The Nancy Ray 2016 Book Club!

Introducing the 2016 Nancy Ray Book Club! For my 30th year (I turn 30 on the very last day 2016), I’ve decided to re-read all of my most life-changing books. Obviously the Bible is THE most life changing book I’ve ever read, so since that’s a “given” I decided to not include it in the list. I thought long and hard about this list, and there are so many wonderful books I’ve read through the years it was really tough to narrow it down! So I made some guidelines for myself, to help me choose which books to include and to help you understand the list I’ve chosen.


Here is my criteria for choosing my top 12 books:

– In some way or another, it had to be life changing. With each of these books listed, I had a significant change of heart, habits, or the way I approach some area of my life.
– The books cover a range of topics from marriage to business to spirituality to finances. Many of them are based in Christian principles, and a few of them are not.
– I had to have read them from cover to cover at some point in my life.
– No novels. While I truly enjoy novels, I know that book taste when it comes to novels varies quite a bit. Also, I wanted my 30th year reading to be more about shaping my character and habits.

Will was quite surprised I didn’t include anything by Dave Ramsey, given that his teachings have been some of the most life changing content we’ve encountered in our marriage. His most life changing content for us was not a book, but completing (and leading) Financial Peace University and The Legacy Journey, which we highly recommend! While his books are wonderful, I’d recommend the courses over his books any day, which is why his books didn’t make my list. One more thought – I regret not choosing a book about health or fitness! That is such a big part of my life. While I’ve read several life changing books on the topic, I have yet to read one that really encompasses what I believe / what works for me. So I left that genre off the list in favor of a few other favorites. Maybe I’ll find one I can wholeheartedly recommend in the future!

2016 Nancy Ray Book Club

How to Win Friends and Influence People
His Needs Her Needs
Practicing the Presence of God
168 Hours
4 Hour Work Week
The Advantage
The Celebration of Discipline
Simple Wealth Inevitable Wealth
Compound Effect

Bonus Book Club (books I haven’t read yet):

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
The Road to Character
The Secrets of Happy Families
Wild and Free

So how do you join? It’s quite easy!

1. Sign up for the Nancy Ray News in the sidebar of this blog. You will receive monthly guidelines for reading to help you stay on track.
2. Tune in every Friday at 10am on Periscope (or as often as you are able)
3. Read as many books as you choose! You can read the ones you choose, all 12, or you can go the extra mile and join the bonus book club and read the additional 4 unread books I’ll be reading this year as well.
4. Use the #nancyraybookclub on social media as you read along, so we can cheer one another on and stay on track.


You guys, I’m going to be honest here. I am so pumped and SO nervous about this. I absolutely love to read, but as a new mama, I’m finding it is very hard to read like I used to. My hope is that I will lead this group and view it as daily homework I must do. My hope is to prioritize this in order to be stretched and learn and help you do the same. Ultimately, my prayer is that I would grow as a believer, wife, and mama by hosting this book club.

Does it scare you too? GOOD. I hope it does! We can be scared together. I hope if you’re “not a reader” you will throw that self-limiting talk aside and join us. I will break it down for you every week. And if you do miss a week? There’s grace for that! You can catch up in your own time or on our periscopes together!

My favorite part about this list is that if you choose just ONE of these books to read, I’m convinced your life will be changed. So why not? Why not do something new and hard for 2016? Join us!

And please comment below if you DO plan to join! I’d love to hear from you!

Sign Up to Receive our FREE PDF - "5 Steps to Preserve Your Legacy Through Photographs"

And join The Nancy Ray News!

No Spam, we promise! Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
(Visited 14,666 times, 1 visits today)
  • Kelly said:

    Yes! Can NOT wait to read some of these! I was just searching Barnes and Nobles top 100 yesterday in need of something new and fresh to read, and I am so so so happy you posted this list. I will definitely be reading along! :)

  • Sarah said:

    Can't wait! I have had some of these books on my "to read" list for so long and this will give me a kick in the bottom to start!

  • Em said:

    I'm in! Will we be reading them in the order you've listed them in the post? Can't wait! :)

  • Jordan said:

    I love reading so much (and would love to be a gentle and encouraging cheerleader for the "not a readers"!) and have been in a book frenzy lately. I absolutely love this list because they are all completely new to me. I would love to join and can't wait to get started. I am new to Christian principles and to be honest I'm a bit nervous but I know this community will be very welcoming and supportive.

  • Kristen said:

    I plan to join! It's been on my goals list since I first heard you mention it. I do have one question - how do I find the sign-up? I only see a sign-up for the Nancy Ray News on the side bar. I appreciate it!

  • Whitney said:

    Count me in! I am so excited to get started. Like you I will be turning 30 this year and I am hoping to make this an awesome and meaningful year! I have had several of these books on my list to read for awhile but haven't gotten around to them yet. I look forward to reading them with this community!

