Journal

2015 in Review Part I

Well, 2015 is coming to a close, and it’s wonderful to reflect over all the wonderful things that happened in the year. And for this particular book blog, that means looking over what I read for the year and to decide on some favorites. Some categories are always hard to choose because I read so many wonderful books that fit that category– Historical for example. Other categories, I may have only read one or two books that belong in that category, so by default, they are my favorite for the year.

Here are my favorite books from 2015 (although I wish I could include many more):

The links will take you to my review of a particular book.

Christian Living- Through a Man's EyesChristian Living: Through a Man’s Eyes

I’ve always found the books written by Shaunti Feldhahn to be so incredibly practical and easy to understand. Through a Man’s Eyes follows that same trend. As a wife, I found the lessons learned in this book to be ideas and concepts that help me to understand my husband further. I think the same ideas could be helpful to a mother and her son.


Collection- The Heirloom BridesCollection: The Heirloom Brides Collection

This collection of novellas was such a wonderful idea: Each story is part of the traditional wedding poem “Something old, something new; Something borrowed and something blue.” I found all of the stories to be wonderfully sweet and entertaining. It’s a collection that really stands out for me from the rest of the collections that I read this year.

Contemporary- Art of Losing YourselfContemporary Fiction: The Art of Losing Yourself

Poignant is one of the best words I can think of to describe Katie Ganshert’s novels. And this one was the top of my list for contemporary fiction this year. This is one of those novels that the more I thought about it, the more depth there was to it. The characters became people that I was emotionally invested in and truly cared about. It was an all-around fantastic read.

Novella- This Quiet SkyNovella: This Quiet Sky

I absolutely adored this story by one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t picked this simple story up, do so now… along with a box of tissues. I truly loved every word of this short story and it was one that has lingered on in my heart. It’s beautiful, memorable, and filled with lessons about life. Oh! And perhaps I should also mention that I find the cover stunning…

Mystery- Buried SecretsSuspense and Mystery: Buried Secrets

This was a fascinating novel. From early on, the readers knew the crime and knew who did it. We had two points on the map. How the detectives would figure it out was the real mystery. This novel had me on the edge of my seat like any good suspense story should do. Those two aspects made this book by Irene Hannon my favorite suspense and mystery novel of 2015.

1800s- Beyond All DreamsHistorical- 1800’s Setting: Beyond All Dreams

Elizabeth Camden is certainly one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Beyond All Dreams was a fabulous book with a rich setting in the Library of Congress and Capital Hill. This was such a fun read with a decent amount of mystery running through the plot. With wonderful characters, this book earned its spot in my list of favorites for the year.

1900s- Until the HarvestHistorical- 1900’s Setting: Until the Harvest

Appalachia is such an interesting setting, and Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas pairs that with a fantastic story of family and the bonds that hold us together. Her novels are so well-written and the voice of the story is quite distinctive. I loved it!

Civil War- Yankee in AtlantaHistorical- Civil War: Yankee in Atlanta

Joceyln Green does such a wonderful job capturing so many elements of the Civil War that it is hard to imagine her not being on the list of my favorites. Yankee in Atlanta is a fascinating story of a northerner who finds herself in Atlanta when Shermon is on his infamous march. The details and history in this novel shine.

Colonial- The Wood's EdgeHistorical- Colonial: The Wood’s Edge

There are so many things to love about this book by Lori Benton. Among them are the unique plot, a love triangle, tension that lingers in every word, and some of the most wonderful characters I met this year. The sequel to this book cannot come soon enough, but unfortunately I have to wait until spring. But this book is beautifully written and worth picking up.

Medieval- An Uncertain ChoiceHistorical- Medieval: An Uncertain Choice

I was so excited when I heard that Jody Hedlund was releasing a series of YA novels, and this first one did not disappoint. I found the story to be quite fun and loved the personalities of the cast of characters. I’m pretty excited for the next story of this series.

Regency- The Lost HeiressHistorical- Regency: The Lost Heiress

When I started this book, I would have been surprised to see it on this list. It had a slow start for me. But eventually, I was hooked and I forgot about the earlier misgivings. This book was a challenge to put down. It was historically wonderful. It had fascinating characters. And it had a plot that was well-written and developed.

TimeSlip- A Sparrow in TerezinHistorical- Time-Slip: A Sparrow in Terezin

I love a good story that tells parallel tales in both a historical setting and in a contemporary. A Sparrow in Terezin is a wonderful story in which the historical side takes us into WWII and one of the ghettos. The story is both tragic and hopeful and it’s a story that will linger with you.

Western- The Cactus Creek ChallengeHistorical- Western: The Cactus Creek Challenge

The Cactus Creek Challenge by Erica Vetsch was one of those books that made me so happy. It was hilarious, entertaining, and just so much fun. The concept was unique and handled well and the plot was one that kept me wondering how everything would work out. This book was quite memorable and certainly deserves a place on this list.

WWI- Not By SightHistorical- World War I: Not By Sight

Kate Breslin’s novel had two things that I loved: A well-developed cast and secrets– lots of them. Both the main characters and the secondary all had distinct personalities as well as their own little secrets here and there. It was fascinating to step into this era of history and even more interesting to see what secrets I could uncover.

WWII- Girl From the TrainHistorical- World War II: The Girl From the Train

The Girl From the Train surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. While it isn’t a WWII novel in the traditional sense, it captures some of the war and then takes the reader to some of the results of the war in Africa. I found this stories themes of identitiy to be powerful and it is a novel that will not be easily forgotten.

That sums up my favorite novels based on their genres that I’ve read this year. Please, share with me some of your favorites in the comments section.

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13 thoughts on “2015 in Review Part I

      1. I’ve only read 3 of the books you’ve listed here. And of those 3, only 1 of them received an award from me, and I bet you can’t guess which one it is. NOPE. It’s not THAT one. 😉 Lol

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      2. Hehe
        I’ve read This Quiet Sky, Yankee in Atlanta, and The Lost Heiress from this list. They’re all on my 5 star list but only one won award with me. I’m betting I know what your first guess is and you’d be wrong…that is if I’m right.
        Care to guess out loud? 😉

        Like

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