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It Was the Best of Books, It Was the Worst of Books

By Mswas Sawsm | Books | December 23, 2015 |

By Mswas Sawsm | Books | December 23, 2015 |

It’s the time of year to recap the best and worst of the year, and Cannonballers are not afraid to tell you what they think. After over 3,200 reviews this year so far, the most reviewed book was Station Eleven* by Emily St. John Mandel. The Martian by Andy Weir was a close second, but Station Eleven got pushed over the top due to our CBR Book Club earlier this year. Next year we’re planning four book club discussions, we’ll be voting on our first selection in January. Watch our book club page for details.

(*CBR earns Amazon affiliate revenue from any purchases made after clicking the link on Station Eleven above, or through the links on the group blog. All of that revenue is donated to the American Cancer Society.)

Here are the top three favorites, and one worst book of the year from a bunch of Cannonballers, starting off with my two review picks of the year. You can decide which is worst and which is best. I think you can make a case for each.

You’ve Got Male - Trampballs’ review of A Gronking to Remember by Lacey Noonan

Proof That You Can Publish ANYTHING On Amazon - Lisa Bee’s review of Gay T-Rex Law Firm: Executive Boner by Chuck Tingle

If you love talking books, arguing books, or recommending books, you’ll fit right in at Cannonball Read. And lucky you, registration for Cannonball Read 8 just opened! Join us, won’t you? —Mswas


The best
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Heyday by Kurt Andersen

Worst book of the year: Charming by Elliot James

badkittyuno: (currently in the lead with 253 reviews!)

The best
The Martian by Andy (not Mark, that’s the astronaut…) Weir
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The worst Crazy in Alabama



Wild by Cheryl Strayed:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Worst Prudence by David Treuer:


The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante. This is the fourth in her Neapolitan Novels series, so in order to read and enjoy this, you have to go back and read the other three, which I also loved. Haha! I gamed the system! 6 best books for the price of 3!
Oreo by Fran Ross Funny, funky and intellectual retelling of a Greek myth and featuring a biracial teen on a quest.
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper, spiritual and lovely

Worst The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s Silas Marner.



Best books
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Year We Hid Away (Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen
Between the World and Meby Ta-Nehisi Coates

Worst Book A Girl is a Half-Formed Thingby Eimear McBride


My favorites
Slavery by Another Name by Douglas Blackmon
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Decision Points by George W. Bush

Worst book of the year: Zoe’s Tale, by John Scalzi


Top three books
Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart
Dark Days: A Memoir by D. Randall Blythe
Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Georges Simenon

and the one stinker: Brailing for Wile by James Zerndt


Lisa Bee:

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Locke & Key, Volume 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Worst No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July


Top three
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
The Martian by Andy Weir
What If? By Randall Monroe

My worst book of the year was: One Year After by William Fortschen


Picking my worst book of the year really was very easy. It’s the only one star review I have: A Kiss in the Dark by Kimberly Logan (1.5 stars)

My best of the year was much harder, because I’ve read some really great books this year. The first two had no competition, and for the third spot, I really struggled to narrow it down. I have finally decided:

Malin’s third best in 2015:
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (5 stars)

Malin’s second best in 2015:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (5 stars)

Malin’s absolutely best read of 2015 - no contest:
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (5 very shiny stars)



Best books
The Handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood
The First Bad Man by Miranda July
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Worst book: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

And if there’s a best-worst book category (there really should be) I nominate The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Mrs. Julien:

The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Blonde Date from the Ivy Years series by Sarina Bowen
The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

The worst (I would LOVE to be able to include three here as well): Dark Lover by JR Ward


(I feel like everyone is going to pick the goddamn Martian, so I’m putting up an alternate pick.)
Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy. Starting with book one, Mr. Mercedes
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet

Worst: And as for my most hated book of 2015 — I can’t include an entire series can I? I nominate my hatefucking of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. But if I had to pick one book where it all turned around, it’d have to be Faith of the Fallen.


Road Beneath My Feet by Frank Turner
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Rat Queens Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch, Stjepan Sejic

Worst: I’m putting these two together because I think if you read them back to back, you’d have an awesome shit sandwich (well, as awesome as a shit sandwich can be): The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin and Pussy, King of Pirates by Kathy Acker


My top three
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Winger by Andrew Smith

My worst Jane by April Lindner



My top three reviewed books this year are:
The Martian
A Circus of Brass and Bone (The Martian is probably #3 on that list; please don’t make me choose between the other two…)

As for the worst…hm. Do I choose the book I finished, or one of the two I gave up on in disgust? The absolute worst of every book I reviewed this year was: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikrey


The Martian by Andy Weir
The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Worst: One Second After by William Forstchen


Furiously Happy
The Bees
The Bone Clocks
honorable mention as a series:The Southern Reach Trilogy (3 books)

Worst. 1 star. Blech. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss


The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman
Speak by Louisa Hall
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Worst: Endangered by Lamar Giles

If you’d like to speak your mind about the books you read, AND fight cancer at the same time, sign up for Cannonball Read 8 join our noble cause. You’ll be appreciated by many!