Favorite Reads of 2016

This year was full of finishing book series that I had started and trying to read more non-fiction.  As we close out the year, I have read over 100 books.  I guess that is what happens when you travel a lot, don’t watch a lot of TV, and have a summer with lots of free time and not much else to do. (Of course now that my kids brought in new TV shows, I might be watching a bit more TV this new year. 😀)  This year my husband and I read a lot of the same books.  This was fantastic for discussing the books, but not so great when he finished the books before me and wanted to know what book was next.

One of our favorite authors this year was Davis Bunn who also writes under the name of Thomas Locke.  Thankfully, our online library had many of his books.  I loved the different locales that he writes about such as Greece and Ireland as well as his characters who range from surfers or security experts to archeologists or research scientists.  Even though none of the books made it on my favorites list for 2016, I am glad they were part of my reading this year. Some people have comfort food, I have comfort books.

For my favorites, I have four non-fiction books, one fictional series, and two novels.

Nonfiction Favorites:

1. Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg

I read this book as we were leaving Central Asia.  My soul was in need of some serious care.  John Ortberg does a great job of laying it all on the table about what is at stake when we neglect our souls.  He also excels at pointing the reader to God and how to best care for his or her soul.  Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book.

The soul seeks God with its whole being.  Because it is desperate to be whole, the soul is God-smitten and God-crazy and God-obsessed.  My mind may be obsessed with idols; my will may be enslaved to habits; my body may be consumed with appetites.  But my soul will never find rest until it rests in God.

2. Fresh Out of Amazing by Stacey Thacker

In July, I was able to be a part of the advanced reading team for Stacey’s book Fresh Out of Amazing.  It’s a refreshing read whether you feel amazing or out of amazing.  I liked how she used the book of Habakuk and his story to help deal with our fresh of out amazing state.  I am excited about reading the book again in January as part of an online book club.
Here is a favorite quote:

Lately he has been whispering to me that being fresh out of amazing isn’t a one way ticket to despair; it is an opportunity to see God be big.  When we see God as big, we lose the desire to merely look at the horizontal. 

3. Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis by Stephen Baumann and Matthew Soerens

The refugee crisis has been on my mind a lot this last year.  My heart hurts for those who are displaced or no longer have a home.  The authors explain the crisis as well as defines who a refugee is and what process he or she goes through to come to the United States.  The book was a informative as well as inspiring.  What a blessing it is for those who are welcoming refugees and helping them have a good transition to the states.

4. Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places by Kate McCord

I read this book in my transition time between Central Asia and West Africa.  Kate’s words crept into the inner places in my heart and began a healing in those places that were hurting from leaving a people I love dearly.  She helped me put into words why we went and why we stayed for the years we did.  
Here is a favorite quote:

We are not saviors.  We reveal Christ, but the work is always his.  We ache to see people come to know Him and grieve when those who do suffer terribly for their faith.  This, too, is part of the journey.

Favorite Series: WITSEC Town Series by Lisa Phillips

This series takes place in a town called Sanctuary that is located someplace in Idaho.  The only way in and out is via helicopter or many days hiking through mountains.  Its location is only known to a few people because the town’s residents are all part of the Witness Protection program.  What would it be like to be the sheriff to a town like this?  Well, to say the least, your life would never be dull.  The plots are full of twists and turns.  The characters are entertaining and enduring.  Overall, this series was a great stress relief in the midst of a busy fall.  

Favorite Novels

1. Lost and Found by Ginny Yttrup

2. Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

Here are my short reviews of these two books.

What were your favorite books this year?  


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