2015 Book Awards - Part 3: Best Books


Every year as I read I like “nominate” the books I read for various imaginary book awards, then at the end of the year I finally pick a winner for each category – some with more difficulty than others. Today I’m going to reveal some of the “nominees” and winners of 2015, with a quick explanation to why I chose the victor. (All of these books were read, but not necessarily published, in 2015.) I've divided the awards into three categories; this final one is for the best (and worst) book I read in 2015. Mild spoilers ahead!


BEST STANDALONE BOOK

NOMINATED: 
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell 
The Humans by Matt Haig
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
The Martian by Andy Weir
Uprooted by Naomi Novik


WINNER: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North 
Words cannot express how much I loved this book. So I’m not even going to try, but know that I adore it and recommend it to everyone. It's a lovely mixture of science fiction and historical fiction, and is now one of my favourite books of all time!


BEST BOOK IN A SERIES

NOMINATED: 
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab
A Web of Air (The Fever Crumb series) by Philip Reeve
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer 

WINNER: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer 
Cinder triumphs again. She was my favourite of all the four main protagonists of the series, and the only one to appear in all four books. The book all about her is, in my opinion, the best of the series, full of androids, step-mothers, step-sisters, and futuristic adventure. 

BEST SERIES

NOMINATED:
Fever Crumb series by Philip Reeve
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer 
Maus by Art Spiegelman 

WINNER: Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas
The Throne of Glass series, telling the story of assassin Celaena Sardothian, was my favourite series of 2015, just winning it over The Lunar Chronicles because the books I read (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire) were consistently good, while The Lunar Chronicles had two books I wasn’t too keen on. A little bit of a guilty pleasure, the Throne of Glass series isn’t great literature, but it is enjoyable and exciting, with some fun characters and great twists.

WORST BOOK

NOMINATED: 
Angelmaker by Nick Haraway
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

WINNER: The Selection by Keira Cass
I hated The Selection with every bone in my body, but a few chapters in I couldn’t be angry with it. It was so terrible, and so unashamedly terrible in every conceivable way, it got funnier and funnier. The plot was bad, the explanations were bad, the characters were bad, the whole thing was a mess. I wouldn’t have any qualms burning it on a cold day, or even on a warm day. It is an absolute disgrace to the publishing world, and made me lose faith in storytelling for a long while. 


BEST NON-FICTION BOOK

NOMINATED: 
Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders
Maus by Art Spiegelman 

WINNER: Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil MacGregor 
The heaviest book of the year, and the first I started reading, this is a wonderful collection of moments, characters, and objects from Germany’s history, published to accompany the exhibition of the same name in the British Museum. It was really well written, and interesting enough that I still spout off the occasional fact I first read in it to whoever’s listening. 


BEST BOOK 

NOMINATED: 
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab
The Humans by Matt Haig
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
The Martian by Andy Weir
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Vicious by V E Schwab
A Web of Air by Philip Reeve
Winter by Marissa Meyer 

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WINNER: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North 

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This book was a revelation. It jumped straight off my to-read pile and onto my list of favourite books ever. Hands down, the best book I read this year. It tells the story of Harry August, a man who, when he dies, is born again the same person at the same moment, with all the memories of his previous lives. It was an incredible read, emotional and philosophical, and at times truly brutal and shocking. The story and characters are crafted so exquisitely it has stuck with me ever since, and I think about it on a regular basis. I wondered what I would deem my Best Book of 2015, but the moment I gave it any real thought, this was the only answer there could be. 


Don't forget to check out my 2015 Book Awards - Part 1: Best Characters and Part 2: Best Book Qualities

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