Saturday, December 31, 2016

Let's Bust a Recap : 2016

Hey-o! It's New Years Eve. Time to bust a recap of my reading accomplishments for 2016. And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I read every book on my list (except one) and then some. My official goal for this year was to read 20 books. #nailedit
I also had a secret goal which was to read 24 books. #nailedthattoo
Granted, I read three full novels in the last week alone, but goals are goals and if the housework has to take a hit in order for me to achieve them, then that's just a sacrifice I'm willing to make. The only book from my original list that I decided to give up on was In Their Own Voices by Simon & Roorda. After our adoption came to an end in May, I lost the motivation to continue that one, and I don't really feel bad about it. 

So without further ado, here's a little review of everything I read this year:

Obviously, I read the majority of this book prior to 2016, but I couldn't quite wrap it up by the end of last year. It was a real hallelujah moment when I turned the last page on this one.

So good! I can't believe I had never read this one before.

Couldn't put this one down. Probably the most thrilling thing I read this year.

Not gonna lie, kindof a let-down after all the hype surrounding this little play, but it was still good. I mean, it's Shakespeare after all. 

A re-read (duh) and completely lovely (as usual).

Still feels awkward telling you people I read a sex book this year, but the truth is the truth and this may have been the most encouraging thing I read this year.

I think this may have been the longest book I read this year (not including TR since I read most of that one before this year), but it was excellent.

So nice to read a manageable biography after slugging through TR for such a long time. I'd love to read more from Joseph J. Ellis.

Possibly my favorite read for the year. I loved this book.

Such a fun one! It was like going on summer vacay with my high school girlfriends that I haven't seen in forever. 

Perfect October read. After I finally made it through that dadgum introduction, I couldn't put this one down. I highly recommend reading it during the month of October.

Y'all. The next two books in The Baby Years are both coming out next year. April and October according to this blog post. They're taking up two valuable slots on my 2017 book list, but I am so excited!!

Chilling. Possibly the most unconventional book I've ever read. 

Meh. Whatever.

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan : completed 12/23
Beautiful, beautiful book. Written in 1678 by English author John Bunyan, it is considered one of the most significant works of English religious literature. It has been cited as the first novel written in English but has been translated into over 200 languages, and it has never been out of print since its original publication. I haven't written a recap of this one (or any of the final ones on this list) because I just finished it a week ago (and I've pretty much been reading non-stop the whole rest of this week), so consider this a mini-recap of The Pilgrim's Progress. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to get through this one this year but a little determination goes a long way. I absolutely loved this book, but it's not one I could get through very quickly. I had to stop and digest it bit by bit. My favorite part of Part I (Christian's journey) was his capture by the Giant Despair and his subsequent escape from Doubting Castle. My favorite part of Part II (Christiana's and her children's journey) was hearing the stories of characters such as Mr. Fearing, Mr. Feeble-mind, Mr. Despondency and his daughter Much-afraid reminding me how tender my sweet Lord is and how I should live without fear. We've got several Wednesdays in January already dedicated to quotes from this classic work. Again: beautiful book.

Child of Grace by Irene Hannon : completed 12/24
This one was loaned to me, and I wanted to read and return it before the year was over. Totally a generic Christian romance, and I totally read it in less than 24 hours. #cantstopwontstop

Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber : completed 12/28
Another loaner. First Debbie Macomber book I've ever read. It was about a wife leaving her husband a list of 3 women she wanted him to consider dating and marrying after she passed away. Interesting, but the characters were difficult to like, and can someone tell me why this whole opposites-attract, we-hate-each-other's-guts-but-then-somehow-end-up-together storyline has caught on and become such a common plot for movies and books? I mean, is that the way it happens for anyone in real life? It's tired, and I don't buy it.

Gardenias for Breakfast by Robin Jones Gunn : completed 12/29
This was my personal reward book. I decided back when I bought this book in July that if I finished everything on my list, I could read this one--but only after I finished everything else. DONE! Reading Gardenias for Breakfast was like taking my own private little victory lap. And what a precious book to end the year with, too. I was crying sweet heart tears at the end of this mother-daughter story. Y'all already know I feel this way, but RJG can do no wrong.

So there you have it. 24 books in 12 months. Fun fact: the three novels I read this past week all had significant characters named Hannah in them. My name has never really been a super-popular one, so I found that out of the ordinary. What have you read this year? Anything worth recommending? Have you accomplished any goals or resolutions this year that you're proud of? I hope so, and I hope you enjoy bringing in 2017 tonight with the ones you love. Check back tomorrow for my 2017 book list and see ya next year!


  1. I read One Thousand Gifts, Same Kind of Different As Me, The Magnolia Story and I thought I was going to finish Let Me Be A Woman, but I'm only half way and well...tomorrow is 2017. Haha. We will see how far I get today. Vacation and a FB fast has done wonders for me and my reading/family life. Love you, see you next year! 😘

    1. Wow! That's awesome! Great job. Let Me Be A Woman is a lot longer than you think. I remember putting it on my list this year thinking it was just a little book and would probably be a really quick one, but there's a lot in there! I saw that you got the Lineage of Grace series for Christmas. Those are so good. I miss you guys so much! Can't wait for you to get back. Let me know once you're on the road and keep me updated. Love you!

  2. That is awesome! I have been inspired by your reading list to plan a 2017 reading list of my own. Let Me Be a Woman is on it; so keep the recommendations coming!

    1. That is awesome, Jess! Agnes Grey is on my 2017 list based on YOUR recommendation. :)

  3. A thousand hoorahs, Hannahbelle, I knew you would finish it! Happy New Year and go get 'em to new goals for 2017.

    1. Thanks, Dad. You and Mom are the reason I love to read so much. I love you!

  4. I didn't deliberately make a reading list last year because I've always struggled to stick to the plans I make - 30 day Challenge anyone? Lol but most of the books I read last year were Sci-Fi/Fantasy (duh). Lol I should keep track of how many this year and do a recap of each one.