It’s a new year. Whew! 2016 was rough for me and my family, but reading-wise, it was wonderful. Thank goodness for books! They save my sanity. I read 108 books last year. That’s down from 2015, but still nothing to spit at. My favorite genre is romance, so the majority of my books fell somewhere in that category. But I did branch out and read a few different genres, and some of those turned out to be my favorites. Here is a breakdown of how many books I read in each genre. At the end, I’ve listed my top picks and links to find them. There are a few FREEBIES, so grab them if you’re interested.
Nonfiction (1) – Writing Books (2) – Inspirational (3)
General Fiction (3) – MG/YA action/thriller (2) – Action/Thriller (3)
Mystery/Suspense (1) – Science Fiction (2) – Dystopian (1)
Classics (1) – Biblical Fiction (2)
Contemporary Romance (48) – Anthology Romance Sets (4)
Regency Romance (11) – Medieval Romance (1) – Historical Romance (12)
Paranormal Romance (8) – YA Romance (1) – Suspense Romance (1)
My Top Picks for 2016 (Nonfiction)
- Story Engineering—Brooks – Most helpful writing book I’ve read. Great author tool.
- Return and Succeed: 12 Powerful Habits for Success—Shallenberger – This gave me great tools to use for goal and vision setting. I found it very helpful.
- The Infinite Atonement—Callister – A beautiful work about Jesus Christ and all He has done for us. Very powerful!
My Favorite Reads for 2016 (Fiction)
- The Last Messenger of Zitol—Chelsea Dyreng – Perfect book. It’s witty, has awesome characters, but what I loved best was the virtue theme. Master author.
- The Bird and the Sword-Amy Harmon (1) – Fantasy romance. I thought I wouldn’t like it, but again, the theme of words and language in this one moved me to tears.
- From Sand and Ash-Amy Harmon (2) – 2nd one by Harmon. WWII story set in Italy, featuring a Jewish heroine and a Catholic priest. Weird combination, but Harmon made it work in the most heart-rending, thought provoking way.
- Walk of Infamy-Sheralyn Pratt (1) – This is 6th book in the Rhea Jensen series. I haven’t read the others, but it didn’t matter. I fell in love with her, and now want to read the other action-packed thrillers. This took me on the ride of my life.
- Pimpernel-Sheralyn Pratt (2) – This one picks up where Walk of Infamy left off, although I read it before and had no clue who the one character was in this book. Now I know and want to reread. Such a great twist on one of my favorite classic tales.
- Chasing Fireflies-Taylor Dean – Ah! What can I say about Taylor Dean books except they are sigh-worthy. This takes place in China. A shy girl is willing to search the ends of the earth for a man named Paul she was told she would marry by a Chinese matchmaker as a little girl. So many delicious twists in this one.
- Christopher and Jaime-Jennifer Peel (1) – This story was short, but it sucked me in from page one and held my heart hostage. If you want to read an almost perfect romance, this is it. It’s absolutely beautiful and tugs the hearts strings hard.
- King of the Friend Zone-Sheralyn Pratt (3) – 3rd book on my favorites by her. She’s amazing! This one has funny characters and a great plot. Every scene is so fun to read
- How to Get over your Ex in Ninety Days-Jennifer Peel (2) – This one is Peel’s latest. So hilarious. I meant to read slow, but no go. I inhaled it like turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving. It’s another witty, comical romance.
- If We Were a Movie-Kelly Oram (1) – This one had me laughing all the way through. Oram is hilarious. I would love to have lunch with her in real life. Her characters are a hoot, and this has the most awesome, unique love story.
- Legally Wedded—Jennifer Griffeth – Such a fun romance. I’ve read it a couple times this year and never tire of the chemistry between the characters.
- How I met Your Brother—Janette Rallison – Best beach romance ever. This one made me smile and laugh so hard. Super amazing.
- Rachel Laine-Jennifer Peel (3) – Love the heroine in this one. She’s a rock star (not a real one-just, you know…a ‘rock star’ as in awesome)
- His Personal Relationship Manager-Jennifer Peel (4) – This is another silly, yet heart-tugging romance that I absolutely enjoyed.
- Being Jamie Baker-Kelly Oram (2) – Yowza! This series is crazy amazing! Jamie Baker has supernatural abilities, which sounds weird…but she makes it awesome!
- Remember Jamie Baker-Kelly Oram (3) – ditto
- More than Jamie Baker-Kelly Oram (4) – ditto ditto.
- Four Chambers—Julie Wright – Great love story that spans a couple decades. The heroine is stubborn. and an up-and-coming heart surgeon (hence the play on the heart in the title).
- Chameleon-Kelly Oram (5) – Another thrilling paranormal romance. Oram is a master at writing these. AND THIS ONE IS FREE RIGHT NOW
- Mark of the Thief—Jennifer Nielsen – Middle grade or Young Adult book. I love this author. Her characters are determined and strong, though foiled constantly in their efforts to get what they want. Lots of action and drama.
- Between Hope & the Highway—ME! – I know, I know, this totally is self-promotion, but it’s my list, so I’m putting it on here. I read this countless times this year, so I know it better than any other book out there..and I really do love it.
- The Pursuit-Rebecca Belliston – concluding book in this spectacular Dystopian series. Lots of action, suspense, and downright frightening situations.
- The Spider and the Sparrow—A.L.Sowards – Great WWII story with spies. The characters are great, and there is more romance in this than some of her others.
- Discovering Sophie—Cindy Roland Anderson – Fun romp through the jungles of South America as this heroine tries to find her father, and finds love instead.
- Love at First Note-Jenny Proctor – Loved the musical setting of this one.
- The Heir of Brownlie Manor—Anita Stansfield – great Regency romance
- For Sale By Owner—Melanie Bateman – Another fun, comical romance where the heroine learns it’s not always fun to get what you want.
- Painting Rain—Annette Larsen – I adored the art that this story centered around.
- Bound by Duty—Stormy Smith – another paranormal free story that sucked me in like a Hoover vacuum.
- Emerald Bound—Teresa Richards – Unique twist on the Princess and the Pea Story.
There you have it. My favorite books of the year. I am thankful for the many talented authors who entertain me and help me relax from real life. If you’ve read some great ones, tell me in the comments so I can add them to my TBR list. I wish you a happy new year. May the force of reading be with you!