The Top 12 Best Books I Read in 2015 (& Also a Survey)

I read so many amazing books this year. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed almost all of the books I read this year. I tried to narrow this list down to ten, but I just couldn’t. So here are my top twelve books of the year. Of course they are in no particular order because I am impossible at making decisions.

Also, if you feel up to it, I would super duper appreciate you filling out the survey I have at the end of this post. I haven’t been up to par with blogging lately, but hopefully I’ll have more time to spend on this hobby of mine in 2016. Don’t be afraid to be honest because it’s all anonymous. I can’t wait to hear your feedback.

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson: Oh, this book was just amazing. It was a gift from my dad and I absolutely loved reading about the role of both the individual and the team in computing throughout the years. I also loved the focus on female engineers. Reading about women such as Grace Hopper and the ENIAC team was so inspiring.

Watership Down by Richard Adams: I actually found an old, old copy of this book at my Grandma’s house and it was falling apart as I read it. I loved how adventurous and rollicking this story was and I loved meeting all of the new characters. Who knew rabbits could have such complex backstories?

From Gates to Apps by Edward G. Amoroso and Matthew E. Amoroso: Now that I’ve read this book, it will be my first recommendation to anyone who wants to know exactly how a computer works. This book drills right down to how binary numbers and logic gates fit into computing and then climbs right up to how mobile applications work. I read this book relatively slowly to really make sure I understood everything, but it was written so clearly that the book made it easy to learn just how computers work.

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo: This book made me fall in love with Kate DiCamillo’s stories all over again. All of the characters were so sweet and their adventures were so incredibly true to childhood. It was a touching story, and I loved the combination of drawings and prose.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis: C. S. Lewis is  a master at allegorical writing. Not like I knew that from reading Narnia or anything, but reading The Screwtape Letters further enforced this. This book opened my eyes as I realized just how susceptible we humans are to temptation. It was scary but also inspiring at the same time.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee: I was ready for this book to be a disappointment. Of course I was unbelievably excited for the sequel to my favorite book, but I was preparing myself for the hype to be too much. It was not. Go Set  a Watchman came pretty close to the quality of To Kill a Mockingbird. Even though very little actually happened in this book, the dialogue was intense and so thought provoking. It also accurately expressed what it feels like to grow up and feel the world change before your eyes. Just amazing. Harper Lee is a master. I don’t care how overkill it is; I want another book of hers to mysteriously surface this year.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: I love the detail in Anthony Doerr’s writing. He has a particular knack for noticing details that other people don’t notice. The characters in this book were wonderful as well. I felt a sort of sympathy for each one, whether they were evil or not, and Doerr perfectly illustrated how war tears lives apart.

Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl: Both Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s writing and storytelling are stellar. With every passing book, the world of Goldstone Wood just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I read up to Book 5 in the series this year, but Starflower, Book 4, is my favorite in the series so far. Not only was this story heartbreaking and touching, but it also featured one of my favorite heroines. Starflower is one of the strongest girls I’ve read about this year, and I always admire that in a book.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: Ever since I read Pride and Prejudice I’ve been interested in reading more of Jane Austen’s novels. Mansfield Park features a complex cast of characters and while that makes it difficult to keep track of all the names, it also makes for a much more interesting story. I also loved Fanny. She’s another strong heroine and has earned her place among my favorite characters.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: This was school required reading, and I ended up really enjoying it. There was a haunting air of loneliness throughout the whole book and yet there was also the comfort of friendship in the midst of the loneliness. And that ending. *cries* Just go read this book, please. It’s super short, and super worth it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: As I began to read this book I was pretty confused as to why everyone enjoyed it so much. Jane seemed whiny and irritating. However, as the story went on, I was completely drawn into the beautiful and haunting atmosphere of the book. The best part about this book was the ending. It would be spoilery to say much about it, but if you pick this story up for one thing, read it for the ending.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery: Well now I know what all the hype is about. I connected with this book in so many ways. The most beautiful thing about this book is that while it expresses all of the emotions that come with life and friendship and change, it also leaves room for the reader’s own life experiences to influence the meaning of the book. And that is of course the main thread that runs through the book. If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and go read it now.

THE SURVEY! 

The link: https://butterfliesoftheimagination.typeform.com/to/IvDBCr

What are some of the best books you’ve read this year? Have you read any of my favorite books of the year? Oh, and if you filled out my survey, thank you so much! Have a happy New Year, you guys!

