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Chit Chat About Books > Best & Worst Books of 2015

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments We've done it for the previous years and it's always fun to see what people have loved and hated over the year so I thought we'd do it again. Let us know what your 5 best and 5 worst books were of 2015!

I can hear my TBR shouting at me in anticipation of the books I'm going to be adding as a result of this thread.


message 2: by Lisa (last edited Dec 30, 2015 02:58PM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments BEST:

1) The Absolutist (this was the first book I read in 2015 and nothing has bettered it all year)
2) Heir of Novron
3) Ship of Magic
4) Affinity
5) The Forgotten Garden

Honourable mentions: Outlander (this was a reread), To Kill a Mockingbird, The House at Riverton, The Little White Horse (also a reread).

WORST:

1) We Were Liars (this has got to be a contender for the worst book I have ever read, not just this year! I thought it was bloody awful!)
2) The Buried Giant
3) Jackaby
4) Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story
5) Flowers in the Attic


message 3: by Peggy, Moderator (last edited Dec 01, 2015 04:35AM) (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15087 comments Huh? Where did that overview go of all your read books sorted by rating?


Favourite (in random order)
The Invention of Wings
The Song of Achilles
The House at Riverton
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
The Crown Tower / The Rose and the Thorn
I have so few 5-star reads this year. Only the ones above.

Least favourite (in random order)
The Ship of Brides
Cold Sassy Tree
Something Wicked This Way Comes
These are my 2-star books, and there are many with 3 stars but I don't I can pick 2 of those that were my least favourite.


message 4: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 17067 comments Your profile > Stats > Details (click this at 2015)


message 5: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15087 comments Thanks! I never knew that was there. I stumble upon the stats page every now and then with no clue of how I got there, but always when I need it I have no idea how to find it. But now I do!


message 6: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 17067 comments Yay! I stare at the book pages read bit a lot.

I'm going to hold off on this for a bit. I just have December reading to go. I know I'm not going to read the 10 books I want to read, but there may be some good ones in there... or some doozies...


message 7: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments I woulf have to look over my books but I kbow without looking my worst read was Gateway supposed to be some great feat of sci fi and won loads if awards back in the day. I thought it was absolute crap.


message 8: by Camilla (new)

Camilla | 1995 comments Best
The Martian
The Giver and the third book in the series, Messenger (haven't read the fourth one yet)
Ender's Game
Earth Girl (the rest of the series was 4-stars)

Worst
Persuasion
Dawn
All's Well That Ends Well
3 Days
The Silence


message 9: by Stephanie (last edited Dec 01, 2015 03:59AM) (new)

Stephanie Woohoo!! Here we go!! I'm happy to report that I only had three 2 star books this year!!

(In random order)

5 Best

The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog
The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden
The Book Thief
Suspect ( I may have hugged this book when I was done, it was such a great story!!)
A Three Dog Life

5 worst

Travels with Casey (this one deserves negative stars it was so awful!!)
The Hobbit
Life of Pi
Armada (a 3 star read for me, I just didn't like it as much as Ready Player One)
The Secret Keeper


message 10: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 17067 comments Camilla wrote: "Worst
Persuasion"


Interesting. A lot of my friends list this as their favourite Austen ever.

The thing I love about these threads is that there is no right or wrong, but a lot of "Ooohhhh, really?!"


message 11: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 17067 comments Travis of NNY wrote: "I woulf have to look over my books but I kbow without looking my worst read was Gateway supposed to be some great feat of sci fi and won loads if awards back in the day. I thought it ..."

I just read your review and spat my wine.


message 12: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Yes I'm getting the "Ooh, really?"'s. We're such a diverse bunch.

Lots of dog reads in your top 5 there Stephanie :-)

Great review Travis. I'll be staying well clear of that one. Did you actually finish it?

I'm holding off a week or two before I add my list. I need to think about it some plus I'm wondering where my current read will sit.


message 13: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments Sorry Rusalka. Yes I finished it. It was a short book during the toppler. If it wasnt a toppler forget it.


message 14: by Teanka (new)

Teanka Travis of NNY wrote: "I woulf have to look over my books but I kbow without looking my worst read was Gateway supposed to be some great feat of sci fi and won loads if awards back in the day. I thought it was absolute crap."

