Last year on a whim, I decided to write about the books I had read to meet my reading goal for 2015. At the time I was quite compelled to write it, but it felt like maybe a waste of a post and I had no idea how it would be received. I never could have imagined what an incredible response it would receive from all of you. Not only did you all love it, but so did I! I thoroughly enjoyed finding this new way to connect with so many of you through a common love of reading, and appreciated all of the wonderful recommendations I received.

This year my goal was steady at 30 books and I just met it with one day to spare! Overall, this was a really great year of reading. My tastes are definitely migrating away from fiction and more toward non-fiction, which is very amusing to me as a former die hard fiction reader. I have discussed some of these books already in depth, and some I may review more closely in the future.  Below I will list all of the books I read last year in chronological order, as well as put them into one of a handful of categories: must read, pretty wonderful read, good/not great, and don’t bother. As before, I’ll list my top five reads of the year at the bottom of the post, i.e. those that are on my required reading list for all of humanity!

If you look carefully, you’ll see that more than five of the above I consider to be “must reads”. Even so, my top five from these 30 titles are:

I cannot stress enough how important reading is in my life, and how much I feel it continues to help me grow as a person. If 30 books in a year seems outrageous to you, start smaller. Set a goal! Make sure it is manageable and will keep you motivated but won’t have you stressing about it. If you would like me to add you as a friend on Goodreads, please let me know either in a comment below or in an email via the contact form. Make sure to include either a username or the email associated with your account so I will be able to find you. Cheers to a fabulous year of reading!

Edited to add: Apparently Goodreads has a limit to the number of friends you can add per day! If I haven’t replied to your comment, your private email, or your instagram comment, it is because I haven’t added you as a friend yet. But I will, I promise! Just hang tight while we wait out this silly limit thing.

  • I’m reading “Between the World & Me” now, & a couple of yours were on my read-in-2016 list, too. I can’t believe I haven’t read “Notorious RBG” yet! I’ve started blogging at the start of each month about what I read the month before; I don’t know if anyone cares, but it helps me remember what I loved!

  • ellie

    Again I must tell you just how much I love your blog and you. I’m grown up with a child and a job but man, I still want to be you when I grow up.

  • caitlinkemper

    Hi Annie! I would love to connect with you on Goodreads. I have been reading your blog since I was still in high school and am always blow away with all of the amazing things you are able to accomplish. Definitely an inspiration to a fellow gal who is trying to get the most out of life as you are. I too am an avid reader (though I must admit, a bit less since I started dental school) and I always love getting new books to add to my list. That you so much for all of the time and effort you put into this blog and all of the wonderful things you have shared over the years. Wishing you a happy New Year! My username should be Caitlin Kemper.

  • Jacqueline

    Yay! So glad you did this again! Please add me on good reads at thanks!

  • Jessica

    Yay! Thanks for sharing! I recently read several of your ‘pretty wonderful’ ones and loved them, so I’m really excited to place hold requests for other books on the list. :)

  • Cara

    Was looking forward to this post- love it! Just finished Pro yesterday and recommended it to all my friends. Can’t wait to read some of these books you suggested :)

  • Tricia Healy

    Do you have a GoodReads account? I think you just might love it. It will open up a whole new world of finding great books to read.

  • Makala

    Definitely fell WAY short of my reading goal last year, for a number of reasons. However, it is definitely a goal of mine to read more in 2017! I just downloaded “The Nightingale” the other day, so I was happy to hear you enjoyed it. Would love for you to add me as a friend on Goodreads! My user name is: Makala E

  • Kristin

    What a great way to start the year, and I am so glad this posted on a day the library is open! I have only read I Am the Messenger and When Breath Becomes Air, so you have given me a great gift here. Adichie is a favorite in our house, so I look forward to reading more of her work. Thanks so much!!

  • Annie

    Oh wonderful! I’m glad there are some new ideas here for you to add to your list!

  • Annie

    Added you!

  • Annie

    Just added you!

  • Annie

    Thank you so much Caitlin! Are you in NV or MO? There are two on Goodreads, and not sure which one is you. Thanks!

  • Annie

    Haha! Thank you Ellie :) This made me laugh.

  • Colleen

    This post is one of my favorites!! I tried for 52 books last year and got to 42…not too shabby. Lots of great suggestions on here–would love to follow on goodreads (I’m brightsidephd).

  • Joanne Piper

    I love the fact you set a goal of reading 30 books a year. I read a lot but never put a number on it. (Almost 3 books a month!) In this busy world taking time out to read is a gift.

