Perhaps 2015 will be remembered — at least in the book world — as a year of nostalgia. The publication of Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” sent readers back to their junior high editions of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” leaving many to yearn for the earlier, more upstanding Atticus Finch. Others reached for their crayon boxes and pencil cases to take up an activity once relegated to preschool: Adult coloring books filled bestseller lists and book store shelves, luring budding artists with the promise of calm. (Ironically, one of the best-selling children’s books of the year is “The Day the Crayons Quit,” by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers.) There were blockbusters from EL James, a new mystery from J.K. Rowling (writing under a pseudonym) and a cascade of memoirs from candidates, female rockers and a Japanese neatnik who convinced us that we’d all be happier if we tidied up.
Here are a few other events that made 2015 a memorable one in books:
Jan. 2 — Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg pledges to read a book every two weeks in 2015, and launches a Facebook page (of course) called “A Year of Books.” Picks include “The End of Power,” by Moisés Naím, and “On Immunity,” by Eula Biss; by mid-November the page has garnered some 500,000 likes.
Jan. 16 — Christian publisher Tyndale House announces that it will stop publishing “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” after co-author Alex Malarkey insists publicly that he did not go to or come back from heaven.
Jan. 19 — For the first time in the history of the National Book Critics Circle Awards, a single book is named a finalist in two categories: Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen” is a nominee in both Poetry and Criticism. (In March, it wins the Poetry prize).
Feb. 1. — Borderlands Books in San Francisco announces that the city’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018 will force it to close, but within weeks customers rally to save the store.
Feb. 2 — Kwame Alexander wins the Newbery Medal for “The Crossover,” his novel in verse.
March 12 – Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison receives the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle.
April 13 — German writer Günter Grass, the author of the classic novel “The Tin Drum” and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature, dies. He was 87.
April 20 — Anthony Doerr receives the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel “All the Light We Cannot See.”
March 27 — “Strangers Have the Best Candy,” by Margaret Meps Schulte, wins the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. The self-published title beat out Diana Rajchel’s “Divorcing a Real Witch: For Pagans and the People Who Used to Love Them.”
May 2 — Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, the best-selling author of thrillers and mysteries, dies at 85.
May 5 — PEN American Center presents its annual Freedom of Expression Courage award to the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, over the objections of numerous writers, including Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje and Joyce Carol Oates.
June 10 — Juan Felipe Herrera is named U.S. Poet Laureate, the first Mexican American to hold the position.
June 18 — EL James, whose “Fifty Shades of Grey” series was a smash bestseller, releases a new installment, “Grey,” narrated from Christian Grey’s perspective. The book sells more than 1 million copies in its first few days.
July 7 — The Man Booker International Prize becomes an annual honor for the best work of translated fiction. The redesigned prize, which will first be awarded next year, comes with a check equivalent to about $76,000, split equally between author and translator.
July 14 — Harper Lee releases “Go Set a Watchman,” an early version of — or a sequel to — her classic novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” While HarperCollins reports that the novel is the fastest-selling book in its history, Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Mich., offers customers refunds, claiming, “It is disappointing and frankly shameful to see our noble industry parade and celebrate this as ‘Harper Lee’s New Novel.’ ”
July 24 — Copper Canyon Press announces that it will publish a new collection of recently discovered poems by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.
Aug. 12 — “The Girl on the Train,” a thriller by British writer Paula Hawkins, passes 3 million copies sold.
Sept. 1 — David Lagercrantz publishes “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” billed as a sequel to the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. But Larsson’s partner, Eva Gabrielsson, condemns the novel and calls Lagercrantz an “idiotic choice” for the job of continuing Larsson’s popular series.
Sept. 5 — Louise Erdrich, whose novels include the National Book Award-winning “Round House,” receives the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.
Sept. 13 — Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “All the Light We Cannot See” passes 52 weeks on The Washington Post bestseller list.
Sept. 14: President Obama interviews one of his favorite authors, Marilynne Robinson, in a two-part conversation that appears in the New York Review of Books. “Some listeners may not have read your work before, which is good,” the president says, “because hopefully they’ll go out and buy your books after this.”
Sept. 19 — Jackie Collins, whose racy novels set in Hollywood were bestsellers, dies. She was 77.
Sept. 19 — C.K. Williams, an American poet who received the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, dies at 78.
Sept. 30 — Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987, retires.
Oct. 2 — Busboys and Poets, a Washington bookstore chain and restaurant, celebrates its 10-year anniversary at a gala that includes writers Alice Walker and Angela Davis.
Oct. 5 — Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, best known for his Inspector Kurt Wallander mysteries, dies. He was 67.
Oct. 8 — Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, best known for her oral history “Voices From Chernobyl,” wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
October 13 — Garth Risk Hallberg publishes his first novel, “City on Fire,” for which Knopf reportedly paid close to $2 million.
Oct. 13 — Jamaican writer Marlon James wins the Man Booker Prize for his novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings.”
Nov. 3 — The Internet retailer Amazon.com opens its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Nov. 13 – About 20 customers take shelter overnight in the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris amid the terrorist attacks. A woman inside the shop writes to the Guardian newspaper: “We are safe in a bookshop, with the windows blacked out.”
Nov. 18: Don DeLillo and James Patterson accept lifetime achievement awards from the National Book Foundation.