Reader Favorites – bev’s Top Fourteen Reads for 2015

by Maryse on December 27, 2015 · 24 comments

in Book Recommendations

Who wants to read some uputtdownable books? bev is one of our most active book-buds in the group, and she has found us SO MANY new ones!

She has amazing book taste (she likes ‘em gut-twisty, like we do, but she loves SO many that we haven’t read yet and that are TRIED-AND-TRUE AWESOMENESS!!!) She makes me laugh so hard, and I just find her SO DARN CLEVER with her witty repertoire, her insistence that I read her favorites and why (LOL on her comments!!!!). I wholeheartedly trust her. I just know if she loved it (for whatever reason… I will love it, too).

So guess what her favorites for 2015 are:

“I apologize in advance. This will be long. In no paticular order. And I don’t star, these were just the books I didn’t want to put down until I was done.”

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

“I lift my head. Staring back at me is Dolly. A fat teenage Dolly Parton.
“Oh my God,” says El.”I think you might be my spirit animal.”

Kulti by Mariana Zapata <— “The face mask scene was too sweet. I have to say it was definitely Sal who made the book. Love heroines like this. I kind of wish there had been just a little more time with them at the end. But that’s a tiny thing.

“‘Hey, you German bratwurst.”
Did that just come out of my mouth?”

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell <— “Just read Carry On by RR and loved it… I usually delete my books off of my ereader after reading. But just realized have not wanted to with Carry On yet. It always takes a few days with her books to not open and read random parts.

“You saved the day, you courageous fuck. You absolute nightmare.”
I started the year with E&P and have now read all her books. I figured E&P gets chosen a lot.

Vision In Silver: A Novel of the Others by Anne Bishop

‘This looks like puppy fuzz.’
Before he could give her a scritch behind the ear, she jerked away from his hand and wailed, “I don’t wanna look like puppy fuzz!”
“Why not? Puppies are cute.”‘

Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott. Just that old indie romance feel. <— “There is this tiny scene in that book where he is walking by her desk and skims his finger over hers. I love little moments like that. It is funny how sometimes you remember such tiny scenes.

Beautiful Bad Man by Ellen O’Connell <— “Beautiful Bad Man, really good too. Love the title. I really do. want to read through her backlist. Not too many.

“Oh, Mabel, yes, he is. He’s a very bad man, but he’s a beautiful bad man.”

Station Eleven: A novel by Emily St. John Mandel <— “So different than I expected. Lyrical, sad, yet hopeful.”

Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton <— Stayed up all night reading. “Strawberries for Dessert is a slow burn. The physical happens relatively quickly but it takes a while for the feelings… Read it this year and think it would go on my year favorites list.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta <— “This book stayed in my head for days after.”

“It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri La.”

Act Like It by Lucy Parker <— “Act Like it was a fun contemporary. Really enjoyed it. … Great banter.”

“A nerve twitched above Richard’s right eyebrow. “Is that blatant insult supposed to make me re-evaluate my life choices?”
She shrugged. “It would make me think twice.”

Who Buries the Dead by CS Harris <— Just love this series.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith <— Read a bit every night for a week. Just had such fun walking around the streets of London with Strike.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“Like the way you can memorize someone’s gestures but never know their thoughts. And the feeling that people are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows.”

Going the Distance by Julianna Keyes. This book just snuck up on me, not sure how else to describe it.


Said be long. And this is edited down. :-P

Last but not least.

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson <— Quirky, sad, and romantic.


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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Grey December 27, 2015 at 10:13 PM

Yikes! I have read 1 of bev’s favorites…. just one, what the heck?!??! I’ve read Wild Reckless and absolutely LOVED it. I am currently reading Visions in Silver though, so that counts, right???

I have several of these books on my kindle though. So maybe I will add them to my challenge for 2016! Thanks Maryse and thanks bev for such an awesome list!!

bev December 27, 2015 at 10:49 PM

That intro made me blush.
Thank you Maryse for sharing my favorites and the lovely comments. You ladies make me laugh every day.:-)

fabi December 28, 2015 at 8:17 AM

Wow Bev, awesome list. I’ve only read three of these. I’ve loved each one so I guess I have a few to catch up on. :-)

Jean December 28, 2015 at 9:54 AM

I’ve only read Kulti and Wild Reckless from your list bev! Love new recommendations and know I can count on you for good ones! After all, it was you that got me to read WiR and E&P!

I have had Station Eleven downloaded forever….need to read that in 2016!

MichelleS December 28, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Kulti and Station 11 are on my 2015 faves too!!!

I’m going to ear-mark Carry On, because E & P turned out to be such a great read. (Another one of my 2015 faves).

And if you haven’t read Simon….. then pick it up. I think that one has serious mass appeal. Everyone can love that one.