  • Moira C

    I always love to hear what other people are reading! It’s funny, I realized when I looked back on my reading list this year that I read almost no non-fiction in the last quarter of 2016 instead of the good mix I had in the first part of the year. I’ve been eyeing several of your non-fiction picks, so I’m really glad to hear good reviews of those! Time to add them to my library holds list I think. If you want to connect on goodreads my user name should be moiraconlan.

  • alyssa termini

    I’m so glad you posted this, I picked up on your reading challenge via Instagram and was so inspired, but I feel like I’m always lacking in book choices. I can’t say that anymore! I would love to connect with you on Goodreads, I’m super new to this (as in, I joined last night after reading this post) and I believe my username is Alyssa Termini

  • Love this! I was looking for some new books to read! I have been wanting to read Malala’s book for a while :)
    Rachael xx.

  • Kirsten Williamson

    Thanks for sharing! The Nightingale and A Little Life are already at the top of my “to read” list, and I found a few more to add! Would love to have you add me on Goodreads – I’m Kirsten.

  • Love hearing what other people are reading. With a new baby and a move, I didn’t read nearly as much as I used to. Planning to remedy that this year! PS: I’m Allison Hasel on Goodreads!

  • Kat Moore

    MooreKindness83 !

    I definitely fell short on my goal last year (one per month seemed so doable!), but I’m gonna give it another go this year. I think I already have several of these on my list to read, but thanks for the great reviews!

  • Jill

    I have read and loved many of your picks! Adding some of these to my good reads shelf for 2017! My goal is 30 books as well! Please add me so I can follow you on good reads

  • Pamela

    I love this. I’ve read several of these and felt similarly to you. Moreover, I am always looking for new suggestions. Please add me on GoodReads ( Thanks!

  • Nikki

    Like many people, I had a goal to read more books last year and set the goal way too high. But, it’s a new year and a new goal is being set! I am a huge fan of fiction but have been wanting to read more books that will help me learn and grow. I had this on my mind when I went to your website and was pleasantly surprised to see that you have a list of book recommendations!! I would love for you to add me as a friend on Goodreads, my username is realnikkil. Thanks so much!

  • Robin Chedister

    Great list, I read a few of these this year as well. I had a goal of 50 books but came up three short. I think I’ll aim for 30 this year. 50 was kind of stressful which is the opposite of what reading should be! Can you add me? I’m Robin Chedister on Goodreads.

    My top books this year were: Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

  • Alyssa

    I LOVE your book reviews and have read several of your suggestions and loved them all! I would love to connect with you on Goodreads so I can see all of your recommendations! :) My username is alyssamarie921

    Happy New Year!!

  • Maeghan

    I’d love to be Goodreads friends! As much as I LOVE your recipes, I think your lifestyle (and particularly book posts!) are my favorites. You’ve read some great ones this year! My username is maeghanv / email is maeghan.ottrey at gmail

  • Annie

    Thank you so much Maeghan! I just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    Wonderful! Just added you :)

  • Maeghan

    Hooray! Thank you!

  • Annie

    I adore Americanah. The other two are on my to read list – I’ll have to make sure I get to them soon!

    Just added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    Just added you!

  • Annie

    Just added you :)

  • Robin Chedister

    Too bad you’re not in my neck of the woods. We just put up a Little Free Library in front of our house and we’re sharing all our favorites from 2016. My 10 year old is an avid reader and is so excited to share his picks with the neighborhood kids.

  • Annie

    Added you :)

  • Annie

    I love that! There is one on the main street of our little town and it is so cute and just makes me happy every time I see it :)

  • Annie

    Thanks Jill! Just added you.

  • Annie

    Thanks Kat! Just added you. You can do it!

  • Annie

    Thanks Allison! Just added you :)

  • Angela

    Love this list and your pithy review. Honestly, those are the types I find most helpful. I love Doyle Melton and Ngozi Adichie and I have long been wanting to read Coates. Have you read any Mary Roach? She is delightful, brilliant, and a bit gross. Any Alan Bradley? I think you’d love his Flavia deLuce novels.

    I just signed up for GoodReads. I’m Angela Little in WA.

    What is your goal this year? Before my fourth child was born, I remember setting a lofty goal of a book a week. Ha! I’m going to shoot for twenty-five this year. I love reading. I have my masters in English Lit and keep toying with the idea of going back for my PhD, but aforementioned four kids and time…I digress, as usual. I do love books.

  • Annie

    Thanks Kirsten! Just added you.

