It’s the last day of 2015 and it’s time to post my annual list of books that I read/listened to! I was actually on track to read closer to 40 books, but then in September I started listened to the last “Outlander” book by Diana Gabaldon – and it took me a month to get through the 40+ hour audiobook. Then in mid-October I started listening to the last book in the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett (another 40+ hour audiobook), and next thing I knew it was the 2nd of December!
This year I wanted to read a wider variety of books, and I think I succeeded. I read/listened to classics by Kurt Vonnegut, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Jane Austen and Harper Lee. I listed to more nonfiction this year than every before, on such subjects as the 1918 flu epidemic, Scientology, the sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, the experience of the US Ambassador to Germany during Hitler’s reign, as well as a book about the importance of using cadavers for scientific research. I read some sci-fi by John Scalzi and Ernest Cline, and cheesy romances and chick lit. Really, I was all over the place, and thoroughly enjoyed my year of reading/listening.
1. Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five Fiction
2. John Scalzi – Fuzzy Nation Fiction
3. Rick Yancey – The Infinite Sea Fiction
4. Lucy Maud Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables Fiction
5. Paula McLain – The Paris Wife Fiction
6. Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird Fiction
7. Amy Poehler – Yes Please Nonfiction
8. Jane Austen – Mansfield Park Fiction
9. John Scalzi – Agent to the Stars Fiction
10. Anne McCaffrey – Dragonflight Fiction
11. Lawrence Wright – Going Clear Nonfiction
12. Brandon Sanderson – Steelheart Fiction
13. Erik Larson – In the Garden of Beasts Nonfiction
14. Sara Mayberry – The Other Side of Us Fiction
15. Janice Kay Johnson – Snowbound Fiction
16. Carine McCandless – The Wild Truth Nonfiction
17. John M Barry – The Great Influenza Nonfiction
18. Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train Fiction
19. Robert Galbraith – The Cuckoo’s Calling Fiction
20. Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere (Abridged) Fiction
21. Ernest Cline – Armada Fiction
22. Benji Smith – Abandoned Ship Nonfiction
23. Merri Hiatt – 14 Love Letter Lane Fiction
24. Diana Gabaldon – Written in My Heart’s Own Blood Fiction
25. Garth Stein – A Sudden Light Fiction
26. Catherine Kean – My Lady’s Treasure Fiction
27. Rita Herron – Sleepless in Savannah Fiction
28. Karen White – The Sound of Glass Fiction
29. Ken Follett – Edge of Eternity Fiction
30. Jane Smiley – Some Luck Fiction
31. Mary Roach – Stiff Nonfiction
My picks for the year are as follows:
Best Fiction: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi. I love him and this redo of a popular old sci-fi book was really well done. It helps that the audiobook was read by the always amazing Wil Wheaton.
Best Nonfiction: Going Clear by Lawrence Wright. I didn’t see the HBO documentary that was based on the book, but BOY HOWDY are those Scientologists a bunch of wackos. For real. I’m hosting book club in a few months, and am seriously considering have this be my book.
Worst Fiction: 14 Love Letter Lane. Chick lit romance that was a bit ol’ waste of time.
Worst Nonfiction: I guess if I had to pick one, it would be Abandoned Ship, which was written by someone who experienced the Costa Concordia cruise ship sinking firsthand. It wasn’t the best-written book, but it wasn’t horrible. It was a Kindle freebie, and I was glad it was free.
This year I’m debating doing one of those reading challenges you can find online where you read an old book, a new book, a book recommended by someone else, a book in a genre you’d never choose, etc. I kind of did that this year – there is no rhyme or reason to the books listed for 2015.
What did you read this year? Any book recommendations for me?