All the books I read this year

Towards the end of 2014 I realized I wasn’t reading books anymore. Sure there was always a book “I was reading,” but that basically meant there was a book I had started months ago sitting next to my bed. I decided to start reading again, and because I document things, I decided to keep a list of the books I read in 2015. It’s dumb, but that was basically all it took for me to start reading again, and I read more this year than I have in the last 10 years combined, probably. Below is a list of all the books I read this year. I didn’t start tracking the date I finished the books until the middle of the year. I bolded the books I recommend you read.

My 4 favorite books of the year:
Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel
The Martian – Andy Weir
Undermajordomo Minor – Patrick DeWitt
The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt

1. 11/22/63 – Stephen King – Pretty good, fast read. My first Stephen King book in 20 years after reading most of them up to that point.
2. Deep Down – Lee Child – I like Jack Reacher books.
3. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn – Better than the movie. Pretty big twist, in case you haven’t read it.
4. A Wanted Man – Lee Child – I like Jack Reacher books.
5. Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel – My favorite book of the first half of the year! READ THIS.
6. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. – Adelle Waldman – I can hardly remember how annoying the main character was in this well-written book.
7. High Heat – Lee Child – I like Jack Reacher books.
8. Never Go Back – Lee Child – I like Jack Reacher books.
9. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Ben Fountain – I remember liking reading this, and certain snippets of the story, but not much else.
10. Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel – I didn’t think I would like this, but I did!
11. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris – I thought I would like this, but I didn’t!
12. The Vacationers – Emma Straub – This book had a trick at the beginning I really admired. Enjoyable vacation read. READ THIS.
13. Annihilation – Book 1 of The Southern Reach Trilogy – Jeff Vandermeer – Ugh! I did not like this.
14. Graveyard of Memories – Barry Eisler – I like John Rain books.
15. Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith – I liked the first three fourths of this book before the author decided to turn it into a trilogy. This could have been half as long if you removed all the super detailed and interesting info about the former Soviet Union. READ THIS. (Weakest READ THIS on the list.)
16. The Secret Speech – Tom Rob Smith – Not bad, but not great. I read this because I read the first one.
17. Agent 6 – Tom Rob Smith – Not bad, but not good. I read this because I read the first two.
18. The Martian – Andy Weir – This would have been my second favorite book of the first half of the year if I hadn’t read Station Eleven. READ THIS.
19. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng – I don’t know quite why this one was something I liked, but it was. READ THIS.
Not A Drill – Lee Child – I like Jack Reacher books.
20. Personal – Lee Child – I like Jack Reacher books.
21. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr – Eminently readable and excellent. Everyone will tell you to read this and I wouldn’t try to convince you otherwise.
22. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins – Not as good as Gone Girl or even as good as the Gone Girl movie, but I bet the movie of this will be pretty good.
23. Authority – Book 2 of The Southern Reach Trilogy – Jeff Vandermeer – Ugh. I read this because I read the first one.
24. Sous Chef: 24 Hours On The Line – Michael Gibney – It was alright.
25. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi – This was great. READ THIS.
26. Wolf in White Van – John Darnielle – This was good and not like anything I’ve ever read. READ THIS.
27. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloane – This was good. Very pleasant to read. READ THIS.
28. Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City – Choire Sicha – Interesting story telling style. READ THIS.
29. Moonlight Mile – Dennis Lehane – The most formulaic book I read this year?
30. The Farm – Tom Rob Smith – I read this because I read the author’s other books this year. It was better than Girl on a Train, not as good as his other books.
31. Tree of Smoke – Denis Johnson – This took forever to get into and read, but was interesting eventually.
32. Bone Clocks – David Mitchell – I can’t remember what this is about, but I remember not being very excited about it.
33. Sweet Tooth – Ian McEwan – I mean, it was well written, and sweet, but not terribly compelling.
34. Gray Mountain – John Grisham – I remember liking John Grisham books, but this was terrible. Was this the worst book I read this year?
35. Telegraph Ave – Michael Chabon (6/30/15) – This was fun to read, but took me forever to get through.
36. Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty (7/6/15) – Better than Girl on a Train, at least, and the setting sounded amazing.
37. Skippy Dies – Paul Murray (7/13/15) – Depressing story, fun to read! READ THIS.
38. State of Wonder – Ann Patchett (7/19/15) – This was fine.
39. This is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz (7/20/15) – I read this in a day and a half. READ THIS.
40. The Sandcastle Girls – Chris Bohjalian (7/26/15) – I did not really like this book at all, but it could have been much worse.
41. We Others – Steven Millhauser (8/11/15) – I had Milhauser as a professor in college. A lot of these stories were familiar if you’ve read Martin Dressler. It took forever for me to get through.
42. Dark Places – Gillian Flynn (8/19/15) – I had to watch the movie trailer to remember what this book was about, and even then, I’m still not totally sure it worked.
43. The Gold Finch – Donna Tartt (8/26/15) – I had no idea what this was about before I started reading it, except that it was very popular last year. It was good!
44. The Metropolis Case – Matthew Gallaway (9/6/15) – I wanted to like this book so much more, but it was only alright.
45. Open City – Teju Cole (9/16/15) – Lots of people say this is the best book in recent history. It was good, but I wouldn’t go that far. Big twist at the end makes the book a lot more thought provoking.
46. Between the World and Me – Ta-Nahisi Coates (9/22/15) – What more can be said about the book topping most of the best of lists? READ THIS.
47. The Imperfectionists – Tom Rachman (9/27/15) – Fun on vacation. READ THIS.
48. Absurdistan – Gary Shteyngart (10/5/15) – Not very fun, even on vacation.
49. Undermajordomo Minor – Patrick DeWitt (10/7/15) – My favorite book of the second half of the year! I enthusiastically recommend you READ THIS RIGHT NOW.
50. The Big Short – Michael Lewis (10/12/15) – He’s written this book before, and it’s still interesting.
51. Nothing Lasts Forever – Roderick Thorpe (10/15/15) – This is the book Die Hard is based on, which as a super fan, I was compelled to read. It takes place in the 70s, and the John McClain character is a grandfather. Surprise ending!
52. Acceptance – Book 3 of The Southern Reach Trilogy – Jeff Vandermeer (10/25/15) – I only read this because I read the first two. I wanted to like the whole trilogy, but I couldn’t.
53. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin (10/27/15) – This was very fun to read. READ THIS.
54. The Tiger’s Wife – Téa Obreht (11/7/15) – What a unique story! Borderline READ THIS, but hard to get into.
55. Make Me – Lee Child (11/13/15) – I like Jack Reacher books.
56. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt (11/17/15) – I liked this almost as much as I liked Undermajordomo Minor. READ THIS.
57. Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests – Tom Shales, James Andrew Miller (11/28/15) – There were a bunch of interesting stories in here, but it was also super long, and sections dragged.