  • Annie

    Thanks Alyssa! I just added you :) I think you’ll love Goodreads.

  • Annie

    Thanks Moira! I just added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    I really only set the goal because without an actual goal, I have done very poorly. The Goodreads challenge keeps me motivated and on task, and I’m able to get so much more reading done because of it! 30 is the perfect number for me to be slightly challenging but not actually stressful.

  • Annie

    Woo! 42 is amazing to me. I just added you!

  • Danita Day

    Thanks for posting this. I have added several of your recommendations to my reading list in the past and read both Rosie books based on your recommendation. A Little Life was probably the most emotional book I’ve read in quite some time (a few tears were shed). I’m currently reading A Man Called Ove. I won it at a gift exchange and had not heard of it until then and now I see it on almost everyone’s reading list. I started Pro, but have not finished it. My username is Danita Day. Thanks.

  • Erika Robinson

    I love this post. I’m so thankful you told me about Goodreads. It’s so helpful. I met my challenge for the year over the summer so I upped my goal this year. I changed a lot of variables in my life this past year, so I can’t be for sure, but i definitely think that all my reading enriched my life beyond my expectations. Americanah was probably my favorite. I couldn’t read anything else for a few weeks after I finished it. Adichie is my soul sister. But everything else was amazing too. I started the year off with Ties that Bind and cried like a baby. No shame.

  • Coleen

    Thanks for the recommendations! I loved “I Am Malala.” I set a goal of reading 40 books in 2017, and I’ll be adding several of these to my list.

  • Kristin

    My goodreads is krst693

  • deanna

    I’ve been waiting for this post! I set a GoodReads goal last year because of your 2015 post and read a lot of the books you had suggested. Please add me on GoodReads – deannab1

  • Ellen Patton

    Thanks so much for your list! I just pinned about a dozen books to read. Hooray!!

  • Michele Siuda Jacques

    I’d love to be Goodreads friends (Michele Jacques). Love the blog, love your recipes and am just amazed at how much you squeeze into a day.

  • Valerie LeComte

    Love getting book recs from other people! I’m Valerie LeComte on goodreads

  • Sasha

    Thank you for the list! I am still hoping to get to some of the books you recommended last year. I just want to say that I read that book by Elizabeth McCracken after I had a stillborn baby. I was looking for other people’s accounts of what they went through, to process what had happened to me, and her book was recommended. I did like her book-I think it really depends on your state of mind, and you will process it differently depending on your own experience. For readers who do want to read about other people’s accounts of pregnancy/child loss, because it is something they or someone they know have experienced, I would recommend Ariel Levy’s Thanksgiving in Mongolia and Aleksandar Hemon’s The Aquarium, both published in the New Yorker. They are the most real personal essays I’ve read on those subjects.

  • Elizabeth

    All of your suggestions sound great. It’s always fun to read about what books people find interesting. It would be great to connect on Goodreads, my username is just elizabeth_mary

  • Annie

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Yes, I honestly had a hard time determining my feelings on that book and probably should have left it uncategorized. It is the only book I read last year that I did not give a rating on Goodreads. Some things about it I enjoyed, some I disliked very much, and it just left me entirely unsure of my feelings about it. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend to the average reader, though I absolutely see how it would be useful for someone who had been through a similar experience.

  • Molly

    I’m definitely going to add some of these to my list, and I would love to be friends on good reads! my username is mollyfarrari

  • Heather McTighe

    I’d love to be your friend on Goodreads, my username is Heather McTighe. I’ve been wanting to read “A Little Life” but have heard it is quite graphic- was it a difficult read for you?

  • Angela

    I am so sad for your loss.

  • Katrin

    Reading is the best. This is such a great post and gives lots of good ideas on what to read. Thank you so much!

    I keep forgetting to update goodreads and then by the end of the year it’s just too much to add. Maybe I’ll manage this year. :) Please add me – my username is Katrinchen.

  • I really enjoy these recommendations, and share your thoughts on the motivational aspect of setting a Goodreads challenge. It’s been a game-changer for me. Otherwise I am not sure I would have read much of anything since my son was born, ha! I’d love to connect there – my username is guindie66.

  • Ashley

    I set a goal of 52 books in 2015 (and met it), and then I don’t even know what happened in 2016! I’m so sad I didn’t set a goal, or even track what I read. I’ll have to go into Amazon and update my Goodreads based on my purchases. :) Thank you so much for sharing all of these!

  • Paige Cassandra Flamm

    I haven’t read any of these, but a lot of them are on my to-read list! Hopefully I can cross some off my list this coming year!


