Every year a few reads come along that take over the conversation—big, buzzy books, that everyone can’t help but talk about. These are the stories that dominated 2015:
More than eight years since Stieg Larsson’s beloved Millenium Trilogy came to an end (or so we thought…), Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are back! Penned by Swedish author and crime journalist David Lagercrantz—taking over for the late Larsson—this was a worthy addition to the series.
Who could have seen this coming? After conquering the world with her Fifty Shades Trilogy (effectively taking erotica to the mainstream), Grey was yet another unexpected, but wildly successful trilogy +1 in 2015. Told by Christian Grey, in his own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offered a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.
“Nothing quite like this has ever been published before,” proclaimed The Guardian newspaper about the Neapolitan Novels in 2014. This fourth and final instalment in the series raises the bar even higher and indeed confirms Elena Ferrante as one of the world’s best living storytellers. The kicker: despite being one of the most important novelists today, Ferrante’s true identity is a mystery.
It may have taken more than half a century, but Go Set A Watchman was well worth the wait. Originally written in the mid-1950s, publishers thought the story would be better told from the perspective of a childhood Scout, paving the way for Harper Lee's iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost forever, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014—and the rest, as they say, is history.
At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon. With Ready Player One currently being turned into a movie, directed by none other than Steven Spielberg—Armada may only be getting bigger in the years to come.