View Full Version : Reading Recs for 2016

January 2nd, 2016, 01:32 PM
I know that several forum members enjoy reading, so I would like to know what is on your book list for 2016, and what you recommend for other readers?

I just finished listening to Louise Penny's Still Life. I discovered this Canadian author and her characters a couple of years ago, and I just started her series of books over again. I recommend this series if you like mysteries, books, poetry, food, art, history, or antiques. The human condition piece that I take away from this first book is how our choices shape who we become.

There are currently 11 books in this series, but any one of them would be a good place to start.

January 2nd, 2016, 01:56 PM
Yesterday I just finished Girl on a Train by the author of Gone Girl (which I did not read). Train was such a good mystery I could not put it down! The first third of the book there is hardly any dialogue, just to warn you--but keep reading it is a great book!!

January 2nd, 2016, 02:11 PM
I'll be reading just about anything as long as it isn't a western or a bodice-ripper, or something with more sex than story. I read for the STORY, so there has to be one. Same with movies.

Carlie Wolf
January 2nd, 2016, 02:38 PM
I love suspense and psychological thrillers so I'll read anything by Preston & Child, James Patterson is high on my list too. David Baldacci, Joseph Finder, Stephen King. Philippa Gregory for historical novels. James Rollins, Dean Koontz and John Sandford. And Nora Roberts for mindless romance/suspense. They seem to be my go-to authors. I go through withdrawal if I don't have at least three books stacked up by my bed.

January 2nd, 2016, 02:49 PM
The last book I finished was an IT novel (I kid you not) and it was BRILLIANT, I really recommend it if you are in (or even interested in) IT: The Phoenix Project.

I'm currently re-reading the 50 shades-books, I often re-read stuff I like when I need to give my mind a break. I'm also reading the last book by Terry Pratchett. Such a shame that he has passed. One of his books (on tape) is almost always playing in the kitchen when I cook. I'm also reading biographies by Stephen Fry and by Jennifer Saunders. Seems I like to have many projects going, hm, that might explain why there are so many UFOs in my sewing room... :D

For 2016 I plan to read the latest from Laurell K Hamilton (of St Louis, Missouri :) ), Dead Ice. I have a few other books on my window sill (which I where I keep the new books I buy, for some reason). Mostly they are urban ficton by female writers, which is the genre I prefer. I will bring some with me on holiday in February! I don't read new stuff much anymore except when I'm on holiday; my work and family use up all my brain energy and what's left I use for sewing and watching netflix series (usually at the same time!). :)

January 2nd, 2016, 03:07 PM
Here's my top favorite titles from 2015: in no particular order
1. Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman
2. A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler
3. The Liar, Nora Roberts
4. Once in a Blue Moon, Eileen Goudge
5. Tapestry of Fortune, Elizabrth Berg
Any book written by Elizabeth Berg!!!!!
6. Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
7. The House Next Door, Anne Rivers Siddons

January 2nd, 2016, 03:15 PM
I just finished the 6th book in Jussi Alder-Olsen's Department Q series - The Hanging Girl. These books are about a detective who works cold cases in Copenhagen. The first book is The Keeper of Lost Causes. Good intense mysteries. They are long books.

For book club this month, we're reading Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It's about a 29 yr old who is still unsettled in her life. She goes to a club and has a decision to go home with an old flame or her friend. The rest of the book alternates between the story for each decision. It's a good read. Makes you think.

My goal is to read one more book than last year. I know that's not sustainable, but I love to read.

January 2nd, 2016, 03:17 PM
I like historical fiction or historical biography, nothing too political or preachy, not a fan of romance or gore. I loved Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and Pride & Prejudice. I would welcome any suggestions, I need to fill my Nook with more reading materials.

January 2nd, 2016, 03:26 PM
The best book I read last year was The Martian by Andy Weir (warning has lots of swearing in it). If you liked the movie, the book is even better. Best book series ever George R R Martin A Song of Fire and Ice (aka The Game of Thrones, warning sex and violence). A great book series without sex, swearing, and violence, is The Uplift series by David Brin.

