Books I Read in 2015

As the year is winding down, I am packing away 2015 and remembering events of this past year.  In planning the days on the next calendar page, I like to look back at what we’ve already done.

I found a theme happening this year from people saying, “You’ve never read…(fill in the blank of any well-known, well-loved book)  So I decided to change that and get going on some classics.

Little Matthew and I read through The Chronicles of Narnia which I think I enjoyed more than he did and he really liked them.  I found so many “Aahhh…” moments in those books and just really loved it all the way through to the end.  My favorite was probably The Last Battle and then The Magician’s Nephew.  I like the book-ends and all that’s in-between.

Another huge series I had never read was the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  When they first came out I was busy raising babies and was out of the reading loop unless it was Dr. Seuss related or Goodnight Moon.  I was never into the whole hype of it all and didn’t really get into the controversy surrounding the series.

Our teens read through them a few years ago and loved them. I wasn’t interested until this summer on a road trip with the family.  The older kids brought along the audio book, The Sorcerer’s Stone.  As the book was read-aloud and piped through the van speakers, I thought to myself, “Wow, this woman can write!”  J.K. Rowling is an amazing storyteller and I was hooked from that point on.  That was back in June.  I have made my way through the rest of the series and finished Deathly Hollows right before Christmas. When I arrived at the end, I was sad it was over.  I watched the movies as well and I now sit in the camp of “The books are way better!”

Other reads of 2015:

  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • The Christmas Kid & other Brooklyn Stories by Pete Hamill
  • When God Made Lemonade created by Don Jacobson
  • Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
  • Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle (Loved this one!)

Writing books:

  • Bird By Bird – by Anne Lamott – This will be a re-read again and again.  I underlined and marked this book up in so many places.  This should be a must-read by any writer.
  • You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – by Lee Gutkind
  • And many podcasts from Compel Training

Ministry and Life Growth books:

  • One Size Doesn’t Fit All by Gary L. McIntosh
  • Fulfilled by Danise Jurado
  • Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver
  • The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst
  • Run to Win by Christine Caine
On the short list for 2016 are more classics I have put off for too long, along with some that you, my readers, have recommended.  I’m looking forward to getting started.

Upcoming 2016 reads:

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • A New Kind of Normal by Carol Kent
  • The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
  • Advent in Narnia by Heidi Haverkamp (Putting this away for Dec 2016)
  • A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers (My older girls keep getting on me about this book and insist I will love it.  I keep picking it up but can’t quite get into it. I’m going to try it again, based on my daughters’  recommendation.  They are usually right when it comes to good books.)
  • H3 Leadership: Stay Hungry, Be Humble, Always Hustle by Brad Lomenick and Jim Collins

So what’s on your list?  What do you love and what would you recommend?

Jump into the Conversation:

  • What good reads did you take in during 2015?
  • What’s on your reading list for 2016?

In the past, you have given me some great read suggestions, so I’d love to hear from you.  (FYI:  I have read all the Jane Austin’s and love them.  I love historical biographies, leadership books and fun reads that make me laugh and cry!)


{We are linking up today with Kate and the gang with a special edition of Books I Read in 2015 if you would like to join us and see what others are reading, click here.}

Happy New Year!

15 thoughts on “Books I Read in 2015

  1. What a lovely list, Rachel! So glad you shared! I’m also thrilled to see how you’ve taken on the challenge to read more classics. What a great idea. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed many of the middle grade chapter books that I read aloud to my kids for our homeschooling. I had the privilege of meeting Carol Kent at a writers’ conference this year. Haven’t read New Kind of Normal, but I suspect it will be a moving read! Have a wonderful new year! Thanks so much for linking up.


  2. Rachel, one of my favorite topics – books! Your article inspired me to write down all my reading for 2015 and I was quite surprised. For all of the stress and changes in my life this year (including moving and retiring), I think I accomplished quite a bit! About the only “New Year’s Resolutions” I ever make is a book list for the new year! I haven’t done that yet but looking over the current year is a good start toward making that list.

    Here are my 2015 reads:
    Inspiration: Your God is Too Safe, The Holy Wild, and Things Unseen – all by Mark Buchanan. These were all re-reads but very comforting to me.

    Historical Fiction (my favorite genre): A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, I Shall be Near to You by Erin Lindsay, House Girl by Tara Conklin, & Sarah’s Key, The Housie I Loved and A Secret Kept – all by Tatiana de Rosnay.

    Book Club Reads: I joined a local book club when we moved to Warsaw this year. I didn’t read all the books on the list because some of them were just not to my liking but I’m looking forward to the new recommendations for 2016. Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline, Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. Also read Hurricane Sisters by Dorthea Benton Frank and currently reading The Innocent Man by John Grisham, both of which were re-reads for me.

    Just for Fun: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, Rococo by Adriana Trigiani, On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah, Fallen Women, True Sisters, The Bride’s House – all by Sandra Dallas, Here Burns my Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs, The High Divide by Lin Enger, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Landline by Rainbow Powell, & Gray Mountain by John Grisham.

    Whew! 23 books! Better than I expected!
    I expect you and your readers know there are many websites where you can set up an account for keeping track of the books you read. I use
    I will have to borrow some of yours and invite you to try some of mine.

    For the joy of reading – –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the recommendation. I just looked him up and I look forward to diving in and reading. I think I will start with “The Warden” since that was his first success and move from there! Thank you! 🙂


  3. My list is too exhaustive 64 books (not including picture books…) (in fact, my post is pretty exhaustive…) to share here, but you’ll be glad you read Little Women :). I’ve read all of Louisa May Alcott’s books–two that you should also include are “A Long, Fatal Love Chase” (she was way ahead of her times in the whole abusive man relationship category and the book wasn’t published until the 1990s) and The Inheritance (a lovely story set in England). I also adore all things C.S. Lewis–have you read “Til We Have Faces’? Absolutely beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny thing is a few years ago I made a goal of 12 books in one year and I thought a book a month is good. (This was to be one book outside of reading all the books for homeschooling, ministry, etc) It was to be a book “just for fun” I did it one year and was pretty proud of myself and each year I keep “up”ing the ante and getting more done each year. I didn’t keep a running total this last year of homeschooling books, writing books, ministry books and just for fun books but I plan to for 2016. I will be interested to see what it turns out to be. My teen daughter started back in February counting and her total for those 11 months was 82. Holy cow! I can’t believe it but at the same time, it’s not surprising because she works at a library and reading is her favorite pastime! Congrats on 64 that’s a great achievement. I hope to do more this year but don’t know if I’ll reach that high…. who knows because I’ve never counted each book read so we’ll see! Thanks for jumping in and sharing and for the recommendations! 🙂 Happy New Year to you and yours!


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