13 Books You Should Have Read in 2015
Now that it’s finally the holiday season, we have the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book (or two, or five). Sunset comes early each day, the chill factor plummets and work/school slides into neutral at the end of the year, so there’s no better time to catch up on everything we’ve missed these past few months. 2015 was packed with some amazing reads, so we’ve pulled together some of the best and brightest books to make cozy winter nights a little warmer and holiday travel a little more bearable.
1. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling ($15): Anyone who read Mindy’s first memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns, knows what a gifted humorist she is on the page. This time around, she’s dishing on her experiences in Hollywood in the same sharp, witty way we’ve come to expect of her. This is the perfect year-end read, full of wry commentary on blazing an honest trail in a superficial world.
2. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari ($17): For the past few years, a lot of us have thought Aziz Ansari and Parks and Recreation‘s Tom Haverford were one and the same, but oh, how they’re not. Filled with earnest observations on love in the technological age, Aziz’s book hits home just as much as his new Netflix hit, Master of None.
3. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed ($10): This book of quotations from the author of Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things and the famed “Dear Sugar” advice column at The Rumpus is chock full of smart, no-BS insights on how to get through life with confidence and self-love. It also happens to double as the perfect holiday gift for someone you care about.
4. M Train by Patti Smith ($14): Patti’s last book, Just Kids, was an achingly beautiful look back at her bohemian life in 1970s New York, and her latest work gives us more of her dreamy, musical musings on life, love, art and everything in between. With her typical laid-back vulnerability, she’s as effortlessly cool as ever.
5. Beatlebone by Kevin Barry ($17): This inventive historical novel takes the reader on an imagined trip to Ireland with a thirtysomething John Lennon, hoping to escape the vice grip of a creative rut and the boredom of his home life in the US. As you might expect, his excursion quickly turns into a magical mystery tour all its own.
6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir ($19): This fast-paced novel stands out from the slew of post-apocalytic stories that are currently dominating the YA genre. It takes place in ancient Rome and is reminiscent of Gladiator. We’re counting down the days until book two.
7. If the Oceans Were Ink by Carla Power ($12): A National Book Award finalist for nonfiction, If the Oceans Were Ink was penned by a journalist who grew up in both the Midwest and the Middle East, giving her a unique perspective on how world religions intercept and diverge. Enjoy a front-row seat at lively and sometimes even funny conversations between the author and her friend, all of which shed light on the often-misunderstood teachings of the Quran.
8. Refund: Stories by Karen Bender ($11): This National Book Award finalist explores the issue of money through a collection of short stories about people who have it and people who don’t. It’s a highly relatable series of tales for those of us who worry about these things, which is to say, pretty much all of us at some point or another.
9. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates ($14): The National Book Award honoree for nonfiction was the most talked-about book of the year, and for good reason: It opened a broad, much-needed dialogue about race in present-day America. Authored by one of the most talented culture writers of the 21st century, it’s a heavy read, but a brilliant and beautiful one too.
10. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman ($11): This acclaimed YA novel snagged a National Book Award for its thoughtful look at mental illness through the story of a brilliant high schooler who travels on a ship to the deepest point on earth. You could say it’s wise beyond its years.
11. The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector ($29): To read one of Clarice’s stories is to fall in love with words. She’s brilliant, creative and gives voices to characters who might not cross your mind. Dive into this collection of her best stories and don’t expect to come out of your cozy reading session until you’ve reached the last page.
12. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson ($8): Fans of graphic novels won’t be disappointed by this YA finalist among 2015’s National Book Award honorees. Irreverent and epic, it’s literally and figuratively a colorful and imaginative year-end read.
13. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: ($): This dark and gritty heist YA novel has definite parallels to Ocean’s 11. With a fantastic plot that’s full of intrigue and mystery, Leigh Bardugo doesn’t disappoint.
What books are you curling up with before 2016 comes? Tweet us @britandco!
The idea of home took on a whole new meaning as soon as sheltering in place and lockdowns became a regular thing in 2020. And it wasn't all bad. We got back to cooking at home, bonding with our partners/families/housemates and pets, and we did a bit of redecorating. In fact, home decor and furniture sites saw huge growth (more than a billion global visits in March 2020 alone) as a result of the pandemic.
