Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday | Best Books of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week's theme is 'Top Ten Best Books I Read in 2015', and considering how wonderful this past reading year has been I had a lot of books to choose from. There were a few graphic novels I loved this year too, but to make things a little easier for myself I decided to leave them out and just talk about traditional novels instead.

I've put these in the order I read them because I couldn't possibly rank them, although there are one or two that have made it onto my all-time favourite books list!

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent: This is the very first book I read this year, and it started a year of fantastic reading for me. It's a brilliant read for the winter months, so now is a perfect time to pick it up! It'll break your heart, but it's beautifully written.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland: This book made my list because it took me by surprise. I expected to like it - it sounded fun, and I loved the cover - but I flew through it and just loved it. It's such a great urban fantasy read!

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Another one that took me completely by surprise and wrung me out so it could collect all of my emotions in a little tin bucket. This is my favourite book of 2015. There. I said it. It's also a book that I'm desperate for more people to read, because other than my friend Natalie @ A Sea Change I haven't seen any other bloggers talking about it and it's so good. Please read it!

How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis: I was really disappointed when this memoir ended. I just really enjoyed it, and if you're a fan of literary heroines I think you'd like it a lot, too. I know some people aren't keen on non-fiction, but I can promise you that this is a truly excellent memoir.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Yup. I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird this year and I loved it. It's such a shame that Harper Lee never wrote anything else. (Yes, I know there's Go Set a Watchman, but don't let publishers trick you - it's not a sequel, it's basically a manuscript of what To Kill a Mockingbird might have been if her editor hadn't told her to write more about Scout's childhood.) In Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Elizabeth Gilbert talks a little bit about Harper Lee, and how the huge success that was To Kill a Mockingbird made Harper Lee afraid to write anything else because it could never be as good. I wish people didn't ask authors - or anyone in any sort of field - how they're going to 'top' their biggest success. You can't top your biggest success, that's why it's your biggest success, and I hope writers who do well continue to write for their own enjoyment like J.K. Rowling has done.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison: Another book that is one of the very best I've read this year. It's perfection. I've been wary of high fantasy for a couple of years, I found myself struggling to get into it as easily as I used to, but this I adored. I fell into this world and I was genuinely gutted when it was over. Maia is definitely my favourite character of the year.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters: I bloody loved The Little Stranger, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I read that final page. If you like ghost stories, particularly ghost stories set in old houses, you'll like this.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Definitely the best YA book I've read this year, and another one that took me completely by surprise. I knew people were rating it highly but, and I mean this with the greatest respect, I see a lot of readers on Goodreads rate every YA book they read 5 stars, so I was expecting this to be, well, like every other YA book out there. Boy was I wrong. It's so funny and realistic and just a genuinely good book. Loved it!

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: Like Burial Rites, The Miniaturist is another gorgeous historical fiction debut. I loved it a lot, and I can't wait for Burton's next novel, The Muse.

Winter by Marissa Meyer: I couldn't not have this book on my list. It's not my favourite book in The Lunar Chronicles - that's probably Cress - but it did bring to an end one of my favourite series, so I had to include it!

Which books made your list this week?


  1. Simon Vs nearly made my list this week too, just because it was just such an awesome surprised but it was outranked. Great list, happy readings :)

  2. Burial Rites is in my ereader and I hope to get to it in the new year. It's nice to see To Kill a Mockingbird on your list. It is a favorite of mine as well.

  3. I read the Miniaturist too. I didn't like it quite as much as you did, but it was still a good read. I haven't read any of the others on your list, but I have the Lunar Chronicles on my TBR list.

    Here's my Top Ten Tuesday

  4. Can't wait to read Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda!
    Great List!

    My TTT! :D

  5. I loved Burial Rites, and I read TKAM this year too! (It would have gone on my top 10 list, but I excluded re-reads -- oh well.) I love Sarah Waters, and really need to read The Paying Guests. I think I need to check out The Goblin Emperor -- sounds great!

    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

  6. I haven't read any of these, but there are quite a few that are on my TBR list!

    My TTT.

  7. I'm glad to see To Kill a Mockingbird made your list! I read it in high school and really enjoyed it, but I think it would be hard to read it for the first time this year with all the hype around it and the newest release. I really need to reread it soon. I loved Simon too! I've seen him on a lot of lists. Of course Waters is still on my TBR; I'll get to her someday! Great List!
    Thanks for stopping by the The Local Muse

  8. Wonderful list Jess^^ I still need to read Winter but it's going to be my very next read! I can't wait to compare notes with you on it, especially since Cress is currently my favorite of the series too :) The Goblin Emperor and The Miniaturist are both on my tbr shelf, so hopefully I'll get to them soon!

  9. Ah, there are so many awesome books on your list. I adored To Kill A Mockingbird, I'm glad that you enjoyed it too.

  10. I really enjoyed reading To Kill A Mockingbird!! I look forward to reading Go Set A Watchman as well.

    Here's a link to my Top Ten Tuesday post for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-best-books-i.html

  11. I very much want to read How to be a Heroine! So glad to hear you enjoyed it :) My TTT

  12. Awesome list! I want to read the minaturist. It looks amazing. Here is my TTT http://angelerin.blogspot.com/2015/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-ya-novels-i.html?m=0

  13. It's funny, I have Winter on my list for basically the same reason! (Though my fav is still Cinder).
    How to be A Heroine sounds really interesting, I will definitely have to check it out. Same for "The Little Stranger," as I am always in search of a good ghost story. Lovely list :)

    My TTT: http://rlhendrian.blogspot.com/2015/12/ttt-top-10-books-i-read-in-2015.html

  14. I am actually a bit scared to read Winter! I love that series to death, and I really don't want to bid farewell to the characters!

    Here's my list

  15. I know I am in the minority here, but Winter really did not live up to my expectations! I enjoyed Cress and Fairest so much more!

    1. I am in the minority with you. Winter was just not as good to me as it was for others. Cress made it to my Top 10 list though!

  16. I'm so glad you loved TKAM! I'm tempted to read GSAW just because, but I also feel really iffy about it because of the whole scandal surrounding its release. So for now I'm not buying it.

  17. I have seen Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens featured on so many lists. Guess I should get it.

  18. White Trash Zombie sounds like a lot of fun. :)

    Check out my TTT and my current giveaway.

  19. "Burial Rites" has been on my to-read list forever! Maybe I'll follow your lead and make it my first read of 2016! :)