Jan 5, 2016

Favorite Books of 2015

2015 was a year filled with great reads! I challenged myself to read 12 books at first, then switched it to 36 books and ended up reading 48 books. 2015 was definitely a literary year; the most I have ever read in one year!  Here are my favorite books from this past year. Some where witty, some heartbreaking, and others were inspiring. But all of these books left an imprint on my heart and mind in 2015. 

Favorite  Fiction  of 2015
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows). A beautifully written historical fiction (written elusively as letters to various characters) about the village people of Guernsey, a small island on the English Channel, during German Occupation of WWII. (Read my full review)
The Magic of Ordinary Days (by Ann Howard Creel). Historical fiction novel about a lonely pregnant newlywed who befriends two Japanese girls who are living and working in an internment camp in rural Colorado during WWII. (Read my full review)
The Chronicles of Narnia (by C.S. Lewis). All of the books were great, but I especially loved The Magicians Nephew and The Silver Chair. C.S. Lewis' notable and classics were filled with creativity and theological references. (Read my full review of 2 of the books)
The Great Divorce (by C.S. Lewis). A bus trip to the outskirts of Heaven brings up many questions about heaven, hell, love, and truly living. I went to a play of The Great Divorce while reading it, so it helped bring the story to life. (Read my full review)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (by Maria Semple). A witty, hilarious story about an elusive woman and the story surrounding her mysterious disappearance. It is written almost exclusively from letters, newspaper clippings, and correspondences between various characters (with some narration from Bernadette's only child). (Read my full review)
And the Mountains Echoed (by Khaled Hosseini). I loved The Kite Runner in 2014, so I had to read another story by Hosseini.  It is a book filled with several different intertwining stories of family honor, betrayal, and sacrifices. It is heart-breaking at times, as it deals with some very difficult topics. (Read my full review)


Favorite Theology Books of 2015
Mere Christianity (by C.S. Lewis). Christian doctrine written in Lewis' brilliant style, filled with metaphors and visuals. His progression throughout the book as he tackles different doctrines is full of wisdom and a newness in the ways he presents them through his metaphorical style. (Read my full review
Women of the Word: How To Study The Word With Both Our Hearts and Our Minds (by Jen Wilkin). This book changed the way I look at studying the Bible. Wilkin explains how to approach the Bible in a way that is not dependent on other's commentaries or ideas, but rather, on what God has already presented within His word. Packed full of practical tips for studying, this book is a gem! (Read my full review) 
Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole (Angie Smith). Angie writes about lessons God taught her in a season of brokenness and heartbreak, revealing that God is magnified within the cracks we try to hide. (Read my full review)

Favorite Non-Fiction of 2015

Surprised By Oxford (by Carolyn Weber). A brilliantly written coming-to-faith memoir with Oxford as a backdrop and C.S. Lewis and Romantic Literature references (like Dante and Milton). I have never gobbled up a memoir so quickly as this one. Weber is a talented author who weaves her story in a memorable way. (Read my full review)
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (by Maya Angelou). Powerful and poetic, Maya's memoir of her childhood and adolescence during a time of atrocious racism and brutality in our American history is heart-wrenching as well as inspiring. (Read my full review)
Lunch In Paris: A Love Story, With Recipes (Elizabeth Bard). A witty and delightful memoir of Bard's love story (both with her man and French food) as well as her post-grad coming-of-age tale. (Read my full review)
7 Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness (by Eric Metaxas). Seven mini-niographies of seven extraordinary women of great faith and courage. Eric is a masterful biographer and brings so much depth to each of the remarkable women's stories. (Read my full review)
Notes From A Blue Bike (by Tsh Oxenreider). As Tsh looks back at lessons and experiences in her past travels throughout the world, she shares why living simply and intentionally is her lifelong. (Read my full review)
Surprised By Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (C.S. Lewis). Lewis looks back at some of the most important moments in his childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood that shaped his worldview, and eventually led to his conversion to Christianity in his older age. (Read my full review)


What were some of you favorite reads in 2015? 

15 comments:

  1. A lot of Lewis! Love it! I am currently reading the Magicians Nephew to my boys before bed. Lewis is brilliant! I really enjoyed reading Donald Miller's "A Million Miles in A Thousand Years". I like how he talks about having a good story and it has inspired me to live a good one! Thanks for sharing your books! I will check out some of the non-Lewis ones! (Visiting from Faintnotmom.com via the Peony Project)

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    1. I LOVED all the Lewis of 2015! I look forward to reading some more this year (like The Four Loves).

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  2. Great reads, I see you had a great year! Reading is a blessing. "Women of the Word" caught my attention, It could be one of the book for this new year for me. Thanks for sharing! Blessings.

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    1. I LOVED "Women of the Word"! It definitely changed and challenged the way I read and study the Word! I have a cheat-sheet of the author's "5Ps" of Bible study and I use it a lot! Let me know what you think if you pick it up this year!!

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  3. GAH, I love almost all of these (that I've read). Surprised by Oxford was probably one of my favorite books this year... she felt like my soul sister. Love this list, thank you for sharing it with us!

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    1. yes, yes yes!! I bought her book Holy Is the Day and I am excited to read it this year!

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  4. I'm reading And the Mountains Echoed right now! I really enjoyed The Kite Runner when I read it, definitely tough at times, but an incredible story. I love his writing.

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    1. I agree. I had to take a break from each of those for a few days because they are filled with so much raw pain, but I learned so much about Afghanistan through them and it opened my eyes to a lot of social injustice in the Middle East, particularly towards women and children.

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  5. I've heard good things about Women of the Word, but I haven't picked it up yet. Nice to read all of your thoughts on these books!

    Chels / heartnatured.com

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    1. Thanks, Chelsea! I cannot say enough good things about Women of the Word! It is a must-read and changed the way I approach the Bible. I LOVED IT! Let me know what you think once you read it!

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I an avid reader myself. I also collect cookbooks. My favorite cookbook this year was Violet Bakes.

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    1. Oooh, I have not heard of Violet Bakes! I will have to check it out! We mainly eat gluten-free and paleo, so my cookbooks hover around that area, but I love having all sorts of cookbooks! The sky is the limit when it comes to cooking!

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  7. Thanks for sharing such an awesome list!!! I can't wait to read some of these!

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    1. Yay! Let me know what you think once you read them, Katie!

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  8. I love all of Khaled Hosseini's books! He's such and incredible writer! and I can't wait to read the Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I just got it from the library!

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I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice