Shelfie: What I’m reading in 2015


I know, I know. It’s not December yet. It’s TOO EARLY for a year-end round-up.

Which is why…this isn’t one!

Consider this a check-in as the first be-hatted days of autumn begin to sneak up on Brooklyn. As October comes to a close, there are just too many good books on my shelf to wait until December. So here’s the best of what I’m reading in 2015 (so far!).

In YA (in reading order):

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

This suspenseful murder mystery, presented nonlinearly, has a great, unexpected love triangle and a compelling voice. The first best thing I read in 2015 (and re-read a few months later!).

Winger by Andrew Smith

He may have had a rough year on social media, but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this moving boarding school contemp. Smith takes the story to a really powerful, unexpected place.

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

This was my introduction to the inimitable Courtney Summers, and I want more! Now! This book was a dirty, vicious, and spot-on take on bullying. But it’s not like an issue book, OK? It’s just really well-done.

Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

Great contemporary realistic about a likable girl making some unlikable decisions during her last year of high school.

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Voice, voice, voice! Really engaging, character-driven look at a girl facing the beginnings of mental illness during a summer spent housesitting for her parents.

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Compelling “whodunit” about a girl suffering from total amnesia following a traumatic indecent that left her damaged and her best friend missing, presumed dead.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby 

With one foot in the real world and the other firmly lodged in the realm of the fantastical, Ruby’s novel is mysterious, literary, and unlike anything I’ve read before.

In food writing:

Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchia Dunlop

I’ve been pretty YA-centric so far this year, but I did squeeze in this great food memoir. Mouth-watering and thoughtful writing on an English student’s experiences eating, traveling, and cooking in Sichuan provence and elsewhere in China.

In (almost) adult: 

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

I loved this novel, which follows a creative group of teenagers that meet at a summer art camp through the successes, jealousies, and struggles of their adult lives.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

This could easily fall under YA (it’s a classic coming-of-age story), but I’m pretty sure DiSclafani’s literary debut has been shelved under adult. Either way, it’s a suspenseful and taughtly-written drama about a girl sent away to a special private school after disgracing her family in the 1930s.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

I finally read Fun Home in anticipation of seeing the musical on Broadway this summer. (High marks to both!) Bechdel moves seamlessly between family drama, coming of age discovery, and literary criticism in this artful graphic memoir.

The TBR Pile

Here’s a sneak peak at just a few of the books in my To Be Read pile for the rest of 2015 (and beyond):

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler

Tease by Amanda Maciel

Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

George by Alex Gino

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Where You End by Anna Pellicioli

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta