The Winter Book List 2015

I have run out of books to read! I need a winter reading list.

Every single night of my reading life  (beginning at age 3) I have read a book in bed before going to sleep. And when the winter comes there may even be time to read a book in front of the fire in the afternoons and I  will be travelling to Australia and New Zealand this winter so I read in the airports and the airplanes and taxis and buses and trains and in the backyards of my children. So I need heaps of books. I know you read.  What book did you read this year that you loved enough to recommend.

If you are new to the Fellowship here are the previous lists.

2012 books

2013 books

2014 (what happened to 2014?) I cannot find it. road

Anyway – it is that time again – though there is no actual time for this list except that I am out of a book and need some guidance. And you are all readers!  Will you share?

To start the ball rolling I have two recommendations from The Fellowship.  Books that have come out this year and I was lucky enough to read.

The first is a recipe book written by John Amici : Recipes from The Bartolini Kitchens.  This is not only an extraordinary collection of one families recipes cooked by the Bartolini sisters  and their families  and recorded by their son and nephew but also a collection of stories about an Italian family settling and cooking and flourishing in America. This is the story of the American Dream with food.

The second book I would like to recommend is by Melissa DeCarlo. The Art of Crash Landing. It is a novel of a young woman named Mattie who finds herself pregnant and lost and launches herself out into the world with much gusto and determination and not a little trepidation.  This book charges along at breakneck speed, a wonderful read. And what I liked the most about Mattie and the collection of characters that we meet as we read this book ,is how REAL they are. How easy it was for me to empathise with the people that people these pages. Loved it.

Both of these are available on Amazon. fields

I have a few more that I will tell you about when I write up the list.

Now: How about you?

Do you have any books you have read lately that we might want to read?  I love a good book.

From your recommendations I shall create the 2015 list of books recommended by The Fellowship of the Farmy – for us all to print and share. In the past I have given away our lists as Christmas presents to my friends and family all of whom love to read. And if you are a reader of this blog you are one of The Fellowship so everyone can join in.


What are you reading?  What have you written? What should I be reading?

Love celi

PS. I will not answer the comments today so you do not have to scroll down too far to add your own. But I will be reading and compiling all day! Thank you!



113 Comments on “The Winter Book List 2015

    • Agree! Have ‘finished’ with the family stories and it is now sitting atop my current kitchen volumes with a few recipes already turned into great meals . .

  1. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr. and THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir. First one is a historical novel set in WWII. The second one is set on Mars. Both wonderful.

  2. The Art of Letting Go by Chloe Banks or any of Robin Hobbs trilogies for me. Both books I’ve found in the last year or two and keep going back to…

  3. Some good books I’ve read this year:

    A Tale For The Time Being
    The Vegetarian: A Novel
    The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature (highly recommend!)
    The Southern Reach Trilogy
    The Snow Child
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    The Samurai’s Garden

    I’m late to discovering Mary Wesley and have read two of her books this year (Jumping the Queue, and An Imaginative Experience). Both books were great. She has (or had, she died in 2002) a dark sense of humor and quirky characters.

    • And there is a sequel to Shantaram due out this week. Sh. is a mamoth read, and I don’t suppose the sequel will be any smaller. Ken Follett has finished the Century Trilogy with Edge of Eternity, published a couple of weeks ago – The whole trilogy is good escapist reading.

  4. One of the best books I read this year was Not Without My Father by Andra Watkins. It’s a memoir, partly about her walk of the Natchez Trace, partly about her relationship with her father, and so much more! Her novel, To Live Forever, is brilliant, too!

    • Have had letters regarding Andra’s book on quite a few occasions. Well, your comments have made up my mind – thanks 🙂 !

      • Glad if I helped. 🙂 The novel came out first and was set along the Natchez Trace, and then Andra walked it ,which is documented in her memoir. I read them in that order because that is how they came out, but I wonder…which way around would you do it?

        • For a brief time I subscribed to Andra’s blog at about the time she was to begin her ‘walk’ – sadly one of many I had to delete purely because of time pressures. I still get mails from her at times. I’ll order her ‘walk’ book first and if I am as thrilled as I probably will be, I’ll see about the novel. Living in Australia the postage tends to outstrip book costs 2 to 1 so it is slowly, slowly 🙂 !

