"Best of" for 2016


I love reading friends' "best of" lists for 2016 ... especially if it's about books. There's always room for one more book suggestions, am I right? Last week, I finally did a big update on my book lists over to the right. There's a 2016 list for me, and our family read-aloud list is now current. While I was going through my 2016 list, I grabbed a pencil and marked those which stood out the most for me over the past twelve months. I limited myself to ten favorites which is always a hard decision. In no particular order, my (our) favorites of 2016 were:


1. Rabbits with Swords. I mean Ember Falls. This has turned out to be such a GREAT series. We are not so patiently waiting for the next installment.

We finally finished our first read aloud of our summer and with that we finally finished the Chronicles of Prydian series. Highly recommend! Bonus: if I'm lucky, I'll get to read these again with my boy in 4-5 years. #readaloudrevival

2. The Chronicles of Prydian by Lloyd Alexander. We finished this five volume set this summer by finally getting to books 4 and 5 in the series. I loved these and I think my girls would say that they did as well. I am looking forward 4-5 years when I hand these off to the boy and he dives into them ... or maybe I'll get to read them aloud again with him. I won't mind that one bit.


3. One of the few new books that I read this year, Stella by Starlight was so good that after I read my library copy, I ordered one for our shelves. We'll be reading this next year as we cycle through American history and my girls are getting old enough that we can delve more deeply into the topics of slavery and freedom.


4. Not a book per se, but this study on 1 Peter that I did this summer has to make it on the list. It was time well spent.

Current read aloud. We are having a hard time settling into something after finishing Ember Falls. 🐰 ⚔️ We have tried a couple things and I think we're going to stick with Half Magic (for now!) #readaloudrevival

5. We ended our fall semester of school on this read-aloud and it was a great way to wrap up our December school days. As I commented when I posted a photo of the book on Instagram, when your child asks if you have the sequel to book you just finished, and head's off to their room with it, you know you found a winner. We have plans to add the missing books in this seven book series to our library over time.


A group picture of the rest of this year's favorites.

6. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch was one of the books that N1 had to read for Challenge A this year, and one of the few that we hadn't read before as a family. I LOVED this book. The story of Nathaniel Bowditch who dreamt of a life of academia and the study of mathematics, but was forced to spend nine years of his childhood and early youth in apprenticeship. His determination and love of learning was so inspiring. I foresee that I will need to reread this when daughter #2 enters Challenge A in a few years.

7. Giddy Up, Eunice. Sophie Hudson is just one of my mostest, favoritest writers ever. She gets me. When she writes about topics such as family, friendship, mentoring, and current fashion, she is writing to me about things I am thinking about / working through and her books feel like a good conversation with an old friend that just knows you. 

8. Mere Motherhood is the only homeschooling book that I read this year (I think). It was not flashy or shiny or told me anything new, but just the humble story of a mama trying to do her best while homeschooling her kids. Plain ole encouragement from someone who has been there, and come through to the other side ... and survived.

9. Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson is going to be on my reading list for every January, I believe. A reminder and call to live each day intentionally and a direct word to me to quit whining about some things that bothered me, and make some changes. Ahem. 

10. Lastly, and not least by any stretch, is Wonder by R.J. Polaccio. Like Stella by Starlight, this is another that I read, and then immediately ordered - this time I picked up two copies (one for our house and one for gift). There is a reason why people are still talking about and reading this book even though it came out almost four years ago. It is a book that switches the point of view of who is telling the story, but it is an amazing story of kindness, resilience, and friendship. Just excellent.

There's 2016 in a nutshell. Honorable mentions could go to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I knew I would and did love that series, so that would have been too obvious. : ) What was your favorite read of 2016? Anything I need to put on my list for next year?


  1. ooh ooh end of year blogging is the best!! I am starting to work on my own annual lists... right after I get December All At Once done. Ha.

  2. I've added Stella by Starlight and Wonder to my TBR pile. I'm already a big fan of Nate Bowditch and Half Magic.

  3. Great list! I've read some but not all of your picks. I REALLY want to read Mere Motherhood. Also, I need to delve into Sophie Hudson. I used to read her blog regularly. She's hilarious.


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