Top 10 books of 2015

Here it is, my Top 10 list of the year. It’s in no particular order, four non-fiction & six fiction titles. Unsurprisingly, only one book was published this year! Lots of long, involving books this year & several listened to on audio. I wonder if that’s why they’re my favourites? Long books take longer to read so I can live inside the world of the book for longer. Long books on audio take even longer. If I included rereads in my Top 10, which I don’t, there would have been several more I could have added but I’ve restricted myself to books I read for the first time in 2015.

It’s an incredibly hot day again in Melbourne, heading towards 40C so I’ll just get on with it so I can get out of my hot study & into the living room with the air conditioner & a glass of iced tea.

Selected Letters of Willa Cather – ed by Andrew Jewell & Janis Stout. I love reading letters & I love Willa Cather’s fiction so this was perfect.

Kristin Lavransdatter – Sigrid Undset. A big, involving historical saga set in 14th century Norway. I reviewed it in three parts, The Wreath, The Wife & The Cross.

The Life of Charles Dickens – John Forster. The first biography by his best friend & literary advisor.

Fortunata and Jacinta – Benito Pérez Galdós. He was the Spanish Dickens but virtually unknown outside Spain. This is the story of two women in love with the same unworthy man. Great characters & a wonderful portrait of 19th century Madrid.

Victoria : a life – A N Wilson. Affectionate portrait of Victoria emphasizing her German background. I didn’t think I needed to read another biography of Victoria until I started listening to this one.

An Infamous Army – Georgette Heyer. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Waterloo. As well as an exhaustive account of the battle, there’s plenty of romance & wit as well.

The Usurper – Judith Gautier. 17th century Japan & a story that had everything from picnics, battles to fairytales. Another book I would never have discovered without my 19th century bookgroup.

An Old Captivity – Nevil Shute. The story of a voyage into the unknown & into the past but grounded in the meticulous practical detail of Shute’s writing about engineering & flying.

The Golden Age of Murder – Martin Edwards. A meticulous history of the origins of the Detection Club that also investigates the lives & personalities of the writers of the Golden Age. A prodigious work of scholarship from a lifetime of reading & writing on the subject.

The Deepening Stream – Dorothy Canfield Fisher. A book that had been recommended to me several times before I finally got around to reading it. what took me so long? A brilliant psychological portrait of a young woman coming of age in the US & in France during WWI.

Well, there it is. I’ve been enjoying other Top 10 lists around the blogosphere & I look forward to reading more of them. Happy New Year!

18 thoughts on “Top 10 books of 2015

  1. Happy New Year! We had a heat wave over Christmas – I was drinking ice tea and sitting in the air conditioning. But now we're having a bit of winter for a change.

    I think I missed your review of Fortunata and Jacinta, but I putting that on my reading list. I know almost nothing of Spanish literature beyond Cervantes. I'm a little nervous about picking up The Golden Age of Murder, because I know it will add books to my reading list!


  2. I have a thing about Queen Victoria, for some odd reason, and also enjoyed this biography very much. I love that we all seem to have much in common yet everyone's lists are so different. Happy new year, Lyn!


  3. Happy New year Vicki! Maybe reading Dickens can be your bookish NY resolution – if you make bookish resolutions which I don't as I'm so hopeless at sticking to them.


  4. I have a couple more Canfields tbr & would love to read her letters & short stories (which I may treat myself to for my birthday). She's such an interesting writer.


  5. Happy New Year, Lisa! I'd love a bit of winter, even autumn would do! The cool change came last night but was pretty pathetic so it's still warm this morning. I've got to the point where 30C is cool although I'd rather it were 20. TGAOM will definitely add to your wishlists, & so many of these lesser-known authors have been reprinted recently so they're even easier to get your hands on them.


  6. Happy New Year, Audrey! Yes, we all seem to read the same books or at least the same genres/subjects but our end of year lists are always quite different. Just adds more to our wishlists! I'm glad you enjoyed the Wilson, it's such a good book.


  7. And it's frigid and snowy here! 🙂 I'll shiver for you if you can bask in the sunshine for five minutes for me! I love Georgette Heyer and that is one of her best. And yay for Kristin L–what a terrific book (set of books…). I also loved the one (shorter) Galdos novel I read. Looks like a wonderful reading year–All the best in 2016!


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