Books read in 2016

Two key factors kicked up my reading this year:

  1. my kindle unlimited membership
  2. regular library trips

As a result, I ended up reading 67 books in 2016, which was significantly more than my goal of 50. This is NOT counting kids’ read-alouds, just my own personal reading.

books read in 2016

My favorite genres tend to be historical fiction or modern Southern fiction, and I tend towards books I can relate to in some way, whether through character, storyline, or location. I also enjoy an occasional memoir, stories of people from different cultures, and I’m a complete sucker for pretty much anything about dogs or horses. Non-fiction never tops my list, but it’s always in the mix.

My general philosophy on books is if it’s not at least a 3-star (out of 5) rating, it’s not worth my time to finish — so any unfinished books won’t go on my list. That means, for the most part, if I read it, I recommend it. I’ve included direct links to some of my favorites of the year. Books may contain profanity or adult topics (because life does) so please use your own discretion.

~ My 2016 reading list ~

Historical fiction:

  • Sandcastle Girls – Chris Bohjalian
  • The Aviator’s Wife – Melanie Benjamin
  • Daughters of the Dragon – William Andrews
  • The Whiskey Sea – Ann Howard Creel
  • Dreams of Joy – Lisa See
  • Winter Garden – Kristen Hannah
  • Toward the Sea of Freedom – Sarah Lark
  • The Crimson Cord – Jill Eileen smith (Biblical)
  • Cooking for Picasso – Camille Aubray
  • Liz and Nellie – Shonna Slayton
  • She Who Remembers – Linda Lay Shuler
  • Voice of the Eagle – Linda Lay Shuler
  • The Outlaws of Sherwood – Robin McKinley
  • The House by the Lake – Ella Carey
  • While the World Was Still Asleep – Petra Durst-Benning
  • Dunaway’s Crossing – Nancy Brandon (Southern/Historical)
  • The Midwife’s Revolt – Jodi Daynard
  • Our Own Country – Jodi Daynard
  • The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
  • Daughter of Jerusalem – Joan Wolf (Biblical)
  • One Thousand White Women – Jim Fergus
  • Yellow Crocus – Laila Ibrahim
  • Moloka’i – Alan Brennert

Southern fiction:

  • The Promise Kitchen – Peggy Lampman
  • Folly Beach – Dorothea Benton Frank
  • A Long Time Gone – Karen White
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt
    (this one’s non-fiction but doesn’t read that way)
  • Reading the Sweet Oak – Jan Stites
  • Doing it Over – Catherine Bybee
  • The Ladies’ Room – Carolyn Brown
  • The Quaker Cafe – Brenda Bevan Remmes
  • Home to Cedar Branch – Brenda Bevan Remmes

Contemporary (non-Southern) fiction:

  • Acts of Contrition – Jennifer Handford
  • Take Me With You – Catherine Hyde Ryan
  • Always Happy Hour (short stories) – Mary Miller
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith
  • Summer People – Elin Hilderbrand
  • The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
  • The One-in-a-million Boy – Monica Wood
  • The Hidden Light of Flowers – Jennifer Handford
  • A House for Happy Mothers – Amulya Malladi
  • Crooked Little Lies – Barbara Taylor Sissel
  • Where We Belong – Catherine Ryan Hyde (dog story!)
  • The Perfect Son – Barbara Claypole White
  • What Was Mine – Helen Klein Ross
  • Greyhound – Steffan Piper
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
  • The Language of Sparrows – Rachel Phifer
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein (dog story!)
  • The Language of Hoofbeats – Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Bricking It – Nick Spalding
  • The Likeness – Tana French (suspense)
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
  • Broken Grace – E.C. Diskin
  • The Art Forger – B.A. Shapiro
  • Life and Other Near Death Experiences – Camille Pagan
  • Trail of Broken Wings – Sejal Badani
  • Still Alice – Lisa Genova
  • Never Change – Elizabeth Berg


  • ROAR – Stacy Sims (women’s fitness)
  • Teaching from Rest – Sarah Mackenzie (homeschooling)
  • Confessions of an Unlikely Runner (memoir) – Dana Ayers
  • Bandersnatch – Erika Morrison (faith)
  • For the Love – Jennifer Hatmaker (faith)
  • Out of Sorts – Sarah Bessey (faith)
  • Left to Tell – Immaculée Ilibagiza (memoir)

There are too many here to write reviews for each, but I share at least a star-rating and usually a short review on Goodreads. You can find my full 2016 list with book descriptions here.

I don’t have specific 2017 reading goals yet, but I always have a running list of to-read books. I’d like read a few classics this year as well. If you’d like some direction for your reading goals, take a look at Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge.

Happy reading!