  • Jackie

    I love your annual list of books! I took a break from reading due to my Masters degree but recently got back into it. My husband and I took our honeymoon over Christmas and I selected two books from last years list to bring along with me (Tiny, Beautiful Things, and Missoula) and loved them both! Can’t wait to read some of 2016’s favourites. I just started reading Lab Girl and as a young scientist I can’t wait to get into it. I’d love to connect on Goodreads – jser89

  • Angela Damron

    Please add me on Goodreads!

  • Jeanine B

    Reading is an important part of my life too. I carry my Kindle with me all the time. It looks like we have similar interests. Please add me. jtb769 at

  • Stephanie McCarrell

    Thanks so much for putting this together! I’ve read some of these and added others to my to-be-read list. I’d love to connect on Goodreads!

  • Reading has always been my favorite hobby- as an English teacher and book blogger it better be. While I will always prefer novels, I find that the older I get, and the longer I have been out of college, the more compelled I am to pick up nonfiction. It’s a great way to learn when you’re not taking classes!

    The Adichie book made my top ten, too, and while the RBG didn’t quite, I still really loved it. Hang in there, Ruth! We need you!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    I cannot WAIT to finish my master’s program in May so I can get back to the kind of reading I love. I did get the Rosie Project on a semester break this past year and it was fun and frothey and an easy read…just perfect for a between semester break. I’m going to put your top 5 down as my first books to read this summer when school is done for good.

  • I’d also love to be Goodreads friends! Your taste in recipes is rivaled only by your taste in books. :) I’m gfaithd.

  • Gina B

    Love your list! I actually read a few of the same books this year! I have noticed the same pivot in my tastes away from fiction towards nonfiction… Interesting. Maybe it’s the political climate of this year? My favorite book (nonfiction) this year was DEFINITELY Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I read it a couple months ago and still can’t stop thinking about it. Add me on goodreads (username ellipses)!

  • Sarah

    I just signed up for Goodreads!

  • Annie

    Just added you!

  • Melissa Brooker

    I’ve always loved reading, but I must be honest, I am a die hard fiction girl. I love to read to escape and just love the fluffy books, that being said I do enjoy the odd non fiction and always love seeing your ratings on the books you’ve read! My tastes have changed a lot since I was young, in my teens I was a true crime fanatic, it still interests me, but like I said, I like the fluff ;)

  • Annie

    I agree, the political climate likely had something to do with the shift in my reading tastes. It suddenly seems urgent to be as informed as possible on so many topics.

    I just got the email that my hold on Just Mercy is ready at the library. I cannot wait to read it!

    I just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    Oh my goodness, thank you Gwen! I just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    You are welcome – so glad you enjoy these posts! I just added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    I just added you :)

  • Annie

    Just added you Angela!

  • Gina B

    Well said, re: being informed.

    And, yay! I think you will love Just Mercy (based on your list this year). Be prepared for a book hangover though, it took me a couple weeks to be emotionally ready to read something else afterwards.

  • Annie

    Thanks Jackie! I’m so glad you like the posts, and that you loved those two reads. They will be forever favorites of mine. I just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    Thanks Monica! I just added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    Yikes, good to know. I’ll have to look at my list of other to-reads and plan accordingly for light(er) things.

  • Annie

    Thanks Katrin! I just added you. Hopefully this year you’ll keep it up to date. It is fun to have a record of your progress!

  • Annie

    It is pretty graphic. I have a fairly high tolerance for such things given some areas of my professional training, but even so, it was a lot to take. Still worth reading in my opinion (obviously), but if you are especially sensitive it may be difficult for you.

    Just added you on GR!

  • Jenna Bruning

    I am so glad you posted this! I am a long time reader but I never comment. I was actually thinking last week I need to step out from behind my shroud to request this from you again this year! I’m so glad to get a new group of recommendations (even though I’ve already conquered the majority of your must reads – we must run in similar circles!) Unlike you with your massive amount of hobbies, reading is one of my few hobbies outside of my children so I got in 37 books in 2016 and I’m hoping for 40 this year! Thanks so much for maintaining this blog!

  • Annie

    I just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    Nice work! 37 is very impressive! So glad you enjoy these posts!

  • Annie

    Wow, good for you girl! That is awesome!

  • Annie

    I just did some searching. I have not read Mary Roach yet but have eyed a few of hers before. I haven’t heard of Alan Bradley before but will check him out!

