Books, Books, & More Books…

The year is almost up and I’m on my last books of the year (I think). I wanted to share what I’ve read in 2016, what I recommend, don’t recommend or can’t wait to read! I am mainly a non-fiction Christian-genre reader, so most of these fall within that realm. However, you’ll find a few fiction thrown in, because a girl’s GOTTA MIX IT UP once in a while, right?

(Hint! Read to the end of this post and I’ve got a promo code good for print books on Amazon TODAY ONLY!)

Currently Reading:


I bought Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at the airport this past weekend, and started the evening I arrived home. In one sitting, I read 45% of it. (I was tired the next morning, for the record.) What a weird story! But I love how the photographs used are woven into the story. But friend, some of the photos are creepy. Though so far, so good on the story … though it’s weird. By the time you read this, I may be done with it, so I’ll let you know how it is!

I’ve been dying to get my hands on Beth Moore’s first fiction work, her novel The Undoing of Saint Silvanus and I just started it today! Have you read it yet? I’ve heard it’s good, but we shall see! 🙂

The Foundations of the Christian Faith I started in June and it’s a doozy! Think textbook style. It’s super enlightening though and has brought up aspects of Christianity I never have really thought of. I’m on the slow-track to read this one … about 6 chapters a month, so I should finish in like 3-4 months at this rate.


What I’ve Read in 2016:

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A Favorite Fiction:

The Bastard (The Kent Family Chronicles) This is a style of book I don’t normally read – historical fiction. So I was surprised when I quickly was hooked. It’s set during the start of the Revolutionary War about a French illegitimate son of an English duke who finds himself crossing the ocean to the colonies and then caught in the middle of all the major historical events and with all the important people like Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams at the start of the war. If you’re into history at all, it’s pretty cool. I’ll be getting the next book in this series soon. 🙂

A Favorite Non-Fiction:

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely This was is my most highlighted book of the year. Lysa brings incredible wisdom and biblical perspective to feelings that EVERY ONE OF US feels at some point during our lives. Read this if you haven’t. It’s one I’ve gone back to in order to reference multiple times throughout the year.

Good Reads:

These are books I would add to your To-Read list, if I had a say in it. 🙂

Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy
The SuperMom Myth
Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life
Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole
Love Warrior (Oprah’s Book Club): A Memoir
Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World
Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World
Breaking Up with Perfect: Kiss Perfection Good-Bye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You

A Man Called Ove: A Novel
The Thirteenth Chance
The Girl on the Train


Not much to say about these. They were good, but not my favs.

Faithful Finance: Money Essentials & Biblical Principles
Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World

Don’t Waste Your Time:

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives 

Biggest Disappointment:

Ugh. I don’t want to tell you.

I can’t.

I won’t tell you.

Okay, yes I will.

But I don’t want to…

Because this author is fabulous. And I love her. She’s written a ton of books, and I’ve heard her speak, pouring her heart out on stage with me hanging on every word.

Which is why I tripped over myself and 800 other eager women at She Speaks to buy Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living to have Shauna sign my copy this past summer. My copy was the last one she signed at that conference before she jetted off to her next speaking gig the week before it released.

But y’all – I couldn’t do it.

I tried so hard to like this book, especially when friends of mine raved and praised it as the best read of the year. I couldn’t … I couldn’t even finish it. And I’m so sad about it.

I gave it a valiant effort, and got through 3/4 of the book, but everything of quality in the book, I had heard her speak on stage. The message of the book is important and necessary, but it was redundant and told story after story of her at her lake house. And that was it. It would have made a great essay.

I really am sad I didn’t enjoy this. But I wanted more than stories of lake house visits and a few whimsical thoughts while there.

Don’t get me wrong – some parts were great… Some.

So yeah – this one was a disappointment for me.

What You HAVE to Read (if you haven’t already):

Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard. My guess is you haven’t read this yet, because it doesn’t come out until next month (Jan, 2017). I happen to be on Jennie’s launch team for this book, so I read it last month and you’ll see me posting more about it in the next few weeks on social media. Though, girlfriend … this book is incredible. You can pre-order it right now ON SALE by clicking HERE.

The Magnolia Story Maybe you don’t watch HGTV and the show Fixer Upper … but you should. Because Chip & Jo are my BFFs. (They don’t know it, but they totally are. Or at least they would be … if we knew each other. But minor details.*wink*) This show is dabomb, even for people who don’t like shows like this, for example my husband. He will watch this with me not under protest. So to read their story and hear details about their lives and faith was pretty fun. (I recommend this in audiobook, because they read it themselves!)

Without Rival: Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison So I don’t know much about this author, except that apparently she’s pretty popular? Ha! (And apparently, I live under a rock.) Though I’ve seen a few clips of her speaking that were pretty powerful. Then I heard her say this, “God doesn’t love his children the equally. He loves them uniquely.” This caught my attention, so I picked up this audiobook on Audible and gobbled it up in 2 days. Jesus has been speaking to me recently about my identity in Christ, and this book was a part of His message to me. There was a lot in it about gender issues in the church, something I’ve (naively?) never concerned myself with, but it was good and enlightening. So yes. Go get this one, ladies.

Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough If you remember, I was on this launch team earlier this year, and this book blessed me ten-fold. Jessi’s first chapter she wrote (Chapter 2, I think) threw me to my knees.

So that’s it. What I’ve read, what I liked, what I didn’t and where I was indifferent.

Also – a FUN treat for TODAY ONLY – you can use the code GIFTBOOK on Amazon and receive $5 off a print book order of $15 or more.

(read the fine print here. Expires Dec. 13 @2:59am)

Have you read any of these and agree or disagree with me?

What have you read this year that you recommend??

Below is what is on my shelf waiting to be read. What about you?


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1 Comment

  • Reply Melissa Fagan December 22, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I just downloaded samples of the nonfiction to my brand new early Christmas kindle. Thanks for the suggestions. Ready for vacation (And lots of time as a car passenger)

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