January 2nd, 2016, 04:12 PM
The best book I read last year was The Martian by Andy Weir (warning has lots of swearing in it). If you liked the movie, the book is even better. Best book series ever George R R Martin A Song of Fire and Ice (aka The Game of Thrones, warning sex and violence). A great book series without sex, swearing, and violence, is The Uplift series by David Brin.

My DH is reading The Martian right now......one of his Christmas gifts.

Carlie Wolf
January 2nd, 2016, 05:03 PM
Denise I read the full series and loved it. Well except for the last one. I felt like he was tired of the series and I didn't think he did a great job tying up loose ends. Did you feel that way too???

January 2nd, 2016, 05:06 PM
I only wish i could stay AWAKE while reading.. I sew, cook and fill my day,, then take time for reading when i go to bed.... 3 pages.. out like a light... I suppose it's better than my friends that have trouble sleeping...
If i EVER get sick of sewing it will be back to books,, I used to be an avid reader and Elizabeth Berg is fabulous,, I tell everyone i know about her books but not many ever go and read them... Love Historical Fiction,,, I know this much is true and She's com Undone... Wally Lamb (older books but I think a good read...

January 2nd, 2016, 06:21 PM
I just finished The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Also At The Waters Edge by Sara Gruen. Both very good.

January 2nd, 2016, 06:45 PM
I read a LOT! >100 books a year. Last year I read 173 books, the most ever. I enjoy Christian fiction, especially books about the Amish. Beverly Lewis is one of my favorites. I think I've read all but the last one of Jennifer Chiaverini's books--about what else? Quilting! I enjoyed Stephanie Grace Whitson's books about the settling of the West; she has a series called the Quilt Chronicles. Lauraine Snelling is another author I like, as well as B.J. Hoff, T. Davis Bunn, Sally John, Bonnie Leon, Cindy Woodsmall, Bodie & Brock Thoene, Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Jane Kirkpatrick, Mindy Starns Clark, Doris Elaine Fell, to name a few. Although they are not Christian, this year I read Ken Follett's Century Trilogy; each book is >900 pages. Very interesting historically, but I didn't care for the sex & crime. I buy quite a few used books from thriftbooks.com as well as new, slightly imperfect or bargain books from Christian Book Distributors. I need to donate some books; my bookshelves almost are maxed out! I have many favorites I've read 2-3 times.

Last year, I read most, if not all, of Sandra Dallas' books. They are not Christian, but she is a Colorado author & she wrote about a famous house in Georgetown--"The Bride's House"--as well as the mining towns & CO history. She also wrote the non-fiction book, "The Quilt That Walked to Golden [CO] -- Women and Quilts in the Mountain West from the Overland Trail to Contemporary Colorado." I have yet to tour the Golden Museum, but it's on my to-do list. One of these days my gr. dau. & I will visit the museum. I'd much rather read a good book than watch TV. I like my books in my hands; I do not have an e-reader.

January 2nd, 2016, 06:58 PM
Stieg Larsson, series, "The Girl Who....." Great storyteller. Too bad he died.

January 2nd, 2016, 10:09 PM
There are several books that I read again and again. I love the Anne of Green Gables books.

Authors who have written books that I've read in one sitting are Dee Henderson, Francine Rivers, and Irene Hannon.

I have liked everything I've read by Elizabeth Berg, and have several of her books on my list to read.

Did Elizabeth Strout write Olive Kitteridge? I've read that and really liked it.

I think I've also read Elizabeth Gilbert novels, and I have a tendency to get names mixed up.

I recently started rereading John Jakes' Kent Family Chronicles series. I'm about halfway through the first book. I read the first five books about 30 years ago, so it has been interesting to read them again.

The reference to Golden, CO, made me think of Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas.

I'd like to read Gone with the Wind, but I haven't been able to locate a copy of it yet.

January 2nd, 2016, 10:38 PM
Gone with the Wind is available on Amazon. Tallgrass was an interesting book. Very sad how our Japanese Americans were treated during WWII. Another similar book is Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson.

January 2nd, 2016, 10:38 PM
Denise I read the full series and loved it. Well except for the last one. I felt like he was tired of the series and I didn't think he did a great job tying up loose ends. Did you feel that way too???

