Wednesday, February 1, 2017

10 Best Reads of 2016

Each year I sit down and review the books I have read in the previous months. It's always been such an interesting process to see how the mixture of genres and topics of books changes with seasons in weather and also seasons of our life. I always have a hard time narrowing down my top 10 (sometimes 15) of the year!

I read 33 books in 2016. If you compare it to 2015 that is a significant amount less than the past.. yet to me it is progress! My goal for the year was to take it slow, soak up my books more and enjoy them longer. I absolutely love reading and will cruise through a book because I can't wait to get to the next chapter, learn something new, see what happens, etc.



I hope you find some good reads in this list and enjoy browsing the titles and adding them to your collection of must reads! I would love to hear-- what was your favorite read last year?

How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie
Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. I found so much amazing information in this book and it is one to keep on your bookshelf to return to every so often. 



His Needs Her Needs
William F. Harley, Jr. 
The needs of women and men are similar. But according to Dr. Harley, their priorities are vastly different. Are you able to identify which of the following needs are his and which are hers? Out of the ten marital needs listed here, which are most important to you? In your opinion, which five are most important to your spouse? I loved this marriage book, I always aim to read a few each year. 



The Bronte Plot
Katherine Reay
Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.... I have read each of Katherine's novels and have LOVED every single one. This one didn't disappoint at all!




A Duty to the Dead
Charles Todd
World War I nurse Bess Crawford, in A Duty to the Dead. A gripping tale of perilous obligations and dark family secrets in the shadows of a nightmarish time of global conflict, A Duty to the Dead is rich in suspense, surprise, and the impeccable period atmosphere that has become a Charles Todd trademark. If you love mystery, suspense-- you will love this series! I read quite a few in this series this past year and have loved each one! 



The Lake House
Kate Morton 
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. He is never found, and the family is torn apart, the house abandoned. Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as a novelist. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old Edevane estate—now crumbling and covered with vines. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever. A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies from a masterful storyteller, The Lake House is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read. Such a fun read!!! 


The Painter's Daughter
Julie Klassen 
Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It's where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she's beautiful. Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother's neglected duties. Home on leave, he's sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter's daughter. He's startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him--one of Wesley's discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse. Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she'll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family. Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family's estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows? This one is definitely a re-read on my list! 



Strong and Kind
Korie Robertson
Many parents want to see positive character traits in their children but wonder how to instill them. As stars of the hit reality-TV show Duck Dynasty, Korie and Willie Robertson receive loads of letters and messages from fans asking how they’ve raised such good kids. As they will tell you, “it isn’t always easy, but raising kids with good character is possible.” A straightforward, practical approach to parenting, Strong and Kind helps you identify the character traits you want to see in your children and gives you the tools for putting them in place. Besides strength and kindness other character traits include: Self-Control, Honesty, Compassion, Patience, Joyfulness, Loyalty, Humility & more. By modeling positive traits, with confidence, consistency, creativity, unity, and in truth and love, you can increase the chances of your kids catching on. At the end of the day, the Duck Dynasty stars say the most important thing you can do for your children is what they do at the end of every episode: hand them over to God in prayer. This is a beautiful parenting book that helps you cast a vision for your parenting and your kiddos! 



Raising Grateful Kids
Kristen Welch
"But everyone else has it." "If you loved me, you'd get it for me!" When you hear these comments from your kids, it can be tough not to cave. You love your children--don't you want them to be happy and to fit in? Kristen Welch knows firsthand it's not that easy. In fact, she's found out that when you say yes too often, it's not only hard on your peace of mind and your wallet--it actually puts your kids at long-term risk. In Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen shares the ups and downs in her own family's journey of discovering why it's healthiest not to give their kids everything. Teaching them the difference between "want" and "need" is the first step in the right direction. With many practical tips and anecdotes, she shares how to say the ultimate yes as a family by bringing up faith-filled kids who will love God, serve others, and grow into hardworking, fulfilled, and successful adults. It's never too late to raise grateful kids. Get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine appreciation and create a Jesus-centered home in which your kids don't just say--but mean!--"thank you" for everything they have. Put this one on your list friends-- it has so many valuable tips, honest stories and encouragement for parents of all ages! 



The Magnolia Story 
Chip and Joanna Gaines 
The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today. They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day... This was such an inspiring look into a beautiful marriage, family and small business life of two influential people! 



Grace not Perfection 
Emily Ley 
Grace, Not Perfection takes this message from a daily planner to an inspirational book that encourages women to simplify and prioritize. Designed with Emily Ley’s signature aesthetic, this book gives women tangible ways to simplify their lives to give space to what matters most. With a focus on faith, Emily reminds readers that God abundantly pours out grace on us—and that surely we can extend grace to ourselves. Have you been told you can have it all, only to end up exhausted and occasionally out of sorts with the people you love? Are you ready for a new way of seeing your time? Learn to live a little more simply. Hold yourself and those you love to a more life-giving standard in Grace Not Perfection,and allow that grace to seep into your days, your family, and your heart. This book gave practical tips for list making, simplifying your life, strategies to center your day and more! 

Honorable Mentions 

OOLA Dave Braun & Tony Amdahl
The Mountain Midwife Laurie Alice Eakes
A House Divided Robert Whitlow



7 comments:

  1. Love this list! Just added two of them to my reading list 💗 Raising grateful kids in an entitled world and grace not perfection.

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  2. These are some great suggestions. I am saving your post so I can refer to it this year as I choose 2017 reads!!

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  3. Thanks for these reviews! How do you pick what books you want to read?

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  4. I'm trying to improve my reading list this year. A Magnolia Story is definitely on it! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I'm a huge reader, but I missed all of these. I guess we have different taste or are plugged into different book outlets. I put a couple of these on my TBR list. My best reading experience last year was reading the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante. It's the story of a frenemyship between 2 girls spanning their whole lives.

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  6. Raising Grateful Kids looks like a really good one! I'm going to have to add that to my Amazon wishlist for when I'm ready for a new book!

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  7. These look like some good reads. I'd really like to start reading again. With kids it's so much harder to make time.

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