Category Archives: Bibliogenealogies

Top 15 Books 2015

Until I have the time and energy to devote to reshaping my Top 100 list, I’ll take baby steps with the books I’ve read this year. Note: these are not necessarily in order and not necessarily published this year, just read this year. By me. And possibly you. This is always a difficult task but my usual means of deciding which ones make the cut is asking myself “would I actually purchase a second copy and/or re-read this book and/or foist this book on others?” The winners are:

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir
  3. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  4. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  6. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, #1) by Ryan North
  7. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
  8. Fool’s Quest (The Fitz and The Fool, #2) by Robin Hobb
  9. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  10. The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson
  11. Changes (The Dresden Files, #12) by Jim Butcher
  12. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  13. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  14. Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
  15. Back Story (Paperback) by David Mitchell

Top Ten Books That Make Me Hungry

  1. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  3. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
  4. Relish by Lucy Knisley
  5. 97 Orchard : An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman
  6. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  7. Bake Sale by Sara Varon
  8. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin crazy, right? but the man does know how to describe food.
  9. Mr. Greedy by Roger Hargreaves
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Top Ten Books I Can Read More Than Once … And Have

Good go-to books to travel with:

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  3. The Stand by Stephen King
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman [also Marathon Man but if I had to pick one per author, this is it]
  6. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  7. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  8. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
  9. Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
  10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Top Ten Books That Made Me Smile

I guess this would fall under the “humor” section of the bookstore.  Awww, remember bookstores? Some jokes are meant to be heard/seen but these writers get around that.

  1. The Internet is a Playground by David Thorne
  2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  3. Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin
  4. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
  5. Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell
  6. Getting Even by Woody Allen
  7. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  8. Complete Works of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
  9. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  10. The Utterly Ultimate My Word by Frank Muir, Denis Norden

Honorable ‘made me smile but also made me sad’ mention to Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Top Ten Mystery Novels

“In these weeks of midwinter, there’s nothing more satisfying than curling up by the fire with a good novel — and in particular a good mystery novel, because they somehow seem to keep you the warmest. Plus, what with a new season of Sherlock starting this week, your appetite for more murders, clues, and suspicious persons might just be piqued.” Flavorwire came up with their top 50 mystery novels which reminded me of my top 100 books which I’m re-shaping into more bite-sized pieces.


  1. Marathon Man by William Goldman
  2. The Man With a Load of Mischief (extra credit for the full Richard Jury series) by Martha Grimes
  3. Right as Rain by George Pelecanos
  4. Murder Hurts (extra credit for the full Fiddler and Fiona series) by A.E. Maxwell
  5. Naked in Death (extra credit for the full In Death series) by J.D. Robb
  6. Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  7. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  9. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Top Ten Autobiographies

Autobiography? Memoir? Compilation of funny or interesting or heart-wrenching stuff that happened to them? Unless and until someone else comes up with a better list, this’ll have to do ya:

  1. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  2. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  3. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  4. My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
  5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  6. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  7. Love, InshAllah by Nura Maznavi andAyesha Mattu
  8. Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia
  9. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  10. Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield

2014 Book Challenge?

Apparently there is a group that challenges you to read 50 books in an year. I wondered where I would rate on this challenge. It’s August and I’ve already got 31 under my belt [not including all the Ms. Marvels and various children’s books; and, honestly, some of these should count as more than one book (I’m looking at you, Gabaldon)]. Not bad considering I have a full time job [at work] followed by my other full time job [two kids]. My neighbor was telling me about a book she had and said, “oh yeah, you’re a Reader, you may already know about this.” I was flattered and it’s true. Reader with a capital “R”!

  1. Seconds- O’Malley, Bryan Lee
  2. Habibi – Thompson, Craig
  3. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander, #8) – Gabaldon, Diana
  4. My Accidental Jihad – Bremer, Krista
  5. Wool – Howey, Hugh
  6. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union – Chabon, Michael
  7. The Thing Around Your Neck – Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
  8. Autobiography – Morrissey
  9. Ice Haven – Clowes, Daniel
  10. Divergent (Divergent, #1) – Roth, Veronica
  11. Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke – Sheffield, Rob
  12. I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Crosley, Sloane
  13. The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, #1) – Bourne, Joanna
  14. The Interestings – Wolitzer, Meg
  15. The Pillars of the Earth (The Pillars of the Earth, #1) – Follett, Ken
  16. The Proposition – Ivory, Judith
  17. The Orphan Master’s Son – Johnson, Adam
  18. All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1) – McCarthy, Cormac
  19. Room – Donoghue, Emma
  20. Shards of Honour (Vorkosigan Saga, #1) – Bujold, Lois McMaster
  21. The Divorce Papers – Rieger, Susan
  22. Winter’s Bone – Woodrell, Daniel
  23. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Sloan, Robin
  24. The Brick Testament: Stories from the Book of Genesis – Smith, Brendan Powell
  25. Orange Is the New Black – Kerman, Piper
  26. Alif the Unseen – Wilson, G. Willow
  27. The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) – Rothfuss, Patrick
  28. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – Hillenbrand, Laura
  29. The Fault in Our Stars – Green, John
  30. The Prophet – Gibran, Khalil
  31. The Shining Girls – Beukes, Lauren