Skip to main content

Top 10 Books from 2016

For the past several years, I've shown you my top 10 books from the ones I've read in the past year.  So here are my favorites for 2016, counting down from least favorite among the ten to my top book for the year.

10.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  This is a classic and I enjoy it.  But since I've read it several times before it doesn't get my highest rating.

9.  My Antonia by Willa Sibert Cather.  This is another classic, though, honestly, I'd never heard of it before.  I saw a list of classics you must read, saw it was free on Kindle, so I downloaded it and was not disappointed.  It's not high on action, but has interesting characters.  I also love historical fiction and love learning more about how our country developed.

8.  Abandoned to God: the Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest by David McCasland.  This is the story of Oswald Chambers and was a very interesting biography.  

7.  City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell.  This book is a novel about missions in China.  It is very well written, the characters are well-developed, the setting is fascinating, and because it's historical fiction, I learned a lot, too.

6.  Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh.  Another historical fiction book, this one is set in Brussels during World War II.  It has a fascinating story line, but I'm still annoyed by the ending!

5.  Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner was definitely the most helpful marriage book I read and possibly the most helpful spiritually as well.  If you are a strong woman and if you wonder how that plays out in a good marriage relationship, you'll appreciate this book.

4. & 3. 12 Years a Slave and Other Slave Narratives by Solomon Northup and others.  Every single American needs to read this book.  This is not a novel.  It is not historical fiction.  It is the truth as told by former slaves.  It's often brutal and seldom beautiful, but their stories need to be remembered.  And the remembrance should influence the way we live in today's world.  Book #3 is part of this compilation and was called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.  If you only get two books out of this compilation, get 12 Years a Slave and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

2.  The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman.  If you ever had any doubts that the Holocaust happened, read this book.  This is the story of a Jewish Polish man who lived to tell the story.  This is another book that is hard to read, but the story must be told and we must never forget.

1.  Crucial Conversations:  Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.  I am not an automatic expert now at having crucial, difficult conversations, but this book has definitely given me some tools.  Even if you only grab on to and put into practice one or two things in this book, you'll have made progress in successfully having crucial conversations.

And here is my entire list from 2016, listed in the order read:
1. City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell
2.  The Fruits of the Spirit:  Living a Life Connected! by Gary Anderson
3.  Between Worlds:  Essays on Culture and Belonging by Marilyn Gardner
4.  Afton of Margate Castle by Angela Hunt
5.  Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh
6.  12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
7.  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself by Frederick Douglass
8.  The Life of Josiah Hensen, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself by Josiah Henson
9.  The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
10.  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Linda Brent (Harriet Jacobs)
11.  Fierce Women:  The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner
12.  Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
13.  The Unseen Face of Islam by Bill Musk
14.  Honorably Wounded by Marjorie Foyle
15.  The Warrior by Joyce Swann
16.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
17.  Porridge and Passion by Jonathan Aitken
18.  Quentins by Maeve Binchey
19.  The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison
20.  Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron
21.  Jane and the Wandering Eye by Stephanie Barron
22.  When Godly People Do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore
23.  Abandoned to God:  The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest by Davi McCasland
24.  Rescue the Captors by Russell Stendal
25.  Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers
26.  History of the Wife by Marilyn Yalom
27.  The Man of the Desert by Grace Livingston Hill
28.  My Antonia by Willa Sibert Cather
29.  The Fringe Hours:  Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner
30.  Crucial Conversations:  Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
31.  Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock (this almost made it to my top 10)
32.  The Pianist by Wladylov Szpilman
33.  How to Really Love Your Adult Child by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
34.  The Duchess by Amanda Foreman


Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Graduation Season

It's the season for graduations!  Yesterday I attended two graduations.  Thankfully one was in the morning and one was in the evening.  There were differences and similarities.  

The morning graduation was at the flight controller and meteorologist training school.  Six of the graduates attended our Bible study regularly and a seventh came occasionally.  We grew to dearly love this group.  

The evening ceremony was at our MK school and all of the graduates this year were missionary kids and one pastor's kids; the majority of the missionary kids were from our mission.  So I've known most of these kids since they were little. 

The similarities were:
1.  Both groups were fairly small (30 for the flight controller school and 13 for our mission school).  Both groups were very close to each other; at the flight controller school they have all classes together and live in dorms together for 14 months with only a few days off and no real vacations; at the mission school the kids have …

Beyond Our Ability to Endure

I've been working on our home assignment audio-visual presentation.  It's been a lot of work, especially since it requires sorting through hundreds of pictures to choose the ones we want to use.  I was hoping to put together something that would be really "Wow!"  Well, in the end it's just a power point with some music and a few slides coming in with a fancy spin.  But it's our story, and our story is nothing more than God's story when it comes right down to it.  In fact, I have used Big Daddy Weave's song, My Story in part of the presentation.  If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it here
As I looked over the past four years of this term there were days that we felt we had reached our ability to endure.  We started the term in July 2013 and we were still recovering from the flood of 2012.  We have all of our "normal" stresses such as living in an extremely hot climate, living in the poorest country of the world, livi…