Since I had a LOT of free time this year I read a lot of books! If you want to see my full Year In Books 2016 from Goodreads, you can check that out here. Instead of sharing ALL of the 120 or so books I read (I’m not that intense, many were short or “easy” reads and most were from Kindle Unlimited), I thought I’d just pick and choose a few favorites. I hope you find something you might like to read!
The Nightengale by Kristin Hannah
This book was absolutely beautiful. I wrote a full review here, but this was one of the best books I’ve ever read, sharing two very differently brave women during a difficult time in history.
Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book is perfect for anyone with any inkling of creativity in them (aka everyone!). I loved how she told so many stories from her life and used them to teach us how to put fear in the backseat and drive our own lives.
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
The Raven Boys Series by Maggie Stiefvater
I was skeptical at the beginning of this series, but I ended up loving them. I listened to the last two books while driving to and from Kansas City and couldn’t stop when the drive was over – I was constantly dying to see what would happen next!
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
For the first few chapters, I felt like I was reading the same kind of book that I’d read before, but slowly Jen really grew on me and by the end my mind was exploding. It was like she was talking to me – about all my fears and self-doubt and how to overcome them. Highly recommend!
Bestselling author, speaker, and success coach Jen Sincero cuts through the din of the self-help genre with her own verbal meat cleaver. Full of blunt humor, sage advice, and the occasional swear word, You are a Badass offers its readers new opportunities for growth through 35 chapters of exercises, suggestions, and hilariously inspiring stories.
From “Fear is for Suckers” to “Your Brain is Your Bitch” these chapters provide enlightening lessons: How to stop doubting your greatness, how to love what you don’t love about yourself, and how to tap into source energy to live a bigger life than you’ve ever imagined.
Through The Fire Series by Elizabeth Johns
There are actually only two of the three books out for this series, but I had to share it. If you like historical romantic novels, then these are for you. More of a fun read, but I couldn’t put them down.
When two people have walked through fire, can love bring the healing and help they need?
Spurned by love, Lady Margaux Ashbury has no use for the other eligible gentlemen of London. Despite her beauty, her sharp tongue soon earns her a reputation as a dragon. Convincing her parents to let her retreat to their Scottish estate, a home for abandoned young women, Margaux feels she can do something meaningful with her life. At their wits’ end, her parents believe a few months in seclusion will teach her to appreciate her privileged existence, and accept the next gentleman of worth who offers for her. Margaux has no plans to yield. But neither she nor her parents bargain for the proximity of the gorgeous, blue-eyed Scotsman on the neighbouring estate.
Gavin Craig, content with his life as a country doctor, is unexpectedly thrust into the world of aristocratic society after the accidental deaths of his brother and nephews. With all the duties his new title entails, and his adoption of three orphans, Gavin desperately needs a wife. She should preferably be a lady, trained since birth to manage a noble house, servants and family. His former disdain for a marriage of convenience has been rapidly overcome by the colossal task of learning to run a large Scottish barony. One lovely candidate is right next door … except that she’s inexplicably determined to be a spinster…
Awoken (The Lucidites Series) by Sarah Noffke
Can’t make a book list without a young adult distopian series! Another series that I just couldn’t put down, this was reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Divergent. A lot of interesting characters and plot twists!
Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights.
In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.
And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.
Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?