Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is:
Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015
I have read some amazing books this year, so this was a hard list to make. In no particular order, other than the way I remembered them…
- The Life & Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North – I absolutely loved this book. I was surprised at how much it touched me because I don’t tend to read contemporary fiction that often. I just thought the idea of multiple narrators who are all trying to share their perception of someone who never gets a voice in a book about their own life (and death) was wonderfully different and inspired. Sophie is such an interesting character, and it was neat to see how each person in her life experienced a different side of her personality.
- Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher – This was another really different read for me. I can’t wait to be able to share it with my customers at work. Written entirely in letters from a tenured English professor, this book made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions. It was a short and engaging read, and I could totally see some of my former professors writing letters like these. I’m so glad I took a chance on this book when I saw a review of it a few months ago.
- The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens – I wasn’t sure about this book at the beginning because it seemed to fall into the “family drama” genre that hasn’t been good to me before. Instead I found myself drawn into a tale of survival, unconditional love, and self discovery. I was also shocked to find that I actually cared about some of the characters that I had originally written off as being totally unlikable. I haven’t had a chance to read more from this author yet, but she’s on my radar now.
- Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – It’s so sad to me that Kent Haruf passed away just as I found his books. I really enjoyed this sweet tale of two older people finding each other and connecting on a level that the their family and friends just couldn’t understand. I was lucky enough to find a signed copy of one of his earlier books while digging through some bargain copies at work. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s in TBR mountain for when I have some free time.
- Orphan Number Eight by Kim van Alkemade – This book was really heart-wrenching, and I found myself constantly going back and forth between wanting the main character to do harm to another and thinking that it wasn’t a good idea. There were confusing moments that finally came together at the very end, and a character that I initially thought the worst of ended up being a wonderfully caring person that was just being misrepresented. It’s unfortunate that the blurb for the book shares too much and doesn’t focus on the best parts of the book.
- The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan – When I saw this book on Netgalley I was instantly drawn to the cover. Then when I found out that it was about a dystopian water world circus troop I was completely sold. This book is so beautiful and has so many interesting characters. The opening scene is so vivid, and sets the tone for the rest of the book as you discover how the two main characters lives continue to be drawn together. Although there are many narrators in this book, it is easy to follow and leaves you wanting to know more about everyone who plays a role in this tale.
- A Robot In the Garden by Deborah Install – I am really glad I gave this book a chance, even when a trusted fellow bookseller and reader said that she didn’t think it was very good. This story needs to be appreciated for what it is, and not underestimated for what it isn’t. The author doesn’t do a lot of world building in this book, even though there is room for it, but that isn’t the point. This book is about the relationships that are built between Ben, Tang, and all the other people in their adventure. This is science fiction for people who don’t usually read science fiction.
- Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone – This is another book that I knew I needed to read as soon as possible. I love reading about mental health issues, and I was very interested to find out how this story would end. It sounded very high school drama-y in that the “cool” girl meets an “uncool” girl and they become friends but have to hide it from everyone else. It was all going the way I expected until I was totally thrown for a loop. There is a major plot twist in here that I really wasn’t expecting, and that doesn’t happen very often. I’m tempted to re-read this book knowing what I know, just to see if there were hints along the way.
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman – I talk about this book a lot, and I think it’s because it touched me so much. The main character is so similar in temperament to my husband and to my late stepfather. I didn’t go into reading this with that in mind, but very early on I could see the similarities. I just love how Ove becomes something more than just the grumpy old man down the street without really changing, and how everyone in the book learns to understand him even though he is so bad at expressing his feelings.
- Mosquitoland by David Arnold – This is another book about mental health, and once again I was drawn in by interesting and quirky characters and the unique style of writing. I enjoyed all the diary entires that were mixed in to this book, and as details of Mim’s story are revealed so many of her thoughts and actions become more understandable. There is also a fairly diverse cast in this book, which made me quite happy.
So which books have you read this year that you can’t stop talking about? Have you read any of these books yet?