My 2015 reading list

I didn’t read as much as I would’ve liked in 2014, but what I read was good. I was all over the place, roaming around the bookstore and library choosing books based on what jumped out at me. Last year I read quite a bit of fluff. I guess there’s really nothing wrong with that, but this year I wanted to have a plan because last year, for one of the first times in my life, I was so scattered in my reading intentions that I started a bunch of books that I didn’t finish. That’s not like me at all!

I chose 25 books for my 2015 list, and I’m shooting to read 18 of them. I decide what to read very much based on my mood, so that gives me some leeway to choose things that suit my at-the-time frame-of-mind. If you were to look through the photos on my phone, you’d find a lot of pictures of books. When I’m at the bookstore and I find something that sounds good, I take a picture of it so I won’t forget. Some of the books on my list came from those photos, some came from your suggestions, and some of them are books I started last year and never finished. A few are classics that I should’ve read a long time ago.

I asked for your help, and you gave me so many good suggestions! I compiled a list from all the sources.


Here’s a more readable list of your best recommendations:

  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  • Mama’s Shoes by Rebecca Elswick
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
  • Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock
  • The Shack by WM Paul Young
  • Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Dr. Sleep by Stephen King
  • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  • True Evil by Greg Iles
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • Dewey the Library Cat by Bret Witter
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
  • Linwood Barclay mysteries
  • John Sandford mysteries
  • Jefferson Bass books

I combined some of your suggestions with some of mine, and this is what I came up with for My 2015 Reading List, (notes included):

  1. Animal Farm by George Orwell *
  2. The World Made Straight by Ron Rash *
  3. People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann *
  4. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  5. Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford **
  6. Gray Mountain by John Grisham
  7. Misery by Stephen King
  8. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  10. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  11. Dewey the Library Cat by Bret Witter
  12. How I Killed Pluto and Why it had it Coming by Mike Brown ****
  13. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  14. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  15. Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
  16. American Gods by Neil Gaiman **
  17. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  18. Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock
  19. Cooked by Michael Pollan
  20. On the Road by Jack Kerouac **
  21. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  22. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain ***
  23. Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly
  24. Rules of Prey by John Sandford
  25. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

* Finished already in 2015 (Yay for progress!)
** Started reading in 2014
*** Rereading because it’s awesome
**** Started reading in 2012 and then the Kindle died and had to buy a new one, and Amazon wouldn’t let me re-download the book, even though I’d already paid for it, so I boycotted Amazon and Kindle for many months, but what I read was awesome and I have never forgotten it.

***** I reserve the right to substitute books from the first list on any given day at any given time.

****** Despite Matt’s best attempts at persuasion, The Shining is not on my list since I would like to get some sleep this year.

Some of these books were chosen in part because they were already on my bookshelf and/or I’d already started reading them… How sad that I have so many unread and unfinished books!


So far, I’ve already finished: (No spoilers ahead, only likes and dislikes)

Animal Farm (read that one only for the sake of saying I read it). I read it! I read it! And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

The World Made Straight, a story set in the Appalachians of North Carolina that looks at a kid finding his way and delves into drug culture. Mixed feelings on this one. I can’t really say I’d recommend this book, although I’d really like for someone to read it so I could have someone to talk to about it. I can say that I couldn’t stop until I knew what was going to happen in the end, so that’s something. It was so promising in the beginning and I thought it was going to be awesome, but for once I’m thinking the movie might be better. Of course, we’ll have to see how Noah Wyle handles an Appalachian accent. If that gets botched then it’s automatically ruined for me, so the whole thing may be a wash.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Matt says you get a funny (read: disturbed) look from people when you ask for this one at the bookstore. But the looks are worth it. I totally identify with Jen Mann and her collection of essays. There’s some language in this one, but the stories are funny.

I’m moving on to The Dead Zone, I think. If you have anything on your list that’s on my list, let me know and we’ll read together! It could be like our very own BOOK CLUB!

What’s on your list?

Comments (13)

  1. JoBeth

    Once I finish The Day of the Triffids, I’ll start The Dead Zone with you! Reading buddies! What, what!

    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      I am starting it today! Well, tonight. 🙂 I already have it laid out on the couch!

  2. Cyn k

    I’m doing the Book Riot Read Harder challenge this year. I finally read Fahrenheit 451. The dialogue was stilted and it didn’t end the way I expected, but I’m glad I read it. It is still relevant today if not more so.
    I don’t share any books on my current list with you. As for “On the Road” I’ll say this – good luck. I could not finish it.
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    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      I just read about the Read Harder Challenge after seeing your comment and it looks awesome! My cousin does a very similar thing with a “Bingo Card” of books. Each block has a description sort of like this list, and you fill it in with the titles you choose. I like that idea because it gives you a broad range of works. I’m not so good at branching out beyond my comfort zone.

      I’m a bit worried about being able to finish On the Road, to be honest. I was about 50 pages in when I stopped reading it last year. I purposely bought it so I would feel an added responsibility to finish… I feel like I should read it, but so far I just don’t like it very much.

      I may add Fahrenheit 451 to my list. It’s also one I have always wanted to read… and I already know I like Bradbury more than Kerouac!

  3. Sayid Mansour

    I’ll probably read some of these books too. Maybe Stephen King’s.
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