  • Raysha said:

    So so excited about this!! I love to read and am so excited about adding these 16 to my to-read list this year! Looking forward to my first book club! :)

  • What a fun idea! It is highly unlikely that I would be able to read all of these in a year (there is not enough time in this season!) but going to jump in for Boundaries for sure! Read it when I was pregnant and wanted my small group to all read it with me, so great !

  • Melissa said:

    I'm so excited for this book club. I had read some of these, but many have been on my "to read" list. I am looking forward to having some accountability and dialogue with these books. Thanks, Nancy!

  • Ashley e said:

    I'm not a "reader" per se, but going to join! I've read a couple so I'm sure the list is good!

  • Meg said:

    Sounds fun! I'd love to join in! I definitely want to read more this upcoming year - I already listed that as one of my goals, so this will be perfect!

  • Katie Riggs said:

    I just became a mama this year as well, and between all the new life adjustments my reading habits have taken a nose dive! So excited to get started again and go through these with you!

  • Elizabeth said:

    I'm in!! I love to read but have found recently that I haven't been reading as much as I would like. This is going to be a wonderful way to keep me focused and disciplined! I'm so very excited for this and can't wait to learn and be changed with you all!

  • Enna said:

    I would say that I enjoy reading, but lately I have not been able to find a good book that I actually care enough to finish. I am hoping that these books will be just the cure I need! If I were to get busy and only read a few of the books on the list, how will I know which month you are going to do which book? When will the bonus books be read? Any sort of "reading schedule" you could give us before the club begins would be helpful!

  • Ellie said:

    I am so excited for this! I love to read and have read a few on your list but am so excited to re read them and discover some new ones. Great idea!

  • Ashly said:

    I'm so excited I cannot wait to spend the next 12 months connecting and ready together. Is the list the order we will read them in?

  • Hi Nancy, Hope to join you in the book club I am also hosting one on my blog and I am looking forward to joining you

  • Codie Merrell said:

    I am very nervous but so excited! I've really slacked on my reading and haven't really read anything lately that has changed my life. Thank you for doing this!

  • Janine said:

    I typically love to read novels but I have been itching to try something new! And this is the perfect thing to push me out of my comfort zone. I am striving to be the best version of myself for my husband, family, and friends. Thank you for inviting others to join you on this goal!

  • Sarah Fletcher said:

    Nancy, I love this! I can't wait to start reading!

  • I'm going to join! So glad you are doing this. I love to read, and used to all the time, but it's a hard habit to form again after big life changes. My reading dropped waaaay off after I had my daughter too.

    I'm so excited to start!

  • Kaylee said:

    Yes yes yes! I've got one year old twin boys and my goals for 2016 are all about doing the hard things that will benefit my family and myself. I'm ready for this!

  • Emily said:

    I've been wanting to join a reading group! These books look absolutely amazing and I can't wait to start!

  • Ashton said:

    I just signed up! Even though I am a little scared myself since reading has become increasingly difficult for me as I've gotten older. I have such a hard time being still! And even more so since having a little one. But, reading more is one of my goals this year and this just seems like the perfect way to take a leap of faith and work on this discipline. Thank you for organizing this....all the books look really interesting! Excited to read along.

  • Elizabeth said:

    Yay! I have been eyeing several of these books for quite some time now, so I am excited to commit to reading them with you in 2016!

  • Cassie said:

    Nancy, this is so exciting!!! I've been giddy since you first mentioned the book club and I'm running out first thing to pick up a few of these! I've gained something from every single book you've recommended over the years and am so excited to push myself to do this. I read quite a bit, but not necessarily with a certain goal/timeframe in mind and next year I'm working on more self discipline when it comes to accomplishing what I set out to do-this will be perfect!

  • Mary said:

    I am really looking forward to #nancyraybookclub I pray these books will help me make things happen in 2016.

  • Kristen said:

    So excited about this book club! Reading more in 2016 has been one of my goals so this is just perfect! Looking forward to it!

  • Ashley said:

    So excited for this! Joining in with 2 other friends for extra accountability and encouragement!

  • Robin said:

    So excited! Thanks for putting this together!

  • Kristina said:

    This is so exciting and I am looking forward to reading along side y'all. I tried to sign up via the sidebar but haven't received the email with the confirmation link. Will I still get the newsletter even if I was not able to click the confirmation link? I tried multiple times with different email addresses but nothing came through.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • Kyra said:

    I can't wait for this! It's just what I need. I'm excited that I'm familiar with several of them already (Seven is one of my favorites). Thanks Nancy!

  • Ashley said:

    Hi Nancy! This is so fun - I can't wait to join in! (P.S. Also, turning 30 towards the end of next year!)

  • Ashley said:

    What a beautiful thing you are doing!! I am so excited to start the year off with something such as this and continue my love for reading with a community far and wide!

  • Sarah said:

    I would love to be a part of this! I love reading but haven't made it a priority in my life lately. This would be so fun!

  • Courtney Anne said:

    This makes me so excited to join in on! I seriously cannot wait to embark on this :)

  • Sarah Privette said:

    Yes!! I'm in! I can't wait to read these

  • Terri Elