15 Favorite Books of 2015

Hi everyone. I’m Rincey and this is Rincey
Reads. Today I’m going to be talking about my 15 favorite books of 2015. Before we get
started just a couple of disclaimers. First off, these are not necessarily books that
were all published in 2015, just books that I read this year. Second is that, because
I have 15 books, I don’t want this video to end up being like a half an hour long. So
if I have reviews of those books available I have links to all of those down in the description
so you guys can check out those for more information on those books. I’ll go into more detail on
the books that don’t have reviews, but if they do have a review I’ll probably speak
very quickly about them. And finally I haven’t ranked these books necessarily. There is one
book that is like my all-time favorite of the year, and you will know what that is when
I get to it because I will say that. But otherwise these are all just books that I really, really
enjoyed and would highly recommend to people. So I’m basically just going through this list
in the order that I read them in 2015 because it was just too much work to rank them. So
the first book that I have is Deep Down Dark by Héctor Tobar. This is a non-fiction book
that talks about the Chilean mine collapse that happened in 2010 where 33 Chilean miners
were trapped in a mine. This book was so good. It was such a great way to start off the new
year. This wasn’t the first book that I read, but it was pretty early on in the year, in
the first month, and it was so gripping. If you’re someone who thinks they don’t like
non-fiction books this is one worth picking up and trying because the story is so strong
and so gripping. I knew what was going to happen to these miners. Like I knew whether
or not they survived and I remember this news story. But even with all of that information,
this story is still so gripping. Héctor Tobar does a really good job of researching these
miners and their families, talking about the situations that they were faced to deal with,
and the things that Chile was faced to deal with during this situation, and how like the
whole world was just watching and waiting to see what was going to happen to these men.
It’s such a amazing story. And I believe it’s being made into a movie. I don’t know if the
movie’s been released yet. But I remember that they were adapting this into a movie
and this story is just fantastic. So before the movie comes out, check out the book. Next
up I have State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. Ann Patchett is someone who I really enjoy
her writing, but I hadn’t really read a lot of her novels, which I was surprised at myself
at. So when I saw this edition in stores, I knew I had to pick it up. This story follows
Dr. Singh who ends up going down into the Amazon to try to find her mentor, Dr. Swenson,
who is doing all of this medical research. And Dr. Swenson ends up going like missing,
or she isn’t like communicating with the university back in the United States so Dr. Singh heads
down to the Amazon to try to find her and to figure out what’s going on. And I believe
she’s supposed to give her some bad news, but, you know, no spoilers or anything. The
reason why I love Ann Patchett’s stories is because when you hear that synopsis you think
that this is going to be some sort of like high concept novel or something like that.
But all of Ann Patchett’s work seem to really just be character studies set in these very
specific situations. Ann Patchett does such a great job of just fleshing out these real
and complex characters and storylines that deal with these morally gray areas. And you’re
not completely on board with what these characters are doing but you’re so moved by them as people
that you end up kind of taking their sides on things that you might not necessarily take
their side on otherwise. It’s just such a strong book and this totally gripped me. I
loved it so much and I highly recommend it. And if you haven’t read any Ann Patchett,
this is definitely a good place to start. Next up I have The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat
Khan. This is a mystery book that totally took me by surprise. I believe this is her
debut novel. I do have a review of this one so I’m not going to talk too much about it,
but this is a really great, really gripping mystery novel. This takes place in Canada,
but it talks a lot about a lot of different wars and massacres that happen in Europe,
which I thought was really great because it covered a lot of stuff that I don’t think
is talked about very much in literature. Next up I have On Immunity by Eula Biss and I also
have a review of this one up on my channel. This is a non-fiction book that talks about
vaccinations, but Eula Biss does a really great job of talking about vaccinations in
a very personable way. Eula Biss is a mother herself and so she approaches vaccinations
from the point of view of a mother and wants to know why people are so scared of getting
vaccinations, what’s the point of them, how they came into being. And she also just layers
in a lot of really interesting information about the history of vaccinations. She does
it all, I think, without giving any sort of bias or judgement onto people. Next up I have
Citizen by Claudia Rankine. Still not sure how to say her name. This is considered a
collection of poetry, but I feel like it’s more like a piece of modern art. I don’t have
the book with me to hold up which is unfortunate because there’s a lot of really great things
to see visually in this book, but I do have a review of it so you guys can check that
out. Next up I have The Martian by Andy Weir. And I feel like I don’t really need to say
a lot about this one even though I don’t have a review of it on my channel. I don’t even
have my copy of it because I’ve lent it out to my sister. This is a book that everyone
either is requesting to read from me or its a book that I’ve been pushing onto people
because I know that this is just such a fun book. Next up I have Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
by Caitlin Doughty. This is a memoir that talks about Caitlin Doughty’s work working
in a crematory. This book is super fascinating and super honest about the ways that people
deal with death — specifically Americans — deal with death or choose not to deal with
death. And how, when they’re forced to confront those things, the ways that different people
react to those situations. This book is another really short one, really great non-fiction
book. Again, if you’re someone who doesn’t like non-fiction normally, this is one worth