    I couldn’t add you tonight since I have apparently reached my Goodreads friend limit for the day (why is that even a thing?!) but I will add you tomorrow.

    My goal for this year is still 30. It’s probably the best pace I can handle while still enjoying the act of reading and not feeling stressed about it.

  • Angela

    I started reading your blog to get inspired in the kitchen. Many of my most requested party appetizers and cookies have come from you blog. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. I love your blog now more than ever because of your reading recommendations. Please add me on Goodreads. My user name is abrown. Thanks!

  • Tami Skinner

    Love reading your post! I just signed up for Goodreads,

  • Samantha Carroll

    Goodreads is one of my most used apps!! I would love to be friends. Manthaloohoo is my username! I just finished my giant list of classics so I’m looking for more fun things. I love your lists, thanks for sharing!

  • fraochmuir

    I managed 70 this year. I read a lot of non-fiction too. My Goodreads user name is heathermmoore

  • Carolyn

    I love this post! Thank you for sharing all the great books you’ve read. I refer to it often during the year! I usually only read non-fiction so I’m selfishly glad you’re moving more towards that way ;)

    Some of the good books (must read IMO) I read this year that weren’t on your list were: The Warmth of Other Suns, The Bridge to Brilliance, Girls & Sex, and It’s Okay to Laugh. And for a lighter read, I’m in the middle of Food A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan which is pretty funny!

    Thanks Annie! Good reads in 2017 :-)

  • Kindy

    Thanks for the great post! Please add me when you can:

  • Kristi

    Love your list of books. Most of them are already on my TBR, or I’ve read them already. Between the World and Me was definitely one of my favorites. Another was Homegoing. Pretty incredible.

    I’d love to be added as a friend on Goodreads.

    My username is Kristi Mickelsen

  • Amanda DeVaul-Fetters

    Thanks for posting this! I’m a working mom who has toddler twins. Reading has been on the backburner, but I’m trying to read at least 12 books this year. Some of the books on your list have been on my radar. I’d love to follow you on Goodreads. Here is a link to my account:

  • Colleen

    Thanks! Your blog is such a spot of brightness in the world :)

  • Katie Kloss

    Wow! I’m not one to comment on blogs, but I’ve been reading you since The Nest forum days. I missed last years post, but this is just amazing. I’m also a working mom of two small kids who is still recovering from a shitty November. I have a hard time choosing books, and I think our reading tastes will align nicely, so THANK YOU! I’m currently working through How to Live a Good Life by Jonathon Fields.

  • Annie

    Thanks Danita! I just added you :)

  • Annie

    Just added you!

  • Annie

    Just added you Deanna!

  • Annie

    Thanks Michele! I just added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    Thanks Valerie! I just added you :)

  • Sarah E. Rieger

    I too made a big switch from fiction to non-fiction. I would love to follow along on good reads.

  • tara

    Love this list. I’ve read a few. i go back and forth between fiction and non. i loved the malala book, i listen a lot in the car and this was one i listened to and she was the person who read the audiobook and it was awesome to hear her in her own words ! I also LOVED the Nightengale i couldn’t put it down. And RBG book and Breath Becomes Air as well as a few others on your list. I’m still slowly reading Pro. LOVING It but its a bit heavy for me for night reading…gets me to fired up :) I’d love to connect on Goodreads. I’m tara0802 at gmail

  • Cheryl Swanson Newton

    I am so impressed that you finished the books you ended up rating “don’t bother.” I’ll give a book a chance, but if I’m not hooked, I’ll move on.

  • Tiffany

    i always love hearing about your reads! i’ve been trying to alternate non fiction & fiction, & love taking advantage of being able to check out library books on my kindle. whenever you have space on this crazy limit idea, my GR account is tiffkuo :)

  • Annie

    Wonderful. Just added you!

  • Annie

    Thanks Angela. Just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    Thanks Tami. Just added you!

  • Annie

    Thanks Samantha! Just added you!

  • Annie

    Holy cow, way to go! I just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    And I’m glad you’re glad :)

  • Annie

    Thanks Kindy. Just added you!

  • Annie

    Thanks Kristi! Homegoing is on my list. I just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    Thanks Amanda! Just added you!

  • Annie

    Thanks Katie! Stay strong. We will get through this crappy time together.

  • lisap515

    I loved your list last year and this year! I’d love to keep up with your recommendations via good reads! Starting out 2017 with a goal to read 15 books!

