All the Books I Read in 2015

Here’s a summary of all of the books I read last year. My goal was to read 20 books, and I was surprised to find out I actually read 22 books. Score!

I categorized the books by genre and how I read it, and it was a pretty good mixture:

Genres:

  • Historical fiction: 6
  • Fiction: 6
  • Christian non-fiction: 6
  • Non-fiction: 4

How I Read:

  • Library rental: 8
  • Audiobook: 6
  • Own: 6
  • Borrowed: 2

I keep all of the books I’ve read, am reading and want to read on my Goodreads profile, if you want to see more books I’ve read or are interested in. :)

All the books I read in 2015

Books I Read 2015

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Historical fiction | Library rental

I enjoyed this book. It had two parts — one part set in WWI in France and another set in present day London. The first part was by far my favorite, I really enjoyed the characters and really wanted to continue that story instead of jumping to the present day and get reintroduced to new characters. But it was easy to read and entertaining.

Good News of Great Joy by John Piper

Advent Devotional | Own it

I read this during the 2014 advent season and didn’t finish it until after the new year. Good!

Look and Live by Matt Papa

Christian non-fiction | Own it

Matt Papa was a worship leader at our church, and the girls in my small group decided to go through this book together. It was one of the best Christian Lifestyle books I’ve read in a long time. I loved the perspective that we are all worshipping something in our life, and we were made to worship the Lord and are most satisfied when we are worshipping him. Highly recommend this book, it is full of truth and joy.

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker

Christian non-fiction | Library rental

As a follower of Jen Hatmaker through social media and her blog, I didn’t learn too much new in this book of their story, but it was a really great reminder of our purpose as the Church and not just consumers. If you’re new to Jen Hatmaker, I recommend reading this book of her’s first.

Fun fact — I left $5 when I returned this book to the library in honor of Owen, my friend’s baby who died in April 2014. The recipient of my random act of kindness took a photo and tweeted to Jen Hatmaker, who then posted it on her Facebook page. This post had over 17,000 likes, almost 400 comments, and over 1,000 shares, which then inspired this post. What! Allison and I could not stop laughing at the hilarity of it all. It brought so much joy during a season of mourning.

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty

Christian non-fiction | Own it

Man, this book. It was powerful for me. In fact, I feel like I should re-read it because I’m sure there are things I missed the first time around. Her writing is very lyrical and deep, and gave so much hope in the midst of hard times. Highly recommend to anyone going through a hard time. My favorite quote was: “If my chief end as a mother is anything less than knowing Him and carrying His glory, I will walk through these years empty.”

Books I Read 2015_2

The Secret Daughter by Shilipi Somaya Gowda

Fiction | Library rental

This book was okay. It was the story of a couple in India who put their daughter up for adoption and the couple in America who adopted her. I didn’t like it at all in the beginning, but it got a little better as I continued reading.

Adopted for Life Russell D. Moore

Christian non-fiction | Library rental

J and I are passionate about adoption, both seeing other families adopt and possibly adopting for ourselves one day. This is a great book for Christians to read on why adoption is important and how the Church can help in this issue.  I thought he was a little too Southern-Baptist at times, but otherwise agreed with most of what he said and it was good to read more about adoptive stories.

The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Historical fiction | Library rental

I really like Jojo Moyes as an author (this is the fourth book of hers I’ve read) and love the way she writes and weaves characters together. But while this book was entertaining and enjoyable, I found it unsettling to read about a love affair. Maybe I’m just a sucker for fidelity and marriage.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Non-fiction | Own

The author is a little kooky in her philosophy (ex: thanking her handbag at the end of the day), but if you can get past that it’s a very practical and helpful guide on how to organize your home. I started to declutter my home in the spring last year and need to continue going through my home, especially before the baby comes. I hope to blog more about this approach and my experiences once I’m finished.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Young adult fiction | Audiobook rental

A sweet young adult story about a group of brilliant kids who solve mysteries. I’ve tried to start the next book in the series but can’t seem to get into it.