  5. Anything by Rosamund Pilcher – every one of her books is gracious, delicious and her grasp of the written/spoken word is glorious. I read them over and over. I’ll think of others. Right now I’m busy writing my own books.

  6. Thank you for doing this list again. I’m in the same predicament! Here are a few of the good books I’ve read this year: The Cherry Orchard by Lucy Sanna. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. Both set in WWII, the first in the US, the second in German occupied France. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown. The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, by Janisse Ray, (if you haven’t already read it, you’ll appreciate this one Celi.) The Third Plate, by Dan Barber (a must read, about food, farming, sustainability and the role of chefs, and much more.) The whole Outlander series, which I’ve read twice! All the Poldark novels.

  7. I will post just some authors, that my Mom loves.
    J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) she writes under both
    Catherine Coulter
    Kay Hooper

  8. I seem to have done a lot of WWII reading this year as well! My favorites: All the Light We Cannot See; Nightingale; City of Women by David R. Gillham. I read lots of upper elementary and young adult novels, but these are the “adult” books that I have loved this year!

  9. Thank you so much, Celi! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you enjoyed The Art of Crash Landing! I’ll add a couple recommendations for your list: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

  10. I keep coming back and re-reading these time and again: American Gods by Neil Gaiman; A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute; Kim by Rudyard Kipling; Deborah Harkness’ trilogy A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life; Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Coming Home and September by Rosamund Pilcher; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; The 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and JB MacKinnon; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver; Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.
    None of them are new, but they’re the ones I’d grab in a fire!

    • I listened to the audio of Animal, Vegetable, Mineral which was read by the author and her family. Very nice to hear it in their voices!

    • Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favourite writers and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is one of my favourite books 🙂

    • How lovely to know that at least one other person remembers and loves Gladys Taber’s books. My mother was a fan and I began reading them as a child in the 50’s!

      • I remember too. Mama was a fan & I inherited her Gladys Taber books. Do you all recall Mrs. Appleyard & her Kitchen? Louise Andrews Kent was the author of those delightful story/cook books back from that same era. She wrote for Vermont Life magazine.

  11. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened

    Furiously Happy

    Daring Greatly

    Trails, Trials and Tears – The Life and Legacy of Texas Lil – – – okay, this one – I personally know Lil… She is the mother of one of high school friends and what a character she is!!!!! Please try to get this one and read it. It is a great story about a women who has brass you know whats!

    Daily Coyote

    and of course – I love all cookbooks, but I am reading through Cooks Illustrated 2012 annual right now. Found it at a used book store.

  12. I, too, loved All the Light We Cannot See and all of Mary Wesley’s novels. The best book I have read this year though is The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks.

  13. The Hurricane Sisters by Dorthea Benton Frank and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins were two good ones I have read this year. Can’t wait to see the complete Fellowship list!

  14. Oh, dear Celi, that is me a challenge. I’m so sad to have to say that I do not read much anymore. I mean books. I read a lot in the internet, but seldom books. Cannot concentrate long on them anymore. Nevertheless my house is full of books, lots of bookshelfs with no more space on them at all. Even in the basement I’ve stored my books. Maybe that’s why I don’t read – it’s too much. And I cannot even let go one of these books, collected in a lifetime. Difficult matter. – Well, I read a book this year – maybe it’s out of challenge for you and the Fellowship, it’s: King Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. I’m sure you all know these knight’s stories, that I read for the first time and enjoyed very much. I even fell in love with that extraordinary lovely knight Sir Tristan. – Well and I’ve read another nice book (last year?) – and that’s for you Celi: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern, a young Irish novelist. It’s told in such a lovely way, I enjoyed it very much. It’s about a young journalist who has got a very special and sensible project ot solve. Heart wrenching and heart warming. It’s a thick book for the plane. Not the newest on the book market and maybe you know already… I checked: It appeared in 2012.
    Hope that helps….
    Love the shot with the cat. – Have a nice day, Celi.