Yes I agree the ending of The Uplift series seemed rushed and there were a lot of loose ends. I always thought he was going to write another series to tie up the loose ends, but it has been decades, so probably not going to happen. It is still one of my favorite series that I read and reread.

January 2nd, 2016, 11:14 PM
I like Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder mysteries. Like some James Patterson, Tess Gerriston and Kathy Reichs. Can you tell I like mysteries??

January 2nd, 2016, 11:49 PM
I'm reading the Eve Duncan series by Iris Johansen. Eve is a forensic sculptor who reconstructs skeleton heads to help identify victims. Light on the romance which will appeal to those who don't like the bodice rippers. https://www.goodreads.com/series/51419-eve-duncan

Another good read is the Claire Morgan series by Linda Ladd: http://www.lindaladd.com/

I like the Eve Dallas series by J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts). Eve is a NYPD cop in the year 2060 timeframe. https://www.goodreads.com/series/41029-in-death

January 2nd, 2016, 11:57 PM
That last might be interesting. I like that sort of thing.

January 3rd, 2016, 08:44 PM
-Tamar Myers--Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries. Amish/quilting themes
-Joanne Fluke--Hannah Swenson Mysteries. (Hallmark has made them into movies)
-Walter Mosley--Easy Rawlins Mysteries and
-Cheryl McCullough--Hattiesville trilogy (Wedding Party, Absent One from Another and Christmas Dinner) http://cherylmcculloughwrites.com/

January 4th, 2016, 02:03 AM
Yesterday I just finished Girl on a Train by the author of Gone Girl (which I did not read). Train was such a good mystery I could not put it down! The first third of the book there is hardly any dialogue, just to warn you--but keep reading it is a great book!!

Girl on a Train is a very good book. Highly recommended. It was written by Paula Hawkins. Gone Girl was written by Gillian Flynn.

January 4th, 2016, 05:59 AM
Right now I am reading Cat Coming Home: A Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. I also liked Dean and Me by Jerry Lewis, anything by Carolyn Brown especially the ones set in Cadillac, Texas like The Ladies Room, and for those who like fictional history try The First Assassin by John J. Miller. It's about Lincoln. A book about a quilt and the lives it touched is The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow.

January 4th, 2016, 01:04 PM
Oh boy, love this thread! Reading is my other passion! For all of you who love to read, have you ever been on https://www.goodreads.com/? I've been on there a few years now and just love it. It is great for keeping track of books you've read as well as creating a TBR (to be read) shelf. I've joined a few groups as well and love to talk about books, see other people's book reviews, etc. Last year I joined a group that read 52 books for the year. Each week is a different category. It got me reading some books out of my comfort level that I wound up loving. This year's group is https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/174195 The categories this year are:
The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't
2. A book set in a different continent
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated)
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name
6. The highest rated on your TBR
7. A book about books
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages
9. A book that was mentioned in another book
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge
12. A childhood classic
13. Reader’s Choice
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How)
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago)
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels
17. A book with a beautiful cover
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list
19. A non-fiction book
20. A book with a first name in the title
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page
22. The first book in a new to you series
23. The next book in a series you are reading
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.)
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you
26. A book everyone is talking about
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion)
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own
31. A work of young adult fiction
32. A historical fiction book
33. The 16th book on your TBR
34. A book about mental illness
35. An award winning book
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read
38. A book about an anti hero
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list
40. A novella from your favorite genre
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction)
42. A top 100 fantasy novel
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have
46. A crime story
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English
51. A short story from a well-known author
52. A book published in 2016

