Reading Year in Review (2016)

dsc04045It’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)

  1. Story Engineering—Brooks – Most helpful writing book I’ve read. Great author tool.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)

  1. thelastmessengerofzitolThe Last Messenger of Zitol—Chelsea DyrengPerfect book. It’s witty, has awesome characters, but what I loved best was the virtue theme. Master author.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 51a1eg84p6lChasing 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 51tfo1uacnlIf 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.
  11. 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.
  12. How I met Your Brother—Janette Rallison – Best beach romance ever. This one made me smile and laugh so hard. Super amazing.
  13. 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)
  14. His Personal Relationship Manager-Jennifer Peel (4) – This is another silly, yet heart-tugging romance that I absolutely enjoyed.
  15. 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!
  16. Remember Jamie Baker-Kelly Oram (3) – ditto
  17. More than Jamie Baker-Kelly Oram (4) – ditto ditto.
  18. 51135fztndl-_sx331_bo1204203200_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).
  19. Chameleon-Kelly Oram (5) – Another thrilling paranormal romance. Oram is a master at writing these. AND THIS ONE IS FREE RIGHT NOW
  20. 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.
  21. teaser2Between 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.
  22. The Pursuit-Rebecca Belliston – concluding book in this spectacular Dystopian series. Lots of action, suspense, and downright frightening situations.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Love at First Note-Jenny Proctor – Loved the musical setting of this one.
  26. The Heir of Brownlie Manor—Anita Stansfield – great Regency romance
  27. 51tegemufel-_sx331_bo1204203200_For Sale By Owner—Melanie Bateman – Another fun, comical romance where the heroine learns it’s not always fun to get what you want.
  28. Painting Rain—Annette Larsen – I adored the art that this story centered around.
  29. Bound by Duty—Stormy Smith – another paranormal free story that sucked me in like a Hoover vacuum.
  30. 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!


15 thoughts on “Reading Year in Review (2016)

  1. That is an impressive list, Charissa! That’s why you’re such a good writer–because you read a lot! It really does make a difference. Sometimes when I’m stuck, I read a book and feel inspired again. And I’m THRILLED to have made your list of 2016 faves! Thank you!

    • Yes, as soon as I beta-read Chasing Fireflies for you, I knew it would be in my Top Ten. It’s one of those stories I love to reread. The characters grow on me more and more.

    • Yours was too. Bad blood was my only jump into the murder mystery genre this year, and I really liked it. Sadly, my preference for romance shows in my favorites. (I think all of them are romance–hee hee). But I’m willing to read any murder mystery you write because I love your writing style (others–not so much). So keep up the good work. I’m so happy that your Thorns series has done so well. I love those characters. What’s up next for you?

      • I’m doing a stand alone novel right now. Mainstream fiction, set in the late sixties in the beginning. It’s a three-part story that begins with a romance and then follows the lives of people who that romance affects. I’m loving writing it. The characters are constantly floating around in my head.

  2. Here’s hoping your 2017 is much less eventful and easier for both you and your family. Can’t believe you read that many books with everything. So great. I agree that doing that much reading makes you a great author. Honored to be included in your list!!! I’ve also added others to my TBR pile–which grows faster than I can seem to keep up. Happy New Year to you! Happy writing and reading. 🙂

    • I hear you about overwhelming TBR lists. Mine only gets bigger than I can keep up with, but I love having it so I can decide at times when I’m between books and can’t think what to read. Hope your son is still going strong. We’re starting chemo and radiation soon with my father-in-law. He just had brain surgery to remove a bad tumor and now he’ll be doing treatments the rest of his life since there isn’t a cure. Thankfully, his attitude is good. That’s half the battle.

  3. What an amazing list! Thank you…I need to print and add to mine. I love that you kept track of how and what you read. Me? I have no idea what my book tally would be–I tend to be reading several at a time.
    I loved LOVED Hope and the Highway–more where this came from, please!
    I am sure you are happy to have 2016 behind with 2017 full of new adventures, hope and good health. Keep on truckin’ sister…you inspire me 🙂

    • Before 2008, I never knew how many books I read either. My friends kept telling me to get on Goodreads to keep track and when I finally did, I have loved it. I can make shelves to track my books any way I want (I just do it by year, but you can do genre or author or whatever). And then if you want to add FRiends, you can. It’s like FAcebook except for books. You see what your friends are reading; they see what you are. YOu can get lots of friends, or be choosy and only get friends who have similar likes in books, etc. Anyway…thanks for your support and friendship. YOu always bring a smile to my face.

  4. Wow – that’s a great list! I don’t keep track on Goodreads enough and will have to start doing that. Maybe that will force me into sticking with the resolution of reading more. Happy new year and happy reading!

    • Happy new year to you too. May you have fun reading this year…and writing…and walking the beach (I’m jealous that I can’t make that a goal of mine).

  5. Wow, amazing to read that many with everything else you have going on. I always think I must be a very slow reader when I see things like this. Well I know I don’t allocate enough time for reading anyway, but when I am reading it takes me ages to get through a book. I find I can’t read for long stretches at a time either, my attention span wanders. Maybe it’s practice though, if I read more I’d get faster and able to keep at it longer! Anyway good to see your list there. Wishing you a more peaceful 2017, with lots more reading!

    • I’ll admit that I skim books quickly. That’s why I reread. When I really like a book, I’ll wait a few months and then read it slower to savor. And I’m super slow at nonfiction–probably because I have to read each word and try to understand, whereas a fluffy romance I can skim and enjoy because I can predict what’s going to happen. Thanks for the well-wishes. I hope your 2017 is great as well.

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