We asked our students, alums, and faculty to tell us a few of their favorite books of 2015…even if the book didn’t come out in 2015…and it appears this was the year of Joshua Mohr, Elena Ferrante and our own Jill Alexander Essbaum.
RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison
BALL by Tara Ison
ALL THIS LIFE by Joshua Mohr
MRS BRIDGE by Evan S. Connell
Gail Mackenzie-Smith: THE GOLDFINCH Donna Tartt
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE Anthony Doerr
THE DUBLIN MURDER SQUAD SERIES (5 books) Tana French
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Paula Hawkins
Mark Haskell Smith: THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson, THE SELLOUT by Paul Beatty, YEAR OF THE GOOSE by Carly J. Hallman, BARBARIAN DAYS by William Finnegan, THE FINE ART OF FUCKING UP by Cate Dicharry, and THE PAPER MAN by Gallagher Lawson.
Stephanie Green Smith: BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Eli Ryder: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, John Ajvide Lindqvist. KNOCKEMSTIFF, Donald Ray Pollock, LEAVING THE SEA, Ben Marcus.
Emile Barrios: Wolf In White Van, John Darnielle
Appointment in Samarra, John O’Hara
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami
Jenny Hayes: GET IN TROUBLE, Kelly Link
Heather Scott Partington: Gutshot by Amelia Gray, The Sellout by Paul Beatty, The Meursault Investigation by
Kamel Daoud, A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, The Wright Brothers by David McCullough, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, All This Life by Joshua Mohr, and the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante.
David Ulin: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates; The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson; Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson; The Odd Woman and the City by Vivian Gornick; M Train by Patti Smith; The Other Paris by Luc Sante; The Brothers by Masha Gessen; The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud; Killing And Dying by Adrian Tomine; Then Came Marriage by Robert Kaplan; Everything Eventually Connects by Loris Lora.
Xach Fromson: Escape From Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair, and Rage by Nicole Sconiers
Vermillion by Molly Tanzer
The Paper Man by Gallagher Lawson
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Jason Metz: Blackout by Sarah Hepola; Alligator by Lisa Moore; Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle.
David Zimmerle: Some Things That Meant the World to Me by Joshua Mohr
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierce
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn
Penne Berry Richards: Blackout by Sarah Hepola; The Way We Weren’t by Jill Talbot; Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum; The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman; Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch; Half of the World in Light: New and Select Poems by Juan Felipe Herrera; The Logan Notebooks by Rebecca Lindenberg.
Stephen Larsen: War Music by Christopher Logue; The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat; and Slade House by David Mitchell.
Ruth Nolan: The Little Brother – Victoria Patterson; Notes on the Assemblage- Juan Felipe Herrera; M Train – Patti Smith; Hausfrau – Jill Alexander Essbaum; Gangsterland – Tod Goldberg; Electric City – Elizabeth Rosner; Girl in a Band – Kim Gordon.
Guy Nicolucci: The House of 20,000 Books by Sasha Abramsky
Jim Jennewein: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
Annie Connole: The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Shawnacy Kiker Perez: Fourth of July Creek – Smith Henderson
Can’t and Won’t – Lydia Davis
The Stone Raft – Jose Saramago
John Schimmel: The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham; My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante; Gangsterland by Tod Goldberg; Labyrinth by David Ulin.
Eileen Shields: H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen , A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber; The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante.
Jill Alexander Essbaum: Jillian Lauren, Everything You Ever Wanted
Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal (2013, but just got around to reading it now)
Rebecca Whitney, The Liar’s Chair
John Krakauer, Missoula
Uncle John’s Fantastic Bathroom Reader (#28)
Clarinda Ross: Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum; The Widow’s Trail by John Ehle
N0S4A2 by Joe Hill
After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Gangsterland by Tod Goldberg
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Long Divison by Kiese Laymon
Family Life by Akhil Sharma
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
The Sonnets by Ted Berrigan
30 Lessons for Living by Karl Pillemer
Work Happy by Jill Geisler
This Won’t Take But a Minute Honey by Steve Almond
Soul Without Shame by Byron Brown
Annette Fuller: Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss; The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman.
Once I Was Cool – Megan Stielstra
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
Naked at Lunch – Mark Haskell Smith
Pity the Animal – Chelsea Hodson
Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling
Year of Yes – Shonda Rimes
Poking a Dead Frog – Mike Sacks
Cat Martin Darby:
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Sidewalking by David Ulin
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
The Logan Notebooks by Rebecca Lindenberg
All This Life by Joshua Mohr
A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Cartel by Don Winslow
Dragonfish by Vu Tran
The Whites by Richard Price
Zero Zero Zero by Roberto Saviano
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
Blackout by Sarah Hepola
Notes on the Assemblage by Juan Felipe Herrera
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
The Unspeakable by Meghan Daum
The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante; That Mad Ache by Francçise Sagan; The Waitress was New by Dominique Fabre; Stoner by John Williams; Ongoingness by Sara Manguso
Stoner by John Williams; A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter; The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and Empire Falls by Richard Russo.
A Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux
The Mersault Investigation by Kamel Daoud
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Manhunt by James Swanson
LONG DIVISION by Kiese Laymon and THE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison.
The Unspeakable, Meghan Daum; The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri; An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination, Elizabeth McCraken; The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr; Hausfrau, Jill Alexander Essbaum.
CREATIVITY, INC. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
The Blue Guitar by John Banville; Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann; A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James.
Stephen Graham Jones:
Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord
Skullcrack City by Jeremy Robert Johnson
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Dare Me by Megan Abbott
The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
The Martian by Andy Weir
“Population Wars” by Greg Graffin
“Fastest Things on Wings” by Terry Masear
“Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert
“Life #6” by Diana Wagman
“Girl Waits With Gun” by Amy Stewart
“Bull Mountain” by Brian Panowich
“Gutshot” by Amelia Gray
“Honeydew” by Edith Perlman
“Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance
“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough
“Ghost Boy” by Martin Pistorius
Ghost Town — Robert Coover
The Fine Art of Fucking Up — Cate DiCharry
The Once and Future King — T.H. White
The Paper Man — Gallagher Lawson
Perdido Street Station — China Miéville