Book list season is the BEST kind of season. Has anyone else been devouring all these “best of 2016” lists?? I think the other day at work I had 3 open simultaneously. No shame.

I was already eyeing what I want to read next year, when Goodreads sent me a fun email of everything I’ve read this year! I’ll be honest, when it said I read 20 books it seemed far too small. Only 20?! I realize that’s a crazy amount to some; as an avid reader I felt like I was doing more reading than that…

Sidenote: some of my friends are trying out the 52 books in a year thing for 2017! Anyone ever done that? Seems daunting. Also seems tempting. Hmmm.

Here’s the best of what I read this year! (Along with a full list at the bottom) Any recommendations?? Let’s talk books *heart eyes emoji* 

Best Novels: (because SOME of my friends think I never read fiction…)

  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn I realize I’m a bit late to this band wagon, but OH MY GOSH. This book. Dang. A bit intense at parts, but some of the best characters & twists I’ve read in a long time. The movie, although well done, does not do it justice.
  • The Martian, Andy Weir  Again, late to this goodness. My brother went on and on about this book, and I was skeptical (I don’t do sci-fi). He literally had to buy me a copy and put it in my hands for me to give it a try. I think I read it in 3 days. Brilliant writing! Also great movie, also does not do it justice.
  • Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell Another shout out to my brother, I stole this book off his shelf when I was visiting (I mean… borrowed…). I was looking for a weekend read / plane read, but this book turned out to be SO MUCH more – a murder mystery set in London in the 1850s, it’s a skillfully unpacked case interspersed with amazing historical context and fun facts. It’s so well written and SO GOOD; I finished it last week, immediately got the next in the series from the library, already finished it, and now have the third book on hold (…I promise I do buy books. Sometimes.).

Best Memoirs:

  • Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham Okay, all you Gilmore Girl enthusiasts, gather round: you will love this. Anyone else? Probably not so much. Not only is Graham basically Lorelai Gilmore (so fun to see the similarities!) she goes through and watches all 7 seasons and comments on it. Possibly the best part. Overall, really entertaining to get a lot of back story and details about the original show and the revival (it makes you appreciate A Year in the Life more!) and gives you your Lorelai fill. Always needed.
  • capture2Finding God in the Waves, Mike McHargue This book is truly one of a kind. McHargue takes you on a journey of faith and science, loss and sacrifices, mourning and seeking. I can’t recommend it enough. Full review here!
  • Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton Oh. My. Gosh. That’s how I felt after finishing this book (in 36 hours) and promptly texted everyone I knew. The most brutally honest, brutally beautiful story you can imagine. There really are few words to describe it, as it’s on another level. Just…. go buy it. Go read it. Get back to me.

Best Poetry: (…..and the only one I read. Ha.)

  • No Matter the Wreckage, Sarah Kay I’ve mentioned before how I’ve been trying to read a poem every night before bed. Aka I only got through one book this year and then promptly forgot about my plan. Oops. ANYWAY, Sarah Kay is a magician. Her words are true magic, and I love her heart behind them. Pick up some of her work (or give it a listen!), you won’t be disappointed. P.S. Here’s one of my favorites being performed!

Books that Spoke to my Soul: (Dramatic? Maybe. True? Definitely)

  • Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey If you know me, it’s really no secret I’m the biggest fangirl when it comes to Bessey’s work. Whenever I blog about “one of my favorite authors talks about…”, there’s a 90% chance I’m referring to something she’s written that has forever stayed with me. This book was the best – an invitation to sit with a faith, and a self, that has shifted and twisted and now feels out of sorts. She does a beautiful job weaving truth and poetry into every sentence.
  • Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist Is there anything Niequist has written that we can get enough of?? I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve reread Cold Tangerines – but this is Niequist at. her. best. (Which is saying something!) Profound truths about slowing down, about re-evaluating life, and about centering. It’s a book everyone can relate to and everyone should read.
  • ALSO Love Warrior, as already discussed

Books I Literally Couldn’t Stop Talking About:

  • Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari It’s no secret I write a biiiiiit about dating and relationships. It’s also no secret I’m hands down obsessed with this book – I basically bring it up every other week. My friends have told me so. Ansari does an amazing job of weaving research, stories, and humor into this – and the result is fascinating. If you’re curious about our generation’s dating habits, studies on how we go about dating, or a look at how dating has changed over the past 50 years – this is it.
  • ALSO Out of Sorts and Love Warrior, already discussed

Full List:

What were your favorites of 2016?? What are you already eyeing for 2017?

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