Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The best (and worst) books of 2015

I was so excited when Steph and Jana announced they were doing a bonus show us your books because I always like posting about books at the same time as everyone else, makes me feel less like 10 year old Kristen who would sit in the library at lunch because she didn't have any friends.. ahem. Anyway! Two posts today because I wouldn't miss either link up.

Life According to Steph

About halfway through the year, I did a top 10 books of 2015 so far, and while they are all still good books, and I would absolutely recommend all of them, only a couple are repeated on today's list. Picking the 'best' or 'worst' books, even when it's only your opinion, is so hard because what constitutes best? Some of these books blew me away with how well they were written, others gave me all the feels but could have been written by a ten year old, others randomly pop into my head several months later, others might have had me professing my love immediately after but I forgot about them 2 weeks later, others I would recommend but wouldn't read again.. it's hard, y'all. But I tried.


The best books this year

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay - I loved this book so much and I couldn't even really tell you why. 
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - besides the fact that I am unnaturally obsessed with all things Royal, I just loved this book. It was like 'squeeee' inducing.
The Martian by Andy Weir - I've talked about this book so much I should really just shut up about it. But I loved it, especially because I didn't expect to, and don't you love when that happens?
Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot by Liana Moriarty - I loved Big Little Lies, it was so interesting and captivating, I stayed up to finish it. What Alice Forgot was so different but just as captivating and I loved it so much, Plus, Australia.
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - This is one of those books that I don't 100% remember after reading it several months ago, except I remember the feelings I had whilst reading it, and they were such good feelings.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - this series sucked me in, loved it. Hate that it isn't finished.
Easy by Tammara Webber - This book had so many great reviews that I was a little hesitant to start it, but it blew all my expectations out of the water. Loved it.
Winter by Marissa Meyer - It's very rare that a series ends as well as this one did. I will read anything Meyer writes.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - so many emotions.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - this book was fabulous and I loved it. But holy mackerel, it was long.
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall - this book was not very good, I'll be honest, but it was adorable I just loved it, and that's all you can really ask for in a book.


Runner up reads



Still Alice - Lisa Genova - this book was just straight up heartbreaking.
Dumplin by Julie Murphy - I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - I haven't read a lot of Picoult's books but dang, she can write a good one.
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson - love a good regency romance.
One Plus One by JoJo Moyes - Moyes can do no wrong in my eyes. This wasn't what I was expecting, which made me love it even more.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - this book was weird.. it was good, really good, but in some parts it was boring. Overall it was quite heartbreaking, but beautiful.


Disappointing reads 
(they weren't bad, they were just disappointing for some reason or another)


We Were Liars by E Lockhart
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Lizzy & Jane and The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay.


Wish I hadn't read these

Station Eleven, The Sisters of Versailles and Spelled.



Feel free to disagree or share yours!

53 comments:

  1. i thought about adding my list of worst of the year as well, but ended up not doing it. overall I had a pretty good year for reading. just like you some books just disappointed me and others i really wish i would have just put down and not finished. I read What Alice Forgot last year so i couldn't add it to my list, but I loved it too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I listened to Outlander in 2014 and re-listened to it this summer. On audiobook format, it comes in at nearly 33 hours, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm interested in the next one in the series, Dragonfly in Amber, but it is close to 40 hours long! I must be suffering from commitment issues right now, because I am having the hardest time committing to something that long.

    Interesting list. I will be adding a few of these to my TBR list.

    Have a wonderful New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm seriously re-reading The Royal We again right now as we speak. It's just SO cute! And I have to agree with you on We Were Liars. Just ehhh. <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've read most of your picks good and bad, Station Eleven was such a huge disappointment for me too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. what a great roundup! i think i have almost all of your fav picks in my wishlist on amazon haha. i just need to get on it already. :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

    ReplyDelete
  6. We do legitimately share *some* similar views (One Plus One, Sea, Liane Moriarity, etc.)...however, I just finished Outlander and thought it was nearly insufferable. I'm convinced we might be the most different people in the world when it comes to what books we love. Are you going to read the (several) sequels?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really enjoyed the Royal We and you were the first one to recommend it to me so thank you!!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love that Sea of tranquility is STILL going around - That was my favorite read from last year... I love a book with staying power.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Haha so I think that I hated The Martian while you loved it, and I loved Station Eleven while you hated it! Everything else, I think that we 100% agree on! I seriously cannot get enough of Liane Moriarty and could read her books all day every day! When I read your list of your favorite books of all time, I immediately added Sea of Tranquility, so hopefully I'll be able to read it, along with the Throne of Glass series, next year! Nightingale is one that I have selected for Erin's Book Challenge, so I'm glad that everybody loves it! So many books, so little time!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Funny that I only read books on your disappointing list! I agree that they weren't goood at all, so I'll have to check out your favorites. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Okay, so I wrote down a few on your list to see if my library has them available because I'm 1 book shy of 50 for the year. Hoping they have them!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Totally agree on the Blume and Station Eleven.

