Book ClubInspiration

12 Good Books You Must Read in 2015!

By Jan 8, 2015February 29th, 201654 Comments

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I love reading. Pretty much any time I can squeeze in with a good book is time I’ll do so – happily. So when the opportunity came up for me to write a list of good books you absolutely must read in 2015, I jumped at it.

I love finding the best books to read. Because reading and me? Perfect together.

*Update: You can find a list of 12 good books to read in 2016 here

Get ready for a great year of reading - we have 12 good books you must read in 2015 - one for each month of the year!

12 Good Books You Must Read In 2015

Some of these books I’ve read. Some I haven’t. But I plan to read them all. You should, too.

If you are new to making reading goals, don’t let the idea of 12 good books overwhelm you. You don’t have to read all of these at once, think of this list as one book to read each month. (And note: This post includes affiliate links!)

1. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Hand is a NY Times bestselling author whose story of love, loss and mystery looks to be a book we’re all going to want to read this year. Popular for her young adult books, this novel appears to be breaking her out of that demographic. I, for one, plan on checking it out!

2. Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn is no stranger to being recognized in the must-read world. Her hit Gone Girl was all over the place last year. I’m going to recommend you pick up a copy of Dark Places before the movie comes out this year. I read it recently and I just might have liked it better than Gone Girl. At the very least I wasn’t ready to toss the book out from a ten-story-window when I finished.

3. Things You Won’t Say, by Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen is one of my favorite fiction authors. Her novels have entertained me and captured my attention one after the other. Her writing style is realistic and down-to-earth, and I expect nothing less from this next release. Things You Won’t Say has a release date at the end of May 2015, and should absolutely be added to your spring or summer reading list.

4. A Fall of Marigolds, by Susan Meissner

I stumbled across A Fall of Marigolds as I was digging through some possible book titles for this list. Though it was released in February 2014 it didn’t hit my radar until late in the year. I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure I’ll be able to read it as there’s a primary character who was impacted by 9-11, and because of that I’m hesitant. However, the story connecting women across a century with the primary touchstone being a scarf? I’m drawn to it.

5. The Boston Girl, by Anita Diamant

I am a huge fan of Anita Diamant. Her latest release came out in early December, and I’ve already seen favorable reviews. The Boston Girl, a tale of a grandmother telling her life story to her granddaughter, sounds touching and quite possibly like required reading. I’m not sure what else to say except that I’ve been a long-time fan and look forward to getting my hands on this one.

6. First Frost, by Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen has been one of my favorite authors for years. Her latest novel, First Frost, comes out this month (the 20th) and I can’t wait to grab a copy. Addison Allen’s literary voice is a beautiful one. She’s got a mystical way of writing that captures the heart and mind. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan. I look forward to reading First Frost this year.

7. The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henríquez

I’m not sure exactly what is is that draws me to The Book of Unknown Americans, but I’m pulled in by the brief details of these immigrant teenagers in the midst of turmoil and hatred, hope and love. I look forward to learning more about Henríquez and reading her work. The paperback version of this book comes out this March.

8. Before I Go, by Colleen Oakley

The synopsis of Before I Go brings me to tears, so it might not be the kind of read that everyone would recommend. And since it’s not out yet and I haven’t read it I obviously can’t say for certain how it will be. But the story of a woman who is looking to find her replacement for her husband before she passes on seems captivating. From what I can tell this is a definite tear-jerker and we should have tissues handy should we decide to pick it up when it comes out (currently scheduled for early January ’15, so really soon!).

9. Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova is one of my favorite authors of ever. There are a small handful of people who I automatically purchase their books when they come out no matter what. As in, I don’t wait for the paperback version to come out. Genova is absolutely one of those authors. Her debut novel, Still Alice, is one I mention frequently when people are looking for powerful read. Never one to shy away from important topics, Inside the O’Briens: A Novel, is a story about a family man with Huntington’s Disease. I’m keeping an eye on the April release date with hopes of getting my hands on a copy sooner.

10. Landline, by Rainbow Rowell

Landline has been getting mixed reviews from my friends. I’m not sure if it’s because Rowell has ventured into writing from an adult perspective and we really tend to prefer her young adult style, or what it is exactly. I was introduced to her writing when I learned about Eleanor and Park this year and am thinking she is going to be the kind of author I need to follow no matter what she writes. So, pick up Landline. Or wait for her next book coming out this year. Except I think it is going to have monsters and be more YA, so keep that in mind!

11. Yes Please, by Amy Poehler

I’m a big Amy Poehler fan. And I think every year you should pick someone you enjoy and maybe adore just a little bit and read their book. And so – in this case – it’s Amy. (Yes, we’re on a first name basis, of course!) I haven’t read Yes Please yet, but she’s entertaining and hilarious, and from what I’ve read about the book – real – like a real person we’ll want to know even more. And so, I plan on getting my hands on a copy this year.

12. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

A mystery that has been described as a psychological thriller, The Girl on the Train, looks like a must-read for the coming year. Hawkins’ debut novel seems like it will be the kind of book that keeps you up at night until you finish it – and everyone needs that kind of read now and then, right? I can’t wait to dive right in – but I’ll have to because it doesn’t come out until next week.

So – there you have it – a dozen good books you can add to your Goodreads to-read shelves for the coming year. Let me know if you have any you’d add to my list, and if you’ve read any of them that came out in 2014. Because I definitely fell short of the hopeful 100 books I wanted to read last year – and I hope that these will help push me to that this year!

Happy reading!

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About Andrea Bates

Andrea blogs regularly about being a mom, family and relationships, life in the south, how much she misses New York, lots of great books, and whatever else crosses her mind over at Good Girl Gone Redneck. You can also find her sharing ALL.THE.THINGS over at her Facebook page!


  • I am always ready for a good read. I thought Dark Places was much better than Gone Girl. A whole lot creapier too.

    • Cathy says:

      I totally agree with you. I liked Dark Places better than Gone Girl. But perhaps I liked Sharp Objects even better… If you haven’t checked that our but are OK with dark, dark, dark books – give it a go. Totally creeped me out in some places so that I had to put it down and come back later. Totally worth it. 🙂 🙂

  • Kenny says:

    Nice list. I have several of those already queued in my Goodreads to-read box

  • Janelle says:

    A Fall of Matigolds is set in 1911, not 9/11.

  • JT Brown says:

    Do you not like books written by men? Just curious why you only chose books written by women.

    • Andrea B. says:

      You know, JT Brown, I honestly only realized that after this post went live.

      Admittedly I do tend to read more books by women authors, perhaps because I would aspire to BE one one day, but I have a post in the works with some great recommendations of books written by men, as well. And if you pop over to my blog you’ll see some of the books by male authors I have read, as well!

      Thank you for pointing it out – and if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

  • You need to check out Rainbow’s first book Attachments. … so good!

  • Ronald Pass says:

    What, no westerns?

  • I read Before I Go and it was amazing – definitely tears, but so good! This is a great list, thank you for putting it together and posting.

  • Candice says:

    Honestly…have you read any of them??? What qualify you to review them?

    • Tina says:

      I was thinking the same thing, Candice! Books I “must read” but she repeatedly says things like “I’m not sure how it will be” and “I can’t say for certain.”

      • Andrea B. says:

        Unfortunately, no, I have not as most of them have not been released yet. But my decision to recommend them based on previous books I have read by these authors, and by the detailed descriptions of the books that appeal to me, is why this post reads the way it does. Thanks for commenting!

        • Debi S. says:

          I am not a reader, but I will be after this weekend. Everyone tells me to find something that interests me and try it. EXCELLENT suggestions. Thank you for sharing, I would have had NO IDEA where to begin.

  • Lauren says:

    I am ALWAYS looking for new books to read! I pinned this.. thanks for sharing!!!

  • Christine Thompson says:

    I love to get recommendations! Thank you so much! The Boston Girl, The Book of Unknown Americans, Landline, and The Girl on the Train really appealed to me….can’t wait to get

  • Pat says:

    Fabulous recommendations, Andrea! I loved Genova’s novel “Still Aluce” and I’m looking forward to her new book.

  • Karla says:

    This is an awesome list!

    I already started the year with the #50BookPledge and am already at book number 7!

    I will certainly look for these books and add them to the list 😉

    Yay for reading more in 2015!

  • jessica says:

    I just got Amy’s Book Yes Please on my Audible the other day. I am loving it..and she is the narrator along with some other celebs which just makes it great! I love reading books, but I really love listening to her book!!