I want to read Dumplin’ so bad and need to talk myself into buying it. All of The Others books were pricey too, and that kept me from them for too long. I just need to trust that you won’t lead me wrong.

I love that your taste is kind of all over the place, but at the same time I see the pattern: you are a true romantic, my girl…. (you’re mushy mushy heart)

Tessa December 28, 2015 at 4:07 PM

( said it before, but I do love your list. Jellicoe Road looks good, though pricy. Heck, they all seem good, though I think Carry On is the most intriguing. Well, Station 11 is but that one scares me. :) *pats back because Bev hates hugs*

bev December 28, 2015 at 6:17 PM

Grey, the Others counts in all ways. :-)

All of them, Fabi. Just read all of them.

bev December 28, 2015 at 6:23 PM

Jean, yes give Station Eleven a try. I was surprised by it but such a great read.

MichelleS, totally a romantic. Lol. So maybe that’s my type.
You know sooner or later I’m going to Steer you wrong. Just the odds, lol.

Tessa, thank you. Jellicoe Road and Carry On are both great reads.

Cheryl December 28, 2015 at 6:25 PM

I’ve only read Kulti & Wild Reckless. I have Act Like It on my tbr. Moving that one up now! ;)

bev December 28, 2015 at 7:08 PM

Cheryl, when you read it let me know what you think. I was just charmed by it.

Lisa C December 28, 2015 at 9:51 PM

I started Going the Distance today per your recommendation. 60% in and loving it so far. Thanks so much! There are a few more on your list that are now in my tbr!

bev December 28, 2015 at 10:21 PM

Lisa C, that makes me so happy to hear. Both characters were so closed off and resistant that it took me awhile to realize just how invested I had become in them.
Fingers crossed the others work for you.

Ginger December 29, 2015 at 2:18 AM

Thank you for the kind words, Bev. Truly honored to have made your list of memorable reads for the year; wishing you many more!

Michelle December 29, 2015 at 9:53 AM

Yey Station Eleven – will never forget that book! I love your list Bev and I get the best recommendations from you :D

Just sent my list in to Maryse and I’ve got Without Words on it. It got me in the mood for more of her books so I downloaded Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold on KU. I bought Dancing on Coals in 2 seconds after reading the blurb and think that one will be first.

I’m getting Act Like it and Dumplin’ with gift cards and will post when I get around to reading them.

Frankie December 29, 2015 at 12:31 PM

Love Ellen O’Connell and her terrific westerns.

Michelle December 29, 2015 at 6:09 PM

Frankie, I had no idea about her books so I’m thrilled Bev got me to read one because yes I’m addicted now! Do you have a favorite?

bev December 29, 2015 at 7:14 PM

Ginger, thank you for the great reading day I had because of Wild Reckless.

bev December 29, 2015 at 7:18 PM

Michelle, I can’t wait to see your list. I know I’ll want to read the majority. Probably already have many based on your comments.
I loved Eyes of Silver Eyes of Gold. One of my first ebooks. Just re read it this year and still loved it. I have but have not read Dancing on Coals.

bev December 29, 2015 at 7:19 PM

Frankie, I almost do not want to read all she has released just so I have new ones to read when the mood strikes, lol.

Frankie December 29, 2015 at 9:26 PM

I know she has not written a lot of books. Dancing on Coals, Eyes of Silver, all of them…There’s enough “grittiness” and tenderness in each one. As good a storyteller as she is, there doesn’t seem to be great compulsion to write. Maybe she hasn’t been appreciated enough.

Amy December 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Hey Bev…psssstttt, Bev!! *pokes Bev* I’m hugging you in my head right now and you can’t do anything to stop me. :P Luffs ya!

I’m reading Wild Reckless right now and am absolutely head-over-heels in love with it!!

I’ve read some books on Bev’s recommendation, and they were GREAT! A Place to Call Home (when I was craving a SGT type of book), Written in Red and Jellicoe Road are the ones I can remember off the top of my head right now. If anyone is trying to decide on reading Jellicoe Road, just read it already!!! Everyone should splurge once in a while on a pricey book when it’s been vouched for by one of our friends here!

Jean December 30, 2015 at 4:22 PM

Amy, you are just reading Wild Reckless? Wow, you should have been buried in peanuts over that one! Ha! (I just read it in September!) So great!

Amy December 30, 2015 at 4:32 PM

I think the only reason why I’m not buried under WR peanuts is because I’ve wisely kept quiet about not reading it yet…but I am kicking myself now over not reading it sooner! *sigh* It’s been a while since I’ve read a high school-themed book with a jerk-face doe-doe head who I can’t help but fall for!

bev December 30, 2015 at 11:31 PM

Amy, thanks.:-)
Isn’t WR fun? Maryse was reading it and doing her updates and so one click.

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