  • Linda Drury Freeman

    I was looking forward to this list! I have a couple on my audible wishlist still from last year. I listened to/read about 40 books this year and I find it funny that of all those books, there was only one crossover- A Man Called Ove, which I absolutely adored. If you liked it, I recommend his other book, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. It was a very strange book and took me a bit to get into, but once I got passed the first two chapters, I loved it. Can’t wait to see what you read this year! There are so many fabulous books out there!

  • Liz N.

    Annie, this is just the list I need to get me started. I’ve got to add your “must read” and “pretty wonderful” recommendations on my Good Reads list. My goal to finish 15 books fell by the wayside. One of my goals in 2017 is to unplug more often from TV and my cell phone and spend more time doing things that will add value to my life, which includes reading more books. It’s also a great way to set an example to my girl, who isn’t keen on reading at this moment. Sigh. Thanks for sharing such a great variety of books to choose from! This is a great post to start the year!

  • Liz N.

    Please add me to your Good Reads list! THANK YOU!

  • Larisa

    A Little Life was my single must read for the year. I read several of the others and enjoyed them, but that was *the one* for me this year. It was devastating, hard to get through at first, but I absolutely adored it in the end. Thanks for the list – I’m going to add several others to my list for this year.

  • Christine Lion

    I have a feeling you’d probably enjoy Second Suns, if you haven’t read it:
    I’m Christine L on goodreads :)

  • caitlinkemper

    Hi Annie. I’m in Nevada!

  • Sylvia Anderson

    Hi. I would love to follow you on goodreads. My name is “sylvia”. I have read several of your recommended books this year. I am currently reading The Dark Side by Jayne Mayer. Have also read another of her books, Dark Money. They are slow reading for me because I get so angry reading about what is happening to our country!!!

  • Amy S

    Love your food, love your books. I’ve read quite a few of them and mostly agree with you – except I’d put When Breath Becomes Air on the Must Read list. Interestingly, my (adult) children would agree with you. During all my years of raising a family and working (and cooking) I got up at 5:30 to sneak a little time to read before I had to get the kids up. I’m now retired and taking care of grandchildren most of the time. Which gives me lots of reading time to equal over 100 books in 2016. But I’m always looking for more, so please put me on your Goodreads list – Amy Stromberg. Happy 2017!

  • Brandy Montes

    Thanks for this post! I read a few from your list last year: Wonder and Miss Peregrine’s children were a couple. Fantastic!
    I saw this year you have “when breath becomes air”. I too am a physician and love reading medically based books, do you have any other medical-type books?
    Also, I would love to follow you on good reads:

  • Half of a Yellow Sun was one of my favourite books last year. It’s really made me want to explore more work by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I also read Men Explain Things to Me in 2015 and some of the themes in those essays have stayed with me since. Your reading is packed with some really interesting topics, I’ve been drawn to A Little Life for a while so I think I’m going to give it a go since it’s one of your must reads!

  • Annie

    Thanks Sarah. I just added you!

  • Annie

    Thanks Tara! Just added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    There were other books that I started but didn’t finish, and I didn’t include those in this list. These are the ones I was able to get through but ultimately would not recommend to others.

  • Annie

    Thanks Tiffany! I just added you :)

  • Annie

    Thanks Lisa! Just added you :)

  • Annie

    Wow, that is funny that only one overlapped!

  • Annie

    Thanks Liz! Unplugging more is a great goal and reading is an excellent way to help make it happen!

  • Annie

    I just added you!

  • Annie

    Wow, I haven’t heard of that but it sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the rec!

    There are many Christine L’s on GR but if you send a link to your profile, I’ll add you!

  • Annie

    Thanks, added you!

  • Annie

    I just added Dark Money to my list a few days ago after seeing it on NPR’s Book Concierge list. I am sure it will enrage me but we all need to be more informed right now! I added The Dark Side as well.

    I added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    Thanks Amy! I just added you on GR :)

  • Annie

    It’s funny, though I enjoy books related to medicine, I think that being in the field makes me enjoy them slightly less than the average reader for some reason. I haven’t quite worked out why that is. Have you read Being Mortal by Atul Guwande? That is a must read for sure.

    Just added you on GR!

  • Annie

    If you liked Half a Yellow Sun, I think you’ll love Americanah. Both are wonderful but I loved that one the most. And We Should All Be Feminists is just so important for everyone to understand and internalize. Men Explain Things to Me was kind of an odd read but just like you, many of the themes from it have stuck with me in a major way!

  • shar toliver

    I have no doubt that I am pretty far down on the chain of people to be added to your Goodreads list, but when you have space available, please add me too. Thanks Annie! My account is listed as Shar Toliver.

