5 Books That Blew My Mind This Year

Y’all I read some amazing books this year. Part 1 of this list was all about My Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2015 – and now it’s time for Part 2 – My Favorite Books Read {Print Format or eBooks}

Zombie, Joyce Carol Oates

I almost wish I could unread this book because Quentin P is probably the most unforgettable character I’ve read about this year. He is undeniably crazy, and there is nothing redeeming about him. And that’s what makes this story so bloody good. Damn you JCO, for being such a good writer. This book is on my list of Crazy Creeps {3 Books To Add To Your Reading List Right Now}.

Meet Quentin P., the most believably terrifying sexual psychopath and killer ever brought to life in fiction. The author deftly puts you inside the mind of a serial killer–succeeding not in writing about madness, but in writing with the logic of madness.

Ghost Summer: Stories, Tananarive Due

The author put together an outstanding collection of her writing and wowed me with this book. It also made several “Best Books of 2015” lists, and my list of 3 Books By Authors of Color That Are #WickedGoodReads.

Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghost; into future scenarios that seem all too real; and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness.

Uprooted, Naomi Novik

A late in the year read that instantly became one of my favorites. It’s just a brilliant fairy-tale inspired novel that will hook you from the moment you start reading.

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The Book of Phoenix, Nnedi Okorafor

This is a simple, complex fantasy – “I’m going to dress it up like a fairy-tale and maybe then you’ll get that this is some real life shit” – book. The story  is engrossing, the characters moving, the book is emotional – and woah, the political tie-in / satire/ snark was not subtle at all – not meant to be I suppose – and it was good to see. This is a fantasy book written about reality / real issues. It pulls no punches, and it’s an excellent read.

Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York’s Tower 7. She is an “accelerated woman”- only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix’s abilities far exceed those of a normal human. One evening, Saeed,  another biologically altered human of Tower 7, witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7’s refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape.

Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh

What a book! The author painted a picture that was as vivid as day, and quite depressing might I add. The characters, the plo, the setting – a trifecta that McIntosh hit out the park!

Years in the future, dead women in cryogenic dating farms await rich, lonely suitors to resurrect them and take them home. LOVE MINUS EIGHTY follows interconnected lives touched by these dating farms.

Other books of note: Double Dead, Chuck Wendig and Heart Shaped Box, Joe Hill – both of which I also loved … just a wee bit less than the ones above.

Have you read any of these books? What was your #1 read for this year?


// Comments //

  1. Wow, I’ve never heard of any of your top picks! That’s cool – I love hearing about new books instead of the same old popular ones. Sounds like you had a great reading year – hope 2016 is just as good for you!

    Happy New Year!


    Book By Book

  2. Uprooted was one of my best reads this year as well! It’s so original and special 🙂

  3. Beth F

    Jan 02

    I really liked Uprooted too. I haven’t read the others. Happy new year.

  4. Uprooted is a book I’ve been toying whether to read or not… Sometimes if a book gets a lot of positive hype I steer clear of it, but I’m particularly interested in that one. We shall see…

    I don’t have a particular book that blew my mind this year, but I loved discovering Patricia Highsmith’s work – I don’t know why it took me so long getting round to reading her material.

  5. Akilah

    Dec 29

    #1 read is probably Pieces of Why by K. L. Going. Honest and heartfelt. Thanks for sharing your list!

  6. Ginger

    Dec 29

    I am doing the motif challenge and I am definitely going to include at least 2 of these in it. Love Minus Eighty sounds horrible and also amazing!

  7. Andi

    Dec 29

    Tananarive Due is probably the author I want to try most in 2016. I think I’ll start with The Good House, since the premise sounds amazing, but boy, the length is a commitment!

  8. Heather

    Dec 29

    I love Nnedi Okorafor and Tananarive Due. I haven’t read Ghost Stories yet though

// Trackbacks & Pingbacks //

  1. […] National Book Lover’s Day – Aug. 9. The best way to celebrate is to spend as much of the day reading as you can. Our suggestion: Re-read a past favorite.  Here are 5 Books That Blew My Mind in 2015 […]

  2. […] Uprooted by Naomi Novik won Best Novel in the The 2015 Nebula Award Winners. It was on my list of 5 Books That Blew My Mind Last Year […]