Sam Still Reading’s Books of the Year: Part 1 (pre-2015)

I always have a difficult time choosing my favourite books of the year. There are just so many variables in what makes something a favourite for me- is it that I can still remember the plot and characters in detail? Have I recommended the book to all and sundry? Did it make me feel happy or enlightened? Was the prose spectacular?

This year I am taking the lead of book bloggers I respect (such as The Writes of Woman) and dividing my list into 2015 and pre-2015 publication favourites. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t have many pre-2015 books being the sucker I am for new releases, but the lists ended up nearly even.

I ended up reading 127 books in 2015, much more than I had initially thought I would. (Thanks audiobooks). 121 of those had been reviewed on the blog at the time of writing, you’ll see two more soon. I’ve read books predominantly by women and quite a few Australian books. (My reading thoughts and goals for 2016 will be in a future post).

Here are the books that wowed me in 2015 that were published in 2014 or earlier. They are listed in the order that I read them – if you would like to read my review of a particular book, just click on the cover.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

“I couldn’t help but be captivated by her witty style…”

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran











“Most of all, I loved the tone of this book. It’s refreshingly honest.”

Breaking the Drought by Lisa Ireland










“Great characters, interesting storyline, action, romance and danger – all in one package!”

The Life of a Banana by PP Wong










“A fantastic book that made me both laugh at loud and silently fume at the injustices inflicted on its protagonist.”

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans










“The book is so rich in atmosphere that I really felt that I was inhabiting Noel and Vee’s world.”

After Before by Jemma Wayne










“A powerful, emotional and intense novel that will have the reader questioning their values.”

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler









“Anne Tyler’s prose is wonderful; enveloping and warm.”

Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth









“I wanted to stop and reflect after each sentence to savour this book.”

Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff









“It’s fascinating yet scary, but does offer some hope.”

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante









“The story enchants you to the point where you can’t think about anything else.”

Honourable mentions also go to Underground: How the Tube Shaped London by David Bownes, Oliver Green & Sam Mullins and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Do you agree with my list? Which are your favourite books of 2015?


5 thoughts on “Sam Still Reading’s Books of the Year: Part 1 (pre-2015)

Add yours

  1. It must have been quite difficult to create your favourites list. I honestly don’t think I could select a favourite from the last 12 months. However I agree with your criteria ‘are you still able to remember the plot and characters in detail. ‘. Perhaps I need to look at the books I’ve read with this in mind.

  2. I’m on holidays at the moment & haven’t had the opportunity to put together my year in retrospect post yet. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s great to see all the great ideas and individual takes on how to compile one’s list but with everyone I read I feel a little self-inflicted guilt about not writing mine yet !!

    Glad to see My Brilliant Friend on your list as I’m about to jump into 2,3 and 4 !

  3. Yay great list of book! Love the look of the Caitlin Moran and Ferrante, I think I’ll have to give them a try next year.
    Have a lovely start to 2016 and a happy year 🙂

  4. I’ve always loved books by Anne Tyler but for some reason I’ve been reluctant to read A Spool of Blue Thread. Seeing that it made your books of the year has made me change my mind on that though.

    Great list. And I want to read the Caitlin Moran book too.

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