The Best Books of 2015

All throughout 2015, the ten of us on the GNB team — Lindsey Mead, Nina Badzin, Jess Vealitzek, Hallie Sawyer, Stacey Loscalzo, Cathleen Holst, Katie Noah Gibson, Julia Munroe Martin, Jessica Flaxman, and Jennifer King — have looked for and read books we thought we would love and want to share here at GreatNewBooks.org with you!

We worked hard to each try and pick our favorite book from 2015. Between the ten of us, we’ve read over 400 books this year. It hasn’t been an easy task to choose just one favorite book apiece. But after long deliberation, these are our favorite new books of 2015 …

 

THE GNB BEST BOOKS OF 2015

Lindsey’s pick: 

OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

This book blew me away.  Haruf’s writing is spare and powerful, and he managed to evoke the entire worlds that can exist within an individual and between two of them in this slender volume.  He writes about old(er) age with deep wisdom, and made me care tremendously about the two protagonists in this story.  I loved this book.

Read more from Lindsey by clicking here.

Lindsey can also be found on Twitter @lemead.

 

Nina’s pick: 

 

BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I absolutely loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Her wisdom about creativity gave me permission to keep writing with a sense of joy and without feeling the need to take myself so seriously that I strip all the fun out of the process. She also encourages readers to make more time for creative endeavors by learning to say no, not just to things we don’t want to do, but to some of the things we do want. It’s not easy, but it’s important. I highly recommend the book for anyone who wants more creativity and less excuses.

Read more from Nina by clicking here.

Nina can also be found on Twitter @ninabadzin.

 

Jess’s pick: 

 

MISSOULA by Jon KrakauerMissoula by Jon Krakauer

 

This choice surprises me since I’m such a fan of fiction and I rarely read nonfiction. But this book–oh, this book. It is so important, so readable, so very interesting. Like the best fiction, it’s a page turner that reveals and enlightens and settles inside you for good.

Read more from Jess by clicking here.

Jess can also be found on Twitter @jessvealitzek.

 

Hallie’s pick:

 

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James BrownThe Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

 

This non-fiction novel read a lot like Unbroken in that it follows one man from a rough and heartbreaking upbringing to a grit-filled triumph. It made me want to strap in and row until my heart ached. Such a great book about tenacity, determination, mental toughness, and going after our dreams.

Read more by Hallie by clicking here.

Hallie can also be found on Twitter @hallie_sawyer.

 

Stacey’s pick: 

A Window Opens by Elizabeth Egan

A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan

I put off answering this question every year. I feel terribly about choosing because how does one choose a favorite book? I hate to use the cliche but it really is like choosing a favorite child. For the purposes of making a decision, I choose Elisabeth Egen’s A Window Opens. I loved many books this year but this is the one that I continue to recommend when friends ask, “What should I read next.” This book feels so current and speaks to so many of the thoughts and questions I have these days.

Read more about Stacey by clicking here.

Stacey can also be found on Twitter @staceyloscalzo.

 

Cathleen’s pick: 

 

THE RED NOTEBOOK by Antoine Laurain The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

 

This story was a pure delight to read from beginning to end.

Read more from Cathy by clicking here.

Cathy can also be found on Twitter @cathleenholst.

 

Katie’s pick: 

 

HAMMER HEAD by Nina MacLaughlin Hammer Head by Nina MacLaughlin

 

 

This lyrical, wise, plainspoken memoir by a writer-turned-carpenter resonated deeply with me. I loved MacLaughlin’s descriptions of tools and construction materials, and her thoughtful musings on what it means to build a good life.

Read more from Katie by clicking here.

Katie can also be found on Twitter @katiengibson.

 

Julia’s pick: 

 

WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

 

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I know, I know, it’s a middle grade novel, but it’s just plain clever. And well written. And has a really interesting, unique magical realism premise with a “fantastic puzzle at its heart,” as the back of the book says. To say anymore would ruin it.

Read more from Julia by clicking here.

Julia can also be found on Twitter @wordsxo.[/author_info]

 

Jessica’s pick: 

MY BRILLIANT FRIEND by Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

 

I am still in love with Elena Ferrante’s books. I’ve read numbers 1 (My Brilliant Friend)  and 2 (The Story of a New Name) and am saving number 3 for Christmas break and 4 for spring break. Reading these books is like watching a compelling drama on television, and I love how she makes me change my mind about which character is more interesting on just about every page.

Read more from Jessica by clicking here.

Jessica can also be found on Twitter @msflaxman.

 

Jennifer’s pick: 

 

THE LAKE HOUSE by Kate Morton

The Lake House by Kate Morton

I always love a complex story about a family and its secrets. Kate Morton is the master of these epics, tying together a tragedy with a family, a sprawling estate near the sea, and generations of legacy and tales to create the perfect mystery. Every time I read a Kate Morton book, I think I can guess what is happening. But in The Lake House, every chapter I thought I knew the outcome, but I was wrong every time. If you’re looking for a page-turner with an unexpected ending and a story of full-bodied characters, pick up The Lake House by Kate Morton — or better, give it as a gift, too.

Read more from Jennifer by clicking here.

She can also be found on Twitter @JenniferLynKing.

 

At GNB, we’re delighted to say we’ve officially recommended 52 great books in 2015, which means we have over 150 books we think you’ll love to read here on our site. Please browse our archives and find a few books to add to your to-read stack. And subscribe (on the right sidebar) to our weekly email to receive each new weekly recommendation direct in your inbox.

More than anything, we enjoy getting to share and talk great books with you. We’re glad you’re here with us!

For You: We’d love to hear about the favorite book you’ve read in 2015 (old or new) — please share your best book with us in the comments below. Thank you for joining us this year at GNB!

Author: Great New Books

Great New Books is all about sharing our favorite books, one week at a time. Our passion is for recommending quality books which keep us turning pages long through the night, great books which have the potential to touch hearts, and lives, and open doors to a better world. We’re so glad you’re joining us here, and appreciate you helping spread the word about Great New Books! Tag your favorite books with @GreatNewBooks on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and we'll help share your posts there.

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