Best Books

Top Ten Books of 2015

2015 has come to an end! Here are the Top Ten Books of 2015 at Books & Reviews:

1. Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

  • Fiction: identity novel.
  • Good for: readers of philosophical fiction, and Margaret Atwood fans.
  • Want more? Read an exclusive interview with author Rebecca Scherm here.

2. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll


  • Fiction: crime novel.
  • Good for: Gone Girl fans. No more indications needed.
  • Bonus points! This is the first book I reviewed for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

3. Forensics by Val McDermid

forensics copia

  • Non-fiction.
  • Good for: CSI fans, crime fiction fans with an interest in criminology.

4. Atonement by Ian McEwan


  • Fiction: contemporary novel.
  • Good for: Virginia Woolf or Downton Abbey fans. Also for Kate Morton readers looking for more substance.

5. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

  • Fiction: crime novel.
  • Good for: Crime fiction readers looking for a complex main character and a story in which all characters except one are women.

6. Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane

Gone, Baby Gone

  • Fiction: Hardboiled crime.
  • Good for: Anyone looking for a twist on the hardboiled, exclusively male tradition, and a story with perfect rhythm.

7. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood


8. In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward


  • Fiction: crime novel.
  • Good for: Kate Morton fans looking for a darker twist. Crime fiction fans who love British crime.

9. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott #3)

Career of Evil

  • Fiction: crime novel (3rd on the series).
  • Good for: People who have enjoyed the previous installments on the series, or even people who want to read the series, as Galbraith provides the reader with information enough to feel comfortable. However, I recommend reading books #1 and #2 before. They are really good.

10. No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary (Marnie Rome #2)

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary (review)

  • Fiction: crime novel (2nd on the series).
  • Good for: British crime fiction readers who are looking for a darker, more traumatic narrative. Beware! The victims are two kids under 8.

You can check all the books I have read for pleasure in 2015 here.

I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year, and a 2016 full of books, reading, and blogging xx



  • A Little Blog of Books

    Wow, Margaret Atwood following you on Twitter is amazing! Career of Evil and Forensics are on my books of the year list too πŸ™‚ I really want to read Unbecoming but I’m not sure if it’s out in the UK yet or not?

    • Elena

      I don’t know, but I do know that you could find it online or second-hand at the shall-not-be-named online book stores. I highly recommend it, especially to young women.

    • Elena

      I finished it a few weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it. I agree it’s really good, although I’m more of a fan of Atwood’s 1990’s novels such as Alias Grace.

  • Keishon

    Not sure how I feel about Galbraith because I didn’t finish the 1st book, stalled on the 2nd one. I think I’ll just quit while I’m ahead. I love J.K. Rowling though so I’ll give the series another look at another time. So glad you enjoyed Dennis Lehane and I see other titles that I need to look up. Happy New Year to you, Elena! See you in 2016!

    • Elena

      Oh wow, I’m surprised you did! May I ask why? Was it the characters? I think Galbraith has a peculiar way of writing crime, so maybe the Comoran Strike and Robin Ellacott series are not that mainstream… Happy New Year, Keishon! Thanks for always returning to B&R.

        • Elena

          I’d love to hear what you think about them, because I’ve had quite a troubled relationship with the characters: as a feminist, it is sometimes difficult to see patriarchal society in fiction, but, then, why wouldn’t we feel the need to represent that in mainstream fiction?

  • amanda

    Happy New Year, Elena! Your enthusiasm, and others’, for Galbraith has me about convinced that I need to try out those novels sometime. Hmm…wasn’t planning on it for 2016, but maybe later in the year…

    • Elena

      Happy New Year, Amanda!!! Please give Galbraith’s novels a try, and do let us know when you do. However, the second one as quite a gritty and graphic description of a crime scene that still shocks me nowadays – and it’s been a year since I read the book – so, beware!

      • amanda

        Thanks for the warning! I did hear an interview a while back with Galbraith in which she said that researching the 3rd book gave her nightmares, so I guess not completely unexpected. (HERE and another longer interview HERE if you hadn’t seen these.)

  • orangepekoereviews

    There’s a lot on this list I have sitting on my bedside table – Someone Else’s Skin (well, it’s still Hilary!), In Winter Chill, Galbraith… Maybe I will like In a Dark Dark Wood as we seem to have similar tastes.
    (Your enjoyment of Atonement and Cat’s Eye are good endorsements πŸ™‚ )

  • cleopatralovesbooks

    Well you’ve chosen some cracking good reads here! Atonement is one of my favourite reads of all time and In a Dark, Dark Wood and No Other Darkness only narrowly missed being on my top ten too. I have the Forensics book on my TBR and have just bought In Bitter Chill – I wonder what our 2016 lists will look like?

    • Elena

      Happy New Year to you too, Rebecca!!!! Thank you for always reading and participating πŸ™‚

      I think you’ll like Sarah Hilary if you did put up with the violence and all the gritty things in GBG. Let me know what you think, please!

  • Alice

    Happy new year!

    What a wonderful selection of books. Career of Evil was a wonderful read, but I think I automatically love everything J.K. Rowling writes.

    • Elena

      Happy New Year, Alice!

      Thanks. I think I’d do to, she has a talent for pacing and rythm that I’d never seen before. The Harry Potter series were OK, they were 7 books after all, but I was too young to fully appreciate her wonderful writing. I’m so glad she’s doing crime fiction now!

  • Soudha Parsan

    I’ve been thinking about starting the Cormoran Strike series this year. The plot of the first book sounds great and so far I’ve seen mostly good reviews for the series. Happy New Year πŸ™‚

    • Elena

      Happy New Year, Soudha!!! I hope you enjoy the Cormonan Strike series. Please let me know if you read any of the books, as I’m dying to comment on a certain issue πŸ˜› #nospoiler

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