What I Read in 2015

This year I have kept track of everything I read for my own memory, and as part of the #read15in15 challenge. While some bloggers write reviews of books read, or have articulated rating scales, I am much more informal. I rarely write about a book I disliked, because I often abandon books that I don’t enjoy. While I have more time on my hands since finishing my doctoral program, I don’t have enough time to waste reading books I dislike! So anything you see on my list was something I enjoyed reading. That doesn’t mean my book list is for everyone, but it is my record for the year.

In my #decemberreflections photo challenge, I had to post a picture that represented the “best book of 2015”.  I was thrilled I had a visible list of what I read this year, on the blog, to refer to. In case you are curious, #9 and #8 were my favorites this year!

As always, I’d love suggestions to add to my “must read” list in the comments.

Here is what read in 2015:

  1. Outviews by Brandt Legg
  2. Stuck in Downward Dog by Chantel Guertin
  3. Panic by Sharon Draper
  4. Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan
  5. The History of Us by Leah Stewart
  6. A Mango- Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
  7. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  8. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  9. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
  10. Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monnigner
  11. The Department of Lost & Found by Allison Winn Scotch
  12. Pieces and Players by Blue Balliet
  13. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  14. Hold Fast by Blue Balliet
  15. Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
  16. Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
  17. Back Luck and Trouble by Lee Child
  18. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
  19. Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
  20. Most Talkative by Andy Cohen
  21. The Vacationers by Emma Straub
  22. Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt
  23. I Suck at Relationships so You Don’t Have To by Bethenny Frankel
  24. Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad
  25. 61 Hours by Lee Child
  26. Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap: Liberating Mindsets to Effect Change by Anthony Muhammad
  27. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
  28. Nothing to Lose by Lee Child
  29. What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love by Carole Radziwill
  30. George by Alex Gino
  31. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica.
  32. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  33. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
  34. When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  35. Uplifting Leadership: How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance by Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle, and Alma Harris
  36. Going off Script: How I Survived a Crazy Childhood, Cancer, and Clooney’s 32 On-Screen Rejections by Giuliana Rancic
  37. Tankborn by Karen Sandler
  38. Becoming a Learning System by Stephanie Hirsh, Kay Psencik, and Frederick Brown
  39. The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  40. Creativity: 63 short exercises to a happier life by Dr. Andy Goodman
  41. Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue by Kathryn R. Simpson
  42. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  43. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  44.  The Zen Teacher by Dan Tricarico

My thoughts on the books I recently finished:

32.  When The Skimm recommended this book with a connection to the movie Sliding Doors, I knew I had to read it. This was a story about a woman whose life takes two very different directions based on one decision. Each chapter is the same period in her life, told from the perspective of each of the directions. There were a lot of similarities to the overall concept of the movie, and I enjoyed getting to see the characters in different ways. I appreciated that the ending wasn’t the same style as the movie.


33.  I listened to Drew read this herself through Audible. I love when autobiographies are read by their authors, it makes the stories come alive in a special way. And Drew was the most dramatic reader I’ve listened to in awhile. This was not like the many other celebrity memories/ autobiographies I’ve read/ listened to. Each chapter was about an important person in Drew’s life, but the stories were told in a random order and really just gave the reader small glimpses into her life. When the book ended, I admired her more as a person and a woman, I missed my mom more than usual, and I was inspired to consider how to tell the people I love how important they are to me.

34. This book was recommended to me by a work friend whose reading life parallels mine; I will also read any book she recommends!

35.  I bought this book after hearing Dr. Hargreaves speak at the AERA conference last spring. He shared just a few of the stories behind the research that led to this book that is truly uplifting. The authors researched the leadership and vision of various companies, school systems, and organizations, creating six factors and a framework for Uplifting Leadership. The organizations studies include: Fiat, Singapore school system, Dogfish Brewery, Burberry, and more!

36. I listed to this story on Audible awhile ago, but somehow it never made it onto my recap list. It was a typical celebrity memoir-type story. Many of my friends shared with me how much they do not enjoy this particular celebrity, but listening to her stories made her more than the celebrity you see on screen, and I enjoyed this overall.

37. This YA book is part of a trilogy recommended on a recent blog post I read. While it took awhile to get into the story, due to the complicated and intricate world created by the author, I enjoyed the book. The story became fast-paced as it raced toward the climax, and also building possibilities for future stories to emerge. I will read the next book in this series eventually, though I need a break from the fantasy world for now.

38. My boss loaned me this book and it was a quick and informative read. As a leader in a new-to-me district, in a new-to-the-district position, systems thinking is a critical part of my work. What I appreciated most was all of the resources referenced in the book, as it was easy to go online to find additional information. Great read for district leaders.

39. I loved this book! I love the storytelling- from the flashbacks and forwards, to the two different main characters and their similar life journeys coming together, to the sad tragic realities of foster youth. Great read!

40. I downloaded the e-version of this book at work on my previous job. We spent many hours discussing creativity- how to inspire it in our teachers and students, how to build creative activities into our learning times, and how to acknowledge the creativity of others. This book has short, simple ideas (some of which were fun to do and others we skipped!).

41. This was a quick read that helped me have deeper discussions with my nutritionist and acupuncturist about all of my various health issues this year. I recommend this book to anyone who is suffering from adrenal fatigue and needs to understand it.

42. Multiple bloggers I follow regularly raved about this book, so when I saw it in Bart’s Books (the largest independently owned outdoor bookstore!), I knew I had to buy it. I read it in one day and loved it! I followed the method and began decluttering my clothes. After a few hours I had 8 bags to donate and two full bags of trash. I already feel lighter! I plan to continue to follow the method until I sort through everything I own. I love the simplistic approach and the concept of keeping only that which brings you joy. 🙂

43. I LOVED this book! I’ve read most of the author’s previous books, so I’m familiar with her writing style. I didn’t even know, until I read the author’s notes at the end that this story was based on real people and real events. While the structure of chapters told by different narrators is not new, I enjoy it every time an author employs this as a story telling element.

44. A great, quick read that goes along nicely with my year of mindfulness. I like the simple suggestions Dan shares for all teachers to find time, balance, and their Zen.

In addition to this list, I reread many excerpts of professional books (such as my favorite by Elena Aguilar), and I read journal articles, blogs, and tweets from around the world!

Previous reading updates this year:


What did you read this year?  Will you join the #read16in16 challenge and sharing your reading? 

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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9 Responses to What I Read in 2015

  1. Pingback: January Reading Update | Reflections on Leadership and Learning

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