6 Books to Give & to Own * 2016's Finest Reads

As the year gallops to a close, I pull open the bottom left drawer of the big ol' oak desk and reach for my well-worn reading journal.  This little keepsake lists every book read over a span of 24 years {roughly 700 at last count}.  I sit back and comb through the last twelve month's selections, all 44 of them.

I see that February, September, and October were the most prolific months, each with 6 volumes read.  June trailed way behind with only 1 book completed.  And I notice that half of the volumes had a title that started with the word The.

Go figure.

Most of the titles were borrowed from the library and then returned, many a bit reluctantly ... kind of like bidding farewell to a new friend who had quickly become dear.  But if you twisted my arm and told me I could choose only 6 books from 2016 to purchase and keep forever, the ones listed below would be the stars.

It wasn't easy whittling down so many great reads to just a precious few.

But these are the classics. 

I hope that a few of these gems will end up on your Christmas gift giving list.  And that you'll feel free to share this post with those who'll be shopping for something special for you ...


The Lake House
~ Kate Morton
'Living on her family's idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories.

One midsummer's eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace.  He is never found, and the family is torn apart, the house abandoned.

Decades later ...'

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus
~ Beth Moore
'Only God knew why Jillian Slater agreed to return to New Orleans on the news that her father had finally drunk himself to death.  It's not like they were close.  She hadn't seen him or her grandmother, the ice queen in almost 20 years.  But when Adella Atwater, the manager of her grandmother's apartment house, called and said Jilllian's expenses would be paid if she'd fly in for the burial, a free trip to New Orleans was too intriguing to resist.

What Adella didn't tell her was that the apartment house wasn't a house at all, and whatever it was, bore the dead weight of a long and painful history ...'

{here's my review}

The Whistler
~ John Grisham
'We expect our judges to be honest and wise.  Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system.  We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe?  It's rare, but it happens ...

A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity ... and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined.  And not just crooked judges in Florida.  All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history ...'


~ Adam McHugh
'How would our lives change if we approached every experience with the intention of listening first?  In this noisy, distracting world, it is truly difficult to hear.  People talk past each other, eager to be heard but somehow deaf to what is being said ...

Adam McHugh places listening at the heart of our spirituality, our relationships, and our mission in the world.  God himself is the God who hears, and we too can learn to hear what God may be saying through creation, through Scripture, through people.  By cultivating a posture of listening, we become more attentive and engaged with those around us.  Listening shapes us and equips us to be more attuned to people in pain and more able to minister to those in distress ...'

~ Susan Cain
'The monumental bestseller Quiet has been recast in a new edition that empowers introverted kids and teens ...

This book is all about kids' world - school, extracurriculars, family life, and friendship.  You'll read about actual kids who have tackled the challenges of not being extroverted and who have made a mark in their own quiet way ...

There's even a guide at the end of the book for parents and teachers.  This insightful, accessible, and empowering book, illustrated with amusing comic-style art, will be eye-opening to extroverts and introverts alike ...'

~ Ann Voskamp
'What if you really want to live abundantly before it's too late?  What do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness?

This one's for the lovers and the sufferers.  For those whose hopes and dreams and love grew so large it broke their willing hearts.  This one's for the busted ones who are ready to bust free, the ones ready to break molds, break chains, break measuring sticks, and break all this bad brokenness with an unlikely good brokenness ...

You could be one of them, one who believes freedom can be found not only beyond the fear and pain, but actually within it ...'


click here to catch up on all of my book reviews and giveaways

scads of marriage resources are over there

these are my top 3 devotional picks

how 'bout the 11 books that changed my faith

and 2015's shareworthy reads are over here

What's your #1 book in 2016?

Thanks for sharing this post 
with your social media book fans.



You'll find me at 


as an Amazon Affiliate, 
I may receive a small financial benefit
 if you make an Amazon.com purchase through a link on this post