  • Wendy L

    I’d love to be friends on Goodreads–I agree with your ratings on all of the books I have also read. My user name is lwendyl. Love this post!

  • Christine Lion

    My profile is here:

    Keep up the great posts :)

  • Ann Grismore

    I have re-loaded my Kindle based on your recommendations and finished “When Breath Becomes Air” in one evening. Oh, my heart! I laughed and cried (a lot) and have a new-found respect for the doctors & surgeons who truly love what they do and have the desire to help people. (My experience with a bad one had left me scarred both physically and mentally). It might not be an easy read but I love how the author was able to see beyond himself, how he could have an impact on someone’s life (whether good or bad) and know himself – his mind, heart, and soul – and leave a remarkable legacy for his daughter.

    I would love to follow you on GR!

  • Inés Flores

    I’ve been reading your blog for ages but I’ve never commented before. So hi! I’m shy, but I love your recipes and your writing. And this post, with your reading list… It just touched me. I’m not sure why (feminism, I guess), but I just wanted to let you know. So, there. I hope I’ll be reading your blog for many, many years to come.

    PS: If you want some light, fun and lovely reading for 2017, can I recommend you “Crosstalk” by Connie Willis?
    PPS: You might also like “The Geek Feminist Revolution” by Kameron Hurley.

  • Leah Ruth

    Silly question, but I’m new to Goodreads — how do I add you as a friend so I can follow along?

  • Kelli

    Thank you so much for the recommendations, can’t wait to get into some of these books! Can you please add me on GR? Thanks Annie!

  • Annie

    Thanks Kelli! Just added you :)

  • Annie

    I can add you if you tell me either your name to search, or the email address you used for the account. Thanks!

  • Annie

    Thank you so much Ines! It means a lot. I recently added The Geek Feminist Revolution to my list because I saw it on NPR’s book concierge list. Glad to know you enjoyed it! And thanks for the other recommendation as well!

  • Annie

    Thank you Ann. I just added you!

    I’m glad that you enjoyed When Breath Becomes Air and glad it helped some with your perception of doctors who care. Though there are certainly a few bad apples, being in the profession I can say that they are the exception. (And I’m really sorry that you had such a bad interaction!)

  • Annie

    Added you. Thanks!

  • Annie

    Gotcha girl!

  • Annie

    I just added you! Thanks Shar :)

  • triplecherry001

    I’m glad to see when breath becomes air on here, I recently finished it and I think “pretty wonderful” is a perfect way of describing it. As someone pursuing a career in medicine I appreciated his honest reflections on his medical career and how it has affected his personal life. One of the quotes that stuck out to me from the book was “you can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving”.

    Also if you liked We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie you’ll love her other novel Americanah. As well as NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names. I would love to be goodreads friends with you my email is Thanks for another great post Annie!

  • Looks like you read a lot of good books last year. I’ve read some of them (like Me Before You, The Nightingale, and Notorious RBG) and both Lab Girl and A Man Called Ove are high on my tbr list this year.

  • Molly KA

    Annie, I have been meaning to say thank you for awhile now. I appreciate your candor and culinary skills. I am appreciative of your willingness to build relationships and I think that is a lesson I have taken from the last few months. Build relationships, even with those with whom you disagree. As a fellow Midwesterner, I also “get” some of the disconnect that happens in our communities. I have to share that I love your micro-donation plans. I have a friend who in an effort to “do something” has been doing something similar. It helps. It has to, right? Also, my dad is a retired school principal and my husband and I are both currently principals. I love that you remember your dad as a parent and an educator. Lovely. Also, please add to your to read list- Hillbilly Elegy. Has helped me make sense of the last few months. Finally, please add me on goodreads (I plan to get more active on that site) mollymkay2001. Please continue to Be Well. Do Good.

  • Mary

    I love your book posts – we have very similar taste! I have also drifted more towards non-fiction as I get older, although I find I still have an affinity for sappy rom-com types (I happily devoured Me Before You). When Goodreads allows, I’d love to be added as a friend so I can see your recs more than once a year! (or if that link doesn’t work my username is pdxtarheel)

  • I have fallen out of the habit of reading and this has very much inspired me to set a reading goal! I am starting with Notorious RBG :)

  • bcr27

    Hello! I have followed your blog for the past few years, including your annual book post (that I’ve definitely leaned on for my book choices!) I’d love to be Goodreads friends, my email address is

  • kellyp19

    I’m way late to the discussion, but we have very similar taste in books. I found myself nodding to every ‘must read’ on your list that I have also read. I’d love to be added on goodreads. My username is kellynpotter. Thanks!

