Best books of 2015

Best Books of 2015

This year has been filled with wonderful books, building new words and enriching and past worlds. Many of the books that I’ve enjoyed recently have to do with power (who has it and what to do with it) and responsibility, as well as taking control of your life (through your environment, your attitude, or self-reflection).

Here are some of the best books I’ve read this year:

Best adventure-filled, destroyer and savior Hawaii young adult fiction:
* “The Islands at the End of the World” by Austin Aslan – about struggling to belong, acting on your convictions, the danger of relying on unsustainable resources, events that challenge our faith in God, fighting to go home, and family

Best “Just because I don’t have a power doesn’t mean I’m powerless” young adult fiction:
* “Powerless” by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs – about different kinds of strength, refusing to be a victim, teamwork, trust, and doing the right thing

Best change yourself to change the world epic fantasy:
* “The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus” by Terry Goodkind – about the value of life, finding your purpose, the power of truth, and self-sacrifice

Best trailblazing, sometimes the enemy is you contemporary fantasy:
* “Vision in Silver” by Anne Bishop – about coping with change, adapting to a new life, trust, and working together to build a community

Best sword-wielding, shapeshifting, vampire-controlling paranormal urban fantasy:
* “Magic Breaks” by Ilona Andrews – about choosing your future, choosing between vengeance and life, power and self-sacrifice, and the individual vs. the greater good (with an awesome bad-tempered donkey)

Best high-adrenaline, “intense like a lion is orange” paranormal urban fantasy:
* “Firefight” by Brian Sanderson – about power that corrupts, fate vs. free will (are we destined to destroy?), living in the moment, helping heroes believe, doing the unexpected, and confronting your fears

Best last hope for the future zombie apocalypse science fiction:
* “Girl with All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey – about choosing who you are, what it means to be human or monster, and loyalty

Best declutter your home, declutter your life nonfiction:
* “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo (translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano) – reminding us to keep only the things that give us joy

Best stay calm, ‘be the person you want the students to be’ nonfiction for teachers:
* “Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: ‘No Retreat, No Surrender!’” by Rafe Esquith – written to inspire teachers (and parents) to keep teaching without burning out

Best “claim your life, your experiences, your story” Hawaii nonfiction:
* “Writing the Hawaii Memoir: Advice and Exercises to Help You Tell Your Story” by Darien Gee – helping us write the stories of our lives

Which books have made you laugh, feel great, or change your life this year? Do you have “comfort books” that you turn to when you need to relax or recharge?

Happy reading and happy new year!

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