The New Hygge<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTE4NDU0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDc3NzY4NH0.b5mMkAr53ylATx1FegOBQ82rORssRzwzb5mnDnh9v2I/img.jpg?width=980" id="018a4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="83ebde83c7fe24dc26f3daaa7b1af7b2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1100" data-height="1650" /><p>"2021 will be about creating connections to each other, to ourselves, to nature," says Etsy's trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson. "We're embracing <em>friluftsliv</em>, the Norweigan concept of getting outdoors – think of it as the new hygge." That means turning your home into a nature haven, with <a href="https://www.brit.co/easy-to-care-for-indoor-plants/" target="_blank">indoor plants</a> that clear the air, provide peace of mind, and hint to the great outdoors, especially giving us a boost during grey winter days.</p>
Spaces Reimagined<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTE4NzkxNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODU5Mjc5Nn0.WgkbktVSlXqGCnNT2UhoIliWO5XiIcre48caYgoPK1Y/img.jpg?width=980" id="76852" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ca514cb2b31357e78a497bda001dcb12" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="3200" data-height="4800" /><p>"We added workspaces to our living rooms, classrooms into our kitchens, and gyms to our bedrooms," says Isom Johnson.This year, she says we're reimagining our homes and incorporate pieces that help restore balance to our multi-functional spaces. (On Etsy, there has been a 399 percent increase in searches for wall or foldable desks, a 159 percent increase in searches for Murphy beds, and a 134 percent increase in searches for room dividers.)</p><p>"Halls and entrances now have a new function: sanitize ourselves before entering the rest of the house, plus a place to store loose items we don't want to bring into our clean areas," says Alexa Backal, head of design for <a href="https://casai.com/en?currency=USD" target="_blank">Casai</a>, a boutique travel rental company, which brings us to a new Covid-era of design.<br></p><p><br></p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>SHOP FOR THE HOME</strong></p>
Grandmillennial<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTE4OTc1NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTQwMTY5Nn0.nZqEgs6NFRmJrw9e-dos53XWsY423940LmI9iMSxV6A/img.jpg?width=980" id="9fa52" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a65d79167844cfcb8385749390e443f2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1920" data-height="1440" /><p>From cottage-core to crochet to neoclassical design, millennials are feeling nostalgia for (and coveting) their granny's decor in what some are calling <em>Grandmillennial</em> style. "I think Grandmillennials and sustainability actually go hand in hand. This trend is all about younger generations who love design and decor that we might culturally view as "old lady" or grandma-ish," says Alessandra Wood, VP of Style at online interior design service <a href="http://modsy.com/" target="_blank">Modsy</a>. That means ruffles, Victorian wallpaper like William Morris prints and antiques, anything you'll find at a flea market or your grandma's garage!</p>
Art Deco<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTE4MDc1NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjQ3NjMwM30.RvCyBBpv0YcYWCM-6Zwr3tPOEAG7QHTdSz3UzhgimSg/img.jpg?width=980" id="31b79" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0ad097073d69d3108491bb37d1a39c80" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="5087" data-height="3634" />
Photo: Marius Chira<p>"Art deco is here to stay in 2021," says <a href="https://nylonconsulting-dot-yamm-track.appspot.com/Redirect?ukey=13SlMtNZ76DV52bZyncUCPPsHCtfpzs3A1r9yZk0xJSo-831740962&key=YAMMID-22079569&link=https%3A%2F%2Falexanderdohertydesign.com%2F" target="_blank">Alexander Doherty</a>, interior designer based in NYC and Paris. "Art deco design works very well in contemporary decors because of its sleek minimalism and the quality that comes from the pureness of lines. It is the mixture of what is old and new that gives a space character." After all, it is the roaring '20s!<br></p>
Joyful Botanicals<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTE4MTAxNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NzkxMTg1N30.p669TTpFJHTRZqoemHVmQKRjW2s2VAfjHgWXmARn7JM/img.jpg?width=980" id="b257d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="34ccde6398e515c833739e0b86c8cf37" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="2400" data-height="2833" /><h1></h1><p>Get ready to embrace blooms in winter and beyond. Botanical walls, bedding, upholstery and more are making a big comeback. Barbara Karpf, founder and president of DecoratorsBest, says wallpaper like this <a href="https://www.decoratorsbest.com/products/york-garden-party-mural-ri5190m-wallpaper" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">York Garden Party Mural</a> ($128) are an affordable way to add drama to your home. "Murals are art in their own right. They cover the wall and provide unique art at the same time," she says.</p>
Flexible Design<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTE4MTI1NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjEwMTY0Mn0.8FFkw5ekcndjbALUND8nW-vcKMqjjAFMJcjtFu4WVVk/img.jpg?width=980" id="2a5e4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1cc77c1b0fcce3a4f67d32cbaf8d158b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="3000" data-height="4500" />
Photo: George Ross<p>"I am seeing a lot of enclosed kitchen spaces as opposed to large family room/ kitchen areas that are open to the rest of the home," says CEO and cabinet designer <a href="https://nylonconsulting-dot-yamm-track.appspot.com/Redirect?ukey=13SlMtNZ76DV52bZyncUCPPsHCtfpzs3A1r9yZk0xJSo-831740962&key=YAMMID-22079569&link=https%3A%2F%2Fpeacockhome.com%2F" target="_blank">Christopher Peacock</a>. But within the closed kitchens are more open plans and less built-in cabinetry. "An eclectic organic feel of mixed textures and materials is very welcoming and bistro like, and this is certainly popular," says Peacock.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>SHOP FOR THE HOME</strong></p>