    My list is sort of like yours - some are on there because they're well written and some are on there because I like them and I can't really tell you why, some because I felt so many things reading them. This mix is why I like real people lists over NYT best of lists - sometimes books that are really well written really suck and sometimes books that leave a little to be desired in the writing arena are great. I loved a lot on yours!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just finished The Royal We a couple of days ago and was so sad for it to end! I've got my fingers crossed for a sequel or a movie ;) Loved all of the Liane Moriarty books I've read this year, too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I really want to read The Sea of Tranquility because you're one of several bookworms I've seen who loved it. I've had Outlander on my list forever, but the length completely intimidates me every single time. Also, I think I've said this before, but it makes me really happy that you also didn't like We Were Liars. I will never understand what all the hype was about!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. So I know all I ever bug you about is the Lunar series now, but I was curious have you read Fairest and Stars Above too? The kind of add ons to the series? Just wondering since now that I finished Winter I'm at a loss... I can't wait to add a bunch of these other books to my must read list! I've been wanting to read the Martian forever and it's always has a million holds at the library.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hated Station Eleven! I'm glad I'm not the only one! I wasn't a fan of Still Alice! I think I liked the idea of it more than the actual book. I'll have my review of it up tomorrow if you're interested :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've only been hearing amazing things about Station Eleven! I'm so glad I saw a few people mention it wasn't as great as everyone was making it out to be... I may have to remove it from my "to read" list.

      Delete
  17. One Plus One was SO GOOD. It was on my long list for favorites, like I Am the Messenger and Trust No One. Glad to see some of my favorites on here, too!

    Totally agree with books connecting with you for reasons you can't understand or explain (I even mention this is my post today).

    ReplyDelete
  18. Totally agree to the Station 11, what a waste of time! I love Liana Moriarty, her books always suck me in I love them.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I see you have a love for Liana Moriarty and Jo Jo Moyes as well :) We have very similar reading styles! I even posted today about how much We Were Liars was a let down. We read it for my bookclub and it really wasn't a crown pleaser at all!

    Amanda
    AnchoredtoSunshine.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love your book reviews! Now I have a whole new list of books to check out, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey avid book reader...I was curious if you read "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." Was thinking of getting it. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your book posts always are some of my favorites because my reading list always grows after! I loved The Royal We (let's face it - who didn't?), and I have quite a few of these on my reading list for 2016!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ooh, I love this list and am so glad to have it for reference. I thought I would pick up reading again over winter break and so far that hasn't happened, as I've opted for quality cinematic experiences, such as Burlesque with Cher and Christina Aguilera. However, from your list I'm so glad you loved Big Little Lies and Outlander! I loved those too.

    ReplyDelete
  24. after this series today on blogs, I have so many books to choose from! Super impressed by all you serial reader girls.

    ReplyDelete
  25. All of your reading is so great. Another thing I want to improve upon in 2016! If only I didn't have to read stupid textbooks, ugh! Definitely saving a few of these for my list to read though!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Out of all of these I've only read The Martian, The Storyteller, and We Were Liars. The Martian and The Storyteller were sooo good. I liked We Were Liars at the time but when I think to it now I'm more 'meh' about it. Soo many of these I want to read though!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well, we're only sharing Still Alice this time around. Some of these are still on my TBR though.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The Martian, Big Little Lies, Sea of Tranquility....epic reads that I think pretty much all of us enjoyed!!!

    I have Outlander on my list for next month!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great idea for a post but I don't know how to come up with my best and worst now. I remember them all for different reasons. I'll see if I can come up with a post.