Well to each their own. The whole cycle (5 books) is among my all time favourites, and I don't think it's such crap objectively speaking since 36% rated it 5 stars and only 1% of readers rated it 1 star with a 4.06 GR average :). Sometimes some books just disagree with us, and that's it.


message 15: by Camilla (new)

Camilla | 1995 comments Rusalka wrote: "Interesting. A lot of my friends list this as their favourite Austen ever. "

Yes, but I don't like classics in general and Austen even less. I just needed it for a challenge, so poor Austen suffered a bad rating due to that, LOL! I sometimes think I maybe should not rate books that I am forced to read only because they are needed for a challenge, when their genre is something I really don't like, like classics, plays and comics.


message 16: by Rusalka, Moderator (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 17067 comments Indeed Teanka, different strokes for different folks. Makes for spirited arguments ;)


message 17: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments Yup. For instance The Hobbit is my favoritest book of all time hands down. I've read, reread and listened to it amd will many more times. But it just didn't look to click with Stephanie. I also love Sonething Wicked and have read that several times and listened to it but it didn't work for Peggy


message 18: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15087 comments I was just about to mention Something Wicked Travis. I'm pretty sure it will end up in the top 5 of some people here (I know many people loved it when we did the group read), but just not for me.

I have to say that 'worst' books also sounds very bad, like they are books I hated. That's not the case, they were just my least favourite of the year. If I had hated them I wouldn't have finished them and they for sure wouldn't have gotten 2 stars.


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Camilla wrote: "Yes, but I don't like classics in general and Austen even less."

I am not the biggest fan of Jane Austen either Camilla. I have read three of her books so far and the only one I have enjoyed is Northanger Abbey and that only just scraped a 4 star rating.


message 20: by Lisa (last edited Dec 01, 2015 05:49AM) (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Most of my 'least favourite' books of the year were rated 2 stars. The only one that got a 1 star rating was We Were Liars which I genuinely hated.


message 21: by Peggy, Moderator (new)

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15087 comments I attempted a Jane Austen book once, either Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility, but never got much further than the first few chapters. I gave it away.


message 22: by Camilla (new)

Camilla | 1995 comments I don't usually hate a book, I just don't like them. It's more like I suffer mildly when reading a book I don't like. E.g. bad and careless editing is an issue that almost automatically results in a low rating from me, even if the story itself would be fairly okay.


message 23: by Camilla (last edited Dec 01, 2015 05:42AM) (new)

Camilla | 1995 comments Lisa wrote: "Camilla wrote: "I am not the biggest fan of Jane Austen either Camilla. I have read three of her books so far and the only one I ha..."

Hmmm, yes, I seem to have given Northanger Abbey a whopping two stars, so I guess I liked it 100% better than Persuasion, LOL!


message 24: by Teanka (new)

Teanka Lisa wrote: "Camilla wrote: "Yes, but I don't like classics in general and Austen even less."

I am not the biggest fan of Jane Austen either Camilla. I have read three of her books so far and the only one I ha..."


Heh that's the one I read about 30% of and couldn't read on :). It would have been 2 stars if I finished, probably. I like classics in general and I gave 5 stars to Pride and Prejudice. Ah well.

My worst book this year was Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami (the only 1 star)
and from the 2 star books the worst ones were:
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
Where Tigers Are at Home by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès,
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
and At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. I'm sure all of them have their admirers:)

I had 26 5 stars reads this year so far (I hope I'll read more :) so it's hard to choose only five but if I had to, I'd choose (in no particular order):
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante,
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara,
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison,
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
and The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick,
with honourable mentions: City of Stairs, 1984, and In the Night Garden.


message 25: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments Maybe Least Favourite would be a better term than worst.


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Camilla wrote: "Hmmm, yes, I seem to have given Northanger Abbey a whopping two stars, so I guessed I liked it 100% better than Persuasion, LOL!"

Lol! At least there was some improvement! ;)


message 27: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Lisa wrote: "Most of my 'least favourite' books of the year were rated 2 stars. The only one that got a 1 star rating was We Were Liars which I genuinely hated."