  • Mrs.AOK says:

    Wonderful list!! I have heard great things about The Book of Unknown Americans, it’s on my list.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Jamie G says:

    I loved yes please and I’m looking forward to reading the girl on the train! Thanks for the recs!

  • Liz Mays says:

    Thanks, Andrea!!! I miss reading so much and I’m taking notes from your choices here. Thanks so much! Also, I was furious at the ending of Gone Girl as well. Grrrrrrr…

    • Karen Boml says:

      I will never read another Gillian Flynn book….Gone Girl was sooooo terribly written, didn’t like the authors’ voice, didn’t like the book, was mad I bought it in hardcover…..if I read a book by an author and like it, I go out of my way to get all his/her books…..I’m thru with this author!

      • Andrea B. says:

        I definitely understand that. It’s unfortunate that this book hit people the way it did. It had such potential! If I hadn’t read Sharp Objects years ago – LONG before Gone Girl – I probably would have felt the same way.

  • “At the very least I wasn’t ready to toss the book out from a ten-story-window when I finished.”–describes exactly how I felt after reading Gone Girl! lol.

    I’m bookmarking this list too. Looks like some great recommendations.

  • Great list and already have a few on my short list, but will certainly adding a few more to my list now, as well from here. Thanks so much 😉

  • I really, really needed this. I signed up for Book Challenge 2015 in which you read 50 books in this year. I just finished Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places last night and it left me sad and a little disappointed which sometimes with a book is okay. I mean they all can’t be happy endings. I’m starting a J.D. Robb book tonight which is pseudonym that Nora Roberts writes under called “Festive in Death”. These is a hard challenge because there are prompts such as for Dark Places. It was my book that I started and never finished. Different things to keep track of! Thank you for the list though!

  • Shelly says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I will for sure be picking up Dark Places (love Gillian Flynn’s dark slant!), Before I Go, and The Book of Unknown Americans.

    Bookmarking! 🙂

  • Thank you for this list! I’ve read a few of these but I’m putting the rest of them on my “to read” list. I always know if you like a book then I will too! Yay! This list is like my own reading “welcome to 2015” present! Perfect!!! -Lisa

  • Alicia says:

    I hear the Girl on the Train is amazing. I can’t wait until it comes out too!

  • Have bookmarked this page. Hats off to you for remembering authors. I am absolutely dreadful at that and spend waaaay to much time telling pals they simply have to read this book by ” ummmm…. Wait for it …. ummmmmm.” I resolve to work harder at that. And yes – looking forward to reading the latest Gillian Flynn. So great to hear the ending has the reader less likely to hurl the book from the highest of heights.

  • Charlotte says:

    YAY!!! Thank you for this list 🙂 I’ve added quite a few to my GoodReads list. I love Rainbow Rowell lately and have been glued to Fangirl lately, but there are quite a few here that were already added that I didn’t even realize. Also Gillian Flynn. I just ADORE her writing 🙂

  • Ashlee says:

    I really need to read more books this year. I saw a list of things to remember in life and one was “reading one book a month can change your life.” Maybe that’s a sign to start reading… because I saw that yesterday. I did actually start a book and never finished it, maybe I’ll pick it back up : )

  • I want to read every one of these. Landline and the First Frost are on my shelf and can’t wait to read them! Thanks for sharing!

  • Akaleistar says:

    I loved Fangirl and can’t wait to read Landline!

  • Nina says:

    Great list! I’m reading The Boston Girl now and really enjoying it.

  • Krista says:

    Adding these to my to-read list!! They all sound great!

  • Great list! I was already planning on reading Dark Places this year, too!

  • I’m doing the 2015 reading challenge and I’m looking for books to add to my list. Thanks for the recommendations. Peace! 🙂

  • Great list. I’ve already read Landline and I have Before I Go and First Frost as galleys to read, currently.

  • Great list! My book club is reading Dark Places in February, so I will definitely be reading that one. I honestly want to read most of the others on this list too!

  • Christina says:

    Loved THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS, BY CRISTINA HENRÍQUEZ. It really presented a side of the immigrant story that most people are unaware of.

  • Jinny says:

    Great list of books!, I’ve also read Dark Places and must say i did enjoy it more than Gone Girl.

  • Stephanie says:

    Thanks for sharing this list, I have been looking for a new book to start out my reading for 2015!