A Book List: 25 Novels I’ve Read and Enjoyed in 2015

Get lost.

In one world after another, time after time.

I’ve always been mesmerized by the power of novels.  While remaining completely stationary, a person can fall in love, meet new people, travel, learn, grow, cry, laugh, imagine and change, just by turning pages.  I have loved to read my entire life; largely because my mother read to me every day growing up. Over the years, I didn’t make enough time to read the way I longed to. It became apparent that something was missing–my writing suffered, and I felt sort of stuck in my own mind.

This year, my New Year’s resolution was to read more, both for myself and for the world around me.  To be educated, literate and imaginative, all beautiful endowments earned through literature, are the best gifts we can award ourselves and those we encounter. To begin the process, I scrounged up my library card, made multiple trips to Half Price Books, and dug out the many books I’ve been gifted over the years.  A beautiful adventure was about to begin.

Alas, I have put together a list of  25 of my favorite books read in 2015 (so far), in no particular order of preference.  I didn’t limit myself to any particular genre. As you’ll see below, I often find an author I like and opt to explore more of their work.

  1. Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso – this woman is brutally honest, and I loved reading about her kick-ass climb to the top of the fashion world [she’s the brains behind the uber-successful #NastyGal clothing]
  2. Paper Towns by John Green – if John Green wrote it, I’m reading it; his writing style is witty and thought-provoking
  3. Before I Go by Colleen Oakley – simple, sad and beautiful 
  4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – chills and thrills
  5. The Beach House by Georgia Bockoven – a great beach read, haha, but really
  6. The Last Summer by Ann Brashares – a grown up novel from one of my favorite writers during my teen years (author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series)
  7. Promises to Keep by Jane Green – I quickly learned after just a few library visits that Jane Green’s novels are easy to read, as they explore many multitudes of life events through the few hundred pages…very relatable emotions and topics
  8. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – a sweet, magical read set in Alaska
  9. The Other Woman by Jane Green – not what I thought it was going to be, pleasantly surprised **
  10. A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury – I passed this love story along to all the members of my family because of its rodeo setting that they live and appreciate
  11. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sâenz – deals with the heavy topic of teens and sexuality, the book has received numerous honorable awards and it’s easy to understand why
  12. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut – one of my favorite writers of all time
  13. Looking for Alaska by John Green *
  14. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green *
  15. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green *
  16. Letting Ana Go Anonymous – I’ve read this a few times…the journal-style story explores a teenager’s accidental fall into the wicked trap that is an eating disorder 
  17. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks – the book was better than the movie (as always)
  18. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – hilarious, and weird…very weird
  19. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James – I mostly read this out of curiosity…I get it…And I’m glad I read it in the privacy of my own home.
  20. Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro – one woman’s personal life transformation based upon a lifestyle book she finds titled “Elegance”
  21. Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich – I read this book in just a day or two, and I (literally) cheered the protagonist on multiple times…woohoo, you go girl!
  22. Summer Crossing by Truman Capote – set post-WWII, one of my favorite time periods to read about, this novel follows a socialite living ambiguously
  23. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn –  MIND.BLOWN.
  24. A Work in Progress by Connor Franta – the fact that the author is from Minnesota makes his memoir as a young, ultra-successful content creator in the digital age that much better
  25. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes – this book was recommended by multiple people, and I understand why…the middle was a bit slow for me, but it was definitely worth the read

Even making this list, I feel a sense of loss. I miss my “friends”…it’s funny how characters become so dear to us.  I can directly relate what was happening in my life to characters and how any given chapter made me feel. I truly think my pregnancy was enriched by reading.

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If I can force myself to keep a book close whenever possible, new worlds will ever be at my fingertips.

*See note about John Green in #2 // **See note about Jane Green in #7
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Kelly Jo Johnson | Forever Golden Living

wife & mama. blog author. photographer. style obsessed. for booking & collaborations 📧: kellyjophoto@gmail.com

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