My Top 10 Favorite Books Read in 2016

In 2016 I read a record number of books: 78! Since being hired as a nanny last October I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I used to, but I still have a stack of books I’m longing to peruse through in 2017.

But here are my favorites from 2016 (in no particular order):

1. The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn


I purchased this book because another blogger had highly recommended it and I was not disappointed. I love that Shaunti Feldhahn’s books are packed with statistics and personal anecdotes from couples across the country. It was an easy, quick read that kept my attention and opened my eyes to areas I needed to work on in my own marriage. Definitely a book worth your time and money.

2. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Philip Keller


I was given this book as a gift and again, was far from disappointed. Reading about the cultural background of Bible passages fascinates me, so when Keller explained various habits and traits of shepherds and their sheep alike, it gave me a completely different outlook on passages referring to sheep. Such a neat glimpse into the life of a shepherd and why we’re so often likened to sheep in the Bible. Read this!

3. Just Give Me Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz


I enjoyed this book so much I put it on my wishlist (I’d borrowed a copy from our church library). I also picked up the “sequel” to this title, but I’m not nearly as impressed with it and months later am still not even half-way through. Anne’s style of writing is a bit different from what I’m used to, but this book really did leave me yearning to grow in my walk with Jesus. It also taught me some timely lessons.

4. In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham


For some reason this book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t familiar with the Burnham’s story beforehand, or maybe because I wasn’t expecting such raw honesty from Gracia of the struggles she faced. Her humanity was evident throughout, yet so was her firm trust in and love for God despite the horrific circumstances she faced. Stories like hers moves something within me, encouraging me in the midst of my own hardships.

5. Knowing God by J.I. Packer


I was a little hesitant about picking this one up because I’d tried reading a book authored by J.I. Packer previously and most of it went way over my head. But I enjoyed this particular book. It definitely causes one to stop and reflect, and it’s a book that a reader cannot merely “skim”. It’s definitely worth the time and effort spent examining the contents of this title.

6. No Grain, No Pain by Dr. Peter Osbourne


Dr. Peter Osborne opened my eyes to the important of nutrition like no other book. I’ve been eating gluten-free for five years, but after reading this book I realized my remaining joint point could actually stem from eating grains like rice, oatmeal, and corn. Though I haven’t been consistently disciplined in staying away from grains, I have definitely noticed a negative difference in how I feel after eating them.

7. The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee


I was surprised by the ways Watchman Nee challenged my thinking about Christianity and what should be “normal” as we live out our faith. If you want to grow in your walk with Christ, I recommend this book to you.

8. Unglued by Lisa Terkeurst


I listened to this audio-book while training for my marathon. Despite the fact I don’t yet have children of my own (and I wasn’t even a nanny at the time), I still connected with the author’s words. I love how vulnerable and honest Lysa was throughout the book, and she always pointed her readers back to Christ. If you are a woman who struggles with becoming “unglued” from time-to-time, this book will be a great encouragement to you.

9. Hands Free Life by Rachel Stafford


I liked this book so much I gave a copy to my sister to read. The author’s habits are straight-forward yet challenging and empowering. Moms with little ones would especially benefit from her wisdom (and she actually has another similar book targeting this particular audience called, “Hands Free Mama”).

10. 50 Secrets of the World’s Longest Living People by Sally Beare


I picked this book up at a second-hand bookstore because it was cheap and the title intrigued me. I love learning about healthy habits, not necessarily because I want to live to 100 here on earth, but because I want to take care of this body God has entrusted to me for as long as He loans it to me. A lot of the habits were a given, but I was surprised by others. For example, one secret of the world’s longest living people is “Eat more pizza.” Really?! This book kept my interest throughout and though it wasn’t life-transforming, I still really enjoyed perusing its pages.

What were your favorite titles from 2016? Please leave a comment below, I love hearing about new books to pick up!


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