Reading List 2015

I read 36 books in 2015, here’s my top 13.

  1. Endurance, Alfred Lansing — wonderful, one of the greatest adventure stories ever told. Reading this book of Shackleton’s icy adventure while tucked up in bed with a dram was the perfect way to spend cold January nights. (Honourable mention for William Grill’s Shackleton’s Journey — beautifully illustrated kids version of the story).
  2. Dead Wake, Erik Larson — Larson is fantastic and writes non-fiction at its best. In Dead Wake he tells the story of the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-Boat in 1915. Magnificently researched, Larson’s narrative reads like a thriller while switching between the doomed ship, the U-Boat and the war rooms of the US and UK.
  3. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson — No one comes close to Peterson, a gem of a book.
  4. Eureka Street, Robert McLaim Wilson — I first read this over ten years ago and enjoyed the re-read. Wildly entertaining, thoughtful and the definitive explainer of Belfast in the 1990s.
  5. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, Gabrille Zevin — a book for book lovers, made me cry.
  6. Pirate Hunters, Robert Kurson — I spent half of July immersed in Kurson’s Pirate Hunters and Shadow Divers. If you’re a fan of non-fiction adventure books you will love these. John Chatterton is the incredible central figure in these books about deep divers, going 200 ft below the sea to do crazy stuff like find pirate treasure and a German U-Boat off the coast of New Jersey.
  7. Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson
  8. Black Water Rising, Attica Locke — These three books by Attica Locke were my fiction highlight of the year: superb story-telling!
  9. The Cutting Season, Attica Locke
  10. Pleasantville, Attica Locke
  11. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan — harrowing, thought-provoking and beautifully written. A book that stays with you for a long time.
  12. Maestro: A Surprising Story About Leading by Listening, Roger Nierenberg — I read a lot of leadership/management books. This one stood out. Easy to read, hard to put into practice, highly recommended if you are in a leadership role.
  13. Chocolate Wars, Deborah Cadbury — Fascinating to read the history of an everyday product like chocolate. Cadbury blends historical research and story-telling and creates a thoughtful history that takes a deep dive into the history of chocolate, but at the same time provides insights into the way business has changed over the past 200 years.

Stats:

  • 16 Non-Fiction
  • 20 Fiction
  • 4 physical books
  • 32 ebooks

I have come to accept that I am a compulsive buyer of books. The pile of books to be read is enormous. Fortunately a kindle holds (and hides) more than a bedside table and no one asks, “when on earth are you going to read all those books?”