    • Oh, I indeed read another one this year :-), a very old one, but lovely: Charles Terrot, The Angel, Who Pawned Her Harp. Must have been written in the Fifties. Came to me by accident. Maybe someone has seen the film (comedy)?

  15. The Feast Nearby: How I Lost My Job, Buried a Marriage, and Found My Way by Keeping Chickens, Foraging, Preserving, Bartering, and Eating Locally (All on $40 a Week)
    by Robin Mather
    This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
    The Rosie Project by Graeame Simsion

  16. Oh I agrees with so many of the previous recommendations. Looking back at what I have read recently, Circling the Sun by Paula McClain about Beryl Markham; Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery about an octogenerian hiking the Appalachian Trail; and Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline. Paula McClain also wrote a novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first? (maybe second wife) and their time in Spain and France. I can’t wait to see the list!

  17. I recently discovered the books of Fiona MacIntosh: The Lavender Keeper and The French Promise are absorbing reading. Convincing characters cover the troubled times before, during and after the second world war mainly set in rural France and eventually progressing to Tasmania. Adventure, suspense, history, and romance all figure in these beautifully written books.

    E njoy the feast of reading that will emerge from your survey.
    ViV sitting beside a roaring fire while the storm rages outside.

  18. I love the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldin. They’re not new, but I am on my second round of reading them.

  19. Mommy often reads my piglove blog and then me and Houdini have started a journal about our life here at the Hotel Thompson. Mom also loves to read anything by Heather Graham – spooky but very interesting! XOXO – Bacon

  20. The God of Small Things by Roi, A Fine Balance by Mistry, The Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver, Animals’ People by Sinha, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Barbery, A Little Life by Yanagihara—-Let us never “evolve” beyond holding books in our hands.

  21. I just finished Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, a native Minnesotan. This is a novel, with a few recipes tossed in, that is rooted in Minnesota. This book is unlike any I’ve ever read. It’s about family and food and life journeys and relationships. A great read, which I devoured in less than a week. When the book ended, I wished that it hadn’t. That’s the best endorsement I can give a book of fiction.

  22. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
    The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
    Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley
    Serena by Ron Rash
    The Martian by Andy Weir


  23. I do not comment often, but read the posts faithfully. Most of my list are older selections, and, with a couple of exceptions, are worth reading multiple times (at least, they are well-worn, old friends on my book shelf): The Far Pavilions (MM Kaye), Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series (books 1-3, later books not so much), The Crimson Petal and the White (M. Faber), The English Patient (Ondaatje), and Cold Mountain (C. Frazer).

    A couple of newer (well, newer to me) selections for mystery lovers are Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Ferguson mystery series (set in New England, with a deliciously irreverant female pastor as the MC), and for Jane Austen fans, Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mystery series (Barron captures the voice of Austen perfectly, so I have to remind myself often that Austen did not actually write them).

    Thanks for compiling this list. I read back over 2012 and 2013 and now have quite a growing TBR list which I look forward to expanding even further with the 2015 list.

  24. I read two of Alice Hoffman’s this year, A Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers. Really enjoyed them both, and am looking forward to reading more. The first is set on the Island of St. Thomas in the 1800’s and tells the life story of the woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism. The second tells the story of four women during the siege of Masada. I would also like to recommend All The Light We Cannot See. Can’t wait to get the whole list!

  25. I’ll second, or third as the case may be, Recipes from the Bartollini Kitchens…great read and has my favorites of John’s recipes. I’m a total space, sci-fi and fantasy geek so here are a few I’ve read this year or prior and would recommend. Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear (the third of the trilogy is coming), George R.R. Martin’s entire Game of Thrones series…the show is good but the books are a whole different animal, and I’ve just started another 5 book series beginning with Dan Simmon’s Hyperion. If you want further escapist and wish to step back in time to the American 60’s, John D. Macdonald’s Travis McGee series are fun.

