At the very beginning of the year, I wrote a couple of posts about the books I was planning on reading this year. A lot of y’all really loved the post and I got so many awesome suggestions for books to read via comments, emails, and Facebook, so I figured I should probably come back and give you guys a quick update about the books I loved the most this year.
If you want to go back and see what was on my list, you can see the fiction list here and the non-fiction list here. I didn’t read every book on these lists, but I did read a ton of books that weren’t on the lists. This year I’ve done a great job of getting back into reading more regularly, and I’ve been enjoying it so, so much. My goal was to read 24 books this year and I’m currently sitting at 34 and will probably finish at least two more before the year is over – mission accomplished!
So, here are my top 10 books from 2016 (along with a couple of honorable mentions down at the bottom) – most of them are actually older books, so don’t expect anything groundbreaking here, but they were all new to me!
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- Rose Madder – Stephen King Oh, I’m a sucker for basically anything written by Mr. King. He’s always been my favorite, and this book was no exception. I didn’t expect it to be as creepy as it was, but this was one that definitely freaked me out a time or two. I loved that it wasn’t as horror-heavy as many of his books are, but it still felt decidedly like a King novel. I absolutely loved it.
- What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty I had to wait for this book at the library for months before it was available, so I had high expectations. And y’all – it did not disappoint! I was hooked from the first chapter when I realized it’s about a 40-ish-year-old woman who hits her head at the gym and forgets the last ten years of her life. How’s that for a compelling plot line? This book was awesome.
- Wild – Cheryl Strayed This book has been on my to-read list for a very long time but I kept skipping over it in favor of other books. But, of course, when I watched Gilmore Girls I knew I had to read it immediately (no spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet, but the book makes a pretty significant appearance) and I am so glad I did. It was awesome, and now I’m dying to watch the movie too.
- Simply Tuesday – Emily P. Freeman This is a book that I fully intend to read over and over. I love reading Emily’s blog (she is The Nester‘s sister!) and this book spoke to my soul in a way I can’t even describe. In fact, I’m probably due for a re-reading right about now. This one meant so much to me that I bought a copy for a woman at church who I consider a mentor – and I feel like I could buy a copy of this one for everyone I know, it’s that good.
- 11/22/63 – Stephen King You guys! This book! So good! I read it shortly before the show came out on Hulu (which, by the way, was amazing) and I still can’t stop thinking about it. This was one of those books that I was thinking about constantly when I wasn’t reading it, and I stayed up way too late most nights because I couldn’t put it down.
- Love Does – Bob Goff Oh my gosh, I adored every word of this book. It’s kind of a collection of essays about love, giving, and taking giant leaps of faith and it was so motivating. This is another one that I could probably read a million times. It made me want to take more chances, love harder, and be the type of person who lives every second to the fullest. Read this one, y’all – you won’t regret it.
- Keeper of Lost Causes – Jussi Adler-Olsen I picked this book on a whim because the description sounded interesting and, holy cow, it was one of the most captivating books I’ve ever read. Apparently, it’s a part of a series (my library doesn’t have the other books – dangit!) and I’m eager to read the rest of them. It’s about a has-been cop who gets assigned to deal with cold cases that are basically impossible to solve – and how he solves one of them. It’s so, so good.
- Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson I love every word that comes from Jenny’s wonderful, hilarious fingertips and this book was no exception. I actually felt bad for Corey when I was reading it because I was shaking the entire bed every night because I was laughing so dang hard. Her first book is also amazing, and if you haven’t ever read her blog then you don’t even know what you’re missing out on and you must fix that right now. I recommend you start here.
- Me Before You – Jojo Moyes I fully expected to hate this book. I always tend to avoid things that the whole world is going crazy over (I don’t know why, but it seems to be a reflex) but curiosity got the best of me so I decided to give it a shot. I already knew the ending when I started reading the book, and I think that made the sad parts easier to swallow. I really, really enjoyed this book and I’m currently reading the sequel!
- We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver This book is haunting. I actually had to take a break for a while midway through reading it because it’s so incredibly intense. I came back and finished it, and it’s definitely NOT a feel-good book but goodness does it ever stick with you. I watched the movie after I finished the book, and it was a really well-done telling of the story (extremely haunting and creepy), but I think the book itself was far better.
Most nostalgic: Little House on the Prairie Series – Laura Ingalls Wilder Who doesn’t love the Little House books?! I absolutely adored these when I was a kid but I hadn’t read them since I was tiny so I wanted to re-live them. I’m almost done with the series and I’m enjoying it so much. It’s been a totally different experience reading it as an adult and it’s been a really humbling reminder that we don’t need all of the “stuff” – it’s so fun to read how excited they were just to get a couple of pieces of candy for Christmas!
Most impactful: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo I can’t do this list without including this book – after all, I wrote an entire series of posts about it and wrote a mini eBook about the method! I’ve always been really big on keeping our house decluttered, but this gave me some really great, actionable steps for getting my house in order and I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with it!
Guiltiest Pleasure: The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black This is obviously not a post geared towards fully-grown humans but I enjoyed it way more than I should have. I tend to be drawn to these kinds of fantasy young adult books (I know I’m not the only one!) and this one had such a fun storyline that I really enjoyed. I liked it enough that I’m going to check out some other books by this author, too!
And those are the best books I read this year! I’m getting ready to compile my “must-read” list for 2017, so I need some recommendations from you guys…what are the best books you read this year?!