#MustReadIn2015 Final Update

I don't know what in heaven's name I was thinking to put 58 books on my must read list last year. 

The truth is of course that I wasn't, thinking that is. As I scrolled through my want to read list, the titles were like bonbons in a literary chocolate box. While their fillings were unknown to me, so many people were claiming to love them that I knew I had to taste them all. And as is the case with my penchant for chocolate, I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. 

In 2016, I will try to do better. 

My original list is at #MustReadin2015. Here, then, is my final update.

I finished 40 of these books. I even reread Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater so I could possibly claim to have read 41. Couldn't I? I'm sure it isn't really cheating....

I have two books on the go, and another on my device ready to read. There are a few that I wish I had gotten to and will move to my #MustReadIn2016 list. 

As I peruse this list I want to go and hug Carrie Gelson for getting me started. All thirteen of the books I gave five stars to, are also on my mind blowing books of the year lists. 

These are the ice wine truffles from my must read box last year. Clicking on the titles will take you to where you can read my full responses to these books. 

I am such a fan of Perkins work. Her work is timeless and thoughtful. I appreciate the slowness that allows me to savour each moment of my reading experience. I know I am in such good hands when she is the author of the book I'm reading. 

Like Perkins, Wiles is the kind of writer I'm comfortable just going along for any ride she wants to take me on. I think this might be my favourite title from the Aurora County Trilogy, but it could be that it is just the most recent one I've read.

Crystal Chan's writing is so lyrical it reads like poetry. It is a philosophical book that examines ideas of faith, religion, guilt, loss and redemption. It also has fabulous characters and a stellar plot. I adored the multiculturalism of it. 

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the only book I have ever actually red twice in the same year. It is such an exquisite delight to get lost in Stiefvater's Raven Boys Series.  I believe that magic is real while I am ensconced in this world.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

What I loved most about this book was how it took me across time and space to learn more about the world I grew up in. I appreciated learning more about the early life of an author I truly admire. 

Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Like all great historical fiction, Skrypuch's novel opened my eyes to world events that I was unaware of. In this case it is the Armenian genocide from the time of the first world war. Her characters, Ali and Zeynep, won my heart. 

This fabulous graphic novel is one I will be visiting again and again. I open the covers and marvel at how brilliant Greenberg's illustrations are. I sink into the complexity of the story and am immediately satisfied.  

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

This book has everything you want in a good book. World building, authentic characters, a convoluted exciting plot, and a gorgeous cover. It's a story well worth getting lost in for a while. Oh, and there are pirates too. 

Jelly Bean by Cynthia Lord

This is one of our most beloved books from last years younger book club members. I still haven't found time to read the sequel, but will add it to this year's must read list. Finding quality literature at a grade two reading level is challenging. Trust Cynthia Lord to make it seem easy. Our literature circle set of this is always checked out. 

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Maggie is the character I connected most personally to last year. Our lives were very similar. I cried buckets. I cried for Maggie and I cried for that little girl I once was. It is an authentic story of living with a parent with a disability. I know because I also lived it. I can't begin to tell you how powerful it is to see my story told. It is a powerful reminder that every child needs to be able to find someone like themself in our libraries. 


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

I'm just such a Gaiman fan. He is one of those writers, like the two I mentioned earlier, where I am always ready to let go and let the story unfold. I think I will have to get a copy of this for our library for those readers of mine who enjoy a good creepy tale. 

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Ratchet is a lonely homeschooled young girl. The story is told through her writing assignments. She is a memorable character! One of the teachers at our school has been using this book as mentor text with her grade 5/6/7 students for the past year. The results are astounding. 

Holy smokes I loved this book! It's a satire on the colonizations of the Americas, but it is also a powerful book about the power of friendship. It is also a really fun read. This is the kind of audiobook that can turn non listeners into listening fans. 

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana

Wow, just wow. This is a story about a family trapped  in their home when the levee broke during Hurricane Katrina. I was there with them when that black wall of water came roaring towards them. 

So far there were only two books, Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier and West of the Moon by Margi Preus, that were the maraschino cherry covered chocolates in my box. I had to abandon them. 

I'm still working on my list for this year. 


  1. This makes me so very happy. And not just because I started thinking about boxes of chocolate! I loved or plan to love many of the titles you have listed here. I also love the way you likened book lists to chocolates as I too often want to sample each one. Now I am thinking of them more as jars of jam. If I don't open them yet, they will keep and so collecting a lot and reading most is just fine!

    1. I like the jars of jam analogy, and while I am not really much of a jam aficianado, I do think peanut butter and blackberry jelly on toast is sublime. I agree, we can only read as many as we can read.

  2. All Alone in the Universe is one I read very early in the year and admired greatly. When I read it, it was a 5-star book for me and I just knew it was going to end up on all my end-of-year best lists, but then somehow it didn't stick with me like so many other books I read. I suspect I will reread in a couple of years. Your comment nails the quality I love most about her books, a quality I have found impossible to put into words. Smekday has to be one of the best audios of all time--superb! I didn't care for the book particularly but I adored the audio! Ratchet is still on my TBR pile--your write-up makes me want to read it right away. I'm loving the books as jars of jam that will keep metaphor. I'm a chocolate sampler too, and the jam analogy might improve my reading life!

    1. I get jam as a gift regularly, but almost never end up eating it. I know it lasts almost forever, so I don't worry about it. I only listened to Smekday. I adore how Bahni Turpin captured J Lo!