Books Read in 2015

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m a fan of year-end lists. A few years ago, after reading several bloggers’ lists of the books they’d read the previous year, and realizing how much I enjoyed the posts, I decided to start keeping track of my own reading and posting about it at the end of the year. Other than the fact that I like seeing such lists, I can’t think of any good reason people would want to know what books I read last year. Nevertheless, here’s the books I finished in 2015, in the order I read them.

Fight Club—Chuck Palahniuk

Pylon—William Faulkner

Zero db and Other Stories—Madison Smartt Bell

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek—Annie Dillard

Great Art Treasures in America’s Smaller Museums—Michael Dineen, ed.

Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love—Dava Sobel

Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self, and Society—Jay Bakker

Ulysses—James Joyce

Restoration Agriculture—Mark Shepherd

A History of the Keesee Family—Vincent A. Keesee

The President’s Devotional—Joshua Dubois

The Jazz and Blues Lover’s Guide to the U.S.—Christiane Bird

The Bush Devil Ate Sam…and other tales of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa—Curtis Mekemson

The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach—Ben Falk

We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World—Ellen Gustafson

Jesus, Bread and Chocolate: Crafting a Handmade Faith in a Mass-Market World—John J. Thompson

Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark—Jane Fletcher Geniesse

Full Moon: The Amazing Rock & Roll Life of Keith Moon—Dougal Butler

The Berlitz Self-Teacher: French

Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business—Graham Hancock

Deerland: America’s Hunt for Ecological Balance and the Essence of Wildness—Al Cambronne

Saints are Now: Eight Portraits of Modern Sanctity—John J. Delaney, ed.

2nd Virginia Cavalry—Robert J. Driver, Jr.

The Simple Life: The Pleasures and Rewards of Getting Back to the Basics—Rhonda Hetzel

Organic Wesley: A Christian Perspective on Food, Farming and Faith—William C. Guerrant, Jr.

Unsuitable For Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travelers—Jane Robinson

The Emma Caites Way—A.V. Waters

The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry—Norman Wirzba, ed.

The Man Who Moved a Mountain—Richard C. Davids

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption—Bryan Stevenson

Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science—David Lindley

Raising Less Corn, More Hell: The Case for the Independent Farm and Against Industrial Food—George Pyle

Pittsylvania County Virginia: A Brief History—Larry G. Aaron

A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture Since 1929—Paul K. Conkin

Saint Patrick’s Battalion—James Alexander Thom

The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast—Ira Wallace

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future—Bill McKibben

Gilead—Marilynne Robinson

The Spell of the Sensuous—David Abram

What in God’s Name Are You Eating?– How Can Christians Live and Eat Responsibly in Today’s Global Village—Andrew Francis

Planetwise: Dare to Care for God’s World—Dave Bookless

The Reivers—William Faulkner

Funny Cide: How a Horse, a Trainer, a Jockey, and a Bunch of High School Buddies Took on the Sheiks and Bluebloods…and Won—Sally Jenkins


22 comments on “Books Read in 2015

  1. BeeHappee says:

    Wow, impressive list, Bill!!! Please reveal your secret to me how do you do it all? Do you ever sleep 🙂


    • Bill says:

      You’re not fooling me Bee. 🙂 I’ve read enough of your writing to know you’re a voracious reader. We’re empty-nesters with no other hobbies, so a few hours a night reading for a year will result in finishing a lot of books. A better question is how do you do it? 🙂


      • BeeHappee says:

        Sounds like I have quite fooled you. The books that I had read begining to end this year are mainly Kindergarden level. 🙂 Even Pilgrim at Tinkercreek, I listened to it on tape, and did not finish it, but at least got hooked enough to get back to it one day. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow that’s quite a list! ❤
    Diana xo


    • Bill says:

      We don’t watch TV or movies. After supper every night we settle down with a book till bedtime. My wife likes to mix in mysteries and other lighter reads, so she probably reads twice as many books as I do. It’s just what we like to do with our spare time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. avwalters says:

    I think I’d gain weight if I read so many books about eating right. I see some of my all time favorites on this list–notably, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, which is my number 2 all time favorite, just behind Wendell Berry’s, Fidelity.


    • Bill says:

      Well there are only 3 books on this list that are about eating right, and one of them is mine. I read it despite your (good) advice not to, and (as you predicted) I found 3 mistakes in it. Arggg.

      People have been recommending I read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek for years. I finally got around to and it blew me away. Wonderful book. When people ask me where to begin with Wendell Berry, Fidelity is my fiction recommendation. Those are fine books to have atop your list.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s quite a varied list, Bill, as well as impressively long, considering all the other things you do in a day. I know from past posts that you have a routine for reading that helps you, but it must take a bit of discipline as well, especially if it’s a book that’s not “grabbing” you. I’ve read a couple of these, but there are others that look intriguing, so I’ll have to revisit your list and do some holds at the library.


