Well it’s come to that time where I’m going to attempt to pick my best reads of the year. I reviewed 39 books last year for the site. (I’ve read a couple more than that but for sanity’s sake, these 39 get to be the list for 2015. The others go to 2016.) To be clear, these are books I read during 2015 – not written in that year. They have covered the gamut of writing with a heavy concentration of science fiction.
The full roll call here: 2015 Book List
Just some quick numbers:
26 Fiction Reads – 16 Science Fiction, 5 Fantasy, 5 (let’s call them) Novels
13 Non-Fiction Reads – 8 Christian, 4 History, 1 Biography
I feel for the award givers who have to narrow down their choice to a Book of the Year. I’m not going to do that, but there were three books that really stood out for me this year. Each received 8.5 stars (a stellar rating) from me – and they are all worth the time. They are also all Science Fiction (sorry), but I think anyone will enjoy them. Let’s look at them in the order that they were read.
Chimera (Universe Eventual: Book 1) by N.J. Tanger
My reading year started with a bang when my brother hooked me up with the debut novel by writing team N. J. Tanger. A fresh science fiction landscape that I read with the enthusiasm of one who knows they have something special on their hands. Full of great characters, interplanetary intrigue, and a quick pace, Chimera left me wanting much more. It’s the first installment of what promises to be a great series – just finished the follow-up Helios (spoiler! – it delivers).
I have links on the bar up top to the interview that I got to do with the writers (another special treat) as well as where you can find more information about Universe Eventual. If you’ve been waiting to find the story to share with all your friends, this is it. Chimera is the real deal. Pick it up!
14 by Peter Clines
If you haven’t read Peter Clines yet, then you’ve never read anything like his work yet, and that’s a shame. 14 was far and away the most original story I read this year – and maybe the funniest, scariest, and flat out most enjoyable book as well. A journey that bumbles its way from an interesting observation to a mental itch to a mystery to a conspiracy to…well, you’re just going to have to find out. I thought I had picked up a haunted house story, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Peter Clines got a lot of love when this one came out, and thankfully no one spoiled it for me. I’ve mentioned before that this book made everyone’s Book of the Year award when it came out. Well like usual I’m late to the party, but here it is on mine. This is a well-deserved nod.
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Another recommendation, this time through a work contact, led me to the sublime novel The Dog Stars. A soulful look at how one finds meaning in life from the lens of one who lives after all things are gone. This post-apocalyptic first person narrative may not seem to be the place to find big thoughts and hard-won insight, but that’s what you get from this unique story. A book that contains hope – that’s my favorite kind – and this one found me at the right time. Put this one on your list to discover somewhere down the line.
Best Christian Read: The Awakening in Wales by Jessie Penn-Lewis
Must Read Author: Nevil Shute
Best Novella: Parallel by Anthony Vicino
Thanks to everyone that checks in on this page from time to time. I’ve already read some great books this year. I hope to find the time to let you know about them.