My Top 5 Books of 2015

Despite a 3 month hiatus while moving and fixing up our new house, I read 48 books in 2015. That’s a visit to 48 different worlds, a brief stint spent living 48 different lives, and countless new (if imaginary) friends. This past year, I read novels to broaden my literary horizons, works to learn from, pieces to grow from, and books just for fun. It was incredibly hard to pick my top 5 favorites this year, but here they are:

wpb11). TANA FRENCH – Okay, I know that I’m cheating here, but seriously, if you like mysteries with a twist and you haven’t read anything by French before, you’re missing out. On my grandmother’s recommendation, I read In The Woods at the beginning of the year. I then proceeded to read everything French has written, and she can’t write more fast enough! I highly recommend anything by this author.

wpb2) EIGHTEEN by Jan Burke – This is a collection of 18 short stories by bestselling author Jan Burke. The anthology includes an Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Award and Macavity Award winner, an Agatha Award winner, an Edgar Award and an Agatha Award nominee, and the first story ever to feature her popular character, Irene Kelly. I read a Jan Burke book years ago and loved it, yet strangely never picked up another. After reading this book, I will not make that mistake again. This collection spans every color of the mystery rainbow, historical to modern day, professional detective to amateur, and everything in between. This is a must read!

wpb33) GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn – I didn’t expect to like this book. I saw the movie first (which I hate and almost never do), but after watching the movie I was really interested in seeing how Flynn had structured the novel. I am so glad that I did! I enjoyed this book on many different levels. Even though I knew what was going to happen, it still seemed fresh. This book delivers!

wpb24) THROUGH A WINDOW by Jane Goodall – I read a number of nonfiction books this year, and was wondering which one to include on this list until I looked back and saw this one. I love Goodall’s writing. I love her subject matter. Put them together and you get a thought provoking, engaging work that reads like fiction and stirs the heart like a Disney movie.

wpb45) THE 6TH EXTINCTION by James Rollins – This was a given. Rollins is returning to his weird science, Michael Crichton-ish early works and I could not be happier. I though that I might eventually outgrow these type of fast paced thrillers, but I’m happy to report that hasn’t happened yet! Take one part heavy science, add a dash of outlandish ideas and a dollop of adventure and you get a recipe that makes this reader very happy.

 

(On a side note, I’ve taken to using a board on Pinterest to keep track of the books I read, and I’ve found that it works really well. This is definitely a habit that I will carry on into 2016. Click the above link to see all of the books on my 2015 reading list.)

The 6th Extinction by James Rollins ~ Fiction Review

book16I’m a HUGE fan of books that mix science and adventure. Ever since I read Jurassic Park for the first time at age 11 and realized that I could lose myself in a thrilling story AND learn science facts that could potentially increase my winnings on Jeopardy, I was sold. That said, I’m a long time reader of James Rollins. I’ve spent the last ten years anxiously awaiting the release of his latest action packed novel.

I must admit, I enjoyed some of his books more than others. His earliest, which are pretty imaginative, have always been my favorites. At some point in his career, he went mainstream. They were always good, but some of his books were kind of heavy on the gun details and military storylines for my tastes.

When I saw the cover of The 6th Extinction, I got really excited, and for good cause. James Rollins is going back to his roots! The author who brought us piranha-frog hybrids (I know it sounds hokey, but I mean, really, how cool would they be!?!?) is planning on bringing us more outrageous plots laced with true history and credible science. This book was great, a wild ride that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I’m sure his next book will be too! Definitely a book to read if you need a quick reminder that reading should be fun!

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