Top Book Recommendations and Some Superlatives.

I just realized in reviewing my reading list for 2015 that I read not 60 but 61 books in 2015! And don't worry, I won't list all of those books, but I want to recap a little bit of my reading themes for the year and give you some of my favorites as recommendations to add to your 2016 reading list. 

Being overseas for all of 2015, I had limited access to books of my choosing. I couldn't be too picky, and I was highly dependent on the library at our church (which, strangely enough, had tons of excellent fiction and non-fiction available) as well as any books I picked up at English bookstores on our travels. I didn't have a Kindle and hated reading on my iPad, so I stuck to reading mainly physical books. Because there wasn't a well-stocked English library around the corner, I couldn't really plan out my reading for the year and ended up with a much more flexible reading lifestyle. I basically read whatever I could get my hands on!

I also read books related to a class I took this summer, History of Children's Literature, which was really fun and pushed me to read some books I otherwise wouldn't have picked up (namely graphic novels).

In all, I read 47 fiction books and 14 non-fiction books. 16 of the fiction books were "children's lit" (using quote marks because Harry Potter starts to feel much more adult-geared than child-geared around book four, and The Chronicles of Narnia are timeless, don't you think?), and other than the first two of the Harry Potter series, I don't think I re-read anything.

All that said, here are a few of my superlatives given to my favorite books from this year!

In the category of non-fiction...

Book most likely to inspire you to swim upstream culturally: Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

Book most likely to inspire you to clean your closets and reconsider what things really bring you joy: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Book most likely to encourage you to glory in the Tuesdays (i.e. the most ordinary days) of your life: Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

Book most likely to help you understand yourself (if you're an introvert) or those beloved introverts in your life: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Book most likely to move you to jumping head-first into creativity this year: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

In the category of fiction:

Best book to listen to on audiotape (the accents are incredible!): Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Best books to spark "What if...?" conversations regarding society: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Most beautifully written fiction about the American Southwest: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

The best book to binge-read (i.e. over spring break, on a trip, etc.): 11.22.63 by Stephen King

The books most similar to Aesop's Fables with endearing, heartbreaking storylines: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang and Fup by Jim Dodge

Most beautifully written story that crosses continents and makes you believe you are in the Brazilian Amazon: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

I'd love to add some of your favorite to my 2016 reading, so please, leave a comment with a favorite (or two!) and let me know what you loved reading in 2015. Happy New Year, and happy reading!