While this blog may make it seem like all I do is see theater and watch television, I also quite enjoy reading. In fact, I read 42 books this year. Since many of you seemed to enjoy my post last year where I identified my favorite books of 2014, I wanted to do the same this year. Please note that not all of these books were necessarily published in 2015, 2015 is just when I happened to discover and enjoy them, and this list is in no particular order.
Also, while it was not intentional, I was pleased to discover after assembling this list that 8/10 books included were written by female authors.
I read this young adult gem with my book club and was really blown away. It tells the story of twins Noah and Jude in two different timelines—we see the story from Noah’s point of view at age 13 and from Jude’s point of view at age 16, in alternating chapters, as we come to understand a series of heartbreaking events that forever changed their relationship. It contains possibly my favorite line I read this year: “Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.” Afterwards I was compelled to check out Nelson’s other novel, The Sky is Everywhere, which I also very much enjoyed.
This is one of the many follow-ups to the Gone Girl phenomenon and the first of multiple books on this list that I discovered via Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram. Reese is producing a movie adaptation of this page turner, which follows a late twenty-something woman who seems to have everything but is battling the secrets of a dark past. While it may not be the most innovative storytelling, I couldn’t put it down.
At just 226 pages, this is a quick read I devoured in one sitting. While I don’t want to say much, it follows two sixth graders in New York who receive a series of notes that appear to be from the future. If that doesn’t intrigue you I don’t know what will.
I finally checked out this popular young adult novel in preparation for Tim Burton’s film adaptation in 2016 and it definitely lived up to the hype. When 16-year-old Jacob witnesses his grandfather’s mysterious death, he falls headfirst into a mystery involving a remote Welsh island, strange photographs, and time loops. There have also been two sequels.
This young adult book has been compared to Eleanor & Park and The Fault in Our Stars, both of which I love. This one is also going to be a movie in the future, starring Elle Fanning. It follows two trouble high schoolers who have a chance meeting atop the school bell tower and the effect it has on both of their lives.
I think any young adult can relate to Aziz’s hilarious, honest, and painfully accurate depiction of dating in 2015.
AKA the book that made Erin weep on an airplane in 2015! Thankfully it was a redeye and the lights were off. An assignment for English class to write a letter to a dead person leads the main character, Laurel, to work through the pain and secrecy surrounding her older sister’s recent death. It’s powerful and definitely a tearjerker. I loved it.
I love me some Mindy, and this follow-up to her first book did not disappoint. In addition to her hilarious commentary on a lot of topics, we get a nice glimpse into her life, both professional and personal.
AKA the second book on this list Reese Witherspoon introduced me to! Thanks, Reese. She posted this one in October, deeming it a good spooky read, and that it definitely was. Don’t read this one if you’re home alone, probably. Nora hasn’t seen her ex-best friend since an ugly falling out years ago, but when she receives an out of the blue invite to her bachelorette party at a house in the woods, she reluctantly decides to attend. What could go wrong?
Every theatre fan needs to check out this series (there are two volumes so far with more in the works) of theatre history and interviews, written by a budding theatre historian and beloved young member of the Broadway community. Organized by Broadway theater, the series contains charming and illuminating anecdotes from members of the theatre community from famous actors to stagehands and doormen. Tepper also interjects her own opinions, stories, and experiences in a really great way, making this a must read for anyone interested in New York theater history.