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Our Favorite Books of 2015

2015 may have come and gone, but it was another great year for literature. We were introduced to many new, wonderful books and are excited to share our favorites published in 2015 with you. From fiction to nonfiction, children’s and beyond, see the staff of The Reading Room’s picks for the most enjoyable books of 2015. Tell us what your favorite book published in 2015 is in the comments below!

 

Nicole Cunningham, Manager of Community and Author Relations

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

I was struck with Ferrante Fever after the recommendation of a close friend, and I haven’t stopped talking about the Neapolitan Novels since. The Story of the Lost Child is a perfect conclusion to the series – Elena, Lila, and the streets of Naples still shine vividly in my mind, with no end in sight. 

 

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra

The Tsar of Love and Techno, a collection of interwoven short stories set in the Soviet Union, is literary fiction at its best. Authentic and empathetic characters combine with lyrical prose to create an unforgettable work about the complexities of humanity in the modern world.  

 

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem  

The only memoir I’ve ever read that focuses more on the stories of others than the personal life of the author. In addition to providing insight on Steinem as an organizer, traveler, activist, and feminist, My Life on the Road reminds us that knowledge of the world around us comes from listening with an open heart.

 

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Guy Gonzalez, VP of Audience Development

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between The World and Me, is one of the most important books to be published this decade, surely, possibly even this young century. For many, Coates’ work is revelatory and/or discomfiting, and that is as it should be. He doesn’t offer his son any condescending platitudes or even a hint of a happy ending, because doing so would be disingenuous.

 

Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

I’m a massive Star Wars fan, from the movies and cartoons to comics and games, but I’ve never been into the novels. Having grown up with the original trilogy as a personal touchstone, I’ve been anticipating the new movies since they were just rumors back in the 80s, and Aftermath does a great job of connecting them while telling a rousing story of its own. Wendig gets special kudos for introducing Mr. Bones into official canon! 

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 Matt Mullin, Sales Director 

 

Crooked by Austin Grossman

Alt history titles that imagine a paranormal element are often rooted in the Old World. London in particular is crawling with wizards and vampire hunters. The United States isn’t generally a very magical place. So the premise of Crooked, Austin Grossman’s second novel, feels fresh: the Presidents of the United States are secretly part of a clan of sorcerers, and the most important of them all is our most maligned, Richard Nixon. The novel’s pacing is quick, and Grossman manages to hint at darker elements at work in the vein of Lovecraft. Really great.

 

I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son by Kent Russell 

No way to mince words on this: Kent Russell is an incredible new voice. In his debut collection of gonzo journalism and family memoir, he explores modern masculinity and his own biography with the same tough interrogative approach. I’ve passed my copy to several people already. It’s a book you can’t help recommending. 

 

Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson 

At only 135 pages (on the NOOK edition at least), this novella packs a lot to like between the covers. The hero, Demane, a great-grandchild of absent gods, is tender and empathetic, and the characters feel much more deeply fleshed out than your typical hack-and-slash fantasy adventure. The world of Wilson’s debut is fascinating and wholly original, but the perspective changes can be abrupt at times. I can’t wait for more.

 

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Kim Anderson, CEO

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

 

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Sarah Mangiola, Managing Editor

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

I don’t typically read nonfiction (in fact, to read more of it is one of my goals in 2016!), but after getting my hands on this book I knew I had to give it a go. Coming in at only 141 pages, it’s a fast read for even a sloth reader like myself. I highly recommend The Argonauts; its unique style and important look at many aspects of the family makes for a great read. 

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

I know, I know: Harry Potter came out almost 20 years ago. However, the new illustrated edition was released in 2015, so it makes my list! The illustrations add an entirely new dynamic to the book that would make reading this for the first (or hundredth) time even more special. I was skeptical of illustrator Kay’s unique style at first, but now it will always have a special place in my heart.