My Favorite Books of 2016


This year, I got back into reading after so many years of putting it to the side. At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of reading 60 books, and I am excited that I will surpass this by four or five books by the end of December.

I started reading more after I realized that my library offers an app that allows me to borrow ebooks without leaving my home. Hurray! So exciting. I highly recommend checking if your library offers this.

Here are my favorite fiction and nonfiction books I read this year. I think they would make great Christmas presents, or great options to put on your reading list.

Best Fiction Books Read in 2016 

The Nightingale – I don’t typically go for historical fiction, but this book about women in WWII was so good.

Purple Hibiscus – I loved this book because of the main character and also for the way it immersed me in Nigerian culture.

Behind Closed Doors – I read a lot of thrillers this year, and this was a favorite.

The Martian – What’s not to love about disaster on Mars with a harrowing rescue story?

Room – I stayed up late to finish this book. Narrated from the perspective of a five-year-old child, this is one of the most unique books I have ever read.

The Goldfinch – This book is extraordinary. I loved the story. I loved how I felt like I knew each of the characters after reading it.

Fiction Author of the Year – Liane Moriarty – With so many years of not doing much reading, I discovered Liane Moriarty for the first time this year. I’m late to the party, I know. I devoured half of her books and have Truly Madly Guilty on reserve to read as soon as it becomes available at my library. The three below were my favorites of her’s so far.

Big Little Lies – This one was my favorite!

What Alice Forgot – I love the concept in this book of how we would respond to life if we forgot the past decade. An interesting thought experiment….

The Husband’s Secret – Not much to say, except it’s another good one!

Best Non-fiction Books Read in 2016

The Brain’s Way of Healing – Learn about the work of Norman Dodge who studies the science of neurology and neuroplasticity, a property of the brain that allows it to change it’s structure and function and ultimately bring healing to the body.

Neuroplastic Transformation – This is a great workbook that teaches coping skills for chronic pain based on principles of neuroplasticity.

A Grief Observed – Read my review here. This book by C.S. Lewis relates his process of grief following the death of his wife. One of my favorite books by him.

Myths About Suicide – This book has taught me so much about the conditions that lead to suicide. I related this book to individuals with chronic pain in this post.

Anatomy of the Soul – I am currently reading this book, but loving it so much that I had to add it to my favorites list.

Turn My Mourning Into Dancing – I love Henri Nouwen, and this book did not disappoint.

Non-fiction Author of the Year – Tim Keller – I have read a few of Tim Keller’s books in the past, but read a bunch more this year. I love the way he pulls together Scripture, research, popular culture, various authors, and so much of his own wisdom into his books.

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness – I have been returning to this book again and again. It is short but packed with needed truth.

The Reason for God – This book helps you think through common doubts and questions surrounding Christianity. A great read.

The Prodigal God – This may be my all-time favorite book of the year. If you read any book from this list, pick this one!

And a little bit of shameless advertising… Check out the two books I published this year!

But God Wouldn’t I Be More Useful to You If I Were Healthy, on

When Chronic Pain and Illness Take Everything Away

What were your favorite reads of 2016?

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