My Must-Read Books From 2015

I had a goal last year to read 50 books but fell a little short at 43. I made the same goal for this year and already have a stack of books lined up. I'll share those too, I promise :) In case you missed my goals post see it here. Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I try to squeeze in reading and/ or listening to books every spare second. I love reading all different types of books and this year included an eclectic bunch of reads.  I thought I would share a few of my absolute faves from 2015.
I've also included any book over-reviews that I have written on the books on my list. Just click on the links to see an in-depth look at the books. Let's dive in to my fave books of 2015.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Vianne and Isabelle are two sisters who live outside of France during WWII. Their lives will take dramatic turns as France becomes occupied and Vianne is forced to let a German soldier stay in her home. She makes incredible sacrifices to keep her daughter and herself alive while hoping for her husband to make it home from the war.

Isabelle fights the war by sneaking information and people over enemy lines. She risks her life to save others in a reckless but also brave way. You will hear a much different side of the war, a women's side where love and determination may be the only two things that keep them alive. 

The courage of these two sisters and the other people involved in their lives will keep you clinging to this book, trying to soak up every morsel. I couldn't put this book down and it was my absolute favorite of the year! 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This book will surprise you but also scare you at the same time. It's a suspenseful drama that is unlike anything I have read before. I loved that I couldn't quite put my finger on what was happening with the main character Rachel and every time I thought I had it figured out something else would happen. 

The story opens up with Rachel riding the same train to and from work each day. Close to one of the train stations she is able to see into the backyard of a home, where she becomes somewhat attached to this couple she has never met. She makes up stories about them in her head and fantasizes about what it would be like to live their lives. One day she sees something that is very wrong and goes to the police to tell them what she has witnessed. Rachel ends up tangling herself in this very dangerous web, which will leave you wondering if she should have gotten involved in the first place.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty 

Alice's life is perfect. She is a newlywed who is pregnant with her first baby, until she wakes up on the floor of a gym... ten years later. Her life is completely different now from what she last remembers. How can it be that she is getting divorced, has three kids, and has turned into a different person?? Alice must put the pieces back together from her upside down life and figure out how to return to the fun-loving person she used to be. You'll find yourself rooting for love and the power of a fresh start as you watch Alice shift in her mindset between the past and present. 

This story is so relatable and attention-grabbing. This is my go-to book when people ask for a book recommendation that isn't too "heavy." You will fall in love with this book!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This book is set in Germany and France during WWII. It follows the lives of two very different people, Marie-Laure and Werner. Marie-Laure is a young Parisian girl who goes blind at the age of 6. After Paris is occupied her father takes her to his Uncle's house to seek refuge and to hide a very rare stone. This stone was entrusted to her father from the Natural History Museum in Paris where he worked. When the Nazi's invade her Uncle's town the very idea of the stone threatens their lives and everyone around them. 

Werner is an orphan turned Nazi soldier. His life has been anything but easy. He finally seems to get a break when he is recognized for his engineering talents by a teacher. He is assigned to constructing radios and transmitters that will help them find enemy parties.  This talent of his starts to weigh heavily as he sees that lives are at sake for the information he provides. 

Doerr does an incredible job of weaving together these stories and he will leave you crying but also wanting more. Such a great book!!

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig

I actually wrote a book over-review on The Other Daughter a few months ago. See my book over-review here.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

See my book over-review here

Summer Secrets by Jane Green

Jane Green is one of my favorite authors. I love her sense of drama and how relatable her books are to the reader... well when I say reader, I mean me lol. I'm always sucked into her books right away and Summer Secrets was no different. 

Cat is the main character and you have a front row seat to the downward spiral of her life in her twenties and thirties. She is an alcoholic that is out of control until a life-altering event occurs where she needs to make the choice to sober up or to lose everything.

I found myself really drawn to Cat but also wanting to grab her by the shoulders, shake her, and tell her to stop! She makes you cringe as you watch the drunken mistakes she makes, but you also love her as you watch her as a caring mom. This is a super fast read and is perfect for a cozy day by the fire or relaxing on the beach. After you read this list of books check out Saving Grace and  Second Chance.

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

I LOVE all of Shauna's books. She writes so raw and real. She also makes you feel like you are sitting and chatting over a cup or coffee, which I love. This book is all about food and how it brings people together. Also, how certain dishes can remind you of various times in your life. It's not a cookbook per say but there are a lot of recipes mixed throughout. I make her bacon wrapped dates and basic vinaigrette constantly. YUM! See my review here.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle 

This was the first book I read last year. I knew I wanted to read it before the movie came out but at the same time I knew it would be an emotional read. This made me put it off for several months until I finally bit the bullet and started reading. I already knew the basis of the story because Mark had read it and Chris Kyle's life was highly publicized, especially after he was killed. If you don't know the story I'll give you a short synopsis. Basically, this is an autobiography of Chris' life as a SEAL sniper. The book goes through his training at BUD/s, his time with his wife and children, and his deployments. You get a short snapshot of what it must have been like for Chris while being deployed and also the hardships he faced when he was home. His military record as a sniper is pretty incredible and he's been called America's deadliest sniper. 

I watched the movie several months later and I think I like the book better. It's hard to pin-point why but parts of the movie dramatized his time at home. I guess that's what movies do right?? Anyways if you like reading books about SEALs you should check out my favorite book, Fearless by Eric Blehm. This is the story of Adam Brown and holy moly it's so good. I actually got to meet Kelley Brown, Adam's widow, this past year and it was an huge honor. She's such a strong woman and Christian. Even if you aren't into military books you should read the book to hear his testimony. 

If you have any book recommendations for me I would love to hear them!


  1. I think that I read Girl On The Train in about 48 hours!!! I couldn't put it down! I received Bread and Wine as a wedding gift and haven't started it yet! Thanks for all the recommendations. When ever I find the time, I'll be adding these to my kindle!

  2. I think I read 1 book last year. I think 43 is pretty fantastic! I'm shooting for 12 overall in 2016...have to set realistic goals for myself!

  3. I just started All the Light We Cannot See, I can't wait t read it! Hopefully I'll find the time to read more of these books, they sound interesting!