    • Bill says:

      I don’t have much time to read in the summer, since it’s usually light until 9 and we go to bed at 10. But this time of year I get several solid hours a night with a book. I don’t have any other hobbies and we don’t watch TV or movies (and our kids are grown and gone) so I have time to read plenty of books. Cherie probably read twice this many, but she likes to mix in mysteries and lighter reading.


  5. gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

    familiar especially: Marylynn Robinson; Annie Dillard – plus Brian Stephenson


    • Bill says:

      I read all 3 of those on recommendations of others. Folks have been recommending Marilynne Robinson and Annie Dillard to me for years and this year I finally got around to reading them. I’m glad I did. A friend/customer loaned me Bryan Stevenson’s book. I didn’t expect to like it nearly as much as I did. It was powerful.


      • gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

        three I am currently reading (all at once): “Americanah” chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson; and a biography of Robert Lax (class mate of Merton, Columbia U, 1937 freshman year) “Pure Act”

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Pam says:

    Well, what’s impressive for me is that you don’t watch the boobtube.
    I couldn’t possibly list the books I read last year. It’s actually kind of personal. Or maybe I should say, I wouldn’t want people to know how much dystopian fiction I read. Or the bizarre histories (Clean and Decent by Lawrence Wright which I am just finishing, to name one) which stack up on my nightstand or fill my Nook.

    I read rather quickly. Only three hours ten minutes for William R. Fotstchen’s latest, One Year After which I read New Years Eve, before going to bed.. I don’t say this to brag because honestly, it is difficult to find material that holds my interest. I read the Outlander books, all eight of them in a month. Which then spurred an insatiable desire to read about our American Revolution. (I live two hours from Boston, two hours from Fort Ticondiroga and five hours from Philly)

    But I also watch a fair amount of TV.
    The Walking Dead
    Alaska, The Last Frontier
    The Andy Griffith Show
    Downtown Abbey
    Fear The Walking Dead
    Outdoor Journal
    Windows to The Wild
    Rural Heritage
    Law and Order SVU
    And honestly, the little voice in the back of my head is telling me to erase this as it is too revealing. But I will ignore it, for better or for worse.

    I look forward to diving in to your list of books and the wonderful worlds they may open, so thank you for sharing.


    • Bill says:

      I used to watch lots of televised sports. I watched baseball, basketball, football, and nascar, sometimes watching one while taping the other. It was crazy how much time I spent in front of the TV. But I quit back when I was commuting and just didn’t have the time for it any more. Once I got out of the habit of it, when my schedule became more normal I felt to urge to go back. We kept our TV service for a couple of years, on the theory that we might want to watch the news, but eventually just cancelled it since we weren’t even doing that. My wife and I are nerdy book lovers so TV just isn’t interesting to us. I’m so out of it I don’t recognize most of the shows on your list, but I did enjoy the Andy Griffith show back in the day and if Nova is the PBS science show I enjoyed that too.

      I’m all for enjoying leisure time. In my opinion, if you enjoy TV then you should watch it. 🙂


  7. Scott says:

    Quite impressive, Bill! I am reading Ben Falk’s Resilient Farm now. Trying to plan out a new farm with some foresight… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I hope the book is helpful to you Scott. I didn’t care much for it. I thought Mark Shepherd’s book Restoration Agriculture was much better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scott says:

        Thanks I’ll check it out! I’m finding that it’s written quite specifically for a wet northern climate, and a lot of his ideas are still in the testing phase. But I heard a lot of good about it before I got it…
        I should be fair and say I have gleaned a number of good ideas from it already in a couple chapters read out of order 🙂


  8. associatedluke says:

    Gilead and Just Mercy were two of my reads too! Love them! Thanks for this list. I should probably keep track myself. Thank you for sharing.

    I LOVE Fight Club. Which is interesting, because I don’t like fighting, boxing, MMA or anything of the sort. I even wrote a paper in seminary that landed me the Christology award for that year. You can check it out on my old blog, if you’re interested, by clicking here and reading from the bottom up:


    • Bill says:

      I’ve read Fight Club three times and I’ve seen the movie at least six times. It has a lot to say about alienation in the postmodern world, imho. Glad to have discovered another fan. I enjoyed your posts. Thanks for linking them.

      As for keeping track, I was inspired by some other bloggers who share their list at year end. I found myself looking forward to those posts, and that motivated me to keep track of my reading that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Selka says:

    SO. Many. Books. In the world.
    There is something exceptional about Fight Club, isn’t there? Definitely worth an essay. It shifted me, when I first saw it. Likewise, seen it many, many times.

    Liked by 1 person

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