Thursday, December 29, 2016

Memorable Books of 2016

Merry Christmas, belated, and Happy News Years, early.
I was sick this holiday season, and am still recouping, bit by bit.
 I wanted to recount some memorable books I read during '16. The amount I was able to read went up this year, and I have so enjoyed it. There is nothing like a good book to bring you a bit of peace, or inspiration, or distraction even. I got a GoodReads account in November to boot! Hopefully I will be able to better remember the things I have read this upcoming year, as I was having a hard time recalling the titles I went through during early winter.
I am happy to say, that this means the ones listed truly are MEMORABLE! 

In no particular order, here we go:

2016 Memorable Reads

1. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
 by Nabeel Qureshi
This book, while an autobio and testimonial, also touches on matters of Christian apologetics, and the basic history and practices of Islam. I learned so much through this book, and was inspired by it to learn more on my own. I enjoyed getting to see how Nabeel grew up in a loving home, what he learned about Islam, and how he found Jesus in the end.

2. Mountain of Spices
by Hannah Hurnard (Missionary to Israel)
Being the sequel to "Hind's Feet in High Places", this allegory follows Grace and Glory as she returns to the 'low places' to help the unsaved friends and family she left behind to follow the Shepherd.
Both books are along the lines of the famous Pilgrim's Progress, but I happen to like (and relate to) these better. They are great to read aloud to kids, but are so deep adults can benefit from them too, perhaps even more so. 

3. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
A classic for sure, one I had never read before, but am glad I did.
I actually listened to this one on audio while I was finishing some long sewing projects. It is so funny, and indeed a bit mad.

4. The Last of the Mohicans
by James Fenimore Cooper
A classic I knew the title of, but not much else until I gave it a go. Such an adventure story, with colonial kidnappings, two fair sisters, valiant Indian warriors, English forts, and a hardy scout named Hawk Eye. It is one of those books which you think will end after an initial skirmish, kidnapping and rescue, but then keeps going with more skirmishes, kidnappings and rescues. I was sad when it ended.

5. Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone
by Dene Low

This quirky and cute YA read follows a 16 year old British heroine on a most extraordinary adventure during the early 1900's. International intrigue, a bug-eating relative, a ruined coming out party, and the handsome James St. Claire (who calls her "Old Stick"),  swirl around to make a most comical read. I must warn you, the author wrote this as part 1 of a 4 part series, and was never able to publish the last 3 books. I am sad I can't find out what happens.

6.  Present Over Perfect: Leaving behind Frantic for a Simple,  More Soulful Way of Living
by Shauna Niequist
An eye-opening book, of which I highlighted most of the pages. This book challenges the idea that we have to do everything, be everything for everybody, and prove our way to feeling worthy. It makes you ask some hard questions about how much time you invest in things that do not matter. Written by a woman who almost wore herself to pieces building a life she thought she wanted but didn't, this book is a good reminder that it is okay to stop, say "no" and seek a restful life.

7. The Screw Tape Letters
By C.S. Lewis
I wrote a whole post about this one. It is seriously hilarious. And by that I mean two things-it is serious, and hilarious. Sobering and amusing. A classic. A must read. I will always be thankful I poured time into this small, but powerful volume. My review is here.

8. Across Five Aprils
by Irene Hunt
My third time reading this book. I get a sort of sentimental tingling in my chest every time I go through it.  With his older brothers, school teacher, and cousin off fighting in the Civil War, young Jethro Crieghton comes of age working the family farm, and reading the war news. This book basically gives the reader a birds-eye view of the entire Civil War by tracing the various friends and family of Jethro as they fight the war between the States. I will read this again.

9. A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
A book worth reading, a book that makes any movie adaption pale in comparison. Even better than reading this book, is reading this book during Christmas time. I cried at the end, as I know countless Victorians did when it was published, and as I know people will continue to do through the ages. The message of this story is not just about Scrooge changing and helping Tiny Tim, it is a warning against bitterness, and losing compassion for others when we forget the real reason for Christmas.

So...what have you read this year that made an impact on you?
Have you read any of the books above?
What makes a good book in your eyes?

Much love,

(Images from Goodreads, not all editions pictured are the ones I read)


  1. I read Mountains of Spices after you recommended it! SOOO GOOOD!!! Really enjoyed Hannah Hurnand's writing. So appreciated the recommendation. Have read some of the other ones in your post here and have my eye on Across Five Aprils! :) Happy 2017.

  2. Ohhh! I LOVE A Christmas Carol!! We read it every year at Christmas, and it's good every single time! Across Five Aprils is an excellent book, too. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing Lexi! I'm headed to the library this weekend and now have some ideas to look for. :) It's neat to see that you reviewed Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus; I've read a couple of article by Nabeel Quereshi and would be interested in reading his book.