Book Recommendations For You!

Book Recommendations For You!


Like I mentioned in my last post, I read fifty-two books in 2016. I track these books on Goodreads, and it's a good thing; I wasn't sure I read many worth recommending, but then when I went back to see what all I had read, I struggled to choose just a few favorites.

So, well, I didn't choose.

Today I'm sharing almost twenty of the books I really enjoyed in 2016.

Don't mind me being all nerdy up in here.

[All links are affiliate links. If you take my recommendations - you should - and purchase one of these books, I get a few pennies as a referral fee from Amazon. Then, I will buy more books. It's just what I do.]




I love reading real-life stories of people who have unique histories and unique voices. This is probably one of my consistently favorite genres to read.

  1. The Sound of Gravel This memoir is written by a woman who grew up in a polygamist family and escaped the religion. It was captivating. I read all 350+ pages in one day.
  2. A Thousand Naked Strangers An EMT shares stories of his life on the ambulance and in the face of emergencies. Some of the stories are heart-wrenching while some are hilarious!
  3. Four Letter Words I actually know the author of this book personally. It is self-published, but Krista is a creative writer. She absolutely has a story - and every chapter of it can be summed up in a four-letter word: fear, pain, hope, love, etc.


Young Adult:

I have recently discovered a love of books written for teenagers! They are the perfect thing to smash between books that are heavy or full of self-help suggestions. My favorite YA books are usually a little sappy and a whole lot sweet. They also remind me why I am SO thankful to no longer be in high school...

  1. Tell Me Three Things A young girl moves to a new school where someone begins to anonymously email her with life advice and finally a budding friendship. Most of the book leaves you wondering who the anonymous person is!
  2. Emmy & Oliver Emmy and Oliver were neighbors and best friends until the day Oliver was kidnapped. He went missing for ten years. When he was found and returned home, so much had changed. It was intriguing to watch him acclimate back into his daily life and an unfamiliar friendship with his neighbor.



I got a little burnt out on parenting this year, as it was such a hard year for my family. Most of these books are not actually manuals for how-to, but rather books to inspire or, more likely, make you laugh!

  1. Dad Is Fat There is no one better to give parenting advice or share funny stories than the comedian, Jim Gaffigan. I listened to this as an audiobook. Chance listened to it and loved it too!
  2. My Practices of Mothering I wrote a full review of this short ebook back in April of last year. Sweet Sarah Bessey even took the time to comment on it! Read that post here, and then read her book! You cannot beat the price.
  3. Sparkly Green Earrings This was the first Melanie Shankle book I had ever read. Her reflections on mothering were sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. I remember having to apologize to a neighbor on an airplane while I was reading this one!



Historical Fiction:

I didn't read as much from this genre this year, but I plan to change that next year. I love, love, love a good story mixed with accurate historical details.

  1. The Kitchen House I got this one on audio and looked forward to riding in the car just to be able to listen to it. It tells the stories of the kitchen house from the perspectives of the slaves and indentured servants. It was so easy to fall in love with every one of the characters.




My mother jokes that she can't join Goodreads because then everyone will know how much fiction she actually reads. (Now that I've outed her, I'd say she can join.) I don't get my love of a story from any stranger.

I never write fiction, but I believe fiction is one of the biggest influences on my writing. I love the art of telling a good story. Because of this though, I'm also VERY hard on fiction authors. I did manage to find a few worth recommending this year!

  1. Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm, Career of Evil This is a three-book series written under J.K. Rowling's pseudonym. My brother and sister-in-law gifted me these books, knowing I had never read Harry Potter. They are big Potter fans and I think they were trying to trick me into reading his books next. This series follows Cormoran Strike and his secretary as private investigators. It was well-written and easy to read.
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Welp, my brother and sister-in-law got their wish, and I read the first of the Harry Potter books. I see what all the hype is about. It's so well thought-out. I hear the series only gets better. I'll be reading more this year! This ebook is free for Prime Members! Click my link to get to it.
  3. One-in-a-Million Boy If I had to pick (don't make me) just one book to recommend from 2016, it would be this one. A young, socially-delayed boy passes away shortly after beginning a boy scout project. His deadbeat dad steps in to finish the project – helping an elderly woman. The lessons this man learns from his deceased son and the woman he is serving are heart-warming.



Christian Non-Fiction:

I read a LOT of blogs and books in this genre. Again, like with fiction, I am pretty picky. These books though, should be on every woman's shelf. They would be great gifts for a girlfriend as well!

  1. Bread and Wine I had started a book by Shauna Niequest once, and I'm not even sure I finished it. I wasn't a fan. Courtney is a HUGE fan though and kept pressuring me to read Bread and Wine. When I finished Shauna's book of stories and recipes from gathering friends and family around the table, all I wanted to do was host dinner parties and cook risotto. So, well, I did. Such an inspiring read about community and sustenance.
  2. Wild in the Hollow Amber Haines' voice was so refreshing for this genre. She writes in a way that is almost poetic and tells her story with her experience and life lessons woven throughout.
  3. Women of the Word I take back what I said. If you're going to buy just ONE book from this list, let this be the one. I have mailed this book directly to a friend (love you, Amazon Prime) after we've discussed ways to study scripture. My church has used it for bible study. I have highlighted and quoted it. I have used it to outline the specific steps I use to study God's Word. Jen Wilkin is a phenomenal teacher of how to study the bible and how to understand God's word. EVERY woman needs to read this book.

You can see the entire list of books I read in 2016 by clicking here.

What did you read? Do you have any recommendations for my 2017 list? I need to fill it up with at least 75 titles!


Were my twenty suggestions not enough? Check out similar lists from my friends: Courtney, Kelly, Johanna, Beth, and Heather.

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