Your favourite books in 2015

In 2015, more Mumsnetters than ever completed their 50 Book Challenge. If you're looking for inspiration for this year, check out the nine most recommended books from last year

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A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson

Following the roaring success of Life After Life, Kate Atkinson turns her attention to protagonist Ursula's little brother, Teddy Todd. A God in Ruins won the Costa Novel Award 2015, proving Atkinson's enduring literary prowess. 

Mumsnetters say:

"I was blown away by this book - a tapestry of strands which, when one was pulled, left a very surprising result."


The Martian - Andy Weir

Recently released as a film starring Matt Damon, The Martian tells the story of an astronaut presumed dead and left behind on the red planet, and his struggle to make it home to Earth.

Mumsnetters say:

"I read this after seeing and enjoying the film and I loved it. I actually found the details about potato farming and the technical bits fascinating! My son also loved it - it was good fun."


The Narrow Road To The Deep North - Richard Flanagan

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014, Richard Flanagan's devastating love story revolves around the building of the Siam-Burma railway line by Australian POWs during the Second World War. A sometimes harrowing, but heart-wrenchingly beautiful read.

Mumsnetters say:

"This has absolutely blown me away. I feel very haunted by it. Best book of the year by far for me."

"I read The Narrow Road To The Deep North many months ago and I still think about it - a fabulous book. I must read it again soon."

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt's third novel was 10 years in the writing but is well worth the wait: it's been hailed by some as her best work. The queen of narrative detail tells the difficult coming-of-age story of a teenage boy suddenly orphaned in New York - and the lifelong consequences of a split-second decision. 

Mumsnetters say:

"Just one word to describe this book: sublime. It is about loss, and the fragility of beauty, and all that we put our trust in. I heartily recommend this book to everyone here."

"It's a stunning book on every level."


The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell

Like so many of Mitchell's other works, The Bone Clocks is a multi-layered story that grows as the pages turn. Including elements of fantasy and a vision of an apocalyptic future, Mitchell draws his readers into a web of stories through the ages which includes characters that fans will recognise from his much-loved backlist. The sort-of sequel, Slade House, is out now.

Mumsnetters say:

"This was an exquisite, quite emotional read. Mitchell is a terrific storyteller and his prose is so detailed and well written, you want to wallow in it. I was so deflated when the book ended; I wanted it to go on with more stories."


The Book of Strange New Things - Michel Faber

A sci-fi saga for the layman. Michel Faber follows the success of The Crimson Petal and the White with this gripping tale of a couple separated by galaxies. As Peter, a man of deep faith, discovers a whole new world, his wife struggles to survive on an increasingly apocalyptic Earth.

Mumsnetters say:

"I was up until 4am three nights running to finish it. It's like a long, deeply enjoyable touring holiday for the head."

"Gobsmackingly brilliant and deeply escapist, yet thought-provoking. Heaven."

H Is For Hawk - Helen Macdonald

A powerful and moving account of the author's battle to deal with the sudden loss of her father while also training a goshawk. Helen Macdonald's story intertwines with the story of troubled author TH White and his own experience of training the notoriously difficult bird. 

Mumsnetters say:

"The nature-writing aspect of H Is For Hawk is beautiful. Her unflinching writing about her own state of mind is breathtaking. It's one of my favourite books for ages."

"Found it very hard to read anything else after it, it was so good." 

A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

Mumsnetters loved this heartwarming story when it first hit the bookshelves a few years ago - its uplifting nature has made it an enduring favourite. When a noisy family moves in next door, Ove, a grumpy, bitter old man, finds his life irrevocably and profoundly changed. One for fans of Rachel Joyce.

Mumsnetters say:

"The best book for me this year was A Man Called Ove. A wonderful mixture of laugh-out-loud moments and lump-in-my-throat ones. Four friends got a copy from me for Christmas!"

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

It's easy to see why All the Light We Cannot See won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction last year. As the dust settles and reveals the destruction left behind by World War II, a blind French girl and a German boy meet in the seaside town of Saint-Malo.

Mumsnetters say:

"Gorgeous book, I absolutely loved it. Gripping, heartbreaking and beautifully written. I highly recommend."

"I loved All the Light We Cannot See. I have been recommending it to my friends and they have so far all loved it too. One of my top books of the year."

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Last updated: over 2 years ago