To say I love books would be a bit of an understatement. I was that kid who hid a flashlight in my room so that I could read after lights out. And once that was discovered and taken away by my parents (which happened at least once or twice a week), I would then attempt to read by the streetlight outside my bedroom window. Yeah, obsessed would probably be a more accurate word for my relationship with books.
After having my first daughter, I found that reading began to fall further down on my priority list. 2016 was the first year in so long that I found time to read, much to my delight. As the year came to a close, I realized I had read a lot of books. I mean, A LOT. So I sat down and made a list of all my reads of the year (thank God for so much of my reading being done digitally, so much easier to track). The final count? 201. Yep, somehow I managed to read 201 books in the last year. Holy. Shit.
I always knew I wanted to use this space for more than just writing about my own writing and publishing journey. I wanted to share some of my daily life, but more than that, I wanted to write and share about the reads that stuck with me. The books that moved me, that wouldn't let me go. I decided to create a list of my favorite reads of 2016. Creating a list from 200 books was not easy. I ended up with a list of 20 books and 10 series that I loved. Some of the individual books may be part of a series (if this is the case, it's because I've only read one of the books in the series or it's from a series of standalone's). These are all books I have or would read again, and all were books I either purchased or read through Kindle Unlimited (I seriously love KU; I've discovered so many amazing books and so many fantastic author's through it).
I considered writing a blurb for each of these books and series, but I realized it would have ended up sounding very repetitive, and I really don't want to influence what others think before going into these books. I can say that there were so many that I related to on a deep level, some made me laugh out loud at times that I really needed a good laugh (one in particular had me laughing so hard in the gym that I was getting strange looks from other people working out), and many touched or moved me in a way that I found myself thinking about them long after I finished.
If you've read any of these books, I would love to hear your thoughts and discuss in the comments! These are in no particular order, and my hope is that you might find a new book or author that you love too!
- Moonshot by Alessandra Torre
- Shameless by Lex Martin
- A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner
- Tonic by Staci Hart
- The Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken *NOTE: If you have a Kindle, I HIGHLY recommend reading the Kindle in Motion version of this book. It was one of the coolest reading experiences I've had, and I really hope more writers embrace the potential of this.
- The Delivery by Mara White
- Idol by Kristen Callihan
- Felony Ever After by Various Authors
- Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward *NOTE: I actually recommend reading Stepbrother Dearest first, if you can. I read Neighbor Dearest first and kinda wish I wouldn't have. It's not necessary to read Stepbrother Dearest at all as they are both standalone's, but it really added to the story for me. Oh, and I also liked it enough that it almost made this list.
- Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
- The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry
- Hardball by CD Reiss
- Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
- Three, Two, One by JA Huss
- Too Late by C. Hoover
- The Prince by Jillian Dodd
- The Pact by Karina Halle
- Wasted Words by Staci Hart
- Confess by Colleen Hoover
- Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras
- Dearest Series by Lex Martin
- The Mister Series by JA Huss
- The Wrong Series by Jana Aston
- Amato Brothers Series by Winter Renshaw
- Bad Habits Series by Staci Hart
- The Rockstar Series by Anne Mercier
- Killer Buzz Float Greatest Hits Volume 1 by Kendall Grey *NOTE: Full disclosure, I have only read these first three books in the series, but loved them enough to put them on the list.
- Offensive Line Series by Tracey Ward
- Rixton Falls Series by Winter Renshaw
- More Than Series by Jay McLean *NOTE: Full disclosure, I have only read the first three books of this series, but I loved them enough to add them to this list, and I'm pretty confident I will also love the two books I have yet to read.