Favorite Books of 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016
I am excited to share my favorite books of 2016 with you. These are the books I loved. These are the books I couldn't put down. These are the books I am still thinking about today. Let's get to them, in no particular order. (I should note, these are my favorite books I read this year. They were not necessarily published this year.)

Rebeccaby Daphne du Maurier 

I am still amazed I had never heard of this book before this year. Written in 1938, Rebecca is a psychological thriller about a young bride who cannot shake her husband's first wife. Sounds terrible. It's not, trust me. It's quite the psychological ride and its ending left me wanting more, in a really good way. (Think Jane Eyre, with a twist.)

The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny
Finding new-to-me authors I love is not easy, so I will be forever grateful I discovered Louise Penny this year. I discovered her first book in March and finished her twelfth book in October. Yes, I read all twelve books in eight months. To say I flew threw her books would be an understatement. All twelve books are part of a wonderfully and thoughtfully written literary murder mystery series, that is so much more about the characters and their human hearts and minds, than it is about the murders.I have fallen in love with Armand Gamache and the many quirky characters in this series (Think Gilmore Girls, set in Canada, surrounding the solving of murders.) and can't wait to return to Three Pines very, very soon. (*Some language)

Navigating Earlyby Clare Vanderpool
I don't often suggest reading a book's blurb. I feel they give too much away. In this case I say do, because I find myself completely unable to adequately summarize this book. I can only say it is a great adventure filled with so much heart and I found myself in tears at its end. That doesn't happen to me very often. (Actually aimed at middle school readers, my twelve year old son loved this one too.)

What Alice Forgotby Liane Moriarty 
This book is an emotional roller coaster. It is about a woman who wakes up, after a nasty fall, with no memory of the past ten years and with a life nothing like she imagined it would be. I really enjoyed this book and found myself completely rooting for Alice. It's a quick and simple read, yet provokes a lot of thought. (*Brief language)

I am incredibly glad I read this book. I would have never picked it up on my own, but after hearing a rave review about it from one of my favorite literary bloggers, Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs Darcy, I knew I had to read it. Anne describes this book best. "Wood explores themes of love, loss and identity through a quirky 11-year-old boy who loves making lists, a wily 104-year-old woman, an absentee father, a Boy Scout project, and the Guinness Book of World Records." It's like nothing I have ever read before. So good. (*Brief language)

The Nightingaleby Kristin Hannah 
I may change my mind an hour from now, but at the moment, this is my favorite on the list. This book is insightful, heartbreaking and beautiful. It will stay with me for a very long time. It is about the experiences of two sisters living in occupied France during World War II. There are a lot of WWII historical fiction novels out there. This one stands out amongst the many. Simply amazing.

I don't know how to summarize this book without giving too much away or how to describe this book in a way that will capture its essence. Everytime I try, I fail miserably. Goodreads says it well. It's "an unforgettable tale about transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love." I loved it. (*Brief language)

I devoured this biography. It is filled with so much heart. I couldn't help but root for "The Boys in the Boat", especially Joe Rantz, whom is at the center of this book and truly gives the book its heart. I learned a lot while reading, from rowing to Washington State history to the 1936 Olympics. This is not a book I would have picked up on my own. It was recommended to me, but I am so glad it was. It is one of the best works of non-fiction I have ever read. 

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3 comments:

  1. I've read most of the books on your list and loved them, I haven't read "A Boy in a Million" but I plan to.

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  2. "The Nightingale" is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read this year. I found myself wondering what I would have done if I had been in circumstances similar to the sisters. I highly recommend it as well. I also loved "The Boys in the Boat". I had to skip the movie version of "Unbroken" because I knew I would be haunted by the visual images of the treatment Louis suffered at the hands of his captors. But the book was deeply moving. I'm going to check out your other recommendations!

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  3. I don't think I could ever watch Unbroken either. The book was tough enough to get through. Thanks so much for your comment!

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