Books I Read 2015_3

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Fiction | Library rental

Ugh. One star for this book. This was a popular summer read and I thought it would make for a good pool-side page turner. It was a page turner, for sure, but not worth it in my opinion. I didn’t like any of the characters in this book and there was no redemption at all. It confirmed that disturbing books, no matter how popular, are not worth reading for me. I don’t think I’ll ever read anything by Gillian Flynn.

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

Historical fiction | Library rental

This is the story of two sisters who are evacuated from London during the beginning of WWII and their experiences during the war. Really enjoyed reading.

Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren

Memoir | Library rental

A memoir of the author’s experience adopting her son from Africa. She spends the first chapter talking about their journey to adoption, and the second half about adjusting to life with an adopted child. While it was well-written and a great story, I was a little discouraged there wasn’t more hope in the end. She spent most of the book talking about the struggles adopting a child with trauma, and then seemed to run out of time and wrapped it up with “but things are better now!”

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Fiction | Audiobook rental

This is a story of an orphan girl who has a love and passion for flowers and their meanings, and you learn more of her past and how it shapes her future. It took me a little while to get into, but ended up being better than I originally thought.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Historical fiction | Audiobook rental

This book was long, but so good. It is a story set in WWII about a blind French girl and her father, and a smart, young German orphan, and their stories before and during the war. My favorite character was Marie-Laure’s father; his love for her was so sweet and endearing.

Books I Read 2015_4

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

Christian non-fiction | Own it

A light, funny read on how to show grace to ourselves, our families and our communities in a world full of impossible standards. I would have preferred a little more depth, but regardless it was a quick, entertaining read.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Historical fiction | Audiobook rental

This post-World War II book had everything I was looking for in a light and witty read. If you’re looking for a good audiobook to listen to, the narrators were fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book on walks and my commute.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Young adult fiction | Audiobook rental

If I didn’t have anything else to listen to I would not have kept going on this book. I had heard good things about this book, but realize young adult romances are just not for me. Too much emotion and drama, and I don’t care enough about the characters to be invested.

Great with Child by Beth Ann Fennelly

Non-fiction | Own it

I first heard about this book on Cup of Jo’s blog as the best book for mothers-to-be, and was excited to read it when I became pregnant. It is a series of letters from a poet to her pregnant friend about the joys of motherhood. In a society full of passive-aggressive mom guilt and varied opinions on labor and raising children, it was a lovely and refreshing peak into the joys that await me soon.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Fiction | Borrowed from my mom

This is a good vacation read, as it goes by fast and is easy to follow. I quickly got into this book, but didn’t end up loving all of the characters or the plot.

Books I Read 2015_5

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Historical fiction | Audiobook rental

This was my favorite novel I read this year. What a great story! It was another WWII book and had everything I love in a novel: great characters, intriguing plot, and a redemptive ending. I loved it.

Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy /

Non-fiction | Borrowed from a friend

Meh. One of my fellow pregnant friends let me borrow this book and I finished it in a couple of days. This is the kind of book that made me love Great with Child so much — it was pretty much just 200 pages of the author complaining about all of the changes that pregnancy brings. While it was nice to know I am not alone, but was sometimes a little too crass and didn’t make me feel any better about this journey. 

Okay, so there’s my list.

Did you read any of these books? What did you think?
And more importantly, what should I put on my reading list for 2016?! :)

  • Giulia Lombardo

    I still have a long list of books that I’ve bought and still are untocuhed, but I am going to read before choose to keep or donate…however during winter nights best time spent is reading comfty sitting on the couch or in the bed and have an hot cup of tea…books are great, plus I discover that my library has a section for new fiction:D that I am going to try soon!!!

  • Dorothy Clement

    Based on your recommendation, I am loving The Nightingale! As my world has stopped while being snowed in, I’m sure I will finish and return it by it’s January 27th due date. I am thoroughly enjoying it as I sit in front of a roaring fire with comfy fleece booties and my third cup of coffee.

  • Vicki Dunbar

    A good friend of mine recommended The Nightingale. It is next in my queue to read, and then Look and Live (based upon YOUR recommendation). Thanks for posting these.

  • Vicki Dunbar

    Wasn’t it wonderful!!! I just finished reading it yesterday and I loved it.