Top Ten of Twenty Fifteen / by Madeleine

Hello Twenty-Sixteen!

I am so looking forward to this year and though I'm hoping that some things go exactly as planned (such as finishing grad school), I can't wait to see what surprises are in store.

This year I read a total of sixty-six books and 20, 552 pages. If you remember, I was focusing on quality over quantity, and though I actually ended up reading more books than I did in the past two years, many of my favorite reads from this year were children's books. Though my average rating for books is around 4 stars (hey, I know how to pick 'em!), I'm highlighting these ones in particular because they stood out above the rest. I'm not going to set any resolutions again this year (no resolutions worked out well for me in 2015), so I'm looking forward to picking up whatever strikes my fancy. Although, I would like to make some progress in reading the A Song of Ice and Fire Series, and as always, reading more classic literature is still on my to-do list.

Below you'll find my top ten picks from 2015:

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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R. R. Martin

It's Game of Thrones. Need I say more? If you're a fan of the HBO series and are debating reading the books, go for it! I'm still in the middle of the second (taking my time), but I think having seen the show helps me to keep the characters straight in my head.

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The Heretic Queen: Heiress of Misfortune, Pharaoh's Beloved by Michelle Moran

All of the heart eyes for the love story between Nefertari and Ramesses II. Review for this on the blog next week!

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The Witch's Daughter (The Witch's Daughter #1) by Paula Brackston

I didn't realize that this was the start to a series until I went to prepare this post! I will certainly be reading the second installment (due in 2016), as this was the perfect mix of fantasy and historical fiction. Highly recommended for your October reading list. You can read my review here.

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The Postmortal by Drew Magary

I plucked this from my boyfriend's shelves one day when I had nothing to read and couldn't put it down until I turned the last page. I don't normally delve into post-apocalyptic lit but this was worth taking the chance. 

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The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great (Catherine #1) by Eva Stachniak

 The second in this series is on my to-read list for January. Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre (though I love fantasy too) and this was unique in it's setting and captivating. You can read my review here.

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The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig

I just finished this earlier this week and had to make room on my list for it because oh my goodness the heartbreak was real. Review to come!

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The Martian by Andy Weir

 You might recognize this as the hit movie starring Matt Damon. I didn't expect to love this book but it's probably my top recommendation from this year because I think it appeals to all kinds of readers. The humor is what pulled me in but it was incredibly suspenseful as well.

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The Glass Sentence (The Mapmaker's Trilogy #1) by S.E. Grove

I actually read and loved the first and second books in this series, which I stumbled across just by chance. It's become one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. Recommended for fans of Harry Potter. 

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The Master Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #3) by Charlie N. Holmberg

I was sad to see the end of this trilogy but I do plan to re-read it at some point. I love the whimsy of it and I find the world that Holmberg created comforting. I wish that I could be friends with Ceony Twill!

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The Sisters of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #1) by Sally Christie

I loved this book. As in, I read in early for a publisher and still pre-ordered my own copy (the copies publishers send me are often not final drafts). I cannot wait for the second installment, due out in April! You can read my review of this book here.


Bonus! Top Three Children's Picks

Since just about half of the books that I read this year were children's novels, I thought I'd share my top three children's literature picks from this year as well!

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The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

If you have not yet read this book, do yourself a favor and read it this year. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and uplifting and everything that you'd ever want from a book. I'll be re-reading it at least once this year.

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The Mister Max Trilogy by Cynthia Voigt

If you have a middle grade reader in your life, this series would make a great gift! I thought that it was entirely unique from the typical formula for novels of this genre and fell in love with its quirky characters. You can read my review of the trilogy here.

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The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Beautiful. Captivating. Incredible. I could go on and on about this book. Tears were shed (bewarned) and it's the one book that my students can't stop talking about this year.


Want more of my favorites? See my Top Ten of 2013 here and 2014 here.