In 2016 I read 70 books. Most people I know think that’s a lot. But I have friends who routinely read over a hundred, even up to two hundred. That’s four books a week. Every week. All year long.
My goal is 100 books each year. I usually make it to 90. but in 2016 I fell short. I barely managed one a week. And that’s including my daily Bible and devotional book reading.
So even though I fell short in my goal, I still want to talk a bit about some of the best books I read in 2016.
I’m currently writing at Starbucks and I left the list of what I read at home, so if I can remember it without the list, that’s the sign it wasn’t just good, it was great! And has lingered with my long after I closed the last page.
So, in no particular order, my top ten books I read in 2016.
First up, I think it’s a coincidence that two of the best were audio books, but these two were truly memorable. And couldn’t be more different.
TIFFANY GIRL by Deanne Gist won the RITA in July in the Long Historical category and it is well deserved. I loved this book for how Gist could get a hero and heroine who who so different at the beginning of the story (different lives, different values, different families, different beliefs) and bring them together in a way that seemed completely natural and unforced.
THE FIVE STAGES OF FALLING IN LOVE by Rachel Higginson turned out to be a delightful and moving surprise. I had never heard of Higginson, but a trusted friend highly recommended this book and she was right. It’s about a young widow, raising her four kids alone. It begins about six months after her husband’s death. Since we lost a family member recently, I so related to the stages of grief the protagonist Liz traveled, as she fell in (and fought) new love. I laughed out loud and sobbed, sometimes at the same time, as I listened to this.
Two of my very favorite writers both deserve their mentions on this list.
WILD MONTANA SKIES is the kickoff book for Susan May Warren’s new Montana Rescue series, about a Search & Rescue group in … Montana, duh. This first book was gripping, tense, and full of surprises. It ended with a hint of mystery that will be resolved in upcoming books, but it didn’t feel like a deliberate you-have-to-buy-the-next-book-to-get-the-rest-of-the-story move. The story ended organically. Just not quite everything was resolved. As it is frequently not resolved in real life.
It’s been almost a year since I read Kristan Higgins’s ANYTHING FOR YOU, but I still remember the angst of both the hero and heroine as their relationship seemed determined to head in a direction neither wanted. She wanted to keep things light, but he kept pressing for more. He wanted a real relationship and a real life with her, but she kept refusing his proposals. Higgins is the best at humor, at tenderness, and at closing the bedroom door at the right moment.
That’s my first four, in no particular order. Come back tomorrow for more!