Whether you’re looking for gifts or vacation reading material, the best books of 2015 are a great place to start. There’s something for everyone: groundbreaking non-fiction to exhilarating novels, explorations of race and gender or inspirational studies on how we can make the most of life’s challenges. So get your cozy nook ready to settle in with these 10 best books to read from 2015.
1. Between the World and Me • Ta-Nehisi Coates
This #1 New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner is required reading for all Americans. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ stunning exploration on race in America and what it’s like to be a black man in 2015 is written as a series of letters to his teenage son.
2. Fates and Furies • Lauren Groff
Fates and Furies, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist, is a complex examination of marriage and creative partnership. The New York Times says, Elaborate, sensual…a writer whose books are too exotic and unusual to be missed.”
3. The Girl on the Train • Julia Pierpont
Julia Pierpont’s riveting debut novel follows Emily, whose train passes a couple having breakfast on their deck everyday during her morning commute. One day she catches a glimpse of something shocking that changes everything. The movie version starring Justin Theroux and Emily Blunt is due out in 2016.
4. The Art of Memoir • Mary Carr
If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of writing a memoir (admit it, you have!), Mary Carr’s New York Times bestseller belongs on your shelf right next to Stephen King’s On Writing.
5. In the Unlikely Event • Judy Blume
Judy Blume is a perennial favorite for tweens and adults and her latest novel doesn’t disappoint. In the Unlikely Event takes place in 1987 as a woman looks back on several plane crashes that took place 35 years earlier in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey.
6. Delicious Foods • James Hannaham
The best books make you inhabit the characters’ emotions. Delicious Foods tells the story of a mother’s struggle to reunite with her son and escape from the shadowy company holding her captive on a remote farm.
7. Rising Strong • Brené Brown
Social scientist Brené Brown reminds us that even the most successful people fail sometimes and explores how they are able to pick themselves up and move on. She attempts to answer the question: “What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common?”
8. A Little Life • Hanya Yanagihara
This National Book Award finalist is a searing portrait of four young men who move to New York City to follow their dreams. Hanya Yanagihara traces their struggles through the decades, focusing on Jude, who is haunted by a traumatic past that threatens to consume him.
9. My Life on the Road • Gloria Steinem
Activist and feminist icon Gloria Steinem tells the fascinating tale of her life on the road — literally and figuratively. As the New York Times says, “If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to sit down with Ms. Steinem for a casual dinner, this disarmingly intimate book gives a pretty good idea….”
10. You Don’t Have to Like Me • Alida Nugent
Blogger Alida Nugent offers her millennial perspective on feminism, creativity and growing up biracial.