Thursday, January 5, 2017

Books of 2016

Books and reading remain a deep rooted part of me. 
While holding a real bound book is what I prefer, I must say that reading from my Kindle has become more of a regular occurrence this year. 
In addition to adding books to my library request list, I can instantly download free books from Kindle's Lending Library as well. 
One of the perks of Amazon Prime.
Here is a reverse order of what I managed to finish in 2016.

Elizabeth's Heart by M.L. Gardner
I was hooked on this series after reading 1929
Most of this second book had me wondering how it tied into the characters I had previously met. 
But the ending! 

1929 by M.L. Gardner
This follows the lives of three boyhood friends as they suffer through the Great Depression. 
I will read the entire series. 
Intrigue, deception, Faith, romance, mystery.
Loved it!

Leaving Blythe River by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
A teenage boy sent to stay with his divorced father in the wilderness.
When his father disappears and the search is called off, the boy and new found friends search on their own.
He learns and grows within his own skin. 
I enjoyed this.

The Young Country Doctor: Bilbury Chronicles by Vernon Coleman.
Tells the story of a new and young country doctor in England when doctors still made house calls.
I enjoyed the slow paced life, although it is filled with excitement as well. 
This is the first of the series....I'll read more, I'm sure.
Reminded me of All Creatures Great and Small...with humans rather than critters.

Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts by Mary Gibson.
Set in London prior to WWI.
Follows Nellie who at a young age is in charge of her family's survival.
Caught up in worker strikes, love and loss. 
I enjoyed this.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
As a mega fan, I began this book the day it was released.
I was pleasantly surprised.
They are genuine and real people.
They have struggles like the rest of us, but with their Faith, hard work and love for each other, they excel. 
On a side seems to be the norm in our culture these days, the Gaines' have been criticized for their of family...happiness...anything that tends to set them apart from the Negative Nellies..
You must read Chip's response.

Evelyn After by Victoria Helen Stone 
This tells the tale of a married woman who is sleepwalking through her own life.
Things change when she discovers another woman in her husband's life. 
But are things as they appear at first glance? 
I enjoyed this.

No Place to Rest by D.L. Barnhart
When the main character comes to her sister's home after time away, she discovers her sister missing. Murder?
Cover up? 
This was not my usual genre, but I enjoyed it.

Appalachian Daughter by Mary Salyers
Set in the 1940-1950's about a girl wanting more than what her small community can offer. Tells of her struggles within her family to reach her full potential. Enjoyable

Quail Crossings by Jennifer McMurrain
Easy read.
Dust Bowl era.
First of a series.
I'll read more of it.

Small Island by Andrea Levy.
This was one of the five books LPP had to read prior to studying overseas.
From Jamaica to England to USA in the WWII era. 
Lives intertwine and deal with racism and the British Empire stigma.
Not one I would have chosen, but am better for reading it.
Just discovered BBC made a two part miniseries in 2009 based on the book.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Another fun summer read.
East Coast in 1930's.
Love, pain and a hurricane thrown in.
Enjoyed this greatly.

Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams.
After reading her first book, I bought this one.
Tells the tale of an up and coming political family in the 1960's who summers in Massachusetts.
It did not disappoint.

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams.
This was a new author to me and I loved it.
While characters in her books seem to be related in some way, they don't need to be read in order. Tells the story of Annabelle alternately in the mid 1930's in Paris and Germany and present day.
Perfect summer read.

My Mrs. Brown by William Norwich
This was a quick read about an older lady who fell in love with a dress.
A powerful dress that might just change everything.
Really enjoyed her tale.

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
This begins with a Polish girl sent to America before the Nazi's arrived.
Friendship begins and 7 decades later, love continues. 
I enjoyed this a great deal.

The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly
What is the difference between engaged and disengaged Catholics?
I would argue this applies to all Christians. 
Very interesting.

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Told from the side of the dressmaker.
I enjoyed this quite a bit.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
This story takes place in Chechnya between 1994 and 2004.
2 wars, informants, betrayal, love, hope and family.
While this is a novel, I learned a lot as well.
Very enjoyable...difficult subject matter in parts.

Harpsong by Rilla Askew
Tells the story of "hobo" and his bride in the 1930's.
Took me a couple chapters to care about the characters, but then I was sucked in.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
This was a sweet and inspiring story.
Neighbors, a widow and widower, finding a new friendship and partnership. 
Read in a couple hours and liked a lot.

Wild Mountain Thyme by Rosamunde Pilcher
Love the author.
Love the scenery and story. 
Easy and quick read.

Longbourn by Jo Baker
This helped with the withdrawals from Downton Abbey a bit.
Tells the story of the "downstairs" people in Pride and Prejudice.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.
A lost letter delivered 50 years late, elderly spinster sisters, an English castle, secrets and a Mud Man. Really enjoyed this and it had me guessing until the very end.

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
Story that stems 20 years ago to childhood friends who experienced a traumatic event.
As adults, they return to the scene.
Not bad, just okay for me.

Mary by Janis Cooke Newman.
This is a novel written as Mary Todd Lincoln's memoir.
It is LONG, but a pretty quick read.
Not sure how much is factual, but the things she endured in her life are incredible and unfathomable. Enjoyable.

The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati
I adored her last series and this one is no different.
Novel is set in New York City in 1883, tells the tale of two female doctors...relatives of the past series' characters.
Immigrants, deplorable conditions, extreme wealth, love, devastation and strength.

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
This was excellent.
Tale of a 9 year old white Mississippi girl in 1963 who runs away from an overbearing and mean grandmother to find her mother in Nashville. 
She is offered a ride by a black lady travelling with a white baby.
A bond is formed.
Family is more than just the blood running through our veins or the color of our skin.
I had no idea what was coming next in the book.
Really good.

So there you have my list for 2016.
Any book suggestions for me?
I'm always on the lookout.
Although, I may have a problem.


Michelle said...

I have read several on this list and will be looking up a couple of your recommendations!

barb said...

Thanks for posting your book lists. I always find something interesting to read from them.