JC Reads: Top 7 Books of 2015

December 20, 2015

Christmas Bucket List (1)

So here we are at the end of the year, if you remember, I set myself the goal of 40 books to read this year. I’m currently on 39, so I’m pretty sure I will complete it, as I’m racing through my current read.

A few years ago, essentially once I started uni, I just stopped reading. You guys know the deal, suddenly you need to read a million uni books, study, work and all that stuff, reading just falls by the wayside. It was only last year when I bought a kindle and started commuting that I finally fell back into the reading groove. I find reading just helps switch my mind off, what with life running at a million miles an hour, sitting down and getting lost in another world, even if it is only for 20 minutes a day, is worth it. That lead to this years challenge which I’m so glad I set myself, as it kept that momentum going.

So out of those 40 books, I thought I’d wrap it up with a collection of my top 5 reads of the year. Hopefully you can pick up one of these to have a read through over Christmas!


Best Historical Fiction: The Shardlake Series – C J Sansom

The Shardlake series is made up of 6 novels, of which I read the latest 2 this year – Heartstone and Lamentation. This is by far my favourite historical novel series. It centres around Matthew Shardlake, a humpback lawyer living in London in the time of Henry the 8th. Though he is a normal lawyer, he always seems to get mixed up in various crimes full of murder and mystery. Each novel moves forward in time, and Sansom has a great way of reflecting the new time as Henry gets new wives.

They are all long, chunky reads, ones you can really get your teeth into. The plots always well thought through and full of twists and turns. Sansom plans on continuing to write, so I can’t wait for some new books to be released soon!


Best Non Fiction: Without You there is no Us – Suki Kim

I read about this over on Aislings blog then proceeded to pick it, and it was SO interesting. It follows a teacher who gets a job teaching at a school for North Koreas elite. The whole thing is true which is so crazy as North Korea just sounds like a whole other world. Their traditions and how much they manage to hide from the rest of the world is so shocking.

I don’t think I can give it full justice in explaining it, but if you’re interested in hearing first hand about what happens in North Korea, then this is one you need to give a go.

Best Police Crime: Silent Scream (Kim Stones series) – Angela Marsons

I’ve managed to read 3 of the books in this series this year. They centre around Kim Stone, a no nonsense, tough police officer who won’t stop until the crime is solved. Sounds a little cliche, it might be a little but overall, it’s still a really enjoyable piece to read. They move at a good pace, have a few twists and turns, and Kim is actually a really enjoyable character. These are some of those books that follow a formula, but it means you know you are going to join it every time!

Best Fantasy: The Black Prism – Brent Weeks

I raved about this in a recent post, but I finally read a real, not a kindle book of the Black Prism. It centres around a world where people can draft certain colours of light to make various materials all called luxin. The world has several factions and is a little like Game of Thrones with lots of areas bustling for power. It centres around Gavin meeting his illegitamate son, and ends in the beginning of a war. It is the first in a trilogy, so I’m very excited to continue the other two books in Gran Canaria in the New Year!


Best Alternative Crime: Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith

I’m putting this as ‘alternative crime’ as it isn’t the standard police novel, following a case. If you weren’t already aware, the Cormoran Strike series is written by J K Rowling under a pseudonym. They follow Strike, the private detective and his partner Robin. This is the third novel to be released and to be honest, all three are great!

Each follows a new crime mystery that takes the duo all over London. I love the dynamic between the two main characters, each building off each other. Plus you can’t fault JK, her writing is as good as it was in Harry Potter, full of imagination. It draws you wholly into the story and I’m so glad she kept on writing.

Best Fiction: The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstein

This was one of those books that when I read it, I wasn’t totally sure how I felt it. But then, after I finished it, I genuinely missed it, and in the months since, it’s a book I always remember really well. It follows a lot of different characters but all centering around a magical circus. One which appears at night, and which seems as if the acts are all run mysteriously.

The book itself is just so vividly written, in between chapters there is a usually a prose around a different magical act. These conjour up such great images when you read them, I love it. The characters all have really interesting and different stories but it does pull them all together for the conclusion of the book.

So there we have some top books you should get your hands on. I can’t wait to keep up the reading train next year, though I think I might decrease my book goal to a little less – 30 this time!

What was your favourite books of 2015?

JC xx



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