Top 10 Non-Fiction of 2016

I read 158 books in 2016 and have some favorites to share. I already shared my fiction favs, now here’s a look at the best non-fiction.

  1. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes – I’m not usually one for self help books, but this was funny, engaging, inspiring. Good stuff.  (I even wrote a blog series based on it.)
  2. Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles – Best faith-based memoir of the year. Gay atheist finds God through feeding the poor.
  3. Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark by Addie Zierman – Second best faith-based memoir of the year. (I wrote a blog post about this one.)
  4. Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World by Laura Barcella – A great collection of inspiring stories.
  5. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum – Very helpful insights on racism.
  6. Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew G.I. Hart – Very helpful insights on racism within the church. (blog post).
  7. Prayer: Forty Days of Practice by Justin McRoberts and Scott Erickson – Unique collection of art and prayers.
  8. Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton – A very insightful look at how we spend our money and why it does or doesn’t make us happy. (I wrote a blog series about this one too.)
  9. Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres – A very difficult to read memoir about adoption and abuse.
  10. Just Write: Here’s How by Walter Dean Myers – He wrote something like a hundred books and shares his writing tips and insights in this quick read.

More Reading

If you want to read more, check out my booklet 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading Again.

You can also check out more of my reading favorites for some suggestions.

5 thoughts on “Top 10 Non-Fiction of 2016”

  1. Hi Kevin. I have just issued a challenge to my 5 grand kids. They can earn $100 if they read 1,000,000 words in a year. We keep a spreadsheet of books read and word totals. There is a neat website called readinglength.com that will give you word totals by putting in the name of the book or isbn. We use it to keep a word count. I am doing it too. So far I have 729000 words since Jan. 1. Leaders by example.

  2. Update: last night I passed the million word mark in words read since January 1. I have read nine books for a total of 1,040,050 words. The last book I read was a Hardy Boys mystery, The Tower Mystery . The last time I read a Hardy Boys book was probably 55 or so years ago. I chose the book because I knew it would be a quick read, and I was only 15,000 words short of 1 million. Kathy reads even more than I do. We don’t watch much TV. Kevin you should go to this site readinglength.com and figure out how many words you read last year. I can’t imagine how high that number will be with 158 books read. Uncle Doug

  3. Update: I just passed the 2 million word mark. Here is a list of the books I have read since Jan. 1. I have a huge interest in ham radio, and WW2, especially the war in Europe. I have traveled to England, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. I have visited several WW2 related sites in each country. I would say that my interests are reflected in my reading. Two of my granddaughters have really taken the reading challenge to heart. The youngest has 833,000 words and her sister has 802, 000. They are in the 4th and 6th grades. Pretty amazing isn’t it? My goal is to read a million words a month. So far it has been easy to do. A friend asked me the other day how I found the time. I said I make the time, and I don’t watch TV, and I don’t read facebook. Hope you and your family are well, Kevin, Uncle Doug.

    Most Secret War, Jones, R.V. 99,200
    The Secrets of Station X, Smith, Michael 74,400
    Killing Floor, Jack Reacher, Child, Lee 178,560
    Die Trying, Jack Reacher, Child, Lee 175,770
    Tripwire, Jack Reacher, Child, Lee 188,480
    Alan Turing, Unlocking the Enigma, Boyle, David 34,720
    The Secret Listeners, McKay, Sinclair 109,120
    A Higher Call, MaKos, Adam 124,000
    The Tower Treasure, Hardy Boys Dixon, F.W. 55,800
    Key to Rebecca, Follett, Ken 109,120
    Hornet Flight, Follett, Ken 163,680
    Jackdaws, Follett, Ken 158,720
    Hidden Figures, Shetterly, Margo 114,080
    The Radio Boys First Wireless, Chapman, Allen 29,760
    The Invisible Bridge, Orringer, Julie 243,040
    In Farleigh Field, Bowen, Rhys 122,760
    The Shortwave Mystery, Dixon, F.W. 59,520
    Total words: 2,040,730

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