Friday, January 1, 2016

Top Ten Reads of 2015

Whew!  For the first time ever (and just under the deadline) I met my Goodread's goal of reading eighty books!  I had held out until the very end to create my top reads post with the hope that I would sneak one more read in.  It is a good thing that I did as that last read was really great and is going on this list.  I'm not going to lie, I'm feeling pretty accomplished if only for today.  Bring on my new goal of reading 85 books in 2016!   2015 was a pretty strong year of reading for me in terms of both numbers and quality.  It felt like a good reading year and thankfully I also spent lots of quality time with the family.  I'm going to hope for the same in the new year!  Now on to the best books that I read last year:

Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman was one of those books that I knew instantly after finishing that it would end up on my top reads list for the year.  It was also the first book that I read in 2015 and it started what would be a year long streak of reading mysteries and thrillers.  This book was such a page turner and so intense!  I still find myself unable to fully put into words how much I loved this book!

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge was my final read for 2015 and also quite a doozy!  Both dark and twisted, this was a book that I couldn't set down (and I didn't).  I managed to finish this one yesterday and I'm still reeling from it.  It was SO good and this author has instantly jumped on to my must read list!

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell was one of those books that left me breathless when I finished.  It almost feels like cheating to just include this book in my top reads when I loved ALL of the books in this series that I read this year which would have taken three of the spots on this list so I'm cheating and including them all here.  This one though was the best of the three and now I just NEED the next book as soon as possible!

Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters marks the second year in a row that this series and her books have made it on my top reads list.  This wasn't even my favorite book in the series and it was STILL by far better then the majority of the books that I read in 2015.  That just goes to show you how much I love and enjoy this series!  They always make me laugh and are just a joy to read!

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons was a book that I just could not read fast enough!  As soon as I finished I added this author to my auto-read list and all of her books to my TBR list. It was heart pounding, intense, and basically all of the things that I am looking for in a good mystery/thriller.  Goal for the new year is to read the other two books in this series because I simply must (and because I need more Kim Stone in my life)!

The Daughter by Jane Shemilt was a book left me with a bookish hangover for days afterwards.  I used words like haunting and engrossing in my review so how could I not love it?  It really struck a chord with me and is one of those books that I won't be forgetting any time soon.  Another author that I want to read more of in the future!

A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton was yet another amazing book by this author!  She is STILL one of my very favorite authors and this is at least the 3rd (or maybe 4th) year in a row where one of her books has made in on my top reads list.  It wouldn't feel like a top reads list if I didn't have one of her books on it at this point.  I cannot recommend this series or this author enough!!

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan was such an intense and emotionally wrenching read!  I swear this book made me feel all of the emotions and left me thinking about it long after finishing.  I cannot get over the fact that this is the author's debut novel...what will she come up with next??  I can tell you that I will certainly be reading her next book because this book was just that good!

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths is the second book in yet another series that I have come to love.  The characters in this series are one of the main things that makes this series so great for me.  There is just something about Ruth that I can't help but relate to and it made this book such a great reading experience.  The mystery itself was also very well done and I just overall loved this book!  I can't wait to continue on with this series as well in 2016!

Charlotte's Story by Laura Benedict was a book that just sucked me into and didn't let go.  I'm a sucker for a good gothic novel and this book had all of the elements that I love about those type of novels.  It was another reading experience that I won't be forgetting about any time soon!  Luckily for me I have another novel by this author to look forward to in the new year. 

Wow!  I really had a hard time making up my list for this year as there were just so many good books that I read and loved.  Honorable mentions to the following:

  • Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves (another new mystery series that I adored!)
  • Firelight by Kristen Callihan (PNR that was so completely original and fun to read!)
  • Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander (I loved this cozy mystery series- all three of the books that I read this year for it were really great!)
And so many more but if I don't cut myself off I will end up listing the majority of the books that I read last year!  It really was a great year of reading and I can only hope that 2016 is just as amazing!  I wanted to take a second to thank all of you who take the time to read and comment on this blog of mine.  It is a joy to share my love of reading with all of you.  Even when life gets crazy this is just one of those things that helps relieve the stress.  I value those friendships that I have created with all of you!  I wish you all a Happy New Year and as always:

Happy Reading!!


  1. Hooray for you meeting your reading goal! And a happy happy New Year to you!

  2. Oh Samantha, how I missed your blog, lovely summary. Adding 4 immediately.... Fear the Darkness, Eeny Meeny, Daughter, Silent Scream and I do want to read more Sharon B. Which one would you recommend I read 1st?

    Happy New Year

  3. Happy New Year, Sam!! I love hearing about what you've been reading and you and I are totally together about a bunch of these. Let's see - I've read and enjoyed 6 of them (Eeny Meeny, Lion In The Valley, The Daughter, What She Knew (as Burnt Paper Sky - British version), A Dark and Twisted Tide, and Janus Stone (love Ruth). I own Charlotte's Story and Silent Scream. My book group is reading the book before Fear The Darkness for our May meeting. Yes, you and I agree. Hope your 2016 reading is wonderful. I'm sure it will be. Take care!

  4. Happy New Year, Sam! What a great list of books. I have a couple of these waiting on my shelves and/or Kindle and really want to read them. And, congrats on your reading goal - that is fabulous!

  5. Congrats on meeting your goal! What She Knew is definitely going on my TBR list. Happy New Year.

  6. Sam, you are such an enthusiastic reader, I'm sure it was difficult to choose your top ten books from 2015! Congrats on reaching your Goodreads goal. That is wonderful. Happy New Year to you, your family, and your readers!

  7. Yay! Congratulations on reaching your Goodreads goal, Samantha. It definitely sounds like you had a great year in reading. I haven't read any of the books on your list, but most are on my TBR pile. Including The Daughter and What She Knew. The Janus Stone and The Dark and Twisted Tide as well, of course. And all the other ones pretty much. :-)

    Happy New Year, Sam!

  8. Nice books :D I have to try some of those.
    Happy New year!

  9. Looks like you'd a great reading year last year, Sam! And not to mention the good books you'd read! I'll definitely be checking out the books I haven't read here. :-)


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