my reading year in review and favorite books of 2015

December 29, 2015

This was a solid year of reading with some excellent books, even though I didn’t read as many as I usually do. (Blame it on the kids, like I do everything. But I read twice as many as last year when we were adjusting to having two!) Today I want to share a few statistics about my reading year, as well as my favorite books!

2015 year in books

The graphic above is from Goodreads, which I use to track all my reading. Here are some additional stats that I was interested in:

Percent fiction – 62.5%

Percent nonfiction – 37.5%

Percent female authors – 50%

Percent diverse authors – 17.5%

See all of the books I read in 2015 here.

Now on to my favorites! It’s very hard for me to choose, so I’m sharing all of those I rated 5 stars. I’m not super stingy about giving 5-star ratings; I just go with my gut if I think a book deserves it or if it was somehow life changing for me.

favorite fiction 2015


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – Such a unique and fascinating post-apocalyptic story. The premise drew me in but the characters sealed the deal.

The Magician KingThe Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman – I lumped these together because they were the last two in the Magicians series that I read this year, and both were tops. Man, do I love a good fantasy, especially when each book in the series gets better and better.

The Martian by Andy Weir – Fast-paced, funny, and suspenseful, this one was just an immensely fun experience.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker – A classic that I read for the first time that surprised me with its feminism (I thought it would be all about race!), it was surprisingly hopeful and touching.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Just so well done, beautiful, and vivid. Slow and penetrating.

favorite nonfiction 2015


Children of the Day by Beth Moore – This was actually a Bible study, but it was one of my favorites ever.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin – I share a lot of personality traits with Gretchen Rubin, so her book on habits particularly resonated with me. I found it fresh and applicable.

Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton – A life-changing and freeing and faith-strengthening book for me, about how to see the Bible in light of its inconsistencies and still love Jesus.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – This book on aging and end-of-life in America was definitely the most important one I’ve read professionally as an oncology nurse, and as I confront aging parents in the years to come as well as in myself, it will become priceless personally.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – And this was the most important book I read socially. I learned SO MUCH about greater issues in the country having to do with justice for all regardless of race, age, class, and mental status.

I’d love it if you’d share your favorite books of the year in the comments, or some statistics about your reading year!

Posted in: books & reading, favorite books

Comments on my reading year in review and favorite books of 2015

  1. 1

    From Jessie Weaver:

    Making Sense of the Bible sounds like one to add to the top of my TBR! I adored Being Mortal, too.

  2. 2

    From Stephany:

    I just posted my review of my favorite books I read this year today! The Martian and Pointe were my top two books.

  3. 3

    From Holly:

    Have you read “Out of Sorts” by Sarah Bessey? She deals with some tough faith questions but in more of a narrative way … I just finished it and LOVED it!

  4. 4

    From Mariana Coelho:

    I read 50 books in 2015 (but some were comic book bind-ups, which made it a bit easier), and two of my favourites are also on your list! Station Eleven and The Martian.
    I’ve read The Colour Purple a few years ago and I really enjoyed it too.
    All The Light We Cannot See, Better Than Before and Being Mortal are on my to read list… hopefully this year!
    Have a great 2016 :)

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