It’s that time of the year again!! Time to award some of my favorite reads from 2016. All of the links provided will take you to Goodreads.
Most Beautiful Cover: A Heart Most Certain This was a hard one, but I managed to narrow down my favorites to this beauty.
Best Setting: The Colonel’s Lady and The Measure of Katie Calloway I thoroughly enjoyed the way these historic settings came to life and helped tell the stories in both of these novels. The Colonel’s Lady was set in Kentucky during the Revolutionary War. The Measure of Katie Calloway was set in a Michigan lumber camp in the 1860s.
Kept Me Guessing: The Painter’s Daughter Wow. Just wow. Klassen kept my head spinning down to the last pages with her 2015 release.
Favorite Heroine: At Every Turn I found a kindred spirit in Mateer’s heroine. While she may drive a tad bit faster than I do, I couldn’t help but cheer on her evangelistic heart and love her all the more for it.
The Most Highlighted Book and Greatest Spiritual Impact: Return to Me Austin’s Biblical story remains a highlight of my 2016 reading and I can’t recommend it enough.
Favorite Hero: Dear Mr. Knightley Maybe because he was an author…or extremely charming…or because his charm was so effortless and natural. Whatever it is, the hero of Dear Mr. Knightley remained high on my list all year long. This novel also goes down in history as one that made me cry multiple times. But don’t let that scare you, it was a great read full of heart, laughter, and, yep, a few tears. 🙂
Gospel Message: Journey to Love and A Love to Come Home To Tero and Ruggieri KNOW how to present the Gospel throughout their work in a beautiful way. It’s not heavy handed, but it’s always well handled.
Message on Repentance and Grace: A Reluctant Melody, Until Then, and Newton and Polly There’s nothing like redeeming the one who went astray. Each of these books stood out as great examples of God’s grace.
Best Supporting Cast: Flirtation Walk Siri crafted a wide variety of memorable characters in this one.
Heartbreakingly Good: Land of Silence and Though Waters Roar Sometimes you just have to slow down and take in a book so heavy and so beautiful that it leaves you speechless. I’ve had two such stand-out novels in that department this year.
Biblical Retelling: For Such a Time I was so impressed with this retelling of Esther. For me, it brought the realities of Esther’s difficult circumstances to light in a setting that I’m more familiar with. The harsh realities became more apparent with the WWII backdrop.
Favorite Coloring Book: For I Know the Plans I’ve had my hands on several great coloring books this year. You can catch up on my reviews here. But my favorite remains For I Know the Plans. I simply love the graphics and collection of verses used in this book. It’s the same book that inspired the blog post, How Coloring Changed My Life.
Best Mystery: Ghost Writer Rene outdone herself with this one. Ghost Writer remains one of my top books of the year and I highly recommend it.
Favorite Child Character: On Distant Shores There’s nothing like a sweet little Italian girl. 🙂 I’m just saying.
Best War Fiction: In Perfect Time Sundin’s novel covered a little of everything and I couldn’t get enough of it. Very impressive work and another top fave of mine for the year.
Novella Collection: A Match Made in Texas It’s rare to get a novella collection where I would rate every story with 5 stars but A March Made in Texas made it easy.
Family Theme: A Portrait of Emily Price Katherine stole my heart with her Italian family drama.
Best Comedy: Greetings from the Flipside There’s a reason why Rene Gutteridge became one of my favorite authors of the year and Greetings from the Flipside had something to do with it. This was a hilarious novel from start to finish and remains a top read of the year.
Contemporary Best All Around: When Love Arrives Some books are just good for every reason imaginable. When Love Arrives is one of them. Note: This is the second book of the series so if you’re picking it up for the first time, read them in order.
Historical Best All Around: Waves of Mercy In the historical genre, Waves of Mercy had everything going for it.
Best Food: Buying Love Love and food come together in this novel. It’ll keep you hungry and entertained.
Most Read Author: ??? I was blown away by how much I had read by one single author when I wasn’t even trying. I’ll be posting about this special author in a separate post this month and sharing quotes.
Favorite Couple: Like a Flower in Bloom I loved the chemistry between these two. From the first scene to the last, they were a favorite of mine.
Couple with the stickiest problem: Honor Redeemed Few stories bring together two believers under a struggle like this one. Honor Redeemed was memorable for the way Christine made her moral characters struggle.
Best New Release: A Heart Most Certain Jeagers had me from the moment she compared her hero to Scrooge and she kept me till the very end. I loved everything about this one and highly recommend it.
Oldest Novel: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen published in 1817
Favorite Fallback: Margret Brownley and the Pinkerton Ladies series There were a few times that I found myself in a reading rut and it was Brownley to the rescue!
Best Dressed: The Colonel’s Lady I looked over all the books that I’ve read and chose my favorite dress on the cover.
Most Creative Retelling: Befriending the Beast Tero dusts off a classic and tells it in her own way, with the beast being Belle’s father!! What a thought!
Favorite Ending: Nightingale There is so much to praise here in Nightingale. Particularly the ending. I won’t give anything away. But I was on the edge of my seat, almost in tears, delighted, and spiritually blessed and all within a few pages. Warren has crafted a memorable ending here with Nightingale.
Couple with the most Friction: One Enchanted Eve and Red Door Inn Tension in real life is a hassle. Tension in a novel is gold! These two novels nailed it!
Favorite Christmas Novel: Baby, It’s Cold Outside I love a good snowed-in story and Warren did a lovely job with this one.
Most Awkward Meeting: Stealing the Preacher You’ll have to pick this one up to find out why I labeled it the most awkward first meeting for a couple. 😉
Now it’s your turn! Feel free to borrow my list and hand out awards to your own books. Or share some of your top favorites for the year with me.
Did you pick up any new books for your TBR list based on my awards?
If you could recommend only ONE book to me that you read in 2016, what would it be?