The Best Five Books of 2016

I finished my reading goal of 52 books a year in 2016. Reading time is precious, and no one wants to waste it on a book you have to fight your way through. I was moved by each of these works. I savored the feelings the pages brought to life, or what I pondered as I read. May your reading be worthwhile and fill you will joy and wonder in the New Year.

homegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi– Homegoing is a powerhouse of a novel. It spans hundreds of years of history. It begins in Africa as slaves are shipped from the Cape Coast, to life on southern plantations, and ending in poor Harlem. I thought about all the ways we are enslaved, through our own thoughts, emotions, through addictions, bitterness or anger. Even after the characters were freed, they were enslaved by these things until they worked those shackles off as well. This is a work of impressive fiction.

To Purchase on Amazon, click here: Homegoing: A novel

avalavender__spanThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton– I love to imagine life in old Seattle at the turn of the century.  This book let me wander through a barely settled rainy Seattle, with strong and beautiful characters. I love a good tragedy, I long for books that captures the longing of the human heart. I also love odd, and this story was wonderfully quirky as well. If you only like happy books, stay away. If you love rich writing, exquisitely woven settings, with twists and a little sadness, you will savor Ava Lavender and her beautiful sorrows.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Fish in a treeFish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt– I have taught for many years, and my heart has always been for the children for whom learning does not come easy. The main character has dyslexia, and has carefully hidden her inability to read.  I believe when one person understands our struggle, it makes it a little easier to carry. I loved this book, because it provides a voice of understanding for those who struggle to learn.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Fish in a Tree

up to this pointeUp to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo– When a ballerina in San Francisco has her life plan derailed, she does what most would never do, goes to Antarctica. I loved the dual settings of this book. The love story was believable, but not sappy, contrived or predictable. It combined science, history, and a fun story. Light hearted, and well written, I enjoyed the journey. A little bit, Where’d you go Bernadette without the zany breakdown.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Up to This Pointe


the readers of broken wheel recommendThe Reader’s of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald- I live to find books about book lovers. Two bookstore owners from opposite sides of the world (Sweden and Iowa) become book sharing pen pals, and meet in Iowa one summer. When a swedish book worm lands in a small Iowa town, no one knows what to do with her. They finally find common ground with, you guessed it, books. I was sad when this sweet and charming book was over. This is the happiest little tale of friendship, and I devoured every word.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend


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