Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lady C's Best Books of 2015

A big day of shopping lies before me, which frankly sounds like hell (I am the girliest girl in all of creation except in this regard — I hate shopping and always have. But I need shoes in particular, and some more pants would be great, and I could really use another good bra, so . . . the mall calls), and I am putting it off as long as I can. So, hey, why not write my traditional New Year's Day post . . . on March 23? Why not, indeed.

I rate the books I read on a four-star system. For this purpose, I don't care about literary merit, lasting worth, blah blah blah — I just want to enjoy a good read. I read 94 new books in 2015 (I don't track rereads), and here are the books I gave three and a half or four stars to (listed in the order that I read them):
  1. Crooked House by Agatha Christie
  2. You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz 
  3. So, Anyway . . . by John Cleese (I wrote, "LOVED. Warm, funny, insightful. A pure delight!")
  4. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (YA)
  5. Tempting Fate by Jane Green (I wrote, "So annoying — and yet compulsively readable!" I must add that I remember nothing about this book)
  6. Venom and the River by my great pal Marsha Qualey, who is brilliant and wonderful and a divine writer to boot
  7.  Christmas Truce by Aaron Shepard (a gorgeous picture book)
  8. Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (YA, I think)
  9. From Little Houses to Little Women by Nancy McCabe (I wrote, "I didn't agree with every conclusion, and I longed for more Betsy-Tacy [she kinda dissed Mankato]— but still, a fun, engrossing read")
  10. Delivering Dr. Amelia by Dan Shapiro
  11. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (YA, I think — man, I cannot remember anything)
  12. Conversion by Katherine Howe (YA — definitely one of my favorites last year!)
  13. The Hive by Gill Hornby
  14. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
  15. Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
  16. The Cats in the Doll Shop by Yona Zeldis McDonough (middle grade, very sweet and fun)
  17. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult ("I didn't love the ending — so often the case with this writer — but I did love this book. So sweet and sad!")
  18. Someone Is Waiting by Joy Fielding
  19. Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (YA — LOVED!!)
  20. Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
  21. Half Wild by Sally Green (YA)
  22. Spellman Six by Lisa Lutz
  23. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng ("SO. GOOD. Hugely sad, of course, but also wonderful")
  24. Perfect by Natasha Friend (YA, I think)
  25. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
  26. Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (YA)
  27. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
  28. I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster
  29. Secrets from the Eating Lab by Traci Mann
  30. Dietland by Sarai Walker ("Loved loved LOVED! So smart about food! So satisfying in its treatment of horrible men! A stronger ending would have been nice, but I will waive that complaint in light of the sea of awesomeness that preceded it!")
  31. Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green (YA)
  32. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (YA — "Horrifyingly fantastic. Compulsively readable. Loved [in horror]")
  33. Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas (love my Veronica Mars!)
  34. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  35. Now I'll Tell You Everything by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (YA — actually, the writing isn't great at all, but I give PRN mad props for telling us Alice's entire story. What a gift to her readers!)
  36. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  37. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (YA)
  38. Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (YA)
  39. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu (YA)
  40. Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken (short stories)
  41. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (YA)
  42. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor (YA)
  43. The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
  44. X by Sue Grafton
  45. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (YA)
  46. The Secret Place by Tana French
  47. The Barter by Siobhan Adcock (I wrote, "I didn't love the ending, but the story was riveting")
  48. Past Perfect by Leila Sales (YA)
  49. The Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster
  50. The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore
  51. Maternity Leave by Julie Halpern (I wrote, "Fun, but . . . after a while, you're all, DUDE. Get it together!!! But I will go anywhere with Julie Halpern")
  52. George by Alex Gino (middle grade – and PERFECT)
  53. The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young (I know I loved this, but I literally do not remember one thing about it — I may have to look it up)
  54. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (YA)
  55. Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Luftin
  56. Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
  57. Family Sabbatical by Carol Ryrie Brink (middle grade)
  58. A Window Opens by Elizabeth Egan
  59. In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
  60. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  61. The Lake House by Kate Morton
 And the worst books I read in 2015, all the way to the bitter end:
  1. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (I wrote, "Ugh. What a grim, disappointing book. Don't ask me why I hung on." And it's getting so many awards! I shake my head)
  2. Between You and I: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norton (I wanted to love it — I am her natural-born audience! But it was a snoozefest)
  3. Lydia's Party by Margaret Hawkins (I wrote, "UGH. What a pointless, meandering, annoying book. Mysteries unresolved. Indistinguishable, irritating characters. BLEH.")
Did you read any of these? Agree, disagree with my rankings? Let me know!

— Lady C, off to try on shoes

p.s. I did look up The Gates of Evangeline and still can't remember a damn thing about it. Listen — want a great read that doesn't stay with you? Have I got a suggestion! Ha.

p.p.s. My treat after a day of shopping is a visit to — where else? — my local library! Three books are waiting for me, I am in heaven.


  1. " I must add that I remember nothing about this book"
    This is my review of every book I read last year.

    The other day I came across a copy of Where Have You Gone, Bernadette in a Little Free Library box, and I took it because I remember reading and liking it.... but I don't remember *it*, itself! And I read it, I think (?) just last year!

    So, I'm with you.

    1. Ooh, I loved Bernadette! Have fun rereading -- or reading, whichever is more appropriate. It will be interesting to see if anything comes back to you or if it's a whole new book again.