picking up and I think would change your mind on non-fiction because the story itself is
so gripping and Caitlin Doughty does such a great job of explaining, not only her work,
but about the people that she’s had to deal with and different situations that she’s been
forced into. Next up I have Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This is my favorite
book of the year. I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars and it’s the only book I’ve given
5 stars to this year. I loved it so much. I have a full review of this, which is basically
just 5 minutes of me completely fawning over this book. It gave me so many feelings. It
takes place in the 1980s in Mexico. It’s following these teenagers who are so unlikeable on the
surface, but you care so much about them. Ugh. I can’t rave about this book enough.
I could spend this, the rest of this video talking about this, but instead I will point
you to my review and hope that you guys end up picking up this book because this is definitely
a book that not a lot of people are reading and picking up because it is from a smaller
press. And I feel like this is a book you shouldn’t miss out on. Next I have Cinnamon
and Gunpowder by Eli Brown. I have a review of this one as well. But this is both a pirate
adventure book, but also a food book. So if you like either food books, or pirate adventures,
or both, or neither I feel like this is still worth picking up. This book is just a lot,
a lot of fun. You are following this chef who ends up getting kidnapped by this pirate
named Mad Hannah Mabbott. And they form this sort of unlikely friendship. Basically the
chef is forced to feed Hannah this exquisite meal once a week even though they’re like
on a ship in the middle of the ocean. So you get to read about the different ways that
he invents these amazing dishes with the limited resources that he’s provided. So I feel like
this really appeals to the foodie part of me. But it also just has really great characters
and is a lot of fun and I totally, totally enjoyed this. Such a great book. Next up I
have The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak. I also have a review of this one, so I’m not
going to talk too much about it but it takes place in Turkey during the height of the Ottoman
Empire. And I feel like this cover alone should just make people want to pick it up cause
it’s kind of the most beautiful thing in the world. But this is just such a really great,
really magical without there actually being magic book. Next up I have Girl at War by
Sara Novic. This story was so moving. And I didn’t realize originally what it exactly
this book would be covering. But with recent events I feel like even more and more I’ve
been recommend this book for people. The first part of this story takes place in the early
1990s in Croatia and you are following this young girl named Ana as she is basically in
Croatia as there is this massive war breaking out between the Croatian and the Serbians,
I believe. And basically her and her sister are forced to become refugees in the United
States. So with just recent events of, you know, Syrian refugees traveling to all of
these different countries, I feel like this is a great perspective on what its like for
someone to be a refugee. The conflict that they’ll feel as they’re forced to leave their
home, put into a country with a lot of privileges, while they know that there are still people
back home who are suffering and don’t have the things that they have access to. It’s
such a great book. I was so blown away by it. I picked it up kind of on a whim and I
was so surprised by how much I loved it. Next up I have Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.
This is a book that talks about vulnerability and the subtitle is: How the Courage to Be
Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.If you’re someone who normally
doesn’t read a lot of self-help books, this one might take a little bit of time to adjust
to. But I feel like its still really accessible and it doesn’t seem too self-help-y. Brené
Brown has a lot of experience and has done a lot of research on the topic of vulnerability.
And so this is basically her book talking about that. She also has a lot of really great
TED talks so I definitely recommend watching those maybe if you want to get a sense of
her writing style and a sense of some of the topics that she touches on. But this is just
a really great, really honest look at the idea of vulnerability and why we all avoid
it and why we should be really embracing it. Next up I have Smaller and Smaller Circles
by F.H. Batacan, which I have a review of, so you guys can check that out. But this book
won the National Philippine Book Award and there is definitely a reason why. It is a
thriller novel that follows 2 Jesuit priests as they try to solve a murder, or catch a
murderer. Really I don’t know why you would need more information than that in a pitch,
but this is definitely a book worth picking up. It’s so great. My second to last book
for this video is Winter by Marissa Meyer. This is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles
series. And I have a review of this, as well as the entire Lunar Chronicles series, up
on my channel. This was just such a fantastic ending. There are parts of this that felt
a little bit forced or a little bit contrived in order to get the correct ending. And everything
does end relatively neat and tidy. But I feel like this was such a great ending to such
a great series that it’d be wrong of me not to have it on the list. I had so much fun
reading this book and I really enjoyed it and I love these characters so much. And the
final book that I have is Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Man I am so late
to this bandwagon, but I’m so glad that I finally got started on this. This is her first
novel and it is such a strong debut. I am just like completely in awe of this book.
I have a full review of this on my channel, so I will link to that so you guys can see
me completely raving about this story. It isn’t a perfect story, there are parts of
it that bothered me a little bit. But still, the characters in here are so strong and so
complex. And I just, I loved it so much and I’m so excited to read more of her work. So
yeah, those are my favorite 15 books of 2015. If you’ve read any of these books, feel free
to leave a comment down below letting me know which ones you guys enjoyed. Or let me know
what your favorite read was of this year. I know sometimes it can be kind of hard to
pick one, but I’m sure a lot of you guys have that #1 favorite of the year. So yeah, that’s
all I have for now and thanks for watching.

