Trending This Year: Barnes & Noble Booksellers Announce Best Books of 2015

Press Release

2015 Categories Include Books That Started a Conversation, Hoping for a Movie, Celebrity Behind-the-Curtain Memoirs, and More

Bookseller Picks Help Guide Creative Gifting This Holiday Season

New York, NY (December 8, 2015) – With the popularity of lists this time of year, from holiday shopping to New Year’s Resolutions, Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is releasing its picks for the top books of 2015, with thoughtfully created categories to guide creative gift-giving. Spanning serious literature to pop culture sensations, the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products has identified the books that got people talking, debating, laughing, imagining and reading through the night.

“From sweeping narratives to in-depth looks into personal lives, it’s been an exciting year for books,” said Mary Amicucci, VP, Adult Trade and Children’s Books. “We hope this collection of year-end lists can help shoppers discover new books for themselves and extra-special gifts for others.”

Barnes & Noble has compiled this year’s lists based on proprietary criteria, most notably the trendspotting expertise of its booksellers in nearly 650 stores nationwide who converse daily with customers. With the complete lists available online at www.bn.com/bestof2015, categories and books include:

Books That Started a Conversatio

In a year of sociopolitical upheaval, both in the U.S. and around the globe, a range of books and corresponding topics sparked conversations among readers in 2015. Barnes & Noble’s picks in this category include Between the World and Me, a moving work by Ta-Nehisi Coates offering fresh perspective on the nation’s complicated history and current racial crisis, and Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee’s much-awaited precursor to her Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird, which ignited controversy around the story’s moral underpinnings as well as its origins. The complete list is as follows:

  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio
  • Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  • My Fight/Your Fight by Ronda Rousey
  • We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

Hoping for a Movie

Hollywood executives take note: on the heels of The Hunger Games, Divergent, Gone Girl and other film adaptations which translated to smashing box office success, books with equal storytelling power and cinematic potential wait in the wings. Consider The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot’s intimate journey of scientific discovery and consequences; Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walters’ dazzling love story set against an idyllic Italian coastline; and Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train, heartbreaking historical fiction spotlighting American children abandoned during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Other books featured on this list include:

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
  • Breakaway: Beyond the Goal by Alex Morgan
  • The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
  • Red Queen (Red Queen Series #1) by Victoria Aveyard
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil Series #1) by Soman Chainani
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Vacationers by Emma Straub
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Books from Authors Who Drew Crowds Around the Block

This year, eager fans couldn’t wait to get their hands on the hard-copy manifestations of favorite on-screen sensations. Social media stars such as Color Me Creative’s artistic whiz Kristina Webb, YouTube stars Dan Howell and Phil Lester (The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil), and Tyler Oakley (Binge) have adapted their social media success to the written page for their massive follower bases. Books that inspired lines around the block are:

  • A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
  • The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
  • Binge by Tyler Oakley
  • Color Me Creative: Unlock Your Imagination by Kristina Webb
  • I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson by Shane Dawson
  • In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World by Joey Graceffa
  • Really Professional Internet Person by Jenn McAllister
  • Selp-Helf by Miranda Sings

Bestselling Books with Staying Power

Books that capture – and continue to hold – the nation’s collective attention prove their enduring appeal by resonating with readers everywhere. In this category are such diverse titles as Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande’s heartfelt take on how medicine can improve life and the process of its ending, and All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece. The complete list is as follows:

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • The Isle of the Lost (Descendants Series) by Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil Series #3) by Soman Chainani
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  • Red Queen (Red Queen Series #1) by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Books That Colored the Imagination

As adults increasingly channel their creativity to alleviate stress, coloring books harkening back to our childhood made a nostalgic and grown-up resurgence this year. Books such as Secret New York: Color Your Way to Calm allow people of all ages to relax, flex their creative muscles and be immersed in a youthful sense of the present. Barnes & Noble’s top picks are as follows:

  • Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me (Millie Marotta Adult Coloring Book Series) by Millie Marotta
  • Animorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge by Kerby Rosanes
  • Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation by Lacy Mucklow
  • Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
  • Mandala Meditation Coloring Book by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Secret New York: Color Your Way to Calm by Zoe de Las Cases

Binge-Reading Page-Turners

With downtime during the holidays and the winter travel season approaching, Barnes & Noble recommends the following addictive page-turners that will keep readers up into all hours of the night, including The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins’ gripping chiller (widely considered the next Gone Girl) and the third installation of James Dashner’s bestselling, edge-of-your-seat Morality Doctrine series. The complete list is as follows:

  • Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike Series 3) by Robert Gailbraith
  • City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
  • The Game of Lives (The Mortality Doctrine Series #3) by James Dashner
  • Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • The Heir (Selection Series 4) by Kiera Cass
  • Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  • The Survivor (Mitch Rapp Series #14) by Vince Flynn

Celebrity Behind-the-Curtain Memoirs

Whether they’re actors or musicians whose talents we admire or reality personalities we just love to follow, the seemingly magical lives of celebrities offer an escape from our own. This year, some of the most interesting celebrity memoirs include Leah Remini’s Troublemaker, which examines her immersion in – and escape from – Scientology, Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower, her first adult book about how young stardom affected her life, and Willie Nelson’s It’s a Long Story, which twists up the best tales from the country legend’s eight-decade career. The complete list is as follows:

  • Almost Interesting by David Spade
  • The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy by Rainn Wilson
  • Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon
  • Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
  • Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein
  • It’s a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson
  • M Train by Patti Smith
  • Photograph by Ringo Starr
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
  • Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello
  • Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

The complete lists are available at www.bn.com/bestof2015. To browse these great reads and all of the hottest books and gifts this holiday season, visit any of Barnes & Noble’s nearly 650 stores nationwide or visit www.bn.com.

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