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Book Chat > 2015 Best Book Lists

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message 1: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2298 comments On Sunday, the NY Times provided its list of the 10 best books of 2015 - 5 fiction and 5 nonfiction - http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20.... The 5 fiction picks are rather interesting!

message 2: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2464 comments Thanks, Linda!

message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita | 103 comments My TBR pile keeps growing! I have read a couple of those books, wanted to read a couple and never heard of a couple! The NY Times Book section is also sitting on my TBR pile right now. :)

message 4: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2298 comments I just finished The Door by Magda Szabó, which was one of the 5 fiction books on this top ten list for 2015. It was first published, in Hungarian, in 1987. The first English translation was published in 2005 in the UK. Finally in 2015 it was published in the US. It certainly falls in my top 5 fiction reads of 2015! Thank you NY Times for bringing this haunting book to my attention!

message 5: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2569 comments Mod
Linda, I read The Door a few years ago and it made quite a powerful impression on me - agree that it deserves wider attention.

message 6: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2569 comments Mod
... in fact I have just read Outline (a book for those who savour style and detail, since it has almost no conventional plot), and I read H is for Hawk (which richly deserves the praise it has gathered - I was gripped by it despite having almost no interest in falconry) earlier this year. Unusual to find a list that isn't dominated by books that have to be bought at hardback prices...

message 7: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2567 comments Mod
Some other interesting lists out there:
The BBC's 10 Best Books of 2015:
10. Patti Smith, M Train
9. Tracy K Smith, Ordinary Light
8. Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno
7. Kate Walbert, The Sunken Cathedral
6. Colum McCann, Thirteen Ways of Looking
5. Clarice Lispector, The Complete Stories
4. Jane Smiley, Golden Age
3. Elena Ferrante, The Story of the Lost Child
2. Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles
1. Claire Vaye Watkins, Gold Fame Citrus

LitReactor Staff Picks--The Best Books of 2015

Flavorwire's The Best Fiction of 2015

message 8: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2065 comments Mod
Almost everyone on LitReactor picked A Head Full of Ghosts. It's shown up on almost every list of great weird and/or horror fiction I've seen this year as well. I'm moving it up on the TBR pile.

message 9: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2567 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "Almost everyone on LitReactor picked A Head Full of Ghosts. It's shown up on almost every list of great weird and/or horror fiction I've seen this year as well. I'm moving it up on ..."
I noticed that, too!

message 10: by Maria (new)

Maria Francescon | 2 comments Wow, those must be some fabulous books for this list not to include A Little Life. I am still shell shocked by that book months after reading it...

message 11: by Anita (new)

Anita | 103 comments Maria, I couldn't agree more. "A Little Life" was the best book I read in 2015 for sure. Will be curious to see how some of these others measure up to it for me.

message 12: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2567 comments Mod
I see no reason why this thread can't also include our personal best of 2015 lists. Would be curious to hear what else was top of the charts for you personally, Maria and Anita (and anyone else interested in sharing).

Here's mine in no particular order (these were my favorite reads in 2015 independent of when the books were actually published):
- Elena Ferrante's whole Neapolitan series
- The First Bad Man by Miranda July
- Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
- How to Be Both by Ali Smith
- Civil War Land in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella by George Saunders
- Jerusalem by Goncalo Talvares
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes by Anders Nilsen

message 13: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2569 comments Mod

Nice idea. Since I tend to read things when they come out in paperback, these are the ones I enjoyed most of those I read in 2015 (so a lot of these were published in 2014):

Neel Mukherjee - The lives of others
Siri Hustvedt - The blazing world
Richard Flanagan - The narrow road to the deep north
John Lanchester - Fragrant Harbour
Andrew Greig - At the Loch of the Green Corrie
Penelope Lively - According to Mark
Sebastian Barry - The temporary gentleman
Kamila Shamsie - A God in every stone
Colm Toibin - Nora Webster
Richard Powers - Orfeo

message 14: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2567 comments Mod
Looks like a pretty awesome year of reading, Hugh! I'm glad to see the Flanagan book--that was higher on my TBR list until a couple of friends seemed to struggle with it. Just started The Blazing World yesterday--I think it's going to get high marks from me.

message 16: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2567 comments Mod
10% seems like a pretty great rate to me, Linda. Thanks for the genre breakdown, too!

message 17: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2569 comments Mod
Marc wrote: "10% seems like a pretty great rate to me, Linda. Thanks for the genre breakdown, too!"
Mine are all literary fiction except the Andrew Greig, which is an uncategorisable mixture of nature writing, memoir, poetry and eulogy. I'm glad you are enjoying The Blazing World - I suspect it may be a book that divides opinion but it seemed very original to me - looking forward to next month's discussion. So to complete a top 10 novels, I will agree with Linda and add Ali Smith's How To Be Both, though in some ways I enjoyed her Artful more.

message 18: by Maria (new)

Maria Francescon | 2 comments Really, last year for me was one of those years that one book really stood head and shoulders above the others, and for me it was A Little Life. Her People in the Trees also stays with me in a way most books don't but it didn't draw me in the same way that Jude did in A Little Life.

Some of my other favourites were Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies, Slade House by David Mitchell, and Michel Faber's Book of Strange New Things which I think was from the end of 2014 but has grown on me since I read it. One non-fiction that has also stuck with me is Being Moral by Atul Gawande.

Elena Ferrante and The Door are on my nightstand and I have high hopes for both but I need to read faster!

message 19: by Anita (new)

Anita | 103 comments Maria, you and I share our likes. I thought "Being Morta"l was excellent, too. Others I liked a lot were:

"Between the World and Me" by Coates
"Slade House" by David Mitchell
"Station Eleven," Emily St. John Mandel
"A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman
"Did You Ever Have a Family" by Bill Clegg
"Fates and Furies" by Lauren Goff
"The Buried Giant," Kazuo Ishiguro
"Colorless Tsukuru Taziki and His Years of Pilgrimage" by Haruki Murakami

message 20: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2567 comments Mod
I was disappointed with The Bone Clocks, so I'm glad to hear two strong votes for Slade House above. I've been a little reluctant about Colorless Tsukuru, too, after my experience with IQ84. I'll probably read both author's older stuff before I get to the newest works (Black Swan Green and Ghostwritten have been on my shelf for a couple years now).

message 22: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Violet wrote: "My favourite ten books of the year
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Trieste by Daša Drndić
[book:My Brilliant Friend|1358..."

I loved Behind the Scenes at the Museum when I read it.

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