Best of 2015

 

As we come to the end of another year, the Bookish Ladies decided to take a look back and choose a few of our favorite reads of 2015. A mix of bestsellers, debut indie authors, fiction, non-fiction, romance, thriller and everything in between. Some made us laugh, others made us cry, and I’m pretty sure a more than a few can be blamed for lost sleep and unproductive work days but all of them were wonderful books and we’re happy to share them with you.

Jennifer’s Top 5 books of 2015

Chasing Sunsets is book #2 in the Angels Walking series. As with all other Kingsbury books you should consider reading Chasing Sunsets in the privacy of your home … unless you don’t mind sobbing in front of strangers! Karen always grabs me emotionally and doesn’t let go until I’ve read the last page. Chasing Sunsets is another Kingsbury hit! I highly recommend it!

A Dog’s Purpose is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. Even this cat lover could not get enough. Simply wonderful! I laughed and cried. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

The Christmas Shoes is a story of the deeper meaning of serendipity, a tale of our shared humanity, and of how a power greater than ourselves can shape, and even save, our lives. A chance meeting on Christmas Eve brings Robert and Nathan together. In this one encounter, their lives are forever altered. I adore stories like this! There were many tears shed during its reading. There were tissues next to my chair to prove it.

Fallon meets Ben and there is chemistry! I love a good romance story that leaves butterflies in my stomach! I loved their story and felt their anticipation as they waited for the next November 9. The unexpected plot twist is what put this book in my top reads for the year.

You might ask yourself if you want to read a book that’s 600+ pages. YES YOU DO! I was engrossed in Noah’s story from page one. When I had to put the book down I couldn’t wait to come back to it. A fantastic debut novel. I look forward to new works from Ms. Zalegowski.

Dottie’s Top Picks of 2015 (in no particular order)

Joe O’Brien is a  husband, father of four, respected police officer, an all around good guy.  When he starts experiencing atypical behavior, forgetfulness, clumsiness and horrible mood swings, he gives into his wife and seeks answers.  Unfortunately for Joe, the answer is not good:  Huntington’s disease.  Lisa Genova expertly takes us on this family’s journey of love, grief, and dealing with this terrible disease.  A must read…along with a few tissues.

Having never read anything by J.R.Ward, I was blown away by this first in a new series about the Bradford family, kings of the bourbon industry in Kentucky.  If you enjoyed TV shows like Dallas or Dynasty, then you’d love this book. This tale was chock full of all things soap opera:  Scandal, greed, sex, opulence, business deals, and of course love.  I’m on the edge of my seat until the next installment is published.  Fun read!

I’ve never been disappointed with a Kristan Higgins book.  This is true for If You Only Knew, as well.  It’s a typical contemporary romance involving a jilted woman who goes back to her hometown to start over.  What’s not typical is Kristan’s comedic writing style, that has you cheering on the heroin.  Along with the hilarity of her writing, she also brings heavier issues of infidelity and divorce.  A roller coaster of emotions read!

Honorable mention to one of my favorite authors, David Baldacci for Memory Man, the first in his newest series.  No need for any explanation…just read it…it’s David Baldacci!!

 

Jules’ Best of 2015 List 

Shepherd Avenue by Charlie Carillo

Skywalker by Bill Walker

Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Jess’ Most Likely to Re-Read books of 2015

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
I know I’m a little late to the game with this series and I don’t know why I held off so long to read it. Ok, I do. Initially I didn’t want to start an unfinished series and then I got distracted by an ever growing TBR list, but I’m sorry I took so long to find the wonderful world that Ms. Harkness created. Witches, vampires, history, time travel, romance, and a great mystery all wrapped up in one beautifully written series. I really should have listened to my book friends and picked it up sooner. Next time I’ll try to do what you say, Karen and Melinda 🙂

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Have I mentioned before how much I love the sound of Neil Gaiman’s voice? Listening to him read his own stories is a special kind of magic and it made listening to the Audible edition of Neverwhere even better than I expected. A wonderful fairytalesque story for the adults in the room, Neverwhere gave us a glimpse into the world of London Below and that tiny peek will stay with me forever.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I. Loved. This. Book!  If you love books about books and people who love books just read it now. You won’t be sorry.

An Echo in the Bone and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Yet another series I was late to start but I’m so glad I did. I don’t know if I have words to express how much I adore Jamie Fraser. Thank you all my RKB friends for making me read this series!

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

People who know me can tell you all about my weakness for Bollywood romance movies and I’m always searching for the novel equivalent. A Bollywood affair was actually recommended to be by Amazon and I have to say this is one of the times that their ad software hit a home run. I LOVED this book and am currently listening to Ms. Dev’s latest novel as I write this. Read this if you love Bollywood, if you love romance novels, or if you just love Indian food (I swear the novel will make you crave dal like nothing else). *full disclosure-I’ve already reread this one once and I know another will likely be in my future.

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley 

My love affair with Susanna Kearsley’s writing started a few years ago when her novel, The Winter Sea was offered as a Kindle freebie. After reading that novel, I quickly bought all of her other books (another point for Amazon’s marketing). As a mildly obsessive fan, A Desperate Fortune was a launch day download for me and I started reading it immediately. I wasn’t disappointed. A dual timeline, historical fiction, modern day mystery, with a touch of romance to fill in the gaps story that’s a little hard to describe but not to become immersed in. I highly recommend it (and all of Ms Kearsley’s other books).