Tuesday’s Top Ten: Books Read in 2015
Chuck Wendig just put out a request on Facebook for favorite read of 2015. It’s a little early to call, since I have three books left to read before the end of the year. Still, I can dig a top ten out of my read list for 2015 to meet my self-imposed deadline. (If you don’t see your name below *cough* Gus *cough*, you’re still on my TBR list.)
10. Equal Before the Law: How Iowa Led Americans to Marriage Equality by Tom Witosky and Marc Hansen. I met the authors and two of the plaintiffs. This is nonfiction about the supreme court decision in Iowa that set the groundwork for SCOTUS ‘s landmark decision. They focus on telling the stories of the people behind the decision. Much more engaging than one would think.
9. A Little too Broken by Brad Vance. I loved the comedy interspersed with the darkness in this wonderful M/M romance. Plus, I’m a Green Bay fan, so there’s that.
8. If It Drives by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt. What can I say–I love Nick, and the awkward tension between Cal and James is the mix I want in my own books.
7. Stealing the Wind by Shira Anthony. Two words: pirate mermen. PIRATE MERMEN! I need to overhaul my magical pirate novel. Shira, great minds think alike, and I am so glad I read this before I submitted something too similar.
6. Immortal by Amy Lane. True Amy Lane fantasy, proving once again why “Angst and Pain” is her slogan. Loved.
5. Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford. I love urban fantasy. I didn’t even care that there was no sex. That’s how good the story was.
4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Rage. I still feel it every time I think of this book. That’s power, right there.
3. The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane. Amy Lane does historical romance better than most people do historical romance, and this isn’t even what I would call her comfort zone. I love this novel so hard. If you are looking for a novel to read this holiday season, pick this one. It’s heartbreaking and breathtakingly beautiful. After all the time I spent researching my YA Neo-Nazi horror novel, I even learned some new Yiddish words and customs. My boys in Love Your Enemy are grateful.
2. The Martian by Andy Weir. I loved this book so much I bought it for my mom for her birthday, knowing that my dad would want to read it, too. Hilarious. I even understood the math. If you haven’t heard of this book, or at least the movie, you’ve been under a rock for the last year.
1. Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane. I lied to Chuck Wendig! I forgot I read Mackey’s story this year–I bought it last year. I read many musical romances, hoping this will be the one that fills the void in my heart after Freddie died. I loved Beneath the Stain for everything it was, and also everything it wasn’t. It didn’t apologize for failed first loves. It punished the fuck out of every player. It didn’t give the easy answers. It gave the right answers. The forever answers. The best-for-the-character answers. This novel deserves every award it wins this year, starting with Elisa’s 2015 Rainbow Awards for Best Gay Contemporary Romance and tie for Best Gay Book.
What book didn’t I read this year? Go Set a Watchman. My boss’s boss thinks Harper Lee is the best author ever. To Kill A Mockingbird doesn’t even make my top ten books on racial inequality. I wouldn’t put it in the top ten books people have forced me to read (That’s the only reason I read it the first time–school. And then again, because I taught school.) I will read Go Set a Watchman right after I watch Titanic. You know–never.