Lisa, I didn't like this one either, it was bad. I forget what I rated it but not higher than a 2 for sure.


message 28: by Camilla (new)

Camilla | 1995 comments Lisa wrote: "Camilla wrote: "Hmmm, yes, I seem to have given Northanger Abbey a whopping two stars, so I guessed I liked it 100% better than Persuasion, LOL!"

Lol! At least there was some improvement! ;)"


Well, actually not, since I've read Northanger Abbey earlier than Persuasion, so it's a downward slide I guess. Not that I can get anymore much lower than one star.


message 29: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3110 comments I'm one of those that LOVES Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey is awesome, too. But don't get me started on Emma. For me, it's a one-star book. 400+ pages about nosy and self-centered neighbors.

My best books of 2015:
Heart of a Samurai
Letters to a Young Gymnast
The Castle Behind Thorns
In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Sylvester or The Wicked Uncle

My least favorite books of 2015:
The Eden Factor
As the Last Petal Falls
Keeping Secrets
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
A Quarter-Back's Pluck A Story of College Football


message 30: by Sandra (last edited Dec 01, 2015 06:37AM) (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9422 comments As always, it's so hard to choose...


5 Best

A Fine Balance (10 or 12 stars actually)
The Martian
Gone Girl
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Millennium series #1 and #2 (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire)

special mention: Dracula because I wasn't expecting, in a million years, such a good book.

5 least favorite

The House at Tyneford (the only 1 star this year)
The Bridges of Madison County
Snow Hunters
The Bees
Cheat River Three

I also read many great picture books and middle grade books.


message 31: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments AJ Filkry will be in my favorites as well


message 32: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9422 comments Travis of NNY wrote: "AJ Filkry will be in my favorites as well"

It's the perfect balance between funny and touching, IMO.


message 33: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Lanelle wrote: "I'm one of those that LOVES Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey is awesome, too. But don't get me started on Emma. For me, it's a one-star book. 400+ pages about n..."

Emma is my least favourite Austen too Lanelle. I gave it 2 stars but I think I was being generous.


message 34: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments I gave Colorless Tsukuru 5 stars Teanka. Curious I compared books with you and most of the books we have both read were rated similar or same. Seems Gateway and Colorless Tsukuru are the 2 we grestly disagreed on and just happened to mention in this thread


message 35: by Teanka (new)

Teanka Travis of NNY wrote: "I gave Colorless Tsukuru 5 stars Teanka. Curious I compared books with you and most of the books we have both read were rated similar or same. Seems Gateway and Colorless Tsukuru are the 2 we grest..."

That's funny:)

The other discrepancies would be your 2 star rating of For Whom the Bell Tolls which was a 5 star read for me, even though I read it quite a while ago, I have to admit. Do you generally like Murakami? I liked the first book I read by him, Norwegian Wood, quite a lot. But right now I think he's repetitive to the point of autoplagiarism. Hence the 1 star, and I'm not reading any more of his books. But that's just how I feel about it, some people love every book he writes and would like him to win a Nobel prize :).


message 36: by Kristie, Moderator (last edited Dec 01, 2015 07:06AM) (new)

Kristie | 13591 comments My 5 Best:
The Nightingale
One Plus One
Necessary Lies
Dust
Yellow Crocus

My 5 Worst:
The Snow Queen
Accidents of Marriage
The Color Purple
Each of these was a 2 star read for me. I had no 1 star reads this year! The rest of my books were 3 stars+. Good year for me. :)


message 37: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48767 comments I'm going to cheat the instructions and list a series as one of my favourite reads.

Top 5 favourite reads:
The Dark Tower Series
Finders Keepers
Neverwhere
Red Seas Under Red Skies
The Rose and the Thorn

Least Favourite reads:
Shady Palms
The Colour of Magic
Blackberry Wine
Crestmont
Life After Life


message 38: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13591 comments Life After Life was on my worst books for last year, Janice. I couldn't finish that one.

