Thursday, December 31, 2015

100+ Literary Favourites of 2015

AND YET ANOTHER HAS COME TO AN END. 2015 has been another vintage year for both fiction and nonfiction (and poetry). It’s literally a bumper harvest of literature. Here are my favourite reads of 2015, arranged alphabetically by authors’ names. They are not necessarily the best books of the year. I have no idea what a best book is. What I have listed here is merely a selection of some of my favourite books that I have read this year, books that have resonated with me, books that have left a lasting impression on me, books that I have enjoyed in one way or another, books that have managed to entertain me, books that were well edited, etc. This list is of course subjective because I have only read a small percentage of the books published this year. It is almost impossible to do a Top 10. I could easily add another hundred books to the list if I wanted to. Like many serious readers, I buy far more books than I can possibly read in a year, but nothing makes me happier. As always, I look forward with anticipation to a new reading year.

Novels
1. A God in Ruins (Doubleday/Little, Brown, 2015) / Kate Atkinson
2. The Prize (Counterpoint, 2015) / Jill Bialosky
3. See How Small (Little, Brown, 2015) / Scott Blackwood
4. Orient (Harper, 2015) / Christopher Bollen
5. The Infidel Stain (Fig Tree, 2015) / M.J. Carter
6. The Green Road (Jonathan Cape/W.W. Norton, 2015) / Anne Enright
7. Little Sister Death (Dzanc Books/Faber & Faber, 2015) / William Gay
8. Wherever There Is Light (Atria Books, 2015) / Peter Golden
9. The Past (Jonathan Cape, 2015) / Tessa Hadley
10. The Nightingale (St Martin’s Press, 2015) / Kristin Hannah

11. At Hawthorn Time (Bloomsbury Circus, 2015) / Melissa Harrison
12. In Certain Circles (Text Publishing, 2015) / Elizabeth Harrower
13. The Dig (Coffee House Press, 2015) / Cynan Jones
14. A Slant of Light (Bloomsbury Publishing/Bloomsbury USA, 2015) / Jeffrey Lent
15. You Don’t Have to Live Like This (Faber & Faber/Harper, 2015) / Benjamin Markovits
16. Tightrope (Little, Brown/Other Press, 2015) / Simon Mawer
17. Eileen (Penguin Press, 2015) / Ottessa Moshfegh
18. Signs for Lost Children (Granta Books, 2015) / Sarah Moss
19. The Rocks (Riverhead, 2015) / Peter Nichols
20. The Little Red Chairs (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Edna O’Brien

21. Miss Emily (Penguin Press/Sandstone Press, 2015) / Nuala O’Connor
22. The Lost Child (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Oneworld Publications, 2015) / Caryl Phillips
23. The Year of the Runaways (Picador, 2015) / Sunjeev Sahota
24. The Book of Aron (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Jim Shepard
25. Katherine Carlyle (Other Press/Corsair, 2015) / Rupert Thomson
25. The Followers (Picador, 2015) / Rebecca Wait
25. A Little Life (Doubleday/Picador, 2015) / Hanya Yanagihara

Translated Fiction
26. The Vegetarian (trans. from the Korean by Deborah Smith) (Portobello Books, 2015) / Han Kang
27. A Woman Loved (trans. from the French by Geoffrey Strachan) (Graywolf Press/MacLehose Press, 2015) / Andreï Makine
28. When the Doves Disappeared (trans. from the Finnish by Lola M. Rogers) (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Sofi Oksanen
29. A Strangeness in My Mind (trans. from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap) (Faber & Faber/Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Orhan Pamuk
30. A Whole Life (trans. from the German by Charlotte Collins) (Picador, 2015) / Robert Seethaler

First Novels
31. Whisper Hollow (Other Press, 2015) / Chris Cander
32. The Strangler Vine (G.P. Putnam’s, 2015) / M.J. Carter
33. Burning Down George Orwell’s House (Soho Press, 2015) / Andrew Ervin
34. The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) / Angela Flournoy
35. Our Endless Numbered Days (Tin House/House of Anansi Press, 2015) / Claire Fuller
36. The Way Back to Florence (Cheyne Walk, 2015) / Glenn Haybittle
37. Safekeeping (Fig Tree, 2015) / Jessamyn Hope
38. Black River (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) / S.M. Hulse
39. Where All Light Tends to Go (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015) / David Joy
40. Death and Mr Pickwick (Jonathan Cape/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Stephen Jarvis

41. Descent (Algonquin Books, 2015) / Tim Johnston
42. Fate Moreland’s Widow (University of South Carolina Press, 2015) / John Lane
43. Mrs Engels (Scribe Publications/Catapult, 2015) / Gavin McCrea
44. The Unfortunates (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Sophie McManus
45. The Sympathizer (Grove Press, 2015) / Viet Thanh Nguyen
46. The Fishermen (One/Little, Brown, 2015) / Chigozie Obioma
47. American Copper (Unbridled Books, 2015) / Shann Ray
48. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth (Grand Central Publishing, 2015) / Christopher Scotton
49. Landfalls (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Little, Brown, 2015) / Naomi J. Williams
50. Weathering (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015) / Lucy Wood