41 thoughts on “15 Favorite Books of 2015

  1. Love your variety of books…you are such a great reader and booktuber..My favorite book of the year was "One Drop" by Bliss Broyard

  2. I have added some of these to my to-read list! Thanks, Rincey.

    Suggestions for you:

    Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – Non-fiction book about mortality/healthcare/etc. as we age…Gawande is a surgeon, this book is fantastic on audio.

    Rising Strong by Bene Brown – Also about vulnerability etc.

    Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – Similarly inspiring non-fiction about creativity/creative living.

    Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski – Book about cis-women's sexuality/sex etc. also great on audio.

  3. Congrats on 12K subs, your channel was one of the few I watched pretty regularly and encouraged me to start my own channel. I really enjoyed your list, its rare to find a book tuber that will have at least a few non-fiction books on their favorites list. The book on immunity as well as the one that explores how we handle death in america really sounds interesting and I'm looking forward to checking them out along with Signal to Noise. Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. My fave of the year was Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh… set in 1960s New England about a disturbed woman working as a secretary in a boy's prison. Highly recommended!

  5. Great List! Signal to Noise was awesome! Excited to check out some of the other books and add them to my TBR. I definitely want to check our Smaller and Smaller Circles since I'm trying to read more Filipino literature. I read Americanah as my first Ngozi this year and I leaped into the bandwagon so fast.

  6. If you haven't already, you should read Biss' book of essay Notes from No Man's Land. It's good through and through. such a smart writer.

  7. My favourite this year was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (talk about being late to the hype….) ๐Ÿ™‚ I bought Signal to Noise on your recommendation but haven't started it yet. Also read Where'd you go, Bernadette? based on one of your reviews and enjoyed it a lot! Thanks for your awesome videos and wishing you a very happy New Year!

  8. Thank you for all your videos! Love your diversity in books. Glad you love Chimamanda as well! My favorite book this year was, "The Namesake."

  9. I'm positively doing a happy dance to see Cinnamon and Gunpowder, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, and Citizen in your top picks! All three have been favorites of mine. State of Wonder may have made it into my picks a few years ago, too. Good stuff!

  10. I absolutely loved Citizen. It was one of the few times I've read a library book and half way through wanted to buy my own copy. I've had Half of a Yellow Sun on my shelf for 2 years but I think I am going to start with Purple Hibiscus. I keep hearing you should read her books chronologically.

  11. Am going to have to check out Signal to Noise. Iโ€™m so excited for you to continue discovering Adichie! Americanah is one of my all time favourites, and I just gave We Should All be Feminists to my daughter.

  12. Love watching these lists. The Martian was fantastic. It was one of my top reads last year. I think I'm most interested in reading On Immunity.

  13. Added State of Wonder, Signal to Noise and The Architects Apprentice to the TBR. Thanking you. Not of 2015 but my favourites read in 2015 include The Little Stranger and A Clash of Kings. Reasons She Goes to the Woods I gave 4 stars, but it really stuck with me and the writing is beautiful. Iโ€™ll probably move it up a notch and bump it onto the favourites shelf.

  14. I just picked up Signal to Noise from the library bc you raved about it! My favorite books of the year were: Speak by Louisa Hall, H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman, and The Bees by Laline Paull

  15. I really liked State of Wonder and Purple Hibiscus, too, and I think Adichie is getting better with each novel.

    A few of my faves I read this year are The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon; Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (as well as the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight); Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older; Uprooted by Naomi Novik; Fingersmith by Sarah Waters; and Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story by Mac McClelland

  16. I have added two or three books from this video to my TBR. Thank you for the recommendations and I am glad I found your channel.

  17. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes was great but it didn't get added into my top list, because of the unevenness of the book but I loved the death positivity and history. Great list! ^_^

  18. I loved watching you talk about your favorites of the year. As I have said on some many of these videos everyone just lights up talking about their favorites ๐Ÿ™‚ Also that color looks amazing on you. So radiant!

  19. I just love a very diverse list.ย I also really like the fact there is a lot of nonfiction on this list. I'm planning to increase my nonfiction in 2016 so this list came in handy. Also I will finally tackle a book by Adichie.

  20. smoke gets in your eyes was one of my absolute favourites! I work with the elderly so death is a part of my job and having had two family members die within a month this book was such a perfect read this year! so much so I'm keen myself to find further work in the industry! and chimamanda wow! I am too late to this band wagon having very recently finished Half of a Yellow Sun! so soo sooo good!! cannot wait to read purple hibiscus and the rest of her works! great collection of books Rincey ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. So many great titles on your list! I'm so pleased that Cinnamon and Gunpowder made it on your list! I thought it was great when I read it a couple years and I definitely think more people should read it. I read the first three books in The Lunar Chronicles last month and I enjoyed them. I'm definitely curious to see how the series ends!

  22. I love Turkey, Istanbul and the history of the Ottoman Empire. Now that you've brought it to our attention I'll need to read The Architect's Apprentice right away.

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