My Favorite Books of 2015 (and those I regret not reading…yet)


2015 was a terrific year for fiction by women. I say that based on my own reading, along with reviews and word of mouth among people whose judgment I trust. There were more books on my TBR list this year than ever before, but I didn’t make nearly as much progress as I’d hoped because I returned to teaching English full-time (five classes, 125 students) after a year on a temporary administrative assignment. So my time available for reading and blogging plummeted starting in August.

This is a very idiosyncratic list, based on what I managed to read. That’s why the title is “My Favorite Books,” not “The Best Books” of 2015. Most of the books were published in 2015, but a few are from 2014 that I read this year and which also came out in paperback this year, giving them a second (and usually better) chance to find an audience.

Reviews are in alphabetical order by author.

Click on the link to see my review.

The Enchanted

The Enchanted — Rene Denfeld (Harper Perennial)

Louisa Meets Bear

Louisa Meets Bear — Lisa Gornick (Sarah Crichton Books)

Black River

Black River — S.M. Hulse (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) — review to come next week

The Tusk That Did the Damage

The Tusk That Did the Damage — Tania James (Knopf)

Charmed Particles

Charmed Particles — Chrissy Kolaya (Dzanc Books) — review to come next week

Frangipani Hotel

The Frangipani Hotel: Stories — Violet Kupersmith (Spiegel & Grau)

The Other Language paperback

The Other Language: Stories — Francesca Marciano (Pantheon)

Of Things Gone Astray

Of Things Gone Astray — Janina Mathewson (The Friday Project)

Cowboys and East Indians

Cowboys and East Indians — Nina McConigley (Curtis Brown Unlimited)

Girl at War

Girl at War — Sara Novic (Random House)

Unraveling-of-Mercy-Louis-hcc-226x342

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis — Keija Parssinen (Harper)

Happy Are the Happy US cover

Happy are the Happy — Yasmina Reza (Other Press)

On a special note, I would like to add that the writing of Violet Kupersmith and Nina McConigley made me say “wow” repeatedly.

 

Honorable Mention

My Life as a Mermaid

My Life as a Mermaid — Jen Grow (Dzanc Books)

Orhan4_pg2-HCjkt.indd

Orhan’s Inheritance — Aline Ohanesian (Algonquin Books)

Baby's_On_Fire_

Baby’s On Fire — Liz Prato (Press 53)

Dreams of the Red Phoenix

Dreams of the Red Phoenix — Virginia Pye (Unbridled Books)

Landfall-Cover-FINAL-web-sized

Landfall — Ellen Urbani (Forest Avenue Books)

 

Books I Wish I’d Read Because I Think Some of Them Would Be on My Favorites List

After Birth — Elisa Albert

In the Country: Stories — Mia Alvar

The Lower Quarter — Elise Blackwell

Juventud — Vanessa Blakeslee

Washing the Dead — Michelle Brafman

Gutenberg’s Apprentice — Alix Christie

The Story of the Lost Child — Elena Ferrante

The Mare — Mary Gaitskill

Fates and Furies — Lauren Groff

Speak — Louisa Hall

Safekeeping — Jessamyn Hope

The Moor’s Account — Laila Lalami

The Half Brother — Holly LeCraw

H is for Hawk — Helen McDonald

Church of Marvels — Leslie Parry

Honeydew: Stories — Edith Pearlman

A Night at the Fiestas: Stories — Kirstin Valdez Quade

Find Me — Laura van den Berg

Gold Fame Citrus — Claire Vaye Watkins

The Visiting Privilege: Collected Stories — Joy Williams

A Little Life — Hanya Yanagihara

 

 

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7 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of 2015 (and those I regret not reading…yet)

  1. thank you very much ! can’t wait to get started on the list

    From: Read Her Like an Open Book To: dkatkfmu@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2015 11:14 AM Subject: [New post] My Favorite Books of 2015 (and those I regret not reading…yet) #yiv2674585436 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2674585436 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2674585436 a.yiv2674585436primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2674585436 a.yiv2674585436primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2674585436 a.yiv2674585436primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2674585436 a.yiv2674585436primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2674585436 WordPress.com | Bill Wolfe posted: “2015 was a terrific year for fiction by women. I say that based on my own reading, along with reviews and word of mouth among people whose judgment I trust. There were more books on my TBR list this year than ever before, but I didn’t make nearly as much ” | |

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  2. […] attention itself, including making the best of the Northwest list at Broadway Books, earning a best-of-2015 honorable mention by Read Her Like an Open Book, a mention in Sam Snoek-Brown’s article on 2015’s […]

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