It's a lot of fun! My favorite 5/5 star books from 2015 were:
Career of Evil - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25735012-career-of-evil?from_search=true&search_version=service
All the Bright Places - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18460392-all-the-bright-places?from_search=true&search_version=service
America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What made this Nation Great - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13160142-america-the-beautiful?ac=1&from_search=1
Eleanor & Park - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15745753-eleanor-park?ac=1&from_search=1
To Kill a Mockingbird - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2657.To_Kill_a_Mockingbird?from_search=true&search_version=service
Wesley the Owl - The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3001512-wesley-the-owl?from_search=true&search_version=service
Wonder - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23302416-wonder?from_search=true&search_version=service
The Thirteenth Tale - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40440.The_Thirteenth_Tale?from_search=true&search_version=service
The Silkworm - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18214414-the-silkworm?from_search=true&search_version=service
Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18342971-brain?from_search=true&search_version=service
Anne of Green Gables - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8127.Anne_of_Green_Gables?from_search=true&search_version=service

If anyone would like to send me a friend request on Goodreads, please do! https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5347182-alina

Cathy F
January 4th, 2016, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the Louise Penny recommendation just read the first two books and real!y enjoyed them!

January 4th, 2016, 10:55 PM
I have been reading the series that starts with "An Anatomists Wife" by Anna Lee Huber. I love it. It is a historical fiction mystery / romance. (Light reading)

I loved the book "Book Thief".
I have recently started reading "All the Light we Cannot See". The characters capture you from the very beginning.
If you like Sci - Fi , try the LONG series in the wheel of time. It is great!

Now, I also read lot of non-fiction technical texts... bet you can't wait! (This is the reason my other reading is mostly fiction!)

January 4th, 2016, 11:08 PM
My favorites this past year in no particular order:

1. The Martian by Andy Weir
2. All the light we cannot see by Andrew Doerr
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
4. 5 days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

January 5th, 2016, 02:45 AM
My favorites this past year in no particular order:

1. The Martian by Andy Weir
2. All the light we cannot see by Andrew Doerr
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
4. 5 days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

So Mary.....did you like The Goldfinch? I've been curious about that one.

January 5th, 2016, 05:00 AM
I have been reading again and love it. I joined a book club at my church to get me to reading again and talk about good books. I also am on GoodReads.com and really like it - add me as a friend (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/40940263-carol-bell)if you like. There are so many groups and list of good books I find myself adding more and more books to my Want To Read shelf. It's a great way to keep track of what you are reading.

I've found I tend to read more historical fiction than anything else so I joined an active HF group on GoodReads. They read a variety of HF and have quite a few lists and challenges to join.

I started reading the Elm Creek Quilt books (https://www.goodreads.com/series/40596-elm-creek-quilts) by Jennifer Chiaverini. I think I'm about halfway through that series. I also read https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15808287.Mrs__Lincoln_s_Dressmaker. I wasn't as pleased with that book as I had hoped.

If you like Amish Christian fiction, you might want to read Kelly Irvin's (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3331118.Kelly_Irvin) books. I had to read her books for two specific reasons.... 1-I know her because she goes to my church and 2-I had never heard of Amish fiction. I'm not a fan of Amish fiction as it's more like a Harliquin romance in an Amish setting.

This year I have set a goal to read 24 books. Since I'm in two book clubs, one in real life and one online, I think I'll be able to meet my goal.

One of the ladies in my book club LOVES Anne Tyler. We read Ladder of Years (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/202948.Ladder_of_Years), it was a good story, but I didn't like the ending. I want to read A Spool of Blue Thread (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22501028-a-spool-of-blue-thread) too.

January 5th, 2016, 08:29 AM
I love to read - but mostly do it on CD. Listened at work, in the car, etc. I really enjoyed the "Father Tim - Mitford" series by Jan Karon - touching. I started to listen to some of the books we were "forced" to read back in high school. My Antonia (by Willa Cather) , The Good Earth (Pearl S Buck) totally enjoyed them this time around. Janet Evanovich series - for a good laugh. Many others already listed - There are so many fantastic series, books out there. Like another person, if I sit down to actually read a book, I'm asleep in no time - Listening on CD - I can sew, cook, whatever and still "read".

January 5th, 2016, 09:35 AM
Wow - I love this thread....I love reading almost as much as I love my gkids - LOL.