    • Oh my gord! A Travis McGee fan – I only know of one person (other than me) who has read them all and loved them! Slip F18, Bahia Mar. Absolutely love those books – a little violence (but not graphic) – a little PI detective mystery – a little sex (but respectful of women and not graphic) – really truly 1960’s. Think Magnum PI (Tom Selleck), but in Florida and before “technology”, and with a brainy sidekick. Wow, haven’t thought of JDM for a long time, must dig them out and read again. Every book title has a colour in it.
      Chris S in Canada

      • My husband grew up in Ft. Lauderdale in the 50’s and 60’s and lived about half a mile from Bahia Mar. He turned me on to the Travis McGee books…he has the full collection. A great vacation read and like you, periodically we both decide it’s time to pull them out, transport to the Busted Flush and enjoy the whole adventure again…with a glass of Plymouth, ice and a twist, please. 🙂 BTW, we know a few more fans.

  26. Anything Phillipa Gregory (, particularly The Cousins War Series & The Tudor Court Novels
    Anne Rice’s Blackwood Farm
    Michael Pollan’s Second Nature & Cooked
    Anything John Steinbeck, most recently for me Travels with Charley in Search of America
    Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
    David Allen’s Getting Things Done

  27. Just finished reading (for maybe the hundredth time) the entire series by Tony Hillerman. The Joe
    Leaphorn/Jim Chee characters are as interesting as the country they drive you into. The Southwest Four Corners. Get to know about my part of the world.

    • Another great reminder of books that I haven’t re-read for a long time. Loved them all! I think a couple of them were made into movies with (if I remember correctly) Adam Beach, a Canadian. Guess I need to dig these out too. Have travelled a bit in that part of the world and it is truly beautiful!
      Chris S in Canada

  28. I have a book I’d like to send you, but it’s packed away somewhere. Perhaps after I move. I see that it is available from Amazon’s used books so if you don’t want to wait for me, try Back to the Damn Soil by Mary Gubser. There is not even a good description on Amazon. Mary Gubser wrote about her experiences as a city girl in WWII moving to a farm in rural Oklahoma. It is the most delightful read.

    In addition, The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister as well as the sequel, The Lost Art of Mixing. And the unrelated Joy for Beginners.

  29. I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and found Olive Ketteridge by Elizabeth Strout an interesting look at a woman’s ‘life over 25 years. I also find I’m reading less and watching movies or playing on my computer more. I’m heading down to Mexico this Saturday, so will see what books are available for trade at the camp bookshelf. Beach reading is definitely different than curling up in front of the fire or snuggled under the blankets. Enjoy!

  30. Taller When Prone by Les Murray, especially the poem about the mute cat. You’ll feel as though you could have written it.

  31. Cutting For Stone – Abraham Verghese (Pretty sure you will not want this one to end and I have it in paperback if you want me to send it to you. Would love to see this story in a movie)
    War Brides – Lois Battle (excellent and fairly quick read)
    Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walker (also mentioned above)
    Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (read many years ago but excellent read)
    Currently I am reading “The Boys in the Boat” – Daniel James Brown.

    Thank you for doing this list. I will enjoy getting some ideas.

  32. My all time favorite book was “Breakfast with Buddha” by Roland Merullo. I couldn’t put it down. I read too much nonfiction and will have to look at the ton of books on my shelves to get a better handle on what I read and what I lost interest in. I love the short stories from Chicken Soup books because they usually make me feel good, are short and sent me off to sleep kindly. I’m so glad to hear you are traveling to see your children this winter. Looking forward to hearing about the trip.

  33. Series by Louise Penny featuring Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Sûreté du Québec, in the village of Three Pines, in southern Quebec, Canada: beginning with Still Life, then A Fatal Grace and 9 others.

    • Wonderful books – you see her growth as a writer and how Gamache changes as things happen in his life. Newest book out within the last 6 months or so.
      Chris S in Canada

  34. Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams; Bone Horses and Ladies of the Canyon by Lesley Poling-Kempes have been books I’ve enjoyed lately. We are about to get our first
    freeze tonight here in Albuquerque!! Still have zucchini squash and tomatoes in the garden!

