THE 2015 BOOKTOPIA BOOKS OF THE YEAR

by |December 20, 2015

We’re a passionate lot at Booktopia, and it has taken weeks of reading, re-reading, meetings, angry coffee dates and re-re-reading to come up with The 2015 Booktopia Books of the Year

These selections are not in order, and while some amazing books have missed out, we can’t resist a list so here we are. Hopefully you see some of your favourites too.

LITERATURE

A LITTLE LIFE
by Hanya Yanagihara

An emotionally brutal story about adulthood and the demons of the past, very unlucky not to have taken out the Man Booker Prize. Marked Hanya Yanagihara as one of the most exciting and ambitious novelists working today.

Click here for more details


9781760111236THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS
by Charlotte Wood

One of Australia’s finest novelists delivers again with an intense, unsettling dystopian fable of misogyny, power and the dark corners of the human condition.

Click here for more details


THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD
by Elena Ferrante

A fitting conclusion to The Neapolitan Quartet, perhaps the finest literary series of the last 50 years. A brilliant, insightful, evocative novel from the elusive Elena Ferrante.

Click here for more details


THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD
by Stephanie Bishop

A haunting story of isolation and motherhood, perfectly paced and beautifully written by Stephanie Bishop, one of Australia’s most talented novelists.

Click here for more details


PURITY
by Jonathan Franzen

Franzen’s legendary acerbic prose is softened (only slightly) to great effect with Purity, a sweeping Dickensian saga about idealism, power, sex and money. His best work since The Corrections.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins, Mark Dapin’s R&R, Geraldine Brooks’ The Secret Chord

 GENERAL FICTION

THE LAKE HOUSE
by Kate Morton

One of the world’s greatest storytellers, Kate Morton delivers again with a enthralling mystery centring on the memorable Detective Sadie Sparrow.

Click here for more details


THE JAPANESE LOVER
by Isabel Allende

The kind of sweeping, epic love story that Allende does better than anyone, a book that encompasses territory from the internment camps of WWII to modern day San Francisco.

Click here for more details


GO SET A WATCHMAN
by Harper Lee

A starting point towards a greater work it may be, but impossible expectation clouded the reality that Go Set a Watchman is still a promising, ambitious novel worthy of serious consideration.

Click here for more details


THE BEAST’S GARDEN
by Kate Forsyth

One of Australia’s favourite storytellers at the top of her game, Forsyth’s gorgeous prose and eye for detail makes The Beast’s Garden a remarkable, enthralling story of love and loss.

Click here for more details


THE PERFUMER’S SECRET
by Fiona McIntosh

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, The Perfumer’s Secret solidifies McIntosh’s place as one of Australia’s most loved storytellers.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Di Morrissey’s Rain Music, Judy Nunn’s Spirits of the Ghan, Cathy Kelly’s Between Sisters

CRIME & THRILLER

CAREER OF EVIL
by Robert Galbraith

JK Rowling has more fun with the gruff Cormoran Strike than ever before. A gripping plot full of twists and turns confirms Rowling’s place at the table amongst the genre’s finest exponents.

Click here for more details


FINDERS KEEPERS
by Stephen King

A distinctly bookish thriller, Stephen King takes the chance to ruminate on the power of the written word in a way he hasn’t since On Writing. A wonderful, dark tale from the master of the wonderful, dark tale.

Click here for more details


THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
by Paula Hawkins

The bestselling phenomenon that debuted at number 1 on the New York Times best sellers list in both print and ebook, the pure definition of a page turner. A thriller of the highest order.

Click here for more details


THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB
by David Lagercrantz

Incredibly, The Girl in the Spider’s Web didn’t disappoint the millions of fans of the late Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy. David Lagercrantz uses Larsson’s iconic characters to full effect, hitting all the right notes in a riveting tale.

Click here for more details


CLOSE YOUR EYES
by Michael Robotham

Another year, another breathtaking novel from Gold Dagger winner Michael Robotham. An emotional thriller with the incomparable Joe O’Loughlin in the driver’s seat.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Garry Disher’s The Heat, Don Winslow’s The Cartel, Emma Viskic’s Resurrection Bay

ROMANCE

DARK GHOST
by Christine Feehan

The Queen of Paranormal Romance delivered again with another passionate, ghostly tale from the darkness of the Carpathian Mountains.