  • Alison Kuhlman

    Love the book list! Nonfiction is totally my favorite as it often provides a view into someone’s world I would never otherwise get to see. That was definitely my experience with Between the World and Me. Being white middle class I’m still processing that one. In the vein of books on racial justice I’d highly recommend Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Also with regards to global women’s issue Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof is amazing. Also I’d love to be your friend on Goodreads, I’m just under Alison Kuhlman :)

  • Erica Jensen

    Hi Annie! Hope I’m not too late to be added as a friend on GoodReads, which is my favorite social site next to Ravelry. Loved seeing the books you read and getting your insights. Love your site and recipes, but it’s nice to get a peek into other aspects of your life as well. I personally, really love all the crafty blog posts as well.

    Ravelry (too just in case) : ericaleigh11

  • Danielle Sexton

    I’d love to be friends on goodreads! My username is riggins. Thanks Annie!

  • Nicole Zyla-Herrera

    Would love to have you add me. After having a baby in 2016, I’m ready to get back to reading when I can.

  • Shirly Lark

    I’d be happy to have your on my goodreads friend list!

    Shirly Lark

  • JLivoti

    Hey Annie! I am a book lover and am always interested in what people are reading. I find it is how I pick my next book – what someone else has loved. Would love to have you add me on Goodreads:

    Thanks Annie!

  • Michelle Sperbeck-Rosscoe

    I’d love to be friends on Goodreads. Their yearly challenges keep me motivated!

  • Christine Smith

    I’d like to be friends on GR. My username is cmarysmith

  • pjacob

    Thanks Annie for sharing and love the collection you have, Never had heard of goodreads so just signed up and my username is primsu. Can me add me as well.
    i left my passion for reading some where down the line and starting to try to bring it back.
    was wondering, do you buy all these books like hard copy or you are more a kindle person. Some how i simply like having a book in my hand smell of teh good old paper and reading. lol

  • Kaitlyn Tucker

    Your reading list always inspires me to read more and I referenced your 2015 list all last year. Would love to follow you on good reads as well.

  • Annie

    Finally added you Erica. Sorry for the delay!

  • Annie

    I got you. Thanks Danielle!

  • Annie

    I added you. Thanks Nicole!

  • Annie

    Added you. Thanks Shirly!

  • Annie

    Thanks Jill! I added you :)

  • Annie

    Thanks Michelle. I added you!

  • Annie

    Thanks Christine! I added you :)

  • Annie

    Thanks, I just added you!

  • Annie

    Thanks for the rec. I love the look of these books!

  • Annie

    Thanks Kaitlyn! I just added you.

  • Annie

    Just added you! So sorry for the delay, and thanks for the recs! I just finished Just Mercy and it blew me away.

  • Annie

    Just added you Kelly. So sorry for the delay!

  • Annie

    I just added you! So sorry for the delay.

    Yes, Americanah was actually the first book of Adichie’s that I read and it is still my favorite. She is brilliant. Thanks for the other rec. I will check it out!

  • Annie

    Finally added you! So sorry for the delay!

  • Annie

    Molly, thank you so much for this sweet message. I truly appreciate it. Finally added you on GR. So sorry for the delay!

  • Michelle machado

    Can you please add me on goodreads? Love all that you do. Thanks.

  • Annie Danko Amos

    Thanks for all of the recommendations! I am kicking off my New Year’s resolution to read more than 14 pages of a book this year (my sad 2016 reading total. If you count kids books, it’s more like 1,000,000 pages, though). Would love to follow you on Goodreads!

  • Haley Eads

    Add me please!

  • Stacie

    Would love to follow what you are reading on Goodreads! My username is Stacie Kizer. Thank you!

  • Annie

    Just added you. Thanks Stacie!

  • Annie

    I just added you. Thanks Haley!

  • Annie

    I added you. Thanks Annie!

  • Annie

    I added you. Thanks Michelle!

  • Alissa Reichl

    Please add me on Goodreads. My user name is Alissa Reichl. Thanks so much for such a great list!

  • Annie

    Added you. Thanks Alissa!

  • frangsty

    I usually try to read 12 books a year. One book a month seems doable, although I missed it by 2 in 2016. Still shooting for 12 in 2017, and I am already 4 books in, yay! After I finish “Just Mercy” I will begin “A Little Life” so I am glad to see it in your top 5! It’s been fun to follow you on Goodreads and see what you’re reading.