Stone Soup for Five: The Best Books I Read in 2016

The Best Books I Read in 2016



I had huge plans for reading in 2016 that I fell way short on, but still really enjoyed most of what I read with a few exceptions. (I've decided that life is way too short to spend on bad books.  I use the method of reading books that is described in Lit! that I only have to read 100 pages minus my current age into the book and make a decision from there... that frees me up so I don't have to commit to read a book all the way through if I'm not loving it.)



Here's the top books I read this year in four different categories:

Fiction


(Disclaimer:  I honestly don't remember if there was language in this book. 
Light language doesn't usually bother me so I may have missed it, but if there was some, it wasn't much.)
I recommend this book to everyone who asks me about books... and everyone I recommended it to loved it.  If you liked The Help or To Kill a Mockingbird, you'll love this one.




Non-Fiction
I had to choose two books for this category!



This book had some thoughts and applications that took my breath away and changed some long held misunderstandings I didn't realize I had.  Quick read.  Thin book.  Powerful.  Someday I want to memorize the poetic gospel at the end of the book.



If you've never read the Puritans, you should start.  Though there are some antiquated words, the value and wisdom you'll gain is well worth a little struggle.  This is a great book to start with because it is SUCH an important subject, and it's a small book of 117 pages packed full of useful and practical truth.

Biography
 Okay, had to choose two again...




I have not read about any of the missionaries and martyrs of Christianity, and 2016 was the year to change that.  I told myself it was okay to read the brief, children's version of these biographies to get a good overview and decide which missionaries to dive further into.  I loved this book on Amy Carmichael as it was an easy read but I didn't feel like there were huge chunks missing.  She was an extraordinary woman with a tough, spunky, never quit attitude that I admire.




A man built a tiny home, before tiny homes were cool.  But he built his on the outer most part of Cape Cod and lived a year there by himself.  He describes the life, the wildlife, the ocean, the storms, through journal entries.  I just loved being transported there while I was reading.
This book was closely tied with another that I loved about the solitary life in gorgeous natural settings: One Man's Wilderness.  Both books were amazing and definitely will be re-read.

Classics


 

I had a poor literary education and a childhood and teen years that didn't allow for any reading, so I'm catching up on all the classics I missed.  Fahrenheit 451 was written in a dream-like state that kind of bugged me, but as I read further I began to see why.  It was written well before things like wall-sized TV screens, social media, and fingertip sized ear buds, but all were in there with not so surprising results of a life lived fully wrapped up in that.  I'm glad I read it.

I read a few more classics also, but none that I really loved.  Huckleberry Finn was good to re-read, but not my favorite, and I stopped reading 1984 when it turned weirdly inappropriate.  I think I got the gist of it though.


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The best thing I did to grow my faith in 2016
Book Stack Jan/Feb 2017

14 comments:

  1. Oh, thank you so much for this! I'm putting together my reading list for this coming year, and you have some fabulous recommendations.

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    1. If you only read one of those, I'd definitely make it Whistling Past the Graveyard!

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  2. I'm a sucker for book recommendations. Just requested Whistling Past the Graveyard from the library, and added Gospel Primer for Christians to my thriftbooks wish list.

    I read East of Eden last year - excellent book, and SO glad I didn't read it in high school (some elements that frankly a high schooler shouldn't have to think about, plus I just wouldn't have appreciated a lot of it) And I finally read my first Jane Austen as well: Pride and Prejudice. That was great, too, and not sappy (the whole reason I'd avoided it for years!)

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    1. Oh, I've heard of East of Eden, but never read it! I'll add to my list! Thanks!

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  3. I love your list! And you're so right about A Gospel Primer...it's superb. Fahrenheit 451 is on my list this year along with another Ray Bradbury book, Dandelion Wine, that a friend recommended to me. I'm adding Keeping the Heart to my list. Thanks! And thanks SO much for your doodles!

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    1. Awesome! I've never heard of Dandelion Wine, I'll have to look it up! Thanks!

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  4. Love book lists and I trust your judgement, so I'm writing all these down. I had picked up Whistling Past the Graveyard on Audible because i remembered you mentioning it, but the narrator is bugging me so I've requested it from the library to continue on my own. My grandmother was a bit of a conspiracy theorist and thought it would be a good idea to give me 1984 when I was 8 years old. I didn't make it very far because, well, I was eight years old, but it was on my list to try again. I am not sure if I will bother now, but Fehrenheit 451 has been on my short list, so I'm glad you liked that one. Great list!

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    1. Oh my goodness! 1984 at 8 yrs old? I couldn't even handle it as a married adult! It really bothered me!

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  5. Amy Carmichael has fascinated me since I read a children's biography of her when I was 9 or so.

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    1. I definitely want to read some of her own writing now!

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  6. OMG Whistling Past the Graveyard is awesome!! I don't know how I happened upon it but I absolutely love it and have recommended it to everyone I see.

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    1. That is awesome! I just saw she has another book The Flying Circus. Have you read that? I might have to borrow it from the library!!

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  7. I'll have to troy your other suggestions!

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  8. Thank you so much for putting this reading list together for us. AND.... I loved your FB video!!!!

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