The Best Books I Read in 2016

The best books I read in 2016

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In this post, I’ll list my ten favorite books and series that I read in 2016. For a link to the book on Goodreads, click on the cover.

To earn a place on the list, each of these books must be:

  • Excellent in quality.
  • Instructive in both knowledge and wisdom.
  • Worth rereading.
  • A book I recommend to others.

Fiction

The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

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                                                        The Story
Two Texans, a reporter and a forensic archaeologist, must unravel the mystery of missing ancient artifacts in Greece.

                                                    My Thoughts
This is the first book I’ve read by Davis Bunn, but it won’t be the last. The Patmos Deception is an exciting and fascinating adventure.

The plot intertwines with history, geography, and culture, and the characters are compelling and unique. The descriptions are well-written with beautiful imagery and metaphors.

Not only is the story entertaining with danger, humor, romance, and adventure, it’s also educational. I learned about Greek history and geography, and I gained a better understanding of Greek culture and people. Read my full review

Unshaken: Ruth by Francine Rivers

95610                                                       The Story
Unshaken is a biblically accurate retelling of the story of Ruth. It is the third novella in the series, A Lineage of Grace. The series introduces five women from the Bible, each of whom was an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

                                                   My Thoughts
7187127Anyone who’s read about Ruth in the Bible knows her story, but this account provides a more personal understanding. Rivers does a great job portraying the emotions, people, and culture. This moving novella brings Ruth’s story of faithfulness to life.

Unspoken: Bathsheba by Francine Rivers

535179                                                        The Story
Unspoken is a biblically accurate retelling of the story of Bathsheba and is the fourth novella in the series, A Lineage of Grace.

                                                   My Thoughts
Unspoken is a heartrending portrayal of the tragedy of sin and yet the triumph of God’s forgiveness and redemption.

This story stands as an encouraging example of how God uses flawed people for His plans. Bathsheba made a terrible mistake, a single act of sinfulness that caused the deaths of her husband and son. Yet she went on to become the mother of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, and an ancestor of Jesus. What a beautiful story of redemption and purpose this is. Read my full review→

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

20519011                                                      The Story
Kit Bristol is on the run after being mistaken for a notorious highwayman. He’s forced to adopt the highwayman’s quest to rescue a fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III.

                                                  My Thoughts
Ben Tripp writes this historical fantasy in an unique style. The style resembles an 18th century memoir, but with much more flair. The first person perspective allows a flavoring of the main character’s personality and sense of humor. In a good way, it’s unlike anything I’ve read before.

The Accidental Highwayman blends fantasy and history. The story occurs in England in the mid 1700s, and the historical details are fascinating as is the sense of what life was like at that time.

Nonfiction

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

6573892Mere Christianity is considered a classic, and it deserves that label.

Lewis presents a clear and simple answer to the question, “What is Christianity?” In the process, he addresses several related topics concerning Christian living and theology. In reading this I discovered the answers to so many questions I’ve had for a long time. I also found answers to questions I never thought to ask.

The prose includes a wonderful sense of humor and a fresh perspective. This is the ultimate clear, logical, and approachable explanation of Christianity.

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

26067641Do Hard Things is a stirring call to action written by homeschooled twin brothers. Though intended for teens, the book’s message would benefit everyone.

The main idea is that our culture has low expectations for teens. In the 1700s teens learned multiple languages, served as diplomats, and even fought in wars. Now, all we hope for is that teens don’t use drugs or become pregnant.

While we’re at it, our culture has pretty low expectations for adults these days. And it harms us. Just as a lack of exercise depletes muscle, a lack of expectations depletes motivation.

This book offers a message to everyone: Rebel against low expectations! Don’t run from difficulty. Embrace challenges. Your life will be better because of it.

God’s Plan for America series including The Light and the Glory, Sounding Forth the Trumpet, and From Sea to Shining Sea by Peter Marshall and David Manuel

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I read The Light and the Glory in 2015 and the other two in 2016, but I wanted to include all three in this spot on the list since they are a trilogy.

This series chronicles the gripping history of the United States from Columbus to the Antebellum Era. The writing and the research are excellent and in-depth. The stories are fascinating and many are little-known.

These books are extensively detailed. Finishing them took a long time, but it was well worth the effort. The overall message is inspiring and yet, a trumpet call to awake the values our country is losing.

The authors also wrote an adapted version of the series for children.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

13642916Quiet is such an incredibly helpful book about introversion. Cain provides a multi-faceted definition of what introversion really is. After that, she writes about personality as it relates to history, science, and social expectations

Quiet is so beneficial because it provides introverts with an understanding of what makes them tick—why they would rather sit at home and read a book than go to a party. Though the book focuses on introverts, Cain highlights the strengths of both introverts and extroverts.

Cain’s book is well-researched, insightful, and practical.

In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

30264438Have you ever heard about a guy named Benaiah? He was one of King David’s mighty men. One of his acts of bravery was chasing, yes chasing, a lion into a pit on a snowy day—and killing it.

Using this story as the main example in the book, the author provides principles for how we can live our lives with courage, facing risks head on and succeeding with our dreams and battles.

This book is full of great stories and is fun to read. It leaves a lasting impression and inspires readers to take the risks that are necessary to accomplish great things. Read my full review

Finding God in the Hobbit by Jim Ware74376

If you’ve read The Hobbit by Tolkien, you should read this book. It’s filled with insights that will deepen your understanding of The Hobbit’s messages and themes. Be sure to read The Hobbit first since Finding God in the Hobbit contains spoilers.

After reading this I grew much fonder of Tolkien’s story due to my newfound understanding of its depth. Ware’s book is so much fun to read, and it fascinated me from beginning to end.

So tell me, what were the best books you read in 2016 and what made them great?


2 thoughts on “The Best Books I Read in 2016

  1. Well, I have to admit that I didn’t read a lot of books in 2016, but my favorite was probably, And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side by Dana Perino. I enjoyed it because the author conveys the positive and helpful things she has learned through her life and career and the impact various people have made in her life. It reminded me that we can all make a big difference in other people’s lives.

    1. That sounds like a really good book! I’ll add it to my list of books to read. I’m also excited to read Dana Perino’s book, Let Me Tell You About Jasper…: How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog.

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