I’ve never been able to pick a favorite book–there are too many great stories to play favorites like that! It is possible to pick a favorite book of the year, though. I’m almost done with my fifty books for the year, so I thought it would be appropriate to share with you my top five (countdown style). Read through to see what my favorite book of 2015 was!
5. Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor:
This is O’Connor’s first novel, and it’s definitely characteristic of her work. I added it to my top five because O’Connor has been a big inspiration for me lately. If you’re interested, but don’t want to start with Wise Blood, check out her short stories, essays, or Jonathan Rogers’ awesome biography The Terrible Speed of Mercy.
4. To Live is Christ to Die is Gain by Matt Chandler
This book was published in 2014, so it’s not a new book, but it was new to me this year. This book takes you through Philippians, and it’s full of great insight. If you’re looking for a book to start 2016 off right, I’d recommend this one!
3. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Larson writes excellent nonfiction, and I think this is one of his best books. I’ve read two of his others–Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts. As interesting as both of those books are, this one is by far my favorite of the three. It grabs your interest and keeps you interested throughout. Which is pretty impressive, considering that everybody knows what happens to the Lusitania.
2. All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This novel is so well-written, and the story is captivating. Set during WWII, the story follows a father and his blind daughter as they flee from the Germans. It also follows a young Nazi soldier through his journey from the Hitler Youth to the end of the war. I’m not always a huge fan of contemporary fiction, but this book was wonderful.
1. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Without a doubt, the best book I read this year was The Boys in the Boat. When I started planning this post, I knew immediately that this book would be my number one pick. I read it in January, and it’s stuck with me all year–I keep recommending it to people because it’s just that good. Don’t let the topic throw you off. Yes, it’s about rowing, but it’s also about so much more.
Honorable Mention: If only I hadn’t decided ahead of time to tell you my top five! Here are some others that were great reads this year:
—A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte
—The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder (Thanks for the recommendation, Laura!)
—How we Got to Now by Steven Johnson
2015 was the year of great nonfiction, and I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store. Until then, though, I have five more books to finish!