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23 thoughts on “The Top 12 Best Books I Read in 2015 (& Also a Survey)

  1. Filling out the survey now – I can’t wait to see you more active in the blogosphere in 2016! ❤ And I absolutely agree with so many of your favourites of 2015. I too fell head-over-heels for Flora & Ulysses as well as The Little Prince (that is, the English translation – though I must admit the French original will always be my first love!) this year. Here's to another beautiful year in reading ahead!

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    1. Thank you so much for filling out the survey, Topaz! I’ll definitely be making more of an effort to actively post and comment consistently this year. I forgot how relaxing blogging can be. Flora and Ulysses and The Little Prince are such charming stories and they made me feel so…happy inside. I can’t understand French, but I do like the English version, haha. Yay! I hope we both have great years for reading!

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    1. Thanks so much for filling out the survey, Alyssa! I, too, would love to post more this year. Kate DiCamillo’s writing will never grow old to me, honestly. I loved reading Because of Winn-Dixie when I was little and now once again I have found that I am still in love with her writing and the new stories she come out with. Happy New Year to you as well!

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  2. KATE DICAMILLO YES. I’ve been seeing All the Light We Cannot See everywhere, I definitely need to read it. Wait whaaat? C.S Lewis has other books apart from Narnia? How have I not read this?? And I’m filling in the survey now ❤ Happy New Year, love!

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    1. Kate DiCamillo is timeless. I hope we see more books of hers coming out soon. You must read All the Light We Cannot See. It is such a beautiful story and even though it’s a chunky book it’s not that intimidating because the chapters are all very short. I think The Screwtape Letters is the only book of Lewis’s that I’ve read that is not in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I really want to read some more this year. Thanks for filling out the survey and Happy New Year to you as well.

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  3. Finally, someone else who loves Fanny! Mansfield Park is one of my favorites and I feel that it doesn’t get enough appreciation! I’m glad you liked Jane Eyre too 🙂 Happy New Year, Ana!!!

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    1. Fanny is definitely under appreciated, but she’s my favorite Jane Austen character. She may not be the most bold character, but her quiet strength is what really makes me admire her. I’m so glad I read Jane Eyre and stuck with it because it turned out to be a wonderful story. Happy New Year to you, too!

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  4. Is it bad I have only read one of these? Of Mice and Men, actually. The last time I read that was in high school. But, you know, you have encouraged me to reread it, because that is something I would like to do. *nods*

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  5. omg i haven’t read any of these. i feel like they’re all too intelligent for me. i’ve limited myself to YA and i want to expand my tastes soon! [heck yes, i’m going to full out your survey. i miss coming to your blog]

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    1. Nawww, I think you can handle these books, Nova. Definitely try out one of these if you want to expand your tastes. I still read YA (because a lot of it is awesome), but I also have found a love in reading many different other types of books. Thanks for filling out my survey, and I miss reading your blog, too.

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  6. I started to re-read Watership Down in 2015 with my kids, but I have to confess that we ended up putting it aside. Maybe it’s because they’re still too young, but they were getting bored with it, and somehow their boredom made me lose some of my enthusiasm for the book as well. I remember loving it when I read it as either a middle schooler or high schooler, though, so we’ll definitely be giving it another shot.

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    1. Even though Watership Down is definitely faster paced and more engaging than most classics, I can see how young kids would get bored with it. As adventurous as it is, it is also very political and satirical, which can be hard to appreciate. Hopefully when your kids are older they’ll enjoy it more and you will, too!

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  7. I almost didn’t click on this link from FYFA’s discussion link-up, because I’m top-tenned out, but I’m so glad I did. You really vary your reading, which is oddly unusual in the blogging world, at least as far as I’ve seen so far.

    I was a weird child, and when my big sister got Watership Down as a Christmas gift when I was 7 and she was 18, when it was a new release, I finished it before her and declared it my favorite book. I haven’t read it in decades, but remember it fondly.

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    1. Haha, yea I’m kind of top-tenned out too. The New Year is basically synonymous with top ten at this point. But wow, thank you. I’m so glad you’re enjoying what you’ve seen from my blog so far. I do love reading a wide range of genres and types of books. It’s so much more interesting and challenging to me than sticking to the same books all the time.

      Whoa, Watership Down has got to be a super tough book to read when you’re seven. But hey, that’s the best kind of weird. Hopefully if you decide to pick it up again anytime soon it will be just as enjoyable as it was when you first read it. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment!

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