FAVORITE BOOKS I READ IN 2015

The order in which I read them:
  1. Bad Feminist--Roxane Gay
    My husband listened to (and I overheard) her TED Talk yesterday and it reminded me of all of the wonderful, important things she says in this essay collection.
  2. Men Explain Things to Me--Rebecca Solnit
    As with Bad Feminist, essential feminist reading. I'm wondering why I didn't seek out other Solnit essays/books in 2015? Maybe a goal for 2016 reading (recs from her oeuvre welcome!).
  3. Dept. of Speculation--Jenny Offill
    So nice I read it twice. Offill makes it look easy in this lean, mean, lovely novel about marriage, parenthood, infidelity and figuring shit out.
  4. After Birth--Elisa Albert
    An unflinching story of early motherhood and friendship. Skillful and accurate descriptions of the wonder and boredom of the first year of parenting.
  5. Station Eleven--Emily St. John Mandel
    A Shakespearean acting troupe and orchestra tour the upper Midwest after a virus has killed the vast majority of people on earth. I went to a reading by the author this summer and was excited to hear that a graphic novel series, based on the comics created by a key character, is in the works!
  6. The Age of Miracles--Karen Thompson Walker
    A coming of age story set during "the slowing", when the earth's rotation is altered and days and nights become longer. A great companion book to Station Eleven.
  7. Beautiful Ruins--Jess Walter
    Second most fun read of the year. 1960s Hollywood glamour and scandal meet a sleepy Italian town just up the coast from the Cinque Terre. Perfect summer reading.
  8. The First Bad Man--Miranda July
    So real and intense. Crazy enough to seem 100% believable. Love, sex and strange (normal) people.
  9. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore--Robin Sloan
    The most fun read of 2015 for me. Sloan creates an underground literary world you want to crawl inside of. They had me with that cover art, too.
  10. All the Light We Cannot See--Anthony Doerr
    You're probably sick of people telling you how good this book is. Sorry, here's one more. I started it a few weeks after booking a 3-day visit to St-Malo, Brittany, where most of the story is set. Visiting an amazing place that was written about so evocatively was a dream. Beautiful, detailed, tragic.
  11. Preparation for the Next Life--Atticus Lish
    I read this because Emily St. John Mandel recommended it at her reading. A rich, gut punching novel about the relationship between an Iraq War vet named Skinner and an undocumented Uighur emigre named Zou Lei, set in Queens.
  12. Everything I Never Told You--Celeste Ng
    Recommended by @bookishclaire ! I loved how this novel approached the ways that past hurts and unresolved issues inevitably resurface and shape our closest relationships. Everyone in this book acts in good faith, but all are limited by their perspectives.