  35. Just finished A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage. Also enthusiastically recommend: Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann; The Patrick Melrose 5 book series written by Edward St. Aubyn; Meet Me in Malmö by Torquil McLeod; My Splendid Concubine by Lloyd Lofthouse; To the Field of Stars: A pilgrim’s journey to Santiago de Compostela.

  36. I second Pat R’s recommendations of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy, both by Jenny Lawson. But if you read them on the plane, you will disturb everyone with your choking laughter. I am currently reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, which I love. And I would highly recommend Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (anything by him is great) (non-fiction) about the voyages of Captain Cook.

  37. I’ve been in an Italian idyll for months before a trip & have read The Leopard by Guiseppe di Lampedusa (I’d only seen the movie years ago.) I also read A Fine Romance by Cynthia Propper Seton, The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard & also her Naple Dispatches, & I have now embarked on Elena Ferrante’s 4 volume long Neapolitan novel- as she describes it, beginning with My Brilliant Friend. It’s brilliant so far.

  38. Hi I love any books by Fannie Flagg. At the mo I’m reading Ann Cleeves books about detective inspector Vera Stanhope. They are set in the North of England and there has been a TV series based on them.

  39. From my 2015 reading so far:

    Circling the Sun, Paula McLain
    Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
    The Nightingale, Kristin Hanna
    The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
    Last Night in Montreal, Emily St John Mandel
    All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
    Splinters of Light, Rachael Herron
    Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple

  40. The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. by Jonas Jonasson. Also his book The Girl Who Saved the Kind of Sweden. Both of us loved these!

    • I love the one hundred year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared. I haven’t read the other one, I must.

  41. For anyone who enjoys Fantasy/Sci-Fi, I highly recommend “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson. Getting into this book will ensure that you have plenty to read for a long time since it’s 1,000 excellent pages and has a sequel just as long… and more to come. It’s like starting on “Wheel of time” 20 years ago (Brandon Sanderson also finished the wheel of time series, in case you’ve read those).

    For general bookworms, I also highly recommend “Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians” by Brandon Sanderson as an easy read. It’s the first in a hilarious set of youth novels that can keep kids entertained while having plenty of funny moments that the well read will appreciate.

    I can’t wait to read some of these other interesting suggestions! So many books, so little time!

  42. Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb, a magical realist sort of book set in Italy before the war about a man who leaves his wife on their honeymoon. Sky Time in Gray’s River by Robert Michael Pyle my favorite American nature writer. News From Tartary by Peter Fleming about an early 30’s overland journey from Peking to Kashmir. Beautiful description of a vanished world (Brother of Ian Fleming). Anything by Thomas Hardy.

  43. I have read lots, like you Celi, must head to bed with a book in hand. At the moment, reading Crash and Burn, by Lisa Gardener. she writes psychological thrillers, but this one is different, no bodies, just a woman with a traumatic brain injury who has memories of being afraid but she doesn’t know of what…..intriguing, a great paced plot with interesting twists and turns and a little bit scary. Two biographies, both set in Tassie with a similar theme. A Table in the Orchard by Michelle Crawford, she says……whiIe living a high flying life, I dreamed of growing my own food, making cakes and jam, and wearing gumboots every day. Beautifully illustrated and some yummy recipes. The other is A Story of Seven Summers by Hilary Burden, with a similar background, who turns a a ramshackle old house – The Nun’s House – into a home and productive garden, has chooks with attitude and a couple of alpacas……….both charming reads.

  44. I mostly listen to audio books these days so I can knit, spin or do data entry on the old computer at the same time but I have some favorites that I’ll always read over & over again!!
    The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. Guernsey was occupied during WWII & the people had interesting coping mechanisms. A VERY good book.
    The Book of Eve – Constance Beresford-Howe Eva gets her first pension check & walks away from her comfortable life with one suitcase, clock radio & new wool coat. I reread this book almost every year!!! She also wrote several other books in a series of life changing situations for women. A Population of One, The Marriage Bed & A Very Proper Widow are three of them. Also very good books.
    The Shetland Series – Ann Cleeves Six books of Murder & Mystery in the Shetland Isles. Detective Jimmy Perez knows the isles intimately since he grew up there.
    The Pern series – Anne McCaffrey – Science Fiction, yes, but it sure feels real when McCaffrey tells the tales. There’s about 30 in the series of books about people arriving in three star ships to settle a beautiful new world. I think you should start with Dragonsdawn. It starts at the very beginning. Then Dragonseye. My very favorite series.

