Dec 22

In which we discuss listener favorites, Michael’s favorite books of 2015, and books that I love even though I refuse to choose favorites.


This is our last episode of 2015, as we’re taking next week off to spend Christmas week with our families and our books.

We’ve closed out the poll of Books on the Nightstand listeners’ favorite books of all time, and favorite books published in 2015.

Favorite book of all time: tie between A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Favorite book published in 2015: There was a runaway winner — A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Second and third were Fates and Furies (Lauren Groff) and A God in Ruins (Kate Atkinson).

See the full results here (pdf) and consider using this to jumpstart your reading for 2016.

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (02:56) Audiobook of the Week
This week’s Audiobook of the Week is actually several audiobooks — those chosen by The Washington Post as the Best Audiobooks of 2015.

The list includes:

Special thanks to for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand. allows you to listen to over 60,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to


Our favorite books of 2015 (maybe)

In the past, we’ve usually focused the last BOTNS episode of the year on our favorite books of the year.

I’m going to stage a revolt, though. I read a lot of great books this year, but I’m not sure that I can actually make a “favorites” list. I had one definite favorite (no surprise, A Little Life). But I also read so many other books that I loved and it feels unfair to pit them against each other.

Michael did make a list:

If you do want “Best of” lists, check out Largehearted Boy, which compiles all of the lists that are published online every year. It’s a massive, massive list.

Another fun read was sent to us by a listener: Winners and Losers: Publishers pick the 2015 books they loved, missed, and envied.

Have fun!

  • Belinda Pearson

    Maybe instead of favourites, putting together highlights of the year, what books stood out for you for whatever reason?

  • Amelia

    Why don’t you do a summary of the year in books? I.e. these were important books, these are books we loved, these are books everyone was talking about. Or a list of favorites where you aren’t limited by a number?

  • I would have a hard time making a favorite list too. I make my list of books to look for as I listen each week so I don’t feel that a best of the year list is necessary. Thanks for a great podcast and enjoy your break.

  • Magician
  • Leslie

    Just call it “a few of our favs”. Or do some you can’t wait for us to read that didn’t make the “2 books we can’t wait for you to read” cut off.

  • A

    I noticed “The Girl on the Train” is listed twice on the “Favorite Books of 2015” list, under both “Two Votes each” and “One Vote each”.

    • mkindness

      Yes, that was an error on my part. It should be listed under three votes.

  • JoAnne

    I love these year end “best of” lists for some reason even if they aren’t really the best books but just highlights or favorites. For me they are just fun, not meant to limit, discount books, rank books, or stress you out. I’d love to hear your lists, no matter how long! Why force yourself to choose just 5 books? Why not 13, for example? And no need to rank them, just put them in alphabetical order and gush about all your favorite/most memorable/transformative reads of the year! It’s always nice to hear which books stuck out the most to readers and these “lists” can do that because there are just so many books out there and it’s one way to move some to the top of the TBR or discover some new, amazing books!

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