Our Favorite Books from 2016

Looking for a book to pack in your carry on for an upcoming flight or to read aloud from the passenger seat? Our team at Ever Thine Home has a few suggestions. We’d like to share with your our favorite reads of 2016.


Founder Barbara Rainey’s Favorites:
just-mercyJust Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
As a young lawyer, Bryan found himself in Alabama visiting death row inmates, which in turn led him to his life work defending or working to overturn unjust convictions. Many of those Bryan represented are children, some mentally handicapped, who were given death row sentences with little or no representation. For most of us who have never been inside a prison–much less death row–Bryan’s story is eye-opening. It also challenges us to think about the whole person within a system that is invisible to the vast majority of Americans. He writes, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”  It’s valuable reading for anyone.


boys-in-the-boatBoys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
This story of the 1936 American Olympic Rowing team is a great read for a winter weekend or a trip to the beach. You will be amazed at the life experiences, the hard work and sacrifice, of these young men., “Boys” they were called even in their early twenties. It’s a true tale of virtue, good triumphing over evil and against all odds. Stories like this one remind us of the Greatest story. There are clear traces of it in this book. It made me feel hopeful and good. No lists of things to do at the end of this read, and we all need books like that from time to time.


humble-rootsHumble Roots by Hannah Anderson
My last read of 2016 was also the most important for me personally. Hannah’s expounds on the famous invitation by Jesus, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” What woman isn’t burdened and weary and in need of rest? Hannah weaves a clear call to humility and shows us how our assumptions that we can do it all are forms of pride. Ouch. The result is I’m thinking daily about walking under the yoke with Jesus. It was a needed realignment. We have a treat for you on January 26, with Hannah’s guest post on our blog.


Brand Manager Laura Rainey Dries’ Favorites: 
preparing-for-marriagePreparing for Marriage by Dennis Rainey
I always thought I’d learn about marriage from my parents, but I kind of thought I wouldn’t have to use their book in my premarital counseling. It was great to help facilitate some hard and honest but necessary discussions while Josh and I were engaged. I love that it got us talking about topics we didn’t know we needed to address and also topics that felt awkward to bring up on a dinner date. Our first months of marriage have been smoother because we knew what to expect from these honest conversations. Thanks, Dad. If you’re engaged this is totally the book for you! Or consider giving it as a gift!


Letters to my Daugthers CoverLetters to my Daughters by Barbara Rainey
I think we all know the quote from C.S. Lewis about friendship: “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too?” –that’s how I felt when reading The Art of Being a Wife. There were so many times when Mom shared stories from her own experience of over 44 years of marriage to my dad and I thought, Oh thank goodness, it’s not just me that feels this way. Even though I’ve only been married a little over 2 months, I’ve gone back to her words for encouragement and comfort. I know I am incredibly biased when it comes to this book, but it was essential as I entered in to marriage because it not only prepared me for some things I might experience, it gave me the language to be able to express how I was feeling and why I might have felt that way.



Content Editor Tracy Lane’s Favorites:
strong-willedParenting the Strong-Willed Child by Rex Forehand and Nick Long
Parenting my 4-year-old got harder and harder in 2016. In October, I finally admitted I felt helpless and desperate in my mothering. And most of all, my angry responses to try to get our house back under control weren’t honoring God. I needed a new strategy. Our play therapist recommended this 5-week plan to me. It offered fresh, practical tactics that just made sense. And worked. Fast! The best part is that I expected it to change my daughter. Who it has really changed is me. I’m thankful God provided wisdom. He has used this book to change me from an impatient annoyed mom to a mom who is understanding and enjoying my strong daughter.


Recently my 2-year-old asked, “Momma, when did you first love me?” What a precious question from such a little girl. We found this book at the library that same week. Both of my girls have asked for it every library trip since. We talk a lot about standing for and advocating life. This book is a sweet way to communicate love to your children and also start teaching them about the days of  treasured life that begin in the womb.


Production Manager, Felicia Johnson’s Favorites:
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Sometimes I’m too hard on myself. Even in the areas where I’m supposed to be having fun! This book taught me an easy process for how to improve at a task without using negative self-judgment.




skinThe Skin You Live In: Building Friendships Across Cultural Lines
by David D. Ireland, PhD. 
Bridging the cross-cultural gap is important to me. It’s also my responsibility, as it is each of ours, if we want to see change. This book exposed me to additional techniques for improving my skills as cross-cultural reconciler.




What are some of your recent favorites? We’re looking for new ideas for books to read in 2017!

**You should know that we really read these books last year! And we’re not receiving anything for telling you we loved them. In case any of them sound interesting to you, we included the link to Amazon. We do not accrue anything from your purchase. 


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4 thoughts on “Our Favorite Books from 2016”

  1. Dear Barbara,

    How thoughtful of you to list your favorite reads for 2018. So appreciate you and all you and Dennis do to make a wonderful difference in so many lives! We’ve been on two Weekends to Remember and helped out of one of the Getaways.

    I just wanted to mention a few books that I have been blessed to read also. I, too, found Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s books, especially the first, Secret Thoughts of a Reluctant Convert and another excellent read called The Gospel Comes with a House Key. She is a very bright, lovely pastor’s wife who loves Jesus with her whole heart and blesses others by telling her very compelling story!

    Nick Foles book “Believe It” was beautifully written and gripping to learn of all this fine young man and his family have been through and how he became the Super Bowl Champion quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, giving all honor and glory to God!!! Loved it and everyone I know who has read it felt the same way:)

  2. I enjoyed When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada, Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini, and am reading and enjoying Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I excited to have some new ideas.

  3. Oh my goodness!!! I love recommendations for good reads!! Books are my all time favorite gift to give and to receive!! My favorite and most transformational reads of 2016 were HOPE HEALS by Katherine and Jay Wolff and SECRET THOUGHTS OF A RELUCTANT CONVERT by Rosaria Butterfield. Both books were introduced to me through the Family Life Today radio broadcast, and I am ever so grateful! I will be checking out some of the books on the above list you just posted and also hope to read Rosaria Butterfield’s second book, OPENNESS UNHINDERED. Happy New Year!

  4. I loved that you posted a list of recommended books! So many are published it’s hard to know which ones are worth reading. Thanks!

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