I’ve read a lot of books this year. I’m not sure how many – maybe 50? Hmm . . . maybe I’ll keep track next year? For this year, though, I tried to remember (and narrow down) my favorites to come up with a list for you. It’s a varied list – as usual, but each book on this list is one that I either savored or inhaled, have thought about many times since reading the final page, and would even love to read again. I can’t wait to hear about your favorite books of the year!
- Just Between You and Me: A Novel of Losing Fear and Finding God by Jenny B. Jones – I’ve talked about this one before, but I really loved it! As in, subscribe to the author’s blog and even read her YA books, loved it.
- The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? by Richard Stearns – I put off reading this book for nearly a year, because I knew it would change me, change my heart. And it did. But to be honest, I haven’t done much about it. Maybe I need to read it again. With a highlighter.
- The Reluctant Entertainer: Every Woman’s Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality by Sandy Coughlin – I read this book after a not-so-successful family event and every word hit home. I can’t wait to read through it again and plan to give it to several people this next year.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J.K. Rowling – Perhaps you’ve heard of this series? Kidding. After waiting more than a decade to start reading Harry Potter (and diligently avoiding every spoiler out there), I have devoured the first four books. The fifth one is an intimidating million pages long, but I plan to dive into it soon.
- Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer – If you’re not a fan of fluffy romance or fantasy fiction, then don’t bother with this one. If you happen to be more open-minded, however, then I suggest this for a fun read. All of Crusie’s books make me laugh, but I especially love it when she writes with Mayer.
- Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani – I actually checked this older book out of the library after a recommendation from Jenny B. Jones – or, at least, her blog. It was a well-written story with interesting characters, and I’m looking forward to reading more by this author.
- Nowhere Carolina by Tamara Leigh – Usually, I speed-read chick lit and forget it as soon as I close the cover. But this one stuck with me a bit longer. For chick lit and Christian fiction, that’s saying something. Ergo, it’s on the list.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I’m sure you haven’t heard anyone say this one is good, right? It’s just me? Ha! Seriously, the best book I read this year. LOVED it. Wish I could read it again.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – And this one! This book was recommended by so many people, but it just sounded awful. I mean, the title! The premise! The whole thing! And it was LOVELY. And smart. And funny. And wonderful. I loooved this book.
- Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist – This is the book I savored. Not because I didn’t love it enough to read it quickly, but because I didn’t want it to end. Thankfully, Niequist wrote another book called Bittersweet. Which I also savored – and can’t wait to read again! Come back later for a full review of that one – and a giveaway!
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
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I read a lot too and I can’t even remember what I read this year or last year. Oops. I know I loved The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. The Given Day by Dennis Lehane. I discovered Ted Dekker and I love his style of writing, very exciting supernatural fiction.
I read Blink by Ted Dekker several years ago and LOVED it, but I’ve never read any of his other books.
Thank you so much. I’m so honored to make the cut!! I worshiped, loved, and adored Guernsey. I loved, loved, loved The Help too, but Guernsey had so much heart. I also totally enjoy a good Jennifer Crusie book, but I haven’t been able to get into her co-authored books. But I only tried one, so I need to try again. And you have made Cold Tangerines sound quite intriguing…must check into that. Happy Christmas!
I don’t think I loved Crusie’s first co-authored book. They definitely have a different feel than her other books. Wild Ride, for some reason, just stuck with me. (Although it definitely has the paranormal angle you have said you don’t love!)
I’m on track for my goal of reading 100 books this year and will highlight my favorites when I’m done- stay tuned. I recently finished Just Between You and Me and thought it was fantastic! The Help is definitely a favorite from this year, as well as Guernsey. I’m so glad you read it and liked it! Bittersweet, Singled Out, and Radical rocked me in such different ways. I hadn’t read Niequist before Bittersweet so Cold Tangerines is definitely on my list!
I haven’t read Radical yet…I’m a little afraid to!
I also loved The Guernsey Literary… and The Help. Such amazing books. I was so surprised when a big reader friend of mine didn’t like the Help. Is that possible? I keep track of which books I read on Goodreads. It’s so convenient!
Wow. I’ve never heard of someone NOT liking The Help! That’s crazy!
Oh … I love favourite book posts! :) Some of these sound so good! I love reading, but don’t think I’ve read 50 books this year – maybe next year! :)
My goal for next year is to read a good number of quality books. Because I have to admit that a lot of my “close to 50” lacked in the quality department!
I also use Goodreads to keep track of what I read and what I want to read. It’s also a great forum for finding recommendations from people that like the same books you like. I highly recommend it!
I used Goodreads, too. It helps me keep track of the authors I love so I don’t miss their new books!
My favorite from 2010 was Escape by Carolyn Jessop. The true story of a woman who escaped from a polygamist cult. Blew my mind. I also loved The Help and Guernsey Literary Society. Love your blog! Have you read Water for Elephants? Its been out a while and the movie’s coming out soon but if you haven’t read it, check it out ASAP! So good. (I think I read it in 2009, that’s why it wasn’t my favorite this year :)
I just saw the preview for Water for Elephants. My best friend was with me and said she didn’t love the book but it’s her friend’s favorite!
My church gave our entire congregation(1000+) The Hole in Our Gospel (asked for a small $5.00 donation if you could). GREAT book!!! Last month they gave out” The Treasure Principle” unlocking the secret of joyful giving, by Randy Alcorn. So so so recommend this!! Only 120 pages & really makes you re-think our treasures here on earth. Thanks for sharing your list!
Wow. That is amazing. I love hearing stories like that about churches who really get it and want their congregation to get it, too!