2016 book list

this year's books, with favorites marked with an asterisk (or two):

*The Telling, Jo Baker
Little Woman in Blue, Jeannine Atkins
Miss Emily, Nuala O'Connor
Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling
Silver Bay, Jojo Moyes
After You, Jojo Moyes
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed
*A Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks
Caleb's Crossing, Geraldine Brooks
Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
The Pecan Man, Cassie Dandridge Selleck
Sheepish, Catherine Friend
An Everlasting Meal, Tamar Adler
Breathing Room, Lauren Rosenfeld & Melva Green
Longbourne, Jo Baker
The Railwayman's Wife, Ashley Hay
Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng
The Bookstore, Deborah Meyler
The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin
Confinement, Carrie Brown
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane
Hector and the Search for Happiness, Francois Lelord
The Orchard House, Tara Austen Weaver
**To the Bright Edge of the World, Eowyn Ivey
Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, Agnes Martin-Lugand
The Other Side of the World, Stephanie Bishop
*The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
Worldchanging 101, David LaMotte
**The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
Results May Vary, Bethany Chase
With Love from the Inside, Angela Pisel
Sweetgirl, Travis Mulhauser
*The Girl you Left Behind, Jojo Moyes

read aloud with Claire:

The Secret Garden
The Penderwicks
The Birchbark House
Game of Silence (Birchbark book two)
The Little Prince
Anne of Green Gables

I've got a soft spot for historical fiction and imagine I always will, and I seem often to unknowingly (usually unknowingly) choose really tragic books.  Which is alright, but sometimes pretty intense what with all of those feelings.  I was thrilled to get my hands on Eowyn Ivey's new book (she wrote The Snow Child, which is one of my all time favorites), and I loved it- for me, it was the perfect blend of historical fiction, magical realism, and gorgeous scenery that I was easily able to picture in my mind thanks to her beautifully descriptive writing.  I hope she writes many more books very soon.

here are the book lists for 20132014, and 2015.

cheers and happy reading! (and do please tell me about your own favorites- I'm always looking for a good book to add to the list)


  1. Loved your Christmas posts --- just so you know!

    Thanks for the book post as well. I always love a good blog post about books and often choose books from these posts. I read the Snow Child a few years ago and didn't realize there was a new book by its author. Definitely going to read that one as soon as I can get a copy from the library.

    A few suggestions from my neck of the woods.....

    Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith (An older book that I read for the first time this summer. Loved it.)

    A Man Called Ove (A new book that I'm currently reading).

    I also love reading aloud to my boys. Recently we read "A Long Walk to Water" by Linda Sue Park. Really good book. I'm also planning on reading my boys "The Star of Kazan" this year. I've heard great things about it.

    1. thanks, Maggie!

      I keep this list going as a draft all year long and so love finally getting it together and putting it out there and then hearing people's recommendations as well! I've heard a few people say they found Eowyn Ivey's new book to be slow going at first, and it took me a good several chapters to get really into it, but I found it to be so worth it. I guess I kind of feel like she can't let me down after The Snow Child ;)

      thanks for the recommendations- I'm writing them all down. And several people have mentioned A Man Called Ove, so that one will be high on the list!

    2. Man Called Ove is also on my list!

    3. I'm waiting for it from the library now! (could be a bit of a wait, I think)

  2. You and Claire need to read Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer!!! Max loved it!

  3. I love seeing your list! You are a prolific reader! You and Claire might like the How to Train Your Dragon books (which are also awesome on audio). All my kids love them, and bonus for great vocab in short chapter books. My favorite books this past year are the Poldark series. Turned onto them from the Masterpiece series, but the books are great historical fiction. Written in the 40s and 50s - Poldark is the first book. Also loved A Man Called Ove and Jane Steele (so fun). I cannot usually read tragic books (too hard on my soul), but I am reading The Underground Railroad and enjoying(?)/appreciating it.

    1. I did read a bit more this year than in years past- I really got into spurts where I was going through book after book, which isn't always the case.

      Thanks for the recommendations- I'm looking forward to checking them out!

      the tragic books....... ugh. with a few of the ones I read last year, I didn't know they were going to be so tragic and awful until I was well into them, which maybe made it even worse. after books like that I can't start another for a while and it definitely gets to me a bit. but for some reason, I keep going back. I liked The Underground Railroad a lot- though it did keep throwing me off that they were describing it as an actual railroad! I've read a lot of historical fiction from that era (The Invention of Wings and The Kitchen House come to mind- and I really liked both of those) and it is intense, but I always feel like it is good, meaningful reading.

  4. Molly -- Both my sister and mother loved the Poldark books. In fact, they read them years ago and always raved about them. I'm not sure why I never read them but I think I will try to read them now! Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Two historical fiction books that I think you would enjoy that were on the top of my list from last year: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley and Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey. I also think you would enjoy The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton. Happy reading!

  6. You make me feel like I should try "Bright Edge of the World" again. I couldn't get into it after a few chapters and gave up, but I loved "The Snow Child".

    1. it took me a while to get into it, too- and I heard the same thing from at least one other person. Once they were off on their adventure, that's when I got really into it- I stuck with it because I so loved The Snow Child and I guess I kind of felt like that author just couldn't possibly let me down, and I'm so glad I stuck it out. Give it a good 50 pages and I bet you'll get hooked.

  7. Yes!!!! I was planning to message you and ask for reading recommendations and then I found this post! Thank you! Thank you! My favorite read in 2016 was heather Ross's how to catch a frog. Fascinating true stories and a fantastic writing style.

    1. oh hooray! and I've been wanting to read that- glad to hear you liked it so much- I will request it from the library asap!

  8. Such a great list! I always know I can trust your taste in books! My friend has been reading Nightingale and recommended it as well so I'm in the library queue. She also recommended Cutting For Stone. Have you read it? Also, I notice The Orchardist didn't get a *!! It scarred my for life!

    1. you know, when I read your comment I was surprised because I thought for a moment that I HAD starred The Orchardist! Huh. I think maybe in my draft post I had a few others starred and then I changed it. Anyway- I really did love it. But gosh, the tragedy........ hits you right in the gut! I think it took me a little while to start another book after that one because I had to sit with it for a few. I haven't read Cutting for Stone, but people have been recommending it to me for years! Suppose maybe I oughta give it a look!

    2. have you read "the witch of blackbird pond"? i read it recently and loved it. it is a historical fiction read that takes place at the end of the witch trials. anyway, i loved it... and it made me think of you :)

    3. I have not but it sounds like something I'd like- thanks for the recommendation!

  9. Wow! You are a prolific reader! I always fall asleep too early to have so fine as booklist as yours, but I do read to the girls. We were reading Pollyanna but, I think we are going to stop reading it and move onto Caddie Woodlawn. I had high hopes for Pollyanna but I can't really get beyond the ending that's coming. And I don't think my kids will enjoy it that much either. xoxo

    1. Cory! How nice to 'see' you :) I'm really enjoying your new blog, by the way- need to head over there now and get caught up.

      I often stay up way TOO late when I really get into a book, and that, of course, is really not a great choice for my overall mood and energy level the next day. But I do enjoy always having a book going, and sometimes go through them in a few days and sometimes read a chapter here and a chapter there.

      I read Caddie Woodlawn to Claire a while back and we both really enjoyed it. Funny aside- I was trying to remember the name of it when I was talking to a friend about books to read to kids, and I said "yeah, I think it's called Carrie Underwood?" Why her name came to mind I have NO clue, but it was a little embarrassing when I realized my mistake later on. ha! nope- didn't read a book about an American Idol with Claire. Not yet anyway. good grief.



thanks for taking the time to read and comment~