I’m way behind on my Goodreads goal this year, but I’ve still managed to devour 42 books. Please note these are not “published in 2015” books because I don’t just read what’s new. Like most of you, I read stuff recommended by friends, backlist stuff by newly-discovered authors, and random finds. Here are the ones that stand out:
Lush Life by Richard Price
This is a deep dive into a single crime in New York City. It’s not an action movie–it’s a fascinating look at the day-to-day plod of police work and the unique characters in lower Manhattan.
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
I love Nick Hornby and I will pre-order any novel he writes. This is about an actress in London in the 1960s and I absolutely loved every second of it. It’s charming and funny and I hope they make a movie out of it. I imagine Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role.
The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
This book got some bad press simply for not being Harry Potter. When I read this, I hadn’t read Harry–though I’m remedying that this summer and am currently on Book 5–and I thought it was a great book. A compelling story about the characters and politics in a small British town. No magic, unless you think stellar writing and great dialog are magical.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Absolutely deserves all the hype. Gripping and fabulous.
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
I was a fan of her book Prep, but avoided this one when it first published, simply because it’s pretty much based on the life of former first lady Laura Bush. But this book was fantastic. She’s a fucking great writer. Truly. I didn’t want this book to end.
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
People will tell you it’s weird, and boy is it. But it’s can’t-look-away compelling in its strangeness. Read it especially if you’re in a genre rut and prepare to be shaken up.
The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
Another one that’s bizarre and brilliant. A cool drink of water for those suffering from the delusion that there is a “right way” to write.
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
A brilliant thriller with a big fat WHAT THE FUCK twist. Trust me.
Other books I’ve loved in 2015:
Missoula by Jon Krakauer
Queenpin by Megan Abbott
The Pleasing Hour by Lily King
The Strangler Vine by MJ Carter
Hotel by Arthur Hailey
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
I really want to read The Casual Vacancy! I’m soo intrigued to see what her non-HP writing is like!
Also check out her excellent Cormoran Strike detective series written under a pseudonym!
Some of my favorite books are “The Weatherman” (and its sequel “Silent Snow”) by Steve Thayer, “Vertical Run” by Joseph Garber, and Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series. You should check them out as well.