    ReplyDelete
  30. We have some of the same, and if I had done a linkup the year I read The Storyteller I would absolutely have added it to the best of the year list. (Now that I think about it, did I leave off Leaving Time!? I think I started it at the end of last year... maybe I finished it around Christmas... who knows!?) I'm glad to see all these year-in-books recaps because even if I read the book posts earlier this year, I'm still adding titles to my list today. If it makes a best-of list, it's worth adding to my TBR list :) Sea of Tranquility is one that I've been putting off for ages and I have no idea why. I have it on Kindle (from you, I believe) and I think I'll go ahead and start it as soon as I finish what I'm reading now.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I've read many of the books on your best list. Outlander has been sitting on my bookshelf forever. I started it once and then stopped. I still have to read the second in the Meyer series and The Royal We has been on my to read list for awhile. Agree with your disappointing reads for We Were Liars and In the Unlikely Event.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I just bookmarked this post (pun not intended) for when I don't have to spend all my time breastfeeding and diaper changing! I would really love to have a moment to read a book and relax again! Henry starts preschool again the first week in Jan. and I'm just over here counting the days down to more free time... #badmommy

    ReplyDelete
  33. The Royal We was one of my favorite reads this year too, it had me hooked just from the cover alone <3

    Green Fashionista

    ReplyDelete
  34. One of my gal friends sent me Outlander but I just cannot get into it! She said to watch the television series first, ha!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Love your suggestions! A 2016 resolution of mine is to read more :)

    -Caroline Voigt
    shopqotc.com
    thequeenoftehcloset.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I need to take this list with me to the library! Great suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I need to read the Royal We...I have only heard great things about it! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Did you read The Piper's Son yet? Can't remember but you must.
    As I must read Dumplin'.
    Burial Rites...so tragically beautiful.
    I will forever remember our snapchat about The Nightingale.

    ReplyDelete
  39. i loved the royal we. that was one of the few books i actually read this year, and it was so worth it!! thanks for sharing your hits and misses!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot have been on my reading list for so long!!! I really need to move those up on my list. These are great reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm working through my "To Read" pile slowly but surely. I haven't read a single book on this list, so I've got a LOT of work to do. Currently reading The Radleys (Matt Haig), Lunar Park (Brett Easton Ellis), The Looking Glass House (Vanessa Tait -- I think you'd like this one), and after that I'm gonna go back and reread Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books. Have you read those? I think you'd dig 'em.

    ReplyDelete
  42. My sister gave me All Falls Down for the plane ride home and it has definitely already caught my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I haven't read the new Judy Blume book, but I've heard not great things about it from several people. Bummer that it was so disappointing! I have several of these books on my to-read list already, but that Edenbrooke one sounds cute! I'm adding it as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My "worst of the year" list would be hard to track down because it would mostly be books I didn't finish. I didn't realize it at the time, but In the Unlikely Event of was actually making me feel gloomy and depressed (coincidental? not sure?) and when I finished it, my entire world felt happier. What a weird book. Love your picks, of course!!!!

      Delete
  45. I have Alittle Something coming in the mail. I'm breaking down and going to read the Cinder and Throne series because fairy tales and kick butt females. Still Alice was definitely a runner up for me too! I was a sobbing mess with that book. The whole reason I haven't read Outlander is because of the length. Are you going to read the others in the series?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Can't say I've read any of those books. 'Easy' and 'What Alice Forgot' are two books I'm going to look into. They seem right up my alley.

    ReplyDelete
  47. great list! updating my reading list now :)
    xo jillian - cornflake dreams

    ReplyDelete
  48. The Martian, Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot we're all on my list too!!! I have got to get on the lunar chronicles!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Just so you know, I totally pinned this so I can go back and find great books to read. I really enjoyed Big LIttle Lies, so I'm definitely going to try What Alice forgot. I'm also in the middle of the The girl on the train :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. I agree that it was really hard to narrow down the absolute best books of the year. I tried to give myself some "rules" because I knew I didn't want to have a list of 25 books when I only read 59. Haha.

    And the thing about raving about a book and then forgetting about it a couple of weeks later? I realized that was true for some books that I initially would have put on the list (which is why they were honorable mentions or not mentioned at all).

    The Sea of Tranquility and Big Little Lies made it onto my list … I just loved both of those so much (and for very different reasons)!

    I picked The Martian and The Nightingale for a couple of categories in Erin's book challenge, so those are going to the top of my "To Read" list. Everyone seems to love both of these books, so I'm really excited to read them!

    I like that you shared your least favorites as well. I considered that briefly, but decided I didn't want to waste any time on them. If I really don't like a book, I feel like I rant about it enough in my initial review to last a lifetime. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  51. The Sea of Tranquility was so good. I am reading The Martian for Erin's book challenge and Dumplin is on my list too!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your comment! I reply to my comments via email, but I can't do that if you are a no-reply blogger.