Book Recommendations 2015


Reading enjoyment is such a personal thing and books shine for a plethora of reasons. When I was asked to name a favourite, or even a top three from my recent reads, I struggled. This has been an outstanding year for new releases, plus I have delved deep into my TBR pile.

What I list here are the contenders for my own personal top slot. I have grouped them under headings to enable readers who like or dislike particular genres to add their own filter. Sometimes it is good to be challenged, other times more gently entertained.

Of the 118 books that I have read so far in 2015, plus the 8 that I read after compiling my recommendations list last year, these are the ones that particularly stood out. If interested you may click on the title to read my review.

Beautiful stories:

After the Bombing by Clare Morrall

A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Shtum by Jem Lester

Yellow Room by Shelan Rodger

Thrilling thrillers:

Hotel Arcadia by Sunny Singh

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Rebound by Aga Lesiewicz

The Abrupt Physics of Dying by Paul E. Hardisty

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Deliciously chilling:

The Blackheath Séance Parlour by Alan Williams

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

Compelling crime fiction:

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson

Retelling history:

Into the Fire by Manda Scott

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Stories that linger:

Being Someone by Adrian Harvey

Leaves by John Simmons

Light From Other Windows by Chris Chalmers

Lillian on Life by Alison Jean Lester

Feel good, with that something extra: 

A Man Called Ove  by Fredrik Backman (translated by Henning Koch)

A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Genre defying but fabulous:

Beauty Tips for Girls by Margaret Montgomery

Playthings by Alex Pheby

The Weightless World by Anthony Trevelyan

Short story collections:

Wrote for Luck by D.J. Taylor

Honeydew by Edith Pearlman

For the children, and the child in us all:

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Fleabag and the Fire Cat by Beth Webb

Young adult fiction:

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

Outstanding non fiction:

Imaginary Cities by Darran Anderson

Place Waste Dissent by Paul Hawkins


And finally, a book that I am reluctant to recommend because I know that it will not appeal to large swathes of my reading friends, but which I cannot leave out because it is, quite possibly, the best work of fiction I have ever read:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara



Looking for a good book?


This was the year when I became a Book Blogger. Although previously I had included reviews of some of the books that I read on my somewhat eclectic blog it was this year that I started seeking out new works of fiction to read in order that I may then write reviews.

I have discovered a wonderful community of authors, publicists and bloggers; thanks to all for the encouragement and support. Through them I have been offered access to a wealth of new books that I may not otherwise have stumbled upon.

The festive season is a time for lists so I decided to look back on the books that I have reviewed this year and highlight some of those which I would recommend. Click on the book title to link back to my original review. If you are looking for reading inspiration then I hope that you may find this of interest.

My recommendations

For all lovers of quality fiction:

The awesome epic:

Thrillers with a chill:

Psychological thrillers:

Crime fiction:

A good summer read:

Winter is coming:

Feel good fiction without the schmaltz:

Not just for the football fan:

  • Fan by Danny Rhodes

For the young (and not so young) adult:

To read with a child:

Comic book fiction:

Short stories:

And finally, for lovers of the literary world and its culture:


I’ve started so I’ll finish…

… except sometimes I just couldn’t because life is short and my TBR pile continues to grow. This year two books were left unfinished when, after 100 pages or so, I found myself choosing housework over reading:

  • ‘Infinite Jest’ by David Foster Wallace
  • ‘The Book of Life’ by Deborah Harkness

I tell myself that I will return to these one day but I suspect that there will always be other, more alluring books on my shelves.


“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” (J.K. Rowling)