Click here for more details


SHARDS OF HOPE
by Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh continues her stunning run of novels with another dark tale in her internationally bestselling Psy-Changling series.

Click here for more details


DARK WILD NIGHT
by Christina Lauren

Nobody writes a bad boy quite like Christina Lauren. Contemporary romance at its best.

Click here for more details


THE BOURBON KINGS
by J. R. Ward

The first novel in J.R. Ward’s much anticipated new series didn’t disappoint with a scandalous tale of wealth and privilege.

Click here for more details


CAPTIVE PRINCE
by C.S. Pacat

Worth the hype. Captive Prince was the biggest buzz book of 2015 and somehow it delivered on the expectations and laid the foundations for a brilliant series.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Rachael Johns’ The Road to Hope, Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Heroes Are My Weakness, Kylie Scott’s Lead

MEMOIR

FLESH WOUNDS
by Richard Glover

An exceptional collection of bittersweet memories that Clive James would be proud of. Glover injects humour into the family drama, carrying Flesh Wounds far beyond the usual memoir.

Click here for more details


RECKONING
by Magda Szubanski

Magda Szubanski blew us away with her writing chops in this remarkable, fearless and deeply personal memoir.

Click here for more details


THE ANTI-COOL GIRL
by Rosie Waterland

A funny and at times immensely confronting memoir from one of Australia’s most talented writers, Rosie Waterland announced herself as a talent to watch on the Australia literary landscape.

Click here for more details


ISLAND HOME
by Tim Winton

Something of a companion piece to Winton’s acclaimed 2013 novel Eyrie, Island Home is a triumph. Evocative, passionate and unique.

Click here for more details


BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A game changing work on race and politics in modern America. Coates channels James Baldwin and Maya Angelou in this extraordinary book that deserves to be read by every human being.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Patti Smith’s M Train, Rosie Batty’s A Mother’s Story, Drusilla Modjeska’s Second Half First

NON FICTION

GUT
by Giulia Enders

The sleeper hit of 2015, elicited more than one TMI conversation in the Booktopia offices in 2015. You’ll never look at sauerkraut the same way again.

Click here for more details


SO YOU’VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED
by Jon Ronson

Another intriguing journey to the fringes of society, Jon Ronson is both voyeur and participant, joining this wonderfully odd collection of threads about the new world of public shaming.

Click here for more details


LOST OCEAN
by Johanna Basford

If 2015 was the year of the colouring book, Lost Ocean was the book that stood at the top of the mountain. Even without colour, Johanna Basford’s artwork is absolutely gorgeous.

Click here for more details


ONE LIFE
by Kate Grenville

Not only one of the world’s greatest writers, but one of the world’s most intelligent writers, Kate Grenville does an astounding job in telling the story of her late mother in One Life.

Click here for more details


AUSTRALIA’S SECOND CHANCE
by George Megalogenis

Dubbed ‘Australia’s Greatest Explainer’, George Megalogenis dynamically joins the dots on Australia’s past and what it means for our future. A must read.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling, Janet Hawley’s Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden, Ronnie Wood’s How Can It Be?

COOKBOOKS

THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN COOKBOOK

The Marvel Avengers of Australian cookbooks, with Stephanie Alexander, Kylie Kwong, Margaret Fulton, Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, Neil Perry and many more contributing, The Great Australian Cookbook will be a bible in Australian kitchens for years to come.

Click here for more details


ADAM LIAW’S ASIAN COOKERY SCHOOL
by Adam Liaw

Adam Liaw’s best book yet, stripping back the misconceptions of Asian Cooking and presenting an easy to follow, informative and beautifully shot guide to mastering Asian dishes at home.

Click here for more details


THE NORDIC COOKBOOK
by Magnus Nilsson

A one-of-a-kind collection of recipes and photography from culinary rockstar Magnus Nilsson.

Click here for more details


BIOTA
by James Viles

Of course James Viles would produce a book of this standard. Australia’s most exciting young chef, Biota brings Viles’ acclaimed Bowral restaurant to life in this extraordinary cookbook.

