You think my tractor’s sexy? You should see my top 20 book list.

You think the toy tractor sitting on the floor of the beyond-messy playroom is sexy? You should see my top twenty book list. 

Because y’all: I read a whole lotta books in 2016, and I’d love to let you in on my top twenty reads. So, can we get this reading-tractor-sexiness party started?

I knew you’d say yes.

But first, some stats…

Number of books read: 113, which is 11 more than each of the last two years!

Mode of reading: Audible! Hardback! KindleOverdrive! Paperback!

Best book I read: Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. I haven’t cried while reading a book in a long, long time – and this was more than good for my soul. He’s smart. He’s deeply empathetic and soulfully brilliant. And when cancer invites itself into his life, he lets us all in, one breathtaking page at a time as he embraces both life and death.

Book genres: academic (4), fiction (32), non-fiction (17), Christian non-fiction/memoir (32), YA fiction (4), memoir (16), cookbook (3), children’s (3), plays (1), humor (1)

Female/male authorship: 80 females, 33 males

81% of the books I read were published in the last five years

March boasted the biggest number of books read in a month (12), while April brought in the fewest number of books read (6). Funny how that took place in back-to-back months…

Total number of pages consumed: 31,940 pages

So, what other 19 books am I dying to share with you, that I’d love for you to add to your shelves today? Read on!


The book that will restore your faith in humanity: The One-In-a-Million Boy (Monica Wood)

The book dedicated to my unrequited high school self: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (Sarvenaz Tash)

The book for everyone who loves books: The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)

The book any fan of classic literature (and The Babysitter’s Club) has to read: Texts from Jane Eyre (Mallory Ortberg)

The book that will make you fall in love with YA lit: Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon)


The book that’ll make you get up and do something with your life: Year of Yes (Shonda Rhimes)

The book every human in America needs to read right now, when it comes to issues of race: The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander)

The (journalistic) book about Jesus that Christians and non-Christians alike need to get their hands on: Rescuing Jesus (Deborah Jian-Lee)

The book that makes you realize why people win Pulitzers: Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)

The book that reads like a poem, because it’s written by an actual poet: Light of the World (Elizabeth Alexander)

The book of free-verse poetry that reads like butter: Brown Girl Dreaming (Jacqueline Woodson)

The book every aspiring memoirist must read, no questions asked: The Art of Memoir (Mary Karr)


The book your inner Anglican will piously scream for: Liturgy of the Ordinary (Tish Harrison Warren)

The book all the happy-clappy Christians need to embrace: Prophetic Lament (Soong-Chan Rah)

The book that’s hauntingly relevant in America today: Assimilate or Go Home (D.L. Mayfield)

The book every Jesus girl needs to pick up: A Woman’s Place (Katelyn Beaty)

The book that’ll spark the poetic Pentecostal inside you: How to Survive a Shipwreck (Jonathan Martin)

The book you and your faith community need to wrestle through now, when it comes to racial reconciliationRoadmap to Reconciliation (Brenda Salter McNeil)

So, there you go, friends. Here’s to bringing sexy back via all those books we stick our noses in this coming year. Might your reading – and your tractor – be sexy. Also, connect with me on Goodreads if you haven’t already!

Happy reading!


Your thoughts? You agree, disagree? Which of my choices made you vomit in your mouth, and which ones made you fist-pump the air with glee? And tell me, what was the best book YOU read in 2016? Tell, tell! 

3 thoughts on “You think my tractor’s sexy? You should see my top 20 book list.

  1. I love the way you share your reading list–I kept your spreadsheet this past year and am hoping to do a post like this of my own soon 🙂

    Some recommendations here I will have to check out–especially given some of your intriguing one-line explanations!

    I too enjoyed Brown Girl Dreaming (did you listen or read it? I listened, which was wonderful) and was haunted by The New Jim Crow.

    1. Oh, awesome, Amy! Sounds like you’re pretty interested in books about issues of race …well, look in the next couple of weeks for four books I’ll be reading in February by black authors for Black History Month. Would love to have you join me and/or blog about it on your own site! x.

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