Yep, I’m jumping on that bandwagon and presenting you guys with my own list of best books of the year. Since I haven’t read anywhere near all the books (or even all the buzziest books) published this year, my list is pulled from the books I’ve read in the past year. Some of those are 2014 or 2015 books and some are super backlist.

These are all books I enjoyed or that made me think. There isn’t that much more of a method than that. So in no particular order…

2015 titles:

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina McLaughlin

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Slade House by David Mitchell

The Girl Who Slept with God by Val Brelinski

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen

Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma, and Robert Wilson

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee (OK, technically this is a 2016 book, but since this is a list of the best books I read in 2015, I’m counting it).

Backlist titles:

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

Stiff by Mary Roach

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

 

Now I’m off to ring in the new year in (relative) style. Happy New Year to everyone and I’ll see you in 2016!

I’ve been meaning to write about Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night for a while, but I kept getting distracted. If the title sounds familiar, it’s possible that you’re a Book Riot fan and heard Liberty proclaim that she would eat James Patterson if this book doesn’t do well.

Well, I’m a lucky duck with *connections* and I managed to get my hands on an advance copy.

Guys, I think James Patterson is safe.

The Queen of the Night is so good. So. Good.

I love historical fiction and I love sort of epic, sprawling tales that follow characters through radically different stages in life. This book scratches all of those itches for me. I love how the protagonist is able to shift and adapt to new situations — she’s a strong, if somewhat selfish character. She is complicated and intense and I really liked seeing her story unfold. I also enjoyed how opera plays an ongoing role in the book. It added an extra sense of depth to the story. That being said, I don’t think that an interest in/knowledge of opera is necessary to enjoy The Queen of the Night.

I don’t want to say any more about it at this point (other than it’s fantastic and you should read it) because I want you to really be able to take it all in fresh when you read it.

It comes out in February 2016. Plan accordingly. Once you start reading it, you might not want to stop and it’s a hefty-ish book. But yeah, read it. Make sure James Patterson is safe.