Stories
51. In the Country (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Mia Alvar
52. There’s Something I Want You to Do (Pantheon, 2015) / Charles Baxter
53. Refund (Counterpoint Press, 2015) / Karen E. Bender
54. Pond (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2015) / Claire-Louise Bennett
55. A Manual for Cleaning Women (ed. Stephen Emerson) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Picador, 2015) / Lucia Berlin
56. The Not-Dead and The Saved and Other Stories (Picador, 2015) / Kate Clanchy
57. In Another Country: Selected Stories (Biblioasis, 2015) / David Constantine
58. Jellyfish (Freight Books, 2015) / Janice Galloway
59. Dancing on the Outskirts (Virago, 2015) / Shena Mackay
60. The Tsar of Love and Techno (Hogarth, 2015) / Anthony Marra
61. Thirteen Ways of Looking (Random House, 2015) / Colum McCann

62. Crow Fair (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Thomas McGuane
63. We Don’t Know What We’re Doing (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Thomas Morris
64. Honeydew (Little, Brown/John Murray, 2015) / Edith Pearlman
65. Night at the Fiestas (W.W. Norton, 2015) / Kirstin Valdez Quade
65. The Country Road (trans. from the German by Kurt Beals) (New Directions, 2015) / Regina Ullmann
65. The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Joy Williams

Poetry
66. The Last Two Seconds (Graywolf Press, 2015) / Mary Jo Bang
67. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) / Ross Gay
68. Scattered at Sea (Penguin Books, 2015) / Amy Gerstler
69. Turning into Dwelling (Graywolf Press, 2015) / Christopher Gilbert
70. Not in this World (Bloodaxe Books, 2015) / Tracey Herd
71. Notes on the Assemblage (City Lights, 2015) / Juan Felipe Herrera
72. Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015) / Sarah Howe
73. Sentenced to Life (Picador, 2015) / Clive James
74. Syllabus of Errors (Princeton University Press, 2015) / Troy Jollimore
75. Steep Tea (Carcanet Press, 2015) / Jee Leong Koh
75. The Emperor of Water Clocks (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Yusef Komunyakaa
75. Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions) / Ada Limón
75. The Observances (Carcanet Press, 2015) / Kate Miller
75. Waiting for the Past (Carcanet Press, 2015) / Les Murray
75. Reconnaissance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Carl Phillips
75. Heaven (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Rowan Ricardo Phillips
75. Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts (Tupelo Press, 2015) / Lawrence Raab

Nonfiction
76. Keeping An Eye Open: Essays on Art (Jonathan Cape, 2015) / Julian Barnes
77. Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life (William Collins/Harper, 2015) / Jonathan Bate
78. The Crime and the Silence (trans. from the Polish by Alissa Valles) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/William Heinemann, 2015) / Anna Bikont
79. Fracture: Life and Culture in the West, 1918-1938 (Atlantic Books, 2015) / Philipp Blom
80. A House of My Own: Stories from My Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Sandra Cisneros
81. London Fog: The Biography (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2015) / Christine L. Corton
82. Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land (Jonathan Cape/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Robert Crawford
83. The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and The Secret History of Wonderland (Harvill Secker/Belknap Press, 2015) / Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
84. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (Penguin Press, 2015) / William Finnegan
85. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015) / Peter Frankopan

86. The House by the Lake: A Story of Germany (William Heinemann, 2015) / Thomas Harding
87. The House by the Lake: A Story of Germany (William Heinemann, 2015) / Thomas Harding
88. Charlotte Brontë: A Life (Viking, 2015) / Claire Harman
89. Latest Readings (Yale University Press, 2015) / Clive James
90. Negroland: A Memoir (Pantheon, 2015) / Margo Jefferson
91. Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker (Random House, 2015) / Thomas Kunkel
92. The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964 (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Zachary Leader
93. Maman, What Are We Called Now? (Persephone Books, 2015) / Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar
94. A Brief Stop on the Road From Auschwitz (ed. John Cullen) (trans. from the Swedish by Sarah Death) (Other Press, 2015) / Göran Rosenberg
95. John Aubrey: My Own Life (Chatto & Windus, 2015) / Ruth Scurr
96. 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear (published as The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 in the U.S.) (Faber & Faber/Simon & Schuster, 2015) / James Shapiro
97. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Tim Duggan Books/The Bodley Head, 2015) / Timothy Snyder
98. This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War (Atlantic Books, 2015) / Samanth Subramanian
99. Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva (Fourth Estate/Harper, 2015) / Rosemary Sullivan
100. Proust: The Search (Yale University Press, 2015) / Benjamin Taylor
100. The English and Their History (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Robert Tombs
100. Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society (trans. from the Spanish by John King) (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Mario Vargas Llosa
100. Walking the Kiso Road: A Modern-Day Exploration of Old Japan (Shambhala, 2015) / William Scott Wilson

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