The 8 books I gave 5 star ratings to in 2015

As of today, I have read 125 books in 2015. Almost all of them were rated 3 stars or above, simply because I have no qualms about abandoning anything that I don't like. It takes something special to rate 5 stars though. Here are the eight books that I ranked with 5 stars in 2015.

Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space -- an amazing biography that made me want to dust off my physics degree and launch myself into space.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 -- I listened to the audiobook with my kids, and it's just as good as it was when I was 8.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell -- I didn't think I would like this book, but ended up not being able to put it down. Being stuck in a snow storm in Cleveland with this book is one of my best memories of 2015.

Above All Things -- This was fiction told so vividly you felt like you were there. If you're a fan of Into Thin Air read this one.

On Writing -- I read this once a year. It remains a five star book. Don't just read this if you want to learn about writing. Read it to learn about life.

Destiny of the Republic -- Another great audiobook. I got a lot of extra ironing done when I was listening to this.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk -- The tips in this book really work. They should hand it out to every new kindergarten parent.

Doctor Sleep -- This was another book I put off reading. I finally took it on vacation with me, and couldn't put it down. This is the older brother to many of King's early hits. Just a bit more calm and rational, but still very, very good.

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Five Facts I Never Knew About the Wright Brothers

I started listening to the audiobook version of David McCullough's The Wright Brothers, and I'm hooked. It's the kind of audiobook that has you driving around aimlessly just so you can listen to it a little bit longer. I'm amazed that there is so much that I didn't know about these famous brothers. Here are my top five favorite new to me facts about the Wright Brothers:

  1. We think of them as geniuses, but at the time most people thought they were crazy.
  2. They lived in a tent while they built the first plane.
  3. They learned to fly from watching birds.
  4. They gave leftover plane material to a local to make dresses for her daughter.
  5. There was a Wright sister, and she was awesome.

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