As we approach the close of 2015 and with the holiday season well underway, I thought now would be a good time to shout out about the top five books I read this year. Since I didn’t plug a “top 5” for 2014, I’m going to stretch and add a few to a separate list.
My followers probably already know that my passion for reading and writing comes from fictional stories of tragedy and triumph and I love “the quiet novel.” This year I couldn’t help but include some non-fiction that molds so well into this theme:
The list of honorable mention works follow (alphabetically):
Bound for Distant Seas – by James Balwin. Read my review and author interview here on this blog.
Levant Mirage – by Oliver Chase. See my review.
Relic II – by Jonathan Brookes. See my review.
The Opposite of Hollywood – by Margo Perin. See my review.
The best of 2014 – Though I read a lot of fiction in 2014, non-fiction and poetry stood out the most. These are the titles:
The Boys in the Boat – by Daniel James Brown. This was a work of what I’d consider the best in the non-fiction genre. See my review.
I thought these two collections of poetry were among the most enjoyable I’ve read: The Hundred Year House – by Michael McDowell. I reviewed this collection and posted an author interview. Another collection equally enjoyable was, We Walk Alone – by Mariah E. Wilson. The author graciously granted this interview.
The Top 5 2015 Count-Down:
#5 The Former Hero – by Jeffrey Allen Mays
I hadn’t read anything as good in the genre of experimental literature since the early ’70s when Ishmael Reed wow’ed me with The Last Days of Louisiana Red. My appetite for edgy writing is once again fulfilled.
#4 The Hunters – by James Salter
This excellent story about “when jets were young” is a must read for anyone who’s ever flown a combat jet. See my review.
#3 Kilometer 99 – by Tyler McMahon
There are so many reasons I enjoyed this story. The best advice I can offer perspective readers is to take the leap, read it and see for yourself. Tyler granted me an author interview and provides some personal insights on “point of view.”
#2 The Light Between Oceans – by M.L. Stedman
By far this is the best debut novel I’ve read in decades. I found it emotionally gripping with a strong theme. The author also has a rare talent for presenting vivid place descriptions. My review may encourage further investigation.
#1 My top read for 2015 might just be among the very best for this decade!
When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams. I discovered this short piece of non-fiction while listening to a public radio interview about the author. It is a work unique among those in the memoir genre. I was deeply moved by the words. See my recent review to get a bigger feel for what you’ll miss if you don’t read this lovely work.