Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015

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I’ve read many great books this year, and I can’t really definitively nail it down to ten, but I tried to include the ones that made me think about them the most often after reading them. (Some of them I am still crying over!)

CloudRoadsThe Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

Wells has introduced us to a wildly imaginative world with these fully fleshed out characters and traditions that take the reader on quite a journey. This is one of the more innovative books I’ve read in any genre. There haven’t been many books that make me feel like I’m reading something that’s truly fresh and special, but Wells has managed to make me feel like I’ve stepped into a whole new world with the Raksura while keeping elements that make it feel familiar.

Silk1Silk by Robbie Thompson

I enjoyed this book, especially that I’m usually not the biggest fan of Spiderverse, but I almost always love the Spider-Women of that verse. Cindy joins Jessica Drew and Anya Corazon (Araña) in my heart. Her story focuses a bit on her past and her present, giving readers a brief glimpse of who she was before she became Silk and who she is now, shifting between a brilliant, headstrong teenage girl on the edge of adulthood and a socially awkward adult woman who’s trying to find her place as a person and a superhero.

EarthriseEarthrise by M.C.A. Hogarth

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was a fun dash across the galaxy with a diverse groups of characters as Reese tried to make ends meet while dealing with her new, very private crew member. Reese has nothing but the best intentions for her crew and for herself, but she often finds herself in the worst predicaments. She leads a dangerous life, but she’s not really a fighter. She depends mostly on her wits to get her out of situations. She carries a gun of some sort because she feels she has to, but she has no idea how to actually use it.

SS1Suicide Squad Vol 1: Kicked in the Teeth by Adam Glass

This was a mostly fun book full of fun and mayhem. It was like reading the comic book version of The Expendables with villains complete with dramatic team shots, stealth missions being bumbled with over enthusiastic members wanting to get right to the good parts, some sexy tension between characters, explosions, and corny one-liners.  This was an enjoyable read for the most part, and I look forward to continuing their misadventures.

AcaciaAcacia: War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham

A truly diverse, sweeping fantasy. One thing I truly appreciated about this is the lack of violence, especially gendered violence. I don’t mean that there’s not any fighting in this book, but there’s not pages upon pages of torture or rape or any of that nonsense to prove that this story is heavy. I’m especially glad there wasn’t the constant looming rape threat (against women) that is so prevalent in many fantasy novels trying to establish themselves as serious, grimdark books. I appreciate that he able to find depth in his writing that didn’t require that. Also, I appreciated that that Durham tried to present a struggle where the grievances between these two races was not just a simple matter of who’s right and who’s wrong, who’s good and who’s evil.

Hexed ComicHexed by Michael Alan Nelson

Urban fantasy, even Urban Fantasy novels, can be a little formulaic, so it’s always nice to read something that adds an offbeat spin to an old familiar story. This managed to be touching, dark, and funny all at the same time. Emma Rios’ art really makes this story pop. The mixture of bright and dark art makes Lucifer’s world a visual treat with Nelson’s narration. Again, Nelson has given me a comic that I’ll continue to enjoy as I explore Lucifer’s world and unlock more of her secrets. Now excuse me while I bump this novel higher up my TBR list! Why wouldn’t I want to read more about a rock-n-roll ninja burglar?

Wild SeedWild Seed by Octavia Butler

Despite all the ugliness in this book, it was counteracted with so much beauty. I had one minor complaint with a transition later in the book. It seemed a little hurried as Butler tried to wrap up the story, but I did like what it transitioned into.This was my first read by Octavia Butler, and it took me so long to read her because others had told me she could be a heavy read. And while I expected something amazing, something that would probably affect me on a profound level given how many people I know read her books and praise how she touched on issues, I hadn’t expected the incongruous beauty that waited for me or the feelings and thoughts that was this book.

The Hum and the ShiverThe Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

I love books that weave music and magic in interesting ways, and this book definitely fulfilled that part of me. I would be lying if I said that part of my ratings and feeling on these books come from many reasons aside from just the story itself. I connected with the story as a southerner and knowing how small towns can be with their secrets and their “haints.” Secondly, and the larger reason I started this series, is that I love books that combine music and magic in inventive ways. As a musician, I could relate too well to so many lines in this books about the hum and the shiver.

5 to 15 to 1 by Holly Bodger

This story follows two teenagers seventeen-year-old Sudasa, a daughter of a wealthy family, who doesn’t want to be a wife, and eighteen year old Kiran (known as Five through much of the novel), a farmer’s son who doesn’t want to be a husband not even to a wealthy wife. However, their destinies, hopes, and dreams still intertwined in this beautifully, heartrending novel of two people who just want to be seen as people and not as their genders. If you’re looking for a love story, this is not it. There are hints of possibly feelings there, but mainly because of what they represent in the oppression of their society. Mainly, this is a story about a boy and a girl who want to be so much more than what their society says they can be.

The Violent Bear It AwayThe Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor

The thing with Southern Gothic novels is that one might not really consider them speculative in nature, but they’re so haunting and chilling all the same filled with things that could be considered magical realism. This is the first novel I’ve ever read by O’Connor. She’s known more for her short stories and wrote only a very few novels in her lifetime. It’s the struggle of a family whose marked by a legacy by a mad uncle who claimed to be a prophet, leaving behind two nephews who struggle against and for the marks he’s left on their souls, two family members living two extremes–the overzealous and the overdisciplined–as they follow a path of self-fulfilling prophecies left behind by an old man. The title of this books comes from the bible verse Matthew 11:12 (from the Douay-Rheims version of the bible): “And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.”

What have been some of your top reads of the year?

 

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17 Comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015”

  1. I haven’t read anything from this list yet, but The Hum And The Shiver is on my TBR list. Magic + music = Yes Please. 🙂

    I’m working on my own year-end lists of favorite books, but I don’t think I’ll be ready to post them until January.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wild Seed was definitely amazing and I’m not sorry at all it was my first book with her even though many recommended others first.

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    • If you think you’ll enjoy superhero comics, give it a shot. I usually recommend titled like Saga, Locke & Key, and Rat Queens for people looking to get into comics because there tends to be more depth to the story and people ease into them easier.

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    • I really enjoyed it. It’s a dark story for sure, but one that manages to use the more mind game darkness than outright violence

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  2. What a great list. I also read The Hum and Shiver (but I think it was last year) and I have his second book waiting to be read – don’t know why I haven’t got to that one yet Acacia – I bought that book ages ago and now I can’t find it! Doh!!
    Nice to see Hexed – I didn’t read the illustrated book – I wonder if they’re the same story??
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the story differs a bit between the novel and the graphic comic. They share some things, but of course the novel can explore in more detail.

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