Best Fiction of 2015

My favorite fiction reads from 2015, ordered by the date I read them (which seems at least as fair as alphabetical order that always favors the letter A.)

The Jaguar’s Children, by John Vaillant. A gripping portrayal of the risks undocumented immigrants take in order to come to the U.S. and their motives for migrating.

The Evening Chorus: A Novel, by Helen Humphreys. An oddly gentle novel of life during WWII  in the English countryside and in a German prison camp.

John the Pupil: A Novel, by David Flusfeder. A surprisingly modern tale of a pilgrimage taken by an acolyte of Roger Bacon.

Crooked Heart, by Lissa Evans. An unusual novel of WWII, pairing a woman con artist and the boy who’s sent to stay with her during the Blitz.

The Shadow of the Crescent Moon: A Novel, by Fatima Bhutto. An eye-opening account of a single day in a small town in Pakistan, focusing on three brothers who have each responded to their nation’s turmoil in different ways.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, by Natasha Pulley. A remarkable mix of history, steampunk, mystery, and gay love set in an alternate version of late 19th Century England.

Church of Marvels, by Leslie Parry. An engrossing tale set in turn-of-the-century New York that brings together a nightsoil gatherer, a pair of sisters raised in a circus, a young woman in an asylum, and a baby.

The Americans, by Chitra Viraraghaven. A wonderful mix of humor and drama following the lives of Indian-Americans, both those well-acculturated and new arrivals.

The Tsar of Love and Techno, by Anthony Marra. A rich web of interconnected stories that cover much of the 20th Century in the [former] Soviet Union with characters that include a government censor in the 1930s, a minor film star, a pair of brothers whose father has cobbled together a museum of space travel using odds and ends, a prima ballerina, a gangster, and a painting that connects their disparate lives.

The Master of the Prado, by Javier Sierra. A magical exploration of the spiritual messages encoded in masterpieces in the Prado and a young man’s relationship with the mysterious figure who guides him through these works.

Woman with a Blue Pencil, by Gordon McAlpine. An absolutely original novel—a cross between science fiction and historical mystery—that uses parallel narrative threads to explore xenophobia and Japanese internment during WWII.

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One Reply to “Best Fiction of 2015”

  1. Thanks for exposing me to so much wonderful literature. These books are now entered on my to-read list for the Spring.

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