  45. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
    A Very Small Farm, William Paul Wincester (I read this every winter)
    His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

    I was just needing new books to read, thanks for this!

  46. I recently read a wonderful book called The Other Side of the World — the characters seemed so real and it’s got a kind of haunting, magical quality in the writing.

  47. Stones from the River and Floating in My Mother’s Palm by Ursula Hegi, a brilliant book written by an American German author describing life in a small town in post- and prewar Germany. She is a brilliant author.
    The Shoppenhauer Cure by Irvin d. Yalom, being confronted with mortality a psychotherapist is forced to re-examine his life.

  48. Hi Celi…It is great that you are compiling a 2015 winter reading list!! I am in two book clubs and could use some suggestions. Some books that I have read and enjoyed are:
    A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson (anything by B. Bryson is good)
    A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
    My Life in France – Julia Child
    The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    The Aviator’s Wife – Melanie Benjamin
    The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
    WILD – Cheryl Strayed
    Flight of Passage – Rinker Buck

    Thanks again,

  49. Circling the Sun was wonderful as is Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is phenomenal. The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester is a fabulous true story about the Oxford English Dictionary. While the idea of reading about a dictionary may sound dull, the book is captivating and based on a true story. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is also wonderful. Happy Reading!

  50. Wow, so many good recommendations. I loved Funny Girl by Nick Hornby about a woman comedian in the fifties; A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon very funny family disfunction around a wedding; The Children Act by Ian McEwen about a judge’s involvement with a teenager who want to choose not to have chemotherapy. It asks what our responsibilities are to one another once we have acted. Anne Rivers Siddons’ The Girls of August, a funny and touching exploration of growth and grief among friends when some move on (sounds heavy, but isn’t). The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin about a crotchety bookstore owner brought into the world by a baby left in his shop. And just because another blog made me think of it last night, Penelope Lively’s perfect gem of a book, Moon Tiger about an accomplished woman and the love she lost in the Egyptian Desert in the Second World War. Sorry to be such a pig, there are so many things I love!

  51. Soo glad to see this list for 2015…I need some new books to read myself this winter…always! Many I was going to suggest have already been mentioned but I do have a couple that I don’t see here.
    The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory…same author that wrote The Other Boleyn Girl.
    Memory Man by Balducci…haven’t read it yet but was highly recommended by a friend.
    Teardown~Memoir of a Vanishing City…..the city I grew up in Flint, Michigan but could describe many once great American cities. Author~Gordon Young
    (maybe already suggested this one last year)
    The sky in your photos today are beautiful…look at those clouds!

  52. Lots of books have been suggested that I’ve enjoyed… the 2015 list will be a doozy!
    Recently added to my To Read list is Organic Wesley By William C. Guerrant Jr. (blogger at Practising Resurrection), Vera: My Story by Vera Wasowski & Robert Hillman, and A Wake of Vultures by Mary Earnshaw (blogger at Memoirs of a Husk). Also on my TBR list is Recipes from The Bartolini Kitchens.

  53. For fiction I went on a Hemingway kick this year. My favorite was For Whom the Bell Tolls. I also loved A Moveable Feast, The Garden of Eden and Ernest Hemingway On Writing (although two of these are non-fiction). I also really enjoyed several non-fiction books this year – Isaac’s Storm and Dead Wake by Erik Larson. And I loved A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre. I also read and loved the Maze Runner series. It’s young adult fiction, but I loved the pace and the story line. It’s not a light subject though – disturbing and depressing perhaps.

  54. Anything by Sharon Kay Penman, Tom Clancy, Ellis Peters, Dorothy L. Sayers, “In This House of Brede” by Rumer Godden, the three volume “The Civil War: A Narrative” by Shelby Foote, “Cold Mountain”, “The Horse Wisperer”, “Cry of the Kalahari”, “Musashi”, “Grandmother and the Priests”, “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, “Dune”, “The League of Night and Fog”, “The Name of the Rose”, “A Girl of the Limberlost”, “The House of Wings”, any of the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey.

