Best of 2015’s books, according to our limited scope of reading, in no particular order. If you’ve read all of them, you’ve probably had a great year, and aren’t into horses.
The author of XKCD, an amazing webcomic, has created another collection of his genius into a book that explains stuff. It’s really quite amazing, and words will not do justice to such a funny and interesting set of pages.
“The role of gender in society is the most complicated thing I’ve ever spent a lot of time learning about, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning about quantum mechanics.”
― Randall Munroe
Unabashedly funny and insightful. This novel about dealing with depression and other mental illnesses will make you laugh and cry until the very last page.
“Depression is like … when you don’t want cheese anymore. Even though it’s cheese.”
― Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
We really like books about the gray characters, the kind who cuss and kill and steal. Even better, a book written so well that you catch yourself rereading lines and chiding yourself for not being more creative with your own words in daily conversation is hard to come by. Completely unrelated to the book being so great- wouldn’t that crow make an awesome tattoo?
“She wouldn’t wish love on anyone. It was the guest you welcomed and then couldn’t be rid of.”
― Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows
How can Harry Potter get any better than it already is? By being fully illustrated. If you’ve not read this series by now, no one thinks you’re cool, and you probably hate yourself.
“Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus
[never tickle a sleeping dragon]”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
It’s everything you ever wanted in a steampunk novel, plus a whole helping of stuff you didn’t know you had previously wanted. Add on some amazingly dynamic characters and you’ve got a winner. Seriously, this book makes you a better person. Well, maybe not morally, but generally just better than other people.
“Everything’s mine, Francis,” she replied in a merry tone. “The only question is whether or not it knows it is yet.”
― Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut’s Windlass
Short stories are fun, and the kind gathered here are intentionally written to inspire your mind into new thought. This book will help you think in twelve new directions. Beyond this, you can’t actually say no to a Gaiman book while still having a soul.
“I am only alive when I perceive a challenge.”
― Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning
A sequel to Red Rising, a book we had in a previous article, this novel actually exceeds the first in a space opera the likes of which even Star Wars should be jealous of. It will suck you in, and won’t allow you to be free of its hold even after you’ve finished it.
“There is no greater plague to an introvert than the extrovert.”
― Pierce Brown, Golden Son
Again, you can’t say no to Gaiman. Just quit trying. Beautiful artwork, compelling characters and a story that seems like it was pulled out of your wildest dreams. Give in to the Sandman.
“I wanted to put a reference to masturbation in one of the scripts for the Sandman. It was immediately cut by the editor [Karen Berger]. She told me, “There’s no masturbation in the DC Universe.” To which my reaction was, “Well, that explains a lot about the DC Universe.”
— Neil Gaiman
The final volume to the HawkEye graphic novels, this one does justice to what should be your favorite Avenger by this point. If you haven’t started this series yet, go check out our article on why you should: Hawkeye is Incredible. Emotionally charged, truly original artwork, and still just as funny as the first.
“I reject passive consumption. I reject the premise. I will have no passive consumers. Casanova will not stop and explain itself to you. It will not allow you to flip through it while you’re dropping a deuce and waiting for Batman to show up.”
— Matt Fraction
Seriously, Harketh has a fetish for Rogues. Sorry for those who tend to walk the straighter path. This book is chock full of stories of the dark and roguish. It’s truly a dream come true for those who like that archetype.
“…knowing the full depth of any human, knowing their hopes and frailties, the hurts of their past, the tremor with which they reach for the future…that knowledge is akin to love.”
― J.M. Martin, Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues
Speakman is just an incredible editor, and his story on founding of Grim Oak press is equally as amazing. This collection has some seriously heavy hitting authors, and the inspiration you will find within its pages will stay with you for the rest of your life.
“And it’s a good feeling being on the front end of doing something you believe is important. And maybe irreverent.”
― Peter Orullian, Unbound