Thursday, December 29, 2016

Books I Read in 2016

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read 125 books. According to my Goodreads page, I've read 118.  I usually keep a written list of books I've read, too, and there's 120 on that list. The discrepancy comes from a couple of books that I couldn't find listed on Goodreads.

I also set out to complete a reading challenge, that identified different genres of books; different topics; different periods... a way to ensure variety in my reading.

I failed miserably...

Probably because of netgalley. And also Celebrate Lit, which allowed me to get free advanced copies in exchange for an honest review...

Which became priority reading.

With that being said, here's the books I'd pick as my top books of 2016:
1. Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman
I was blessed to serve on the launch team for this book and it was amazing!  In our self-driven world, Ehman's message of spreading kindness hit spot on.  She gives thoughtful ideas for real-life application, as well as ways she has personally lived out this message, all in a scripturally-based background. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to start 2017 out in a kinder way!

2. The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer
This Bible study is one of the best I've ever completed. Based on the armor of God in Ephesians 6, Shirer draws out key points and writes in an engaging manner. I'd highly recommend you to kick off your new year with this study if you've not completed it yet!

3. Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
Genova is a true neuroscientist, and I have loved every book that I've read by her. Love Anthony was no exception. This book tells the story of a nonverbal autistic boy, written by a woman who is battling turmoil in her personal life. Oddly enough, the story she has written reflects an actual person, and his grieving mother finds comfort in the tale. Beautifully written, with well-developed characters, this book is a deep read that makes you think.

4. Giddy Up Eunice by Sophie Hudson
I loved this book. That's all. I laughed. I cried. I nodded emphatically and said, "Amen".  A must read for women questioning friendships.. those who have a good friend, or those who need a good friend, or those who think they don't need anyone. Sophie's your girl. (I served on the launch team for this book, as well, and was ecstatic!!!)

5. Me Before You
This book was made into a movie and I was given an ultimatum to read this book so Kami and I could watch the movie. I read it in three days, even though it deals with a heavy subject matter. Young girl, whimsical, her own personality, meets young boy, paralyzed and angry. She tries to show him his life is worth living... and learns that hers is, too. The elephant in the room is assisted suicide. It's definitely controversial, but this book makes you think while you're crying in your cereal bowl. And while the subject matter maybe isn't the best, the characters are delightful and they draw you in. The movie was good, too...
The sequel, After You, is on my long to read list for 2017...

6. Southern Heart Series (3) by Janet Ferguson
Leaving Oxford, Going Up South, and Tackling the Field are three delightful books. I became acquainted with this author through Celebrate Lit and became a true fan. There is a fourth book in the series that I have on my to read list in 2017. These are quick, easy reads, with well-developed characters, catchy story lines, and an underlying Scriptural foundation that is encouraging for the reader. I'd highly recommend!

7. Harry Potter Series (5)
I'm not sure how it took me so long to start this book series. but it's amazing. I'm currently on the fifth book, and have read them throughout the year. They are long... but good reads.

8. A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber
Macomber has always  been one of my favorite authors. Her books offer hope with just enough sadness to make them true to life. This book is no exception. In this story, a young lady and her mother-in-law find themselves unlikely partners as they both face the single life... together.... They weather the storm of becoming single, making sure kids have their needs met, and facing new love possibilities while seeing their own relationship as friends grow. A heartwarming read!

9. The Hannah Swensen mystery series
I discovered this series thanks to my sister's book club, and I have fallen in love. There are 20 or so books in the series, and I'm just on number 6 or 7. They are funny, easy to read, and if you aren't like me and like to bake... come with recipes! Remind me of Janet Evanovich's books, except they are clean and don't have bad language. Good for reading when you don't want to think!

10. The Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck
Who doesn't like reading about Christmas, and weddings, and royalty? This warm read by Hauck is all three! Part of her Royal Wedding series, we find ourselves in Brighton where American Avery is still in love with Prince Colin... but his father isn't so sure of the match. Throw in a historical legend and this whirlwind romance becomes fairytale material. Love all of Hauck's books!
It was hard to choose these books... I read a lot of really good books this year. Thoughtful, insightful, funny, heartwrenching... a wide variety even if I didn't meet that particular reading challenge. Here's to next year and happy reading!!!

(And if you're looking for suggestions, I'm linking up with Five Minute Fridays this week, where everyone is writing about what they read in 2016!  A book lovers dream linkup!! Check them out!!!)


  1. Lovely list, and I will jot down some of those titles and authors to check out! Your reading style sounds similar to mine! I DID not read as many books as you, but we did read through the Harry Potter series with our son. So we're the same that way! FMF Neighbor love, Jenn

  2. Good list and kudos on reading over 100 books!