Jachin's Blog

2015's Best Books

Published:

The bad news is I only read 17 books in 2015. However I feel pretty good about that because I read all 10 of The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, which are all massive. All 10 averaged well over 40 hours a piece. It's kinda scary to think I spent so much time listening to those books. Recording them must have been a massive undertaking.

The Malazan books were good books, an absolutely massive world with lots of interesting stuff going on, however I may have over done it. At the end I felt like I had been put through a lot, given it a lot of my time and the end just didn't quite satisfy as much as I had hopped. Maybe I'll feel differently about it in a few years. Mostly I blame my self. If I had stretched it out a little bit longer, read some more different kinds of books in the gaps (like what would have happened if I read them as they were published), I suspect I would have enjoyed the experience a lot more and would be raving about how good they were right now.

There are more books in the same "world", I'm sure I'll read those sooner or later.

Anyway, I spent too much time with those books not to mention them, now for the 'best books' which I happened to read in 2015.

Non-Fiction

History: The Last Battle - The Classic History of the Battle for Berlin by Cornelius Ryan. This is laid out like a novel and it reads like one. The most "page turn-y" history book I have ever read. Plus I was in Berlin for a few days this summer and that added a lot of context for the book that made it all the more interesting to read.

Theology: Celebration of Discipline - The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster. A classic I had never read before but I imagine I will read again some day. The book was a nice combination of encouraging and challenging. It's given me a lot to think about, it's already changed my perspective and it hopefully turns into some substantiative changes in my life.

Politics: The Three Languages of Politics by Arnold Kling. I bought this book a while ago after hearing a great interview with the author on EconTalk. Calling it a "book" is a little generous, maybe more of a pamphlet. It's great though, and serves as a great introduction to it's subject. If you have been bothered by un-constructive and uncivil political discourse you should read this book. You can read in a single sitting and it will give you valuable insights into how and why so many political discussions feel like people are just talking past each other. At the very least I'd recommend listening to the interview on EconTalk.

Autobiography: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - A Memoir of Life in Death by Jean-Dominique Bauby. The best book I've ever read that was dictated by the author blinking their eye.

Raising Children: Brain Rules for Baby - How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina. I've become a parent this year. I do not want to read many books on how to be a parent but I'm glad I read this one.

Fiction

Science Fiction: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I could talk at length about what "flaws" in this book that took me out of the story, but I still really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to read.

I've already read some great books in 2016, including what I think will be a shoe in for best political book, but we'll see. I think it's going to be a good year for books.