All the books I read this year

70 thoughts on “All the books I read this year

      1. I enjoyed Gone Girl but much preferred Dark Places, which I understand is going to be released as a film. I couldn’t get on with Girl on the Train at all but I’ll give the film a chance.

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  1. maicatlb says:

    oooh this post helps me in searching for a good book to read. Wow! an answered prayer! One day, i’ll be having a library with my collection of books.

    Like

  2. whitec1971 says:

    I was an avid reader as a youngster and in college. However, since life has grown from the bachelor that could eat anything and sleep anywhere to having a family and career, I just lost the time to read. I love to write and blog but I don’t read enough. One thing I have been told by other writers is that you must read to become a better writer. I have tried to reach back in the past and find my lost reading appetite. I have been unsuccessful in that adventure. This post inspires me to return to what I loved first reading. Great simple post with a huge message about why I should get back to books. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I do most of my reading online and even when I find a good book that I like, purchase it and set time to read it, I find myself lured away by my phone or computer and said book just starts collecting dust until I lose interest and in turn donate it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I also read The Imperfectionists and I loved it! I can’t wait to have some free time and start reading again. Amazing list, now I know where to search if I need some inspiration! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you very much for sharing! I read lots too, and my choices are rather haphazard, based on reviews here and there, books that catch my attention in bookstores or airports thanks to an unusual cover (!) and/or intriguing title, pushy Amazon suggestions (the “personalization” thing), and … blogs. I’m sure I’ll find a few good ones in your list 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I noticed the same thing at the end of last year – I was not reading NEARLY as much as I used to/wanted to. So I decided to do the Goodreads 2015 Challenge and challenged myself to read 12 books in 2015, not wanting to over-challenge myself. I’ve read 25 to date and will probably finish at least another one by the end of the year. I just may steal your post idea, and add a few of your recommendations to my list for this next year! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. makia says:

    Great list! If you want something totally messed up to end the year, try Geek Love. It is narrated by the albino dwarf hunchback daughter of the owner of a freakshow…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Freelance Cindy says:

    Wow I don’t keep count of what I read. Is constant and varies on subject. I wish I did. Is amazing, knowledge is truly power. I have made a business and ran it for 10 years now doing so.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great post. I too started recording my reading this year and fell in love with it all over again. I would totally agree with Station eleven being a highlight as to many others on your list… Seems we share some reading tastes. I’ve just read the grown ups and the eye of the sheep which I’ve loved too.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I also have a list, where I write down every book I read and give everyone a grade, so I can later look, what I thought about them. I am so happy that there is someone, who does something similar! Great! 😀

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  11. I also had no time for reading, life to busy, in 2010 that changed in a moment, 5 spinal surgeries, 11 months in bed or hospital, but I could read, read 154 books, Memoirs of a Geisha 4 times since then and a long recovery I have been blessed with time to read, just read my 1209th book since then, All The Light We Can Not See most recent favorite. Books can take us away from pain, hurt, heartache, depression, got me through and took me on many great journeys. I wouldn’t be here if not for reading and my two dogs who read with me. As my aunt Eleanor Gustafson, recently passed at age 87, who was the head of Wellesley College Library and there for 45 years, and started the Friends of Wellesley College Library, taught me, a book can take you anywhere, teach you anything, and you don’t have to give it anything in return, just pass it on. Thanks Eleanor. She would like your post.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. That is an impressive amount of books. I’m actually in the process of conducting a “to read list” for 2016. I too have fallen victim to the lack of books read other recent years. I may steal a few books from your list.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reading is one of my greatest joys in life. It’s a constant, even when times get hectic. I go through bouts of not having time to read and then reading nonstop. This list is full of potential, and I look forward to trying some of these out! Perhaps I’ll make my own list of books I’ve read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is amazing! I want to get back into reading too. I got a kindle, I buy books, and I’m doing the Goodreads challenges but I’m still finding it difficult to find time and just read all of them. Hopefully my 2016 will be more successful and I’ll finish my list. Now I need to finish three books before 2015 ends.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Omg! I have also read a million books this year. Or, should I say, I have listened to about a million books on audio this year. Have you ever read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series? They take some time to adjust to, but they are amazing. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, you will like this series too.

    Also, if you enjoy works of history, Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln are very suspenseful.

    I will usually read anything anyone recommends, so I cannot wait to check out some of these reads. Thanks for the share.

    Liked by 1 person

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