Click here for more details


GREEK
by George Calombaris

The quintessential Greek cookbook, with beautiful photography and Calombaris’ signature sense of fun and adventure on every page.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Alessandro Pavoni’s A Lombardian Cookbook, Neil Perry’s Spice Temple, Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi

YOUNG ADULTS

QUEEN OF SHADOWS
by Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is a god to many young readers (and older ones too) and it’s not hard to see why. Queen of Shadows lived up to the hype with another thrilling instalment in her seminal Throne of Glass series.

Click here for more details


THE RED QUEEN
by Isobelle Carmody

Perhaps of the most influential YA series ever written came to an end after 28 years and 7 books. The Red Queen is a fitting, emotional, heart-stopping conclusion.

Click here for more details


ZEROES
by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti

When a veritable supergroup of authors come together, you know it’s going to be good. But Zeroes isn’t just good, it’s great. Wonderful action sequences and memorable characters, this is a series to keep an eye on.

Click here for more details


ILLUMINAE
by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

It’s easy to see why Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are taking the world by storm with this brilliant, intelligent and inventive sci fi thriller. Impossible to put down.

Click here for more details


SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA
by Becky Albertalli

Hits all the right notes and threw debut author Becky Albertalli into the pantheon of great YA authors almost immediately. Funny, sweet, sad, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is not just a great book, but a very important book.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Adi Alsaid’s Never Always Sometimes, Sarah Benwell’s The Last Leaves Falling

KIDS FICTION

THE BAD GUYS: EPISODE 1
by Aaron Blabey

Aaron Blabey’s ode to Reservoir Dogs is a triumph, with hilarious dialogue, thrilling action sequences and characters we want to read again and again. And we can, with Book 2 now out as well.

Click here for more details


KIDGLOVZ
by Julie Hunt, illustrated by Dale Newman

An incredible collaboration from Julie Hunt and Dale Newman. Both remarkable local talents compliment each other in this amazing graphic tale.

Click here for more details


THE 65-STOREY TREEHOUSE
by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton

Possibly our favourite book in Andy Griffith’s record-breaking Treehouse series, Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton show now signs of slowing down. Packed with cheeky gags for young and old.

Click here for more details


SOON
by Morris Gleitzman

Few writers are capable of the pathos of Morris Gleitzman and still keep a book moving for impatient younger readers. Soon is masterful, and another extraordinary addition to his already classic Felix and Zelda series.

Click here for more details


SHADOWS OF THE MASTER
by Emily Rodda

Emily Rodda has that certain something that gets your attention from the very first page, hooking kids in and never letting go. Her return to Deltora was everything we hoped it would be.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Jacqueline Harvey’s Alice-Miranda in the Alps, Tonke Dragt’s The Secrets of the Wild Wood, A.L. Tait’s Breath of the Dragon

PICTURE BOOKS

MR. HUFF
by Anna Walker

Difficult to read as an adult and not feel a little emotional, Mr. Huff is beautifully illustrated and subtly told by master storyteller Anna Walker. Every child that reads this will understand their world just a little bit more.

Click here for more details


PIRANHAS DON’T EAT BANANAS
by Aaron Blabey

A funny and charming story about embracing difference, Aaron Blabey’s illustations and cheeky prose fit perfectly in a story every child loved in 2015.

Click here for more details


BIRD
by Beatriz Martin Vidal

Entirely wordless, Bird is a breathtaking work from Spanish illustrator Beatriz Martin Vidal. A story of courage and imagination.

Click here for more details


THIS IS A BALL
by Beck & Matt Stanton

In the spirit of last year’s brilliant The Book with No Pictures comes This is a Ball, from local authors Beck and Matt Stanton. Sure to elicit plenty of uncontrollable giggles from kids everywhere with countless bedtime story requests.

Click here for more details


I’LL WAIT, MR. PANDA
by Steve Antony

We love Mr. Panda, even if he can be a bit of a hard case sometimes. Giving laughs and lessons to children everywhere, I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda is absolute genius.

Click here for more details


Very honourable mentions: Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers’s The Day the Crayons Came Home, Matt De La Pena’s Last Stop on Market Street, Bob Graham’s How the Sun Got to Coco’s House

No comments Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

About the Contributor

Comments

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *