My favourite books of 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 Permalink

Sharing my favourite books of 2015 is no easy task. It doesn’t just involve a search on Goodreads for my 4-5 star reads. Although that (ahem) may have been my starting point. 🙂

Anyone who follows me (on Goodreads) knows my 5 star reviews are as common as my dates. Well, more so actually because it seems I’ve given five this year—although on closer inspection four of those were 4.5 star reviews (and the only five star novel was actually published in 2014!). #Inrelatednews, does anyone else hate that Goodreads doesn’t allow us to give half-stars?

Anyhoo… last year I’d planned to talk about my 10 favourite books of 2014, but when it came down to it I had 8 clear winners.

After great analysis I’ve come up against a similar dilemma this year. There have been a few obvious favourites (which have stayed with me, long after I’ve finished) with a stack of others, chomping at their heels. So, my list (alphabetically, by author) is short and sweet.

1. Memory Man by David Baldacci
I’m excited by what seems to be a new series by Baldacci. I have a major crush on Amos Decker, a former cop-turned-PI who (through a football injury when younger) has the ability to remember EVERYTHING. When we first meet him he’s hit rock bottom after the murder of his family and clawing his way back.
Why it’s here: the fabulous character Baldacci’s created. 

Memory Man

2. Fall by Candice Fox
When I read and reviewed this earlier this month I had no idea it was the final book in a trilogy. It ends with a bang and in a very dark place. I probably would have felt sick with equal amounts of exhilaration and frustration had I known there was to be no more.
Why it’s here: its plot and characters. It’s gritty and kinda shocking.

fall by candice fox

3. Tennison by Lynda La Plante
It was great to meet the young Jane Tennison in this prequel to the popular series (and TV series) set in 1972. Jane’s not only fighting the baddies, but also grappling with changing societal norms and a very sexist police and judicial service.
Why it’s here: the character of Jane (and those around her) and the setting in which LaPlante’s placed her.


4. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
Lee’s first book is seen by many to be a poor cousin to (its first-published prequel) To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s poorly edited and rambling but there are glimpses of the Scout we come to know and love in TKAM. I adored those elements and remain impressed that Lee took on such complex and fraught issues. Parts are beautifully written and/but I can see why the publishers pushed her to give them something from Scout’s childhood instead of going with this.
Why it’s here: Scout’s voice and Lee’s writing. 

go set a watchman by harper lee

5. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
This book is probably one of the most underrated books of the year. It’s true it eventually peters into a more typical psychological thriller but the twist midway through is probably one of the best I’ve encountered. Ever.
Why it’s here: its fabulously set up plot twist.

I let you go by Clare Mackintosh

6. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
This dystopian mindf*ck needed to be included because it’s the sort of book you finish and need to talk about straight away. It was only when I did so I discovered I’d taken the story very literally (not getting the whole apocalyptic thing) but it played havoc with my logic-loving mind nonetheless.
Why it’s here: beautifully written and ridiculously clever.

the natural way of things

I should mention that there were many MANY books I could add… and I won’t even add any examples as I am loath to choose. You’ll note this post reflects MY favourite books of the year… so is missing some popular reads such as The Girl on the Train.

I should also mention that—if I could be bothered—I’d amend last year’s list to add Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep, which was actually my favourite read this year… although it was published in 2014.

Last year one of my friends called me the ‘queen of the 3 star reviews’ as anything else was a rarity. I’ve noted I’ve given a lot more 4 star reviews this year and think that’s because I’m reading a wider variety of novels. Check out my Goodreads profile, or just have a look through the books I’ve reviewed on the blog.

Tell me, do you agree with my list? What’s on yours?

NB. The link to my full review is in the book’s title.

  • Tea Time with Marce
    December 16, 2015

    I am very pleased I followed you. I have seen I Let you Go a few times and have added to my 2016 TBR list. I can’t wait to get back to blogging again. Happy Holidays.

    • Debbish
      December 16, 2015

      Thanks Marce… I’m supposedly on a blogging break but have posted twice this week. However… it’s kinda nice not feeling like I HAVE to post. I’m also doing minimal blog reading which usually takes up a lot of my time!

  • Kate W
    December 16, 2015

    It annoys the hell out of me that Goodreads doesn’t have a half star!

    Apart from The Natural Way of Things (which will also make my Top 10 for 2015 list), I haven’t read any of the books you’ve listed! Go Set a Watchman is in my TBR stack but after reading such mixed reviews, I’m not sure if I want to sully the TKAM experience.

    I’m intrigued by I Let You Go.

    • Debbish
      December 16, 2015

      I Let You Go has some of the best ratings I’ve seen on Goodreads – well, it did when I read it and I don’t think that’s changed.

      I know what you mean about Go Set A Watchman. Thankfully I read it before I’d seen reviews or I might not have started, but once I started I was hooked. And kinda shocked as it paints a very different picture of Atticus!

  • readingwritingandriesling
    December 16, 2015

    Loved the Tension book and I have I Let You Go – sitting here…and The Natural Way Of Things – I need more time to read.

    • Debbish
      December 16, 2015

      Read I Let You Go and tell me what you think!

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    December 16, 2015

    Memory Man will be on my favorite list for the year too. I’ve got to decide how I am going to put it together this year. I want to read I Let You Go.

    • Debbish
      December 16, 2015

      It’s bizarrely challenging to put together the list isn’t it Nise’? I have a dozen or so which scored a 4 or so on Goodreads, but ultimately I went with my gut and those that ‘stayed’ with me in some way.

  • Char
    December 17, 2015

    How have I read none on your list? That will definitely have to be rectified once I get through The Lake House – which is taking forever because I just can’t keep my eyes open at night.

    • Debbish
      December 17, 2015

      And it’s very long…. hope you’re enjoying it!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    December 17, 2015

    Great. A post I can stick on my favourites bar and refer to when needed. The Girl on the Train was one of my favourites this year too.

    • Debbish
      December 17, 2015

      Yes it was one of the 4.5 stars from me I think but when I think back to it I was a bit too dissatisfied with the last part of the book. Although I rarely see movies based on books (if I’ve read the book) I’ll actually see that one if it comes to fruition as I’m keen to see what they make of Rachel’s character – how she’s portrayed, how likeable / sympathetic they make her etc…

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