading the one you mentioned; ‘Hospitality is the foundation of evangelism’ – I’ve noticed in recent years that more & more people meet at coffee shops etc & less & less people practice hospitality in their homes. I wonder how many people fall through the cracks in churches because they haven’t experienced hospitality?

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