The Ten Best Books I Read in 2015

I didn’t read as many books as I had hoped to read in 2015. I found myself busier than I expected with less reading time. Bedtime reading use to be where I would catch up, but I’m so exhausted by the end of the day that I fall asleep pretty quickly once I hit the pillow. I also hit a couple reading slumps that were hard for me to break out of. I think it was my mind telling me I needed a break. So, instead, I caught up on magazines and did other things and frankly, avoided reading books, even when I had piles of them to read.

Then, on our vacation this summer, I found some winners and got back into reading only to find myself subbing during the day and running to kids’ activities at night once school started back up…leaving me with little free time for reading.

But, it is my season of life. I always have a book with me and even if I just sneak in a few moments, those few moments all add up. I am hoping to do better in 2016 and choose reading over staring at my phone.

I wrote my Top 5 Books of 2015 for the Gazette back in December. These were all published in 2015 and I chose to mix up the genres including nonfiction, fiction, and children’s.  I will include them in my list here, but to see the other Gazette reviewers’ Top 5, click HERE. None of us mentioned the same 5 books and we have a very different taste in books, although I do want to check out a couple of the ones they mentioned.

All of the following books left an impression on me. They all received a 5 Star rating from me.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters or about how the book made me feel. If you choose to purchase any of these books, clicking on the photo will take you to Amazon where I may receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting me this year and I hope you’ll continue to join me in talking about books.

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS

PIPSIE NATURE DETECTIVE
The Disappearing Caterpillar
By: Rick DeDonato
My Review: HERE
Part of Gazette’s Top 5 Books of 2015
This delightful children’s picture book shares a love of nature while teaching about the magic of the caterpillar’s life cycle. The vivid illustrations and sweet characters will encourage your child to explore nature in their own backyard.

STORMIN NORMAN
The Bark in the Park
By: Andy Allen
My Review: HERE

This local author has started a great series of books about his dog Norman. I have enjoyed both of them and look forward to more. Each book teaches a lesson (this one is about bullying) has great illustrations, and a creative story.

FAVORITE NONFICTION BOOKS
THE 52 LISTS PROJECT
A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration
By: Moorea Seal
My Review: HERE
Part of Gazette’s Top 5 Books of 2015
This is a beautiful book for those who love journaling and list making, are looking for inspiration, or are wanting to start the new year making memories. This journal has a full year’s worth of weekly prompts to help you reflect on past memories and remind you of the joy and beauty in your life. Even though I have fallen behind in my weekly journaling, I am still loving it and hope to continue sharing my lists with you.

AND THE GOOD NEWS IS…
Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side
By: Dana Perino
My Review: HERE
You don’t have to be a fan of Dana’s on Fox News to love her book. It is full of stories of her family and the advice she received from her grandfather, father, and the many people she worked with during her years in the White House. It would make a great gift for a new graduate or someone entering the work world. Dana looks at life by finding the good in everything….it’s a way we should all see the world! 
THE JOY OF BALLPARK FOOD
From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine
By: Bennett Jacobstein
My Review: HERE
Every baseball fan in your life needs this book. It isn’t just about the food, but the history of baseball, the ball parks and….well…the food we love to eat while watching the game. It truly is an interesting compilation of food and ballparks.

COMPLETE DO-IT-YOURSELF MANUAL FROM THE FAMILY HANDYMAN
By: Editor’s of Family Handyman
My Review: HERE
This DIY manual covers everything a home owner may need to tackle. Each tasks has clear and consise step-by-step instructions and lots of pictures. A great gift for a new home owner!
FAVORITE FICTION BOOKS

REMEMBER MIA
By: Alexandra Burt
My Review: HERE
Part of Gazette’s Top 5 Books of 2015
This story was a thrilling roller coaster of emotions that left me guessing all the way until the end. It’s subject matter highlights the dangers of postpartum depression and left me thinking about the characters months later.
SWEET FORGIVENESS
By: Lori Nelson Spielman
My Review: HERE
Part of Gazette’s Top 5 Books of 2015
Holding a grudge is a heavy burden but it can be even more difficult to let it go. Often, offering someone forgiveness also means asking for forgiveness yourself. This story of long-held secrets may just encourage you to release some of your own burdens.

THE SAME SKY
By: Amanda Eyre Ward
My Review: HERE
Part of Gazette’s Top 5 Books of 2015
No matter what your opinions are about illegal immigration, this book will leave an imprint on your heart. I read this in January and I’m still talking about it and telling people to read it.
KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST
By: J. Ryan Stradal
My Review: HERE
I had a hard time leaving this out of my Top 5 Books for the Gazette. I really loved this book. It compiled food, family, and was just so well written, that I gushed about it for days.  It really is a must read…especially for Midwesterners! 

A post from today, 7 years ago – Mondays Matter and a Giveaway
A post from today, 7 years ago – Mondays Matter: Week 1
A post from today, 6 years ago – Make Someone’s Day
A post from today, 3 years ago – Book Review: The End of Your Life Book Club
A post from today, 1 year ago – Book Review: Singing to a Bulldog 

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1 Comment

  1. Kate Unger on January 5, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I added Remember Mia and The Same Sky to my TBR list. Thanks for the suggestions!

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