Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Favorite Read of 2016

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2016 was a super good reading year for me. Like, my best year ever. All in all I read 75 books {though I'm in the middle of a few that I just couldn't finish in time}! It was a record breaker for me by nearly twenty titles.

This is completely due to attempting the Challies 2016 Reading Challenge with two awesome friends. The challenge itself really pushed me to read more broadly, and more hard books that I might not otherwise push through. Doing it with friends fueled my excitement and motivation. Those ladies carried me through!

So if you want to read a ton this year, I've got to tell you- pick a challenge, and get a few close friends to jump on board. I'm going to be working my way through the new Challies challenge this year again.

Because I read so much, I really had a nice selection to pick from when compiling this list. Lots and lots of the books I read were highly enjoyable, and might have made this list in years past. However, because I read so much I decided to only include titles that really jumped out at me as I reviewed the list. 6, 10, 12 months later these titles still have made a big impression on me. Here goes!



Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. Jerry Bridges passed away earlier last year, and so it seemed fitting to read the book he is most well known for. I've read several of his titles in the past, and he is a favorite of mine. Conversations with my husband on some of the points in this book actually inspired and affirmed us in our big cross country move. An eloquent, deep, and moving Scriptural study of the sovereignty of God in suffering.

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippets. Oh. My. Heart. I wept and wept through this autobiographical account of a young Christian mom dying of cancer. Kara's grace and strength and hope in God through her worst case scenario will convict you, bring you to your knees, and fill your heart with hope. Entrusting our very lives, and the lives of our children, to God is a real challenge. And it's crucial.

The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. I reviewed it in depth here- but this book gave me the biggest spiritual boost in my mothering. Raising our children is HARD WORK... and sometimes it can feel impossible to persevere in faithfully training them. This will just fill your heart with joyful inspiration.

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. Of course I've loved Anne of Green Gables for years and years, but I'd never read Emily and really felt the need to remedy that. I just loved this book- it was pure, easy reading bliss. I'm planning to read the other two books in the trilogy this year.

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. This gothic thriller classic is un-put-downable. Of course I had to watch the Alfred Hitchcock movie version afterwards, and it did not disappoint. If you love classics and haven't read this one yet, what are you waiting for?!?

Christ in the Chaos by Kimm Crandall. For the broken, sinful mom {hint: all of us}. This true and simple testament of our failure and Christ's incomprehensible grace is undoing me in all kinds of ways. Bonus that it is very short, so even if you don't read an outrageous amount, you can tackle this one. Please do!

A few honorable mentions: The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace and Stuart Scott, The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease... and I guess there are even more I could mention, because it was seriously the best reading year ever. These honorable mentions are titles I thoroughly enjoyed, but maybe aren't as memorable the more time passes since reading them. Though they each have memorable moments, for sure!

Tell me all about the best books you read this year. I'm anxiously adding titles to my TBR list as I prep for this year's challenge!

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