I was always an avid reader, but about 25 years ago I got progressive lenses. I found that I could only read for short periods of time before my eyes got tired and watery. So little by little I gave up reading. And then came the KINDLE. My son works for a bus company and someone left their Kindle on a bus one day. He tried and tried to get in touch with the person, but finally his manager told him to just keep it. So I ask him if I could give it a try.....WOW - I could read again.
I'm on my 4th Kindle now - a Kindle Fire.....and I'm reading 2 or more books a week.....heck I've got 25 years of reading to catch up on.

I usually head to bed between 7 and 9 and, curl up with my Kindle and read until at least 10 or 11.....sometimes longer. And I alway download my books to my Kindle, my phone and my laptop....they are all synced so that no matter which one I happen to be using...Im always on the page I last left off on.

I love mysteries and am going to go back over this thread and make lists of all the books you've all recommended.......I am so excited!!!!

January 5th, 2016, 09:58 AM
I am reading "Make Me" By Lee Childs, Great Jack Reacher story. I maybe at the point of the story ready to Pop.

January 5th, 2016, 02:12 PM
Thanks to you all for these recommendations, I really want to get back to reading more now that I'm retired. I am sick of TV except for a couple of shows on Netflix.
I especially appreciate finding out about the Good Reads site. I just signed up & I think it's going to be very helpful finding new authors to read.
In line with my efforts to downsize & simplify I think I'll, take a trip to the library today & look for some new books.

January 5th, 2016, 02:21 PM
When the Kindles and Nooks came out I thought I'd never like them. I am old school I guess - I would rather go to a movie theater and I like holding a book and turning pages. But, I got a little tablet a while back and loaded the Kindle app onto it. At first it was really different and awkward, but I am so used to reading on it now. I even loaded the Kindle app onto my smart phone and read using that! It's so convenient - it holds a zillion books, books are easy to find and download, I can even check out ebooks from my library! That's what really sold me.

January 6th, 2016, 11:46 PM
So Mary.....did you like The Goldfinch? I've been curious about that one.

Yes I did!

January 7th, 2016, 12:55 AM
My most recent read was Career of Evil, I like it but Cuckoo's Calling was definitely the strongest of the three, Silkworm was fascinating too but a bit gruesome for me... All 3 of these are mysteries set in London, written by Robert Galbraith, which is actually JK Rowling.

That was my light read as we travelled home for our winter break, in mid-October I was challenged to read Gone With the Wind by my friends in Atlanta, and I finished it up on Nov. 30th while my husband was having his appendix removed. I loved it, but at times it felt like I was running a reading marathon!

I've been reading more in the past 2 years, trying to keep up with a book club at home, even though I only get to meet them once or twice a year. The House we Grew Up In was interesting, as was The Husband's Secret. I also retread a lot of classics, David Copperfield is on my 2016 list, for the third year running. It is the only Dickens I haven't read, and I hope to revisit Sense and Sensibility, it's been about 5 years since I read Pride and Prejudice, and I've been sluggishly reading my way through Prisoner of Azkaban, which is the current Potter book that I have in rotation, as there is always a Potter book in rotation.

I have also read all of the Elm Creek and Mitford books, and loved them. Jan Karon recently published s new Mitford book, I will buy the book next month, I looked at the hard cover and at $20 And the thought of lugging it through the airports, I decided to hold off.

We're back in Kazakhstan again, regrouping from our travels. For logistical reasons, I only read on my kindle or iBooks. I prefer my kindle though, it is more comfortable in my hand than the full sized iPad.

January 7th, 2016, 05:15 PM
I read quite a lot of good books last year. I prefer books with a little suspense and mystery. Beatriz Williams has written several books and I have read "Secret Life of Violet Grant" (favorite) and "A Hundred Summers". Also, the quilting mystery series by Elizabeth Craig and also the series by Mary Marks. I've read all books written by David Baldachin, Nelson DeMille and most of Jeffrey Archer. Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown and Marry Higgins Clark are also very good thrillers. For a quick mystery read, I also enjoy Joann Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson (both have recipes in them), and Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum series) and Sue Grafton (the alphabet mystery series), and Stuart Woods (Stone Barrington series). As you can see, I read a lot but still find time for quilting and sewing. Darn, I forgot the housecleaning again!!!