While it's still fresh on your mind, would you call this past year more or less memorable than 2014 with respect to the books you finished?
For me, 2015 was a much stronger year. I had my first experience with several prodigiously talented authors - Anthony Doerr ("All The Light We Cannot See"), Neil Gaiman ("The Ocean At The End of The Lane"), Jill Lepore ("The Secret History of Wonder Woman"), Daniel Woodrell ("The Maid's Version"), to name a few. I returned twice to the gifted Colm Toibin - "Nora Webster" early in the year and "The Master" toward the end. Essays in the NY Times led me first to "The Road to Character " (David Brooks) and later to Sherry Turkle's "Reclaiming Conversation". What a streak.
Now, a book I recently finished - "The Devotion Of Suspect X" - has persuaded me to pay more attention in the future to crime novels, a genre I've mostly avoided. This 2005 thriller by Keigo Higashino is as riveting as it is psychologically astute. And though the denouement pulling the whole thing together is satisfying- and true to form - I'm sure the penultimate scene will remain with me longer than the solved mystery. In that scene, as the object of devotion realizes how far Suspect X has gone to protect her, the twists and turns of the story fade as the heartbreaking prose reduces a complex tale to the elemental.
If "Devotion..." ends up the final novel I finish in 2015, the year will end on a fiction high, making that part equivalent to last year; Celeste Ng's stunning debut "Everything I Never Told You" was my fiction finale in 2014. Still, this year was clearly superior to last even though I never got through a classic in 2015. Actually, considering my recent track record with novels from the canon, maybe part of the reason 2015 feels so much stronger is connected to skipping my cultural vegetables this past year.