Favourite reads of 2015 (so far!)

These are the books that have made it to my 5-star shelf on Goodreads this year.

Frances Hardinge – I am late discovering her, the first book of hers I read is the recently published “The Lie Tree“. Now I need to seek them ALL out! The two I’ve read (Lie Tree and Cuckoo Song) are a mix of historical/fantasy. Perfect for avid Year 9-10 readers who don’t mind things a bit weird. The main characters are girls deeply affected by what’s fair and right, they behave realistically (setting aside the fantasy elements of the stories!) so they’re not always 100% likeable. They are both stories that feature death and grief, so they have some dark and (slightly) scary moments. Both also have an interesting slant on matters of faith/belief and religion. Absolutely beautiful writing, in my opinion.

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel – Winner of this year’s Arthur C Clarke award. I am recommending this to seniors particularly who are into Dystopian fiction. Nice alternative end-of-days sort of story for those (perhaps like me!?) who aren’t huge fans of The Road. It’s a short book, that weaves together the stories of several characters, after a global flu-like pandemic wipes out most of the population. Interestingly, there was an article in the NYT recently discussing how/whether the author’s gender makes a difference to elements of story/writing in this genre.

All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr – Pulitzer winner. I had been avoiding this for a while, thinking it might be one of those ‘worthy’ sort of titles – this is the problem with judging a book by it’s cover! Possibly my favourite read of the year. Mainly young (teen) characters, short chapters, it feels sort of compact in it’s settings and time-frame (for the most part, at least). Much more accessible text than what I was expecting. Am recommending it to everyone, will appeal to anyone who loved The Book Thief.

The Truth Commission by Susan Juby – hipster/arty/fandom types will love it. The kids in this story are all WAY cool, you sort of love and hate them at the same time for that. The family relationships in this story are so whacked out, you just want to get them all into therapy. Sad and funny sometimes too. Interesting themes about reality/perception, self image vs what other people see/think.

Vivian vs the apocalypse by Katie Coyle – another YA dystopian series, really looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Set during/after the (supposed) Rapture. It’s got betrayals, an awesome road trip, truth/religion stuff going on. Really good. Probably best suited to Y11 upwards.

The cure for dreaming by Cat Winters – published late 2014. Historical/fantasy again. Horrible father tries to hypnotize the bolshiness out of his headstrong daughter, but things go weird and instead she has visions of how things/people really are as opposed to how they purport to be. Bonus beautiful photographs from the time (pics of suffragists, ads etc).

What books have you loved this year?

  1. #1 by bookloverbabbles on August 3, 2015 - 1:23 PM

    Greetings 🙂 Checked a few of these out on Goodreads, and added them to my tbr. They sound really interesting!

  2. #2 by KasimsKorner on August 3, 2015 - 1:27 PM

    I know its a bit of a younger book, but the Bartimeus Sequence has me hooked atm. I remember reading them as a child, and they still read well. I’ve followed, I’m a writer myself, and if you have the time I’d love for you to check out my small blog. Atm its mainly short stories and a bit of poetry, but I’m working on a novel (Prologue is on my blog). Feel free to check it out on http://www.kasimskorner.com , keep blogging and have a good day 🙂

  3. #3 by Bridget Schaumann on August 3, 2015 - 10:27 PM

    Ooo I so want to read the ones I haven’t read from your list. Will maybe do a posting with my best of the year so far too. From your list I adored The Light We Cannot See – I’ve bought extra copies for school because it has been so popular. Station Eleven is definitely one of my books of the year. A dystopia but not so grim as many I’ve read, I loved the characters and it was a book with real heart. Saga, one, I can’t put it in the library – it is a step too far for my teen audience, but as a graphic novel for an adult audience it is freaking awesome. I’ll add The Chimes by Anna Smail to the list, a gorgeous dystopic world where music is used to control and manipulate the people, the concept is amazing, the story is engaging and I believe it is such a great addition to the Booker list. I could go on, and on but that would be a post not a comment!

  4. #4 by Helen Muxlow on November 2, 2015 - 1:16 PM

    You have to read ‘A face like glass’ by Frances Hardinge my absolute favourite of her books so far.

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