2015 Books

It seems that engagement+marriage quiets my blogging voice. Oops! But I’m back, posting about the thing I love most (aside from my new husband): BOOKS.

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Here’s a list of the 20 books I read in 2015, with some commentary included:

  1. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller  |  This wins the award for top nonfiction book of 2015. Matt and I read it together chapter by chapter and discussed the topics each week. I highly recommend this to anyone who is engaged! 10/10
  2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery  |  Such a classic. I totally related to Anne, and will likely find myself reading more of the series. 10/10
  3. Make it Happen by Lara Casey  |  Eh. This workbook-style book just didn’t do it for me; either because I’m lazy or am a poor goal setter/visionary. Both are possible. 4/10
  4. Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist  |  LOVE me some Shauna Niequist. I’ll read anything she writes. So good. Also I love books that are written in this style: short, semi-unrealated essays where I can read a few before bed. 10/10
  5. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi  |  This is a fantastic book. I read Helen Oyeyemi’s book ‘Boy, Snow, Bird’ last year and fell in love with her writing. This story about a writer and his love affair with his muse requires a bit of what I call “flexible thinking,” but it’s fantastic. 8.5/10
  6. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick  |  This is the book that ‘Blade Runner’ was based off of. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it (I’m not a big sci-fi gal), but it was really good. 7.5/10
  7. Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple  |  This book got a TON of buzz this year, but I thought it fell a little short and had some unnecessary plot twists. 5/10
  8. Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion  |  I literally started reading this book and didn’t stop until I was done. It’s a dark book, but Joan Didion is a queen of literature, so if you’re interested in some contemporary classics, add this to your list. 9.5/10
  9. The Vacationers by Emma Straub  |  Less than impressed. It was a fun beach read, but I felt there could’ve been more substance. 6/10
  10. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins  |  This wins the award for top fiction book of 2015. This got a ton of buzz this year as well, but rightfully so. It’s also apparently being made into a movie. I’m obsessed with this book and kind of hope I forget some of the plot line so I can go back and re-read it. 10/10
  11. The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle  |  So. Funny. I laughed through the whole book. This memoir on marriage is incredible and real and I just so loved it. 10/10
  12. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker  |  I loved ‘7’ and ‘Interrupted’ but this was not my favorite. Jen is a great writer (duh) but I was a little lost by the lack of cohesiveness of the stories. Either you’ve got to be totally unrelated (see Cold Tangerines) or I need to be able to pick out a theme. Not somewhere in the middle. 6.5/10
  13. Wild in the Hollow by Amber Haines  |  This is a memoir that deals with a lot of hard stuff in life (read: an affair, jealousy, laziness) and her writing is super poetic. But I thought it was great and definitely isn’t your typical Christian memoir.
  14. Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle  |  After I finished Melanie’s other book, I had to get this one on friendship and I think it was even better than the one on marriage. She also has another book about parenting but I think I’ll save that one for the future. 10/10
  15. Quiet by Susan Cain  |  As an outgoing introvert, this book did it for me. It’s heavily researched and has about a million anecdotes in it. So good. Definitely read it if you’re an introvert, and probably read it if you love an introvert. Only loses half a point for the length. 9.5/10
  16. Unafraid by Susie Davis  |  Susie lived with a problem with irrational fears for most of her life, and writes about how she allowed God to almost heal her from that. As someone who ALWAYS deals with irrational fears, this was great. Soothing. 9.5/10
  17. Anchored by Kayla Aimme  |  Kayla had a baby super premature and writes about her journey of hoping in God through that. Don’t worry, it has a happy ending :) 7/10
  18. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie  |  Basically the classic mystery novel. You won’t see the end coming at. all. and I had to take breaks because it was freaking me out! If you’re into mystery/CSI/Law&Order then you should read this. 9/10
  19. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd  |  UGH THIS IS SO GOOD. It has a lot to do with slavery and two of the first women abolitionists. It’s a historical fiction of sorts, and I couldn’t stop reading it. Some of the violence is tough to read, but I’d be willing to bet it was even tougher to live through. 9.5/10
  20. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll  |  If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with my books. They’re the last thing I pack when I move, and the first thing I unpack. Therefore, the fact that I just donated this book to Goodwill should say something. It was interesting enough, but it was really lacking. I felt like something was missing in the plot. Meh. 1/10

What were your favorite books from 2015?

xo, Mrs. Amanda REDINGER ;)



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