  55. My favorites for 2015 are, The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell. A mystery set in Vatican City that kept me guessing — and the setting has its own mysteries and traditions. Monday Monday by Elizabeth Crook begins on the day Charles Whitman opens fire from the University of Texas Tower. It’s not about Whitman, but about being a mother, daughter and friend. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande is non-fiction look at how we care for our ill and dying. And although it’s not new, and not really a good ‘read,’ my go to cookbook is Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. It will change the way you think about baking and cooking.

  56. Oh so many good things to look for and ones to dig out of the bookshelves. Most of my book shopping is done at Value Village or the Salvation Army Thrift Store – etc. I don’t feel bad if the book is horrible and I give it away, but I’ve found some wonderful stuff too. I shall sit down tomorrow and make my list and post it. Yes, I know it will be a bit late, but I just can’t pull together a list tonight. Here’s one non-fiction for a start though – Commander Chris Hadfield – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. His story of what it took to get to be the commander of the International Space Station – absolutely awesome!
    Chris S in Canada

    • So agree about the Commander Chris Hadfield book: I somehow came upon it at Roger Stowell’s great ‘Food, Photography and France’ and loved it 110%! And I have learned to do my book shopping thru’ AbeBooks [this may be an Australian ‘thing’] . . . they seem to be able to access absolutely everything at giveaway prices and reasonable postage: again a ‘gift’ from Roger . . . have two books coming at the moment: fast, honest and friendly!!

  57. i am just reading “the garden cottage diaries, my year in the eighteenth century” by fiona j. houston. it has a chapter for each month and i read/am reading one every month. i really enjoyed this one. it has lots of recipies, small stories, garden/nature observations all under the main topic of life in the eighteenth century. she acctually lives like people in her area would have during that time period. very interesting =)

  58. I’ve read this book 7 – 8 times and would read it again at the drop of a hat. Story of an interracial (Black/White) love affair by Ann Fairbairn. Book you don’t want to end.

    Without a Net: Sojourn in Russia by Esther Bradley-deTally. Read multiple times. Also You Carry the Heavy Stuff by same author.

    Anything by Robert B. Parker, Lee Child, Robert Krais

    Who is Julia? by Barbara S. Harris. Couldn’t put it down so I kept re-reading it.

    My Reading Life by Pat Conroy. Can’t praise enough. Also by Conroy: South of Broad Very good

    Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. At a yard sale I found it. I hollered at the owners of the sale, asking them why they would want to sell this book. They said they already had a copy so I bought theres, chastised.

    Peg Bracken’s The I Hate to Cook Book. “Cook until you sing The Star Spangled Banner twice.” Etc. Pretty funny.

    The Widows’ Adventure by Charles Dickenson Two elderly sisters. One blind and knows how to drive. One sighted but can’t drive, drive at a snail’s pace on back roads cross-country.

    The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus GREAT read!

    The Diane Mott Davidson series…female sleuth who runs a catering service. She includes recipes. Entertaining.

    Anything by Larry McMurtry but especially Lonesome Dove. Great story and very funny.

    May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude, House by the Sea, Kinds of Love

    Anything by Anne Lamott.

    Puff-puff and now to bed! Lots of love, Gayle

      • Book number ONE, not two. A little slack here. It’s almost 2 a.m. and I’m ge-pooped.