I also loved Finders Keepers. I debated putting it as one of my top 5 this year. It's so difficult to choose.


message 39: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments Janice you cheated by putting the whole dark tower series. I was trying to choose which books and was at 4 of them. Yeah. I might as well say the series minus the Gunslinger

Teanka, I do enjoy Murakami and yes his books follow a pattern. In this case Norwegian Wood and Cokorless Tsukuru are supposed to be similar to each other. I haven't read Norwegian Wood. But these 2 books are supposed to be different than most his other novels. I always say the Murakami is whichever one you first read. After that the results can get mixed. My first was Kafka on the Shore which is still my favorite while my least favorite has been Wind Up Bird Chronicle where as a lot of people start with Wind Up Bird and loved it. You are also right withFor Whom the Bell Tolls. I am in the minority not liking that. I don't think Hemingways writing style appeals to me


message 40: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Oh yes! Lots of dog books, Sarah! Going through my lists, I didn't realize how many books with dogs I read this year!

Yeah, sorry, Travis. The hobbit definitely did not keep my attention. I finished the book but I got bored reading it. I am loving the Robert Crais books though! Especially Joe Pike :) and of course Suspect was my top favorite this year!


message 41: by KimeyDiann (new)

KimeyDiann | 2174 comments Yep, this thread is going to be very hard on my TBR shelf.

I have 43 5-star books this year, but a lot were re-reads. These were my favorite new reads of this year (and yes, I'm cheating a little bit by listing some entire series).

Favorite Books of 2015:
-The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
-Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
-There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern
-The Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones
-TLOTR by J.R.R. Tolkien (including The Hobbit)

So far I had 7 2-star reads this year and no 1-star. Hopefully that is all of them!

Least Enjoyed Books of 2015:
-Kian by Tijan (I read this one less than three weeks ago and I've already forgotten what it was about!)
-The Last Encore by Julia Butler
-Spice God by C.L. Stone
-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (with the exception of a couple parts, this one should probably have been a 1 star for me)
-No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke
-The Choosing by Jeremy Laszlo (I almost abandoned this one but I kept hoping it would get better... it didn't.)
-After You by Jojo Moyes (this was the book I was most excited about reading this year and it ended up being a HUGE disappointment for me)


message 43: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48767 comments Travis of NNY wrote: "Janice you cheated by putting the whole dark tower series. I was trying to choose which books and was at 4 of them. Yeah. I might as well say the series minus the Gunslinger..."

I figured as long as I stated that I was cheating, I could get away with it. I gave 3, 4 & 7 five stars.


message 44: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48767 comments Kristie wrote: "Life After Life was on my worst books for last year, Janice. I couldn't finish that one."

And here I am starting it's companion book tonight, A God in Ruins.


message 45: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Loved The Art of Racing in the Rain, Roz and KimeyDiann! Such a great book..love Enzo :)


message 46: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13591 comments Janice wrote: "Kristie wrote: "Life After Life was on my worst books for last year, Janice. I couldn't finish that one."

And here I am starting it's companion book tonight, A God in Ruins."


Good luck! I just couldn't handle the repetitiveness of the story, though I've been told it gets so much better if you can hold on through that part. To me, it seemed like it was never ending. Hopefully, A God in Ruins won't have whatever downfalls Life After Life had for you. Let us know how it goes.


message 47: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48767 comments Life after Life explored the choices we have and the different outcomes could happen based on those choices. I think A God in Ruins is more linear, at least I hope so.


message 48: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9422 comments I read part of AGIR (has to paused it because it was due at the library). It comes from 2 or 3 different times in Teddy's life, as many other books do. But other than that, nothing as complicated as LAL.


message 49: by Kirila (new)

Kirila | 612 comments Already added quite a few books to the TBR shelf...

My favorites this year:
The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
The Magician's Nephew
Sh*t My Dad Says
The Angel's Game
The Prisoner of Heaven

My worst:
The Other Queen

The rest were all 3 and 4 stars. I don't feel like any of the 3 stars deserve to be in my "worst" books, so I will leave it at 1. I was also quite stingy with the 5 stars this year (only 5 compared to 10 last year). But I did have a lot of 4-stars, which were still books I really enjoyed.


message 50: by KimeyDiann (new)

KimeyDiann | 2174 comments Stephanie wrote: "Loved The Art of Racing in the Rain, Roz and KimeyDiann! Such a great book..love Enzo :)"

I've already forced one friend to read it and they loved it too. I plan on handing it off to another friend this weekend. It was too great of a book not to share.


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