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Written by Jimmie Epling   

The Top 9 Novels of 2015 at the Library!

 By Jimmie Epling

Every year about this time lists of the “top”, “best,” or “most notable” books of the year begin to appear.  This year, 2015, is not exception to the rule.  Even though the year has yet to end, this has not hindered writers, critics, editors, culture gurus, mavens of good taste, and maybe even a few librarians from plugging a “best of” list.  So to be part of the crowd recommending books this year, the Darlington County Library System now plugs its very own “Top 9 Novels of 2015!” list.

Before naming the “top 9,” let’s take a quick look at some of the other lists.  There are plenty of 2015 lists from which to choose.  Newspapers (Wall Street Journal & Washington Post), magazines (The Atlantic), websites (Buzzfeed & Goodreads) and even NPR offer a list!     

The list that sparked the idea of a 2015 list came from the New York Times’ “Sunday Book Review” of November 27th entitled the “100 Most Notable Books of 2015.”  According to the article, “the year’s notable fiction, poetry, and nonfiction” were selected by the editors of the paper’s “Book Review.”  What I found notable is those who created the list picked many books that never reached the Times’ own bestseller lists.  The Library owns about a third of these “Notable” books. 

If you missed the New York Times’ “Most Notable” list, do not worry, its editors provided another list, under the heading “Best in Culture 2015,” they dubbed the “Top Books of 2015.”  The source for this December 10th article was the top 10 picks of the Times’ three daily book critics.  “Because they review different titles, there can be no getting them into a room to vote on a single, unanimous 2015 Top 10 list,” so you get a combined list of thirty books that “stood out from the crowd.”  The Library owns sixteen of the books on this list.       

Those in the library and publishing business know Publishers Weekly, a weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents.  This year the magazine states that, “as with any year, putting together our Best Books of 2015 list was a challenge because there are so many great books to recognize—but we're confident you'll find in our 150 books a staggering selection of variety, depth, and nuance.”  If you are short on time for reading, the editors provided a “top 10” list.  The Library owns seven books from this “top 10” list. has a “top best sellers of 2015” list.  It is literally Amazon’s best sellers!  Looking at the list, the Library has five of the top ten best sellers for 2015.  I’m not too worried about what we do not have from this list because three of them are adult coloring books and one is a child’s joke book.

The Library’s “top 9 best novels of 2015” is a compilation of the most checked out novels at all four of our locations.  To make the list, a novel had to be published in 2015.  Below are the 9 most popular novels as “selected” by the Library’s customers.  Stop by and pick up a couple to enjoy this winter! 

Alert: a Michael Bennett Novel by James Patterson.  After two inexplicable high-tech attacks, New York City is on edge. Detective Michael Bennett and FBI Agent Emily Parker have to catch the shadowy criminals who claim responsibility for wreaking havoc in the city.   

Come Away With Me by Karma Brown.  Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope until a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident.  With her friend Gabe, they embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness.  But they learn that grief follows you no matter how far away you run and that acceptance comes when you least expect it.

Nemesis: an FBI Thriller by Catherine Coulter.  Special Agent Lacey Sherlock foils a terrorist attack at JFK airport only to discover a bomb attack on St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Who is really behind the attempted bombing at JFK and the attack at St. Patrick’s? Special Agents Dillon Savich and Sherlock race to stop another terrorist plot.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  This is the story of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied France during World War II.  The novel celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.

Truth or Die by James Patterson.  Attorney Trevor Mann found happiness with his journalist girlfriend until she unearthed evidence of a shocking secret that every government and terrorist organization would do anything to possess. It is up to Trevor, his girlfriend, and a teenage genius to make sure that secret doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

Memory Man by David Baldacci.  Amos Decker's life first changed when a violent helmet-to-helmet collision ended his pro football career and left him with a side effect--he can never forget anything.  The second came two decades later as police detective when he found his family murdered.  Unable to forget a single detail, his world collapsed around him and he left the force to become a P.I.  He is called back to investigate new evidence about the murders he can never forget.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.  This sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” finds 26 year-old Jean Louise Finch, "Scout," returning home to visit her aging father, Atticus.  Her homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her, throwing her values and assumptions into doubt.  

The Liar by Nora Roberts.  Shelby Foxworth lost her husband and discovered he was an adulterer and liar with multiple IDs and huge debt.  She takes her 3 year-old daughter and heads for the comfort of her hometown.  It does not last as her dead husband’s secrets and an attempted murder threaten her family and new love. 

The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark.  As the sole assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon, is called on to help redecorate a modest townhouse belonging to the wife of a notorious and disgraced financier.  His clients and the federal government all want to trace the money and find financier if he is still alive.  Lane joins the financier’s son, Eric, in his effort to prove his father’s innocence, placing her and family in danger as they get closer to the truth.    

December 14, 2015 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 December 2015 )

Word of the Week

Snowbird (noun) A person who vacations in or moves to a warmer climate during cold weather.  A northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.  The Library is the perfect place for a snowbird to find something good to read while wintering in South Carolina!


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