  59. I am addicted to reading and I always have at least two books on the go. One is usually non-fiction and the other fiction but I read (happily) from most genres and I cannot imagine going a day without reading! Essentially I am an unashamed bookaholic. Here are a few books that I’ve enjoyed this year:

    “Love at the Speed of Email” by Lisa McKay
    “The Eye of the Sheep” by Sophie Laguna
    “Only the Animals” by Ceridwen Dovey
    “Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade” by Susan Flett Swiderski
    “The Night Guest” by Fiona McFarlane
    “All the Birds, Singing” by Evie Wyld
    “When the Night Comes” by Favel Parrett
    “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent
    “Questions of Travel” by Michelle de Kretser
    “Floundering” by Romy Ash
    “The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman
    “In the Shadow of the Banyan” by Vaddey Ratner
    “A Hundred Flowers” by Gail Tsukiyama
    “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
    “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosnay
    “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling
    “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys
    ” A Time in Arabia” by Doreen Ingrams
    “Secrets of a Lazy French Cook” by Marie-Morgane Le Moel
    “A Pefectly Good Family” by Lionel Shriver
    “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
    “A Fig at the Gate” by Kate Llewellyn
    “The Concubine’s Children” by Denise Chong
    “The Rosie Effect” by Graeme Simsion (sequel to “The Rosie Project” which is also great)
    “The Bookshop that Floated Away” by Sarah Henshaw
    “Discovering Doeothea” by Karolyn Shindler

    I hope you find something there that inspires you! 🙂

  60. I see many wonderful book suggestions! Here are just a few good ones I’ve read recently.
    Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline (mentioned above)
    Orhan’s Inheritance – by Aline Ohanesian
    The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt as well as The Little Friend and The Secret History
    Etched in Sand – Regina Calcaterra (a memoir)
    Can’t wait to begin on the list! 🙂

  61. There is an English writer, Jane Gardam, who’s writing moves your mind to places of exceptional brilliance. Each sentence to be savored again and again. Her writing lingers in your mind. Read OLD FILTH (filth – failed in London try Hong Kong), Part mystery. Part tragic/comic completely a page turner. Then go on to read Jane Gardam’s other books and pick up again the red thread of OLD FILTH.

  62. I couldn’t think of the name of this book yesterday so I’ve looked it up, I hope it isn’t too late to add to the booklist. It is a beauty… The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander. (she is a poet but her prose reads like a dream) xx

  63. OK – I’ve got a list together.
    Lambsquarters, Barbara McLean (a farm story); An Irish Country Doctor (first of a series), Patrick Taylor; Mistress of the Art of Death (first of a series), Ariana Franklin, sadly deceased, about a medieval female medical examiner; Lights Out Liverpool (part of a series), Maureen Lee, lots of books about WW2 in Liverpool; The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay (and quite a few more from him); anything by Robert B Parker, the Spenser detective novels; Stuart MacLean – anything about The Vinyl Café, it`s a CBC (Canadian Public radio) weekly radio program of stories – you can get CD`s and books, he`s an awesome storyteller; Three Bags Full, Leonie Swann, sheep detectives – amazing book; Dana Stabenow, detective novels with an Alaskan native; The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, can`t remember the author, first of a series about a young girl in England who is a scientist and detective, young adult, but great; books by Maureen Jennings, creator of the `Murdoch Mysteries“ TV series on CBC.
    So many, many wonderful books! I often come to books later than other people because of where I buy them, but I sure find some gems that others have never heard of. Looking forward to the whole list.
    Chris S in Canada

  64. i just finished “Room,” by Emma Donoghue. It is very uniquely written with the story unfolding from the perspective of a five-year old boy. I wasn’t sure I was going to “go” for it, but I really did. I also read “33,” by Hector Tobar, the story of the 2010 Chilean mine collapse with 69 days before they were rescued. This is an excellent book. I read it after hearing Ann Patchett literally rave about it. Even though you know how it turns out, it’s just fascinating. And one more…I read “The Orchardist,” by Amanda Coplin. I read this at least a year ago and continue to think about it. It’s beautifully written, complex yet simple–I know that doesn’t tell you much, but to say more would just spoil it. I hope you’ll just trust me. 🙂

  65. You had the first two of Ken Follet’s Century Trilogy on the 2012 list so I’m including the third and final of the trilogy, “Edge of Eternity”. Amazing, especially if you were involved in the characters of the first two like I was. I just read “One Second After”, by William Forstchen. Tore through it. Very thought provoking. He’s written a sequel to it called, “One Year After”, which I must now get ahold of. “The Hangman’s Daughter”, by Oliver Potzch, and “Soul Catcher”, by Michael White are also both very good.

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