I read 92 total books last year. That number blows me away. But, I also know that over half of them were children’s books. Still, taking the time to read children’s and YA books and reviewing them adds a lot to my schedule as well.
I read 48 Children’s Books ranging from children’s to YA. There were non-fiction and fiction books, books on animals and sports, funny and inspirational books, and numerous life lesson stories. I really loved all the children’s books I read. Thanks to Booking Mama’s Kid Konnection weekly link up, I’ve made children’s book a regular feature on the blog every Friday.
I read 44 adult fiction and non-fiction books in 2016. Not as many as I would have liked, but with 3 kids who are very active in school events and working quite often as a substitute teacher, I don’t always have the reading time that I want to have. I also had a few reading slumps where nothing could entice me to read. I am hoping to do better this year about regularly scheduled reading and always having a few books going at once so I can read whatever I’m in the mood for. Just like the teachers at school tell my kids, reading just 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference.
Since I write for the Gazette, they asked me for my Top 5 Books of 2016. It was tough to narrow it down to only 5. For this space, I like to make it a few more across various genres. So, I’ll share my Top 5 Books for the Gazette as well as some others I really loved.
I chose these as my Top 5 because it was a good mix of the types of books I like to read. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors and her books never disappoint. I love historical fiction and feel-good fiction/non-fiction. I’ve read so many children’s books this year that I couldn’t leave them out. This list also only includes books published in 2016.
Top 5 Books of 2016
Now for some of my other favorites from my year of reading. Here are 12 more favorites from my reading in 2016.
Favorite Thriller/Suspense Books
This is a new genre for me and I read several from this category this year. I never liked these types of books before, but even though they stress me out, I keep going back for more. These listed below kept me turning the pages as fast as I could!
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
By: B.A. Paris
This was creeped me out, but I couldn’t stop reading it. I had to know how it was all going to work out. I thought about this one for days after reading it. See my full review, HERE.
By: Eric Prochaska
This was written by an Iowa native and was set in Cedar Rapids. Having a familiar setting made the story a fun read, but the story of two brothers kept me reading. See my full review, HERE.
Favorite Non-Fiction Books
I love non-fiction books. I usually have at least one going at all times. This year I read books that inspired me, ones that taught me about life, and ones that offered me new ways to cook.
By: Judy Melinek, MD and T. J. Mitchell
I was fascinated by this memoir of a medical examiner. My favorite section was her time during 9/11. See my full review, HERE.
By: Atul Gawande
I have told nearly everyone I know to read this book. If you have aging parents, if you want to be sure your family knows your wishes if something medically wrong happens to you, if you want to have a conversation with your spouse about your future, please read this book. See my full review, HERE.
BROWN GIRL DREAMING
By: Jacqueline Woodson
This memoir written in prose was absolutely wonderful. Don’t let the prose/poem part scare you. It makes it so much better. It’s a middle-grade/YA read and I just loved it. My daughter read it right after me and also loved it. See my full review, HERE.
Favorite Fiction Books
Because I didn’t only read books published in 2016, I have some other favorite fiction books that I read this year.
By: Kristin Hannah
I wanted to read this one in 2015, but just didn’t get to it. Then I kicked myself for waiting so long. It is one of those books that you won’t be able to forget. Loved it! I didn’t review this one because I didn’t think I had anything new to add to the hundreds of other reviews. All I can say is…Read. This. Book. It’s being made into a movie as well!
ME BEFORE YOU
By; Jo Jo Moyes
Another one I didn’t get read until this year. Then I watched the movie. Loved both of them. See my review, HERE.
THE MATCHMAKERS OF MINNOW BAY
By: Kelly Harms
Another Iowa native that I had the pleasure of interviewing and reading. Really talented writer and one I can’t wait to read more from. See my full review, HERE.
Favorite Children’s Books
Since I’ve been reading more children’s books lately, I had to share my favorites. I’ll share both fiction and non-fiction books.
BRAVE LITTLE FINN
By: John and Jennifer Churchman
This is the second in the Sweet Pea & Friends series and I adored it. The story of a sweet little lamb struggling to survive and growing up over a year on the farm reminded me of all the sweet baby lambs we raised when I was growing up. The photography on each page is amazing. I want to frame the book cover it is so adorable. See my full review, HERE.
DINING WITH DINOSAURS
By: National Geographic Kids and Hannah Bonner
If you have a dinosaur fan in your house, get this book! It’s hilarious and your child won’t even realize they are learning something on every page because it is so well done. A really great science book for kids! See my full review, HERE.
PIPSIE NATURE DETECTIVE: THE LUNCHNAPPER
By: Rick DeDonato
The first PIPSIE NATURE DETECTIVE book made my favorites list last year and this one is just as wonderful. A sweet story and your child will learn about nature at the same time. See my full review, HERE.
By: Katy Steinmetz
Everything about our great country all wrapped up in one book. A great book to read with your kids and maybe find ideas for your next family road trip! See my full review, HERE.
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