What I Read in 2015

** denotes favorite book(s) of the month

**The CrossingCormac McCarthy : As with many of McCarthy’s novels, this book is hard to classify, for it is sort of about a boy and a wolf he accompanies to Mexico, but that’s only part of the story.
March: Book OneJohn Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell : This is a beautiful graphic novel about John Lewis’s introduction to the Civil Rights Movement, a book which casts the movement in a whole new light.



yes pleaseFEBRUARY
**Yes PleaseAmy Poehler : I’d walk through fire to meet Amy Poehler, and this book, written in her lovingly sarcastic and wickedly conversational tone, demonstrates why.
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith – Anne Lamott : Yeah, this is approximately my fifth reading, but it’s still wonderfully humorous and poignant.



Mennonite in a Little Black Dress – Rhoda Janzen : This memoir about a woman’s return to the faith history of her family didn’t keep my attention as other spiritual memiorists have, but perhaps it is because I lack the Mennonite background that would make it really funny/true.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon : Fascinatingly, painful, beautiful, and difficult to read, this story from a perspective of an autistic boy is part mystery, part travel adventure, and part family drama.
**The Sabbath – Abraham Joshua Heschel : Don’t let the brevity of this book fool you; every sentence caused me to think and reconsider what the Sabbath means and how my practice should change with that knowledge.



JUNElean in
**Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to LeadSheryl Sandberg : Sure, there are problems with this book, but ultimately, it’s a great read with an interesting perspective by a successful and smart woman; more books like this, please.
My Man Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse : Sometimes, on airplanes, you need a fluffy, delightful, British, classist, humorous mystery to distract you from the stale air and cramped seating, and this is perfect for that moment.
Cocaine Blues – Kerry Greenwood : Basically, see above, except replace British with Australian, and classist with “overly feminist for the time period.”


leaving churchJULY
Bad FeministRoxanne Gay : I appreciated the overall concept of Gay’s book of essays, but I found some of her essays to be far more compelling than others.
**Leaving ChurchBarbara Brown Taylor : My first (and definitely not last) of Taylor’s books, this spiritual memoir recast the idea of church and ministry for me, as Taylor discovered transitioning from traditional ministry to ministry outside the church.



OCTOBERjust mercy
The Maze RunnerJames Dashner : Some weekends just call for some Young Adult fiction, and while I don’t rank this book as highly as, say Ender’s Game, it was an enjoyable read, somewhat of a cross between Ender’s Game and Lord of the Flies.
**Just Mercy Bryan Stevenson : Both compelling and devastating, this book is a must-read, as Stevenson’s narrative of his experiences with race and the justice system brought me to equal parts despair and a hunger for change.
The Graveyard BookNeil Gaiman : A book about a boy named Nobody who lives in a graveyard, so obviously it was delightful and creepy and a great YA read.

peace like a riverDECEMBER
Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro : Even if you know the central conceit, even if you’ve seen the movie, read the book, for even thought I’m not convinced the ending is as strong as I had hoped, I thought the unfolding of the narrative and its themes of humanity, agency, and memory are, at times, truly masterful.
**Peace Like a RiverLeif Enger : This may be my favorite novel since Gilead and it’s likely in my top five novels I’ve ever read, for the story about a boy who can’t breathe and his miraculous father is heart-breaking and beautiful; the first chapter alone is perfect in so many ways.


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