10 books we loved reading in 2015 – USA TODAY
These 10 fiction and non-fiction titles madeÃ‚Â lasting impressionsÃ‚Â onÃ‚Â USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s reviewers in 2015.
1. Purity by Jonathan Franzen (fiction)
FranzenÃ¢Â€Â™s wildly entertaining, overstuffed novel revolves around an unforgettable central character Ã¢Â€Â“ Andreas Wolf, a Julian Assange-like Ã¢Â€ÂœInternet outlawÃ¢Â€Â and former East German dissident on the lam.
2. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (fiction)
In her 20th novel, the master portraitistÃ‚Â ofÃ‚Â the American family offers a tender and ironic vision of the origins and mysteries of the Whitshanks of Baltimore.
3. Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson (fiction)
JohnsonÃ¢Â€Â™s collection of richly detailed, harrowing short stories is a triumph of imagination that will leave you breathless and haunted (winner of the National Book Award for fiction).
4. The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg (fiction)
This historical novel about gender-bending 19th century writer George Sand couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t be more timely; told in SandÃ¢Â€Â™s voice, her story is melancholy, intimate, self-aware and heartbreaking.
5. The Girl in the SpiderÃ¢Â€Â™s Web by David Lagercrantz (fiction)
Lagercrantz deftly carries the torch for the late Stieg Larsson (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy), crafting a pulpy, page-turning fourth book that honors hacker heroine Lisbeth SalanderÃ¢Â€Â™s legacy while delving deeper into her depraved world.
6. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (fiction)
A sobering historical allegory thatÃ¢Â€Â™s also a crackling adventure story and a profound love story about a couple facing the ultimate truths.
7. The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff (non-fiction)
An exhaustively researched, gorgeously written history of the Salem witch trials that unearths what really happened and why it matters in 21st century America.
8. Katrina: After the FloodÃ‚Â by Gary RivlinÃ‚Â (non-fiction)
RivlinÃ¢Â€Â™s compassionate, yet unsparing reporting establishes one clear, hard point about the 2005 hurricane and flood that ravaged New Orleans: That the catastrophe didnÃ¢Â€Â™t end when the waters receded.
9. Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill LeovyÃ‚Â (non-fiction)
LeovyÃ¢Â€Â™s distressing Ã¢Â€Â” and distressingly relevantÃ‚Â –Ã‚Â book examines the epidemic of murders of African-Americans in South Los Angeles over the last decade.
10. M Train by Patti Smith (non-fiction)
A timeless meditation on age and independence from the last romantic standing, alsoÃ‚Â the author of Just Kids.
There were plenty of great red carpet moments in 2015; these are a few that stuck out.
Carly Simon sheds some light on Ã¢Â€ÂœYouÃ¢Â€Â™re so vain.Ã¢Â€Â Pete Townshend reflects on turning 70. Carol Burnett gives us her best Tarzan yell. Here are some of USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s best celebrity moments from 2015.
YouTube’s top trending videos of 2015 contain a mix of singing, dancing and a giant water balloon.
Contributing reviewers: Jocelyn McClurg, Charles Finch, Elysa Gardner, Patty Rhule, Patrick Ryan, Kevin Nance, Gene Seymour, Matt Damsker