My 2016 To-Read List


At the beginning of each year, I put together a list of books I want to read in the months to come.

209 books  – that’s the exact number of titles that are currently on my to-read list on Goodreads, and that’s beside the ones on my Amazon Wishlist (easily another hundred is my guess). I’ve narrowed that list down to 9 books, which is not an easy task, considering. What will happen to the other 200 titles? Call me a hopeless idealist, but I still intend to read them all. Eventually!

That being said, here are the 9 books on my 2016 to-read list:

the artisan soulThe Artisan Soul
, Erwin McManus

A book on creativity and how creating is part of how God designed us to be. I originally bought this as a gift for my friend Anna, but then I liked it so much that I got myself a copy, too! Anna and I are creativity buddies. She is also the model in my cover picture from a photoshoot we did a few years ago. The two of us agreed to read this one together: our very own international mini Book Club. Anna will be reading it in Belarus and I’ll be reading it in South Korea.

switch on your brain

Switch on Your Brain, Caroline Leaf

A book recommended to me by my friend Linda Solie, the author of “Take Charge of Your Emotions” – a book that has blessed me incredibly (a review is long overdue!)
Caroline Leaf has been studying the human brain longer than I’ve been alive and she’s come up with life-changing findings. Most importantly, how our brain is flexible and can be completely transformed, to allow us to have healthy thoughts, that in turn lead to healthy actions. I’m pretty new to this topic, but after reading Linda Solie’s book, I find it quite fascinating!

let's all be braveLet’s All Be Brave, Annie F. Downs

My husband, he’s one who prays for challenges and who thrives when they come his way. Me: not that big of a fan. I did always accept and made the most of them, despite this fact. In hindsight, the best things I’ve done came when I took on a challenge and it certainly made for quite the adventurous life so far. This books sounds like it might confirm and give me a good nudge in that direction, too.

it's not what you thinkIt’s Not What You Think, Jefferson Bethke

A book I got for Christmas, from my friend Anna. Beside being my creativity buddy, she’s also my book buddy and a kindred spirit. This is a book she’s been recommending for a while, so I can’t wait to dig in.

daring greatlyDaring Greatly, Brené Brown

I have only discovered Brené Brown in 2015 and I found her not only inspiring, but also refreshingly vulnerable and honest. This is probably one of her most popular titles, as recommended by a brave young woman: my friend Inesa.

1Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon

I have heard about this book before, but it only now made it to this list by the recommendation of my friend Tatiana, who I endearingly call my Macedonian bookworm, because that’s where she currently lives.
She knows a thing or two about creativity and has assured me I’ll like this one. I’m planning to read it together with another artsy friend – Grace – because these kinds of books are best read and processed with other creatives.

how to really love your childHow to Really Love Your Child, Dr. Ross Campbell
My friend Tatiana, who is a mother of two adorable girls, told me very emphatically: read books on parenting now, before you have children! Once you have them, there is a great need for wisdom and discernment – only if you want to be a good parent – but precious little time to read or get that kind of information. Can’t argue with that!  I chose this particular title as   my first book on parenting, because it seems that everyone and their cousins recommend it.

7 Men.jpg7 Men, Eric Metaxas
An author I have heard much about, especially because of his biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer that my husband read. This one is less voluminous, and it depicts the lives of 7 extraordinaire Christian men – sounds promising so far. Thanks for lending me this one, Emil!

the eyre affairThe Eyre Affaire, Jasper Fforde

The only fiction title on this list.
More accurately, I’m planning to read the whole series. Basic concept: the existence of an alternate book world where characters from beloved classics live ordinary lives, while having “jobs” as book characters.That’s all I know so far. Intriguing, huh? My friend Tammi recommended this one and I can’t wait to borrow them from her.

Fun observation. I read at least the same amount of fiction as non-fiction every year, but I find that I am more spontaneous in my choices when it comes to novels, as it depends largely on what I feel like reading in the moment.

See a theme here?

Courage and creativity: these seem to be my subject of interest for 2016. As one who values both greatly, I have grown more aware of the need to nurture them in myself and others. Of course, neither can be achieved by simply reading a book about it. Yet a healthy dose of encouragement in that direction is bound to produce some fruit.

Here’s to a 2016 marked by increased courage and creativity!

How about you? What books do you want to read this year? 


16 thoughts on “My 2016 To-Read List

  1. loving your titles! You have no idea how many books i read according to your recommendations. And i loved all of them. You are indeed my kindred spirit. By the way, when i saw the pic i thought “we should do a new photoshoot someday :)” i hope we’ll get the chance!
    And, when do you want to start the Artisan Soul? I’ve been thinking about that and meaning to contact you, but you were first :).

    Love you, friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nodding my head to the “a new photoshoot someday” – I even know a couple of bookish places in Seoul that would make a perfect location. Shameless hint, I know 🙂 Thank you for taking my recommendations into consideration – great books are best when shared with others, right?


  2. This is a lovely lineup. A few of the books caught my eye and I’ll borrow them from you, if you’ll let me. (e.g. 7 Men, The Artisan Soul and It’s Not What You Think)

    I would like to recommend a book to you, which I already sent to your Kindle. I am convinced that it make you laugh and that you will enjoy it a lot.

    The book is called Eloquence by Mark Forsyth.

    It’s shirt, witty and full of surprises. Reads a little like Bill Bryson whom I know you like reading.

    Thanks for writing and please keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A book on writing – sounds interesting! Thank you for this recommendation, this list was missing one from you. You’ve recommended some wonderful reads to me over the years – please continue to do so, bestest!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you read the first book by Jeff Bethke? I think this is his second. And his wife as well has a book. I want to read some book from them but I have many other books on the list.


  4. Hello

    I have discovered your blog just today and I’m really obsessed with your book sleeves and i was really disappointed to find out that you closed your business (and i’m not even sure wether you used to ship worldwide or not)
    So I was going through your old posts and I saw this post on how to make Book Sleeves but most of the images links were broken.

    Can you please fix them because I would love to try and make one since you don’t make them anymore


    1. Hi Mona! So glad you stopped by!
      I’m so sorry, but I can’t help with the photos for that post. I lost the pics when transferring my blog from one platform to another, and unfortunately I don’t even have those pictures anymore 😦 Have you given it a try with the just the instructions? You can find many pictures of the finished product on the FB page, it’s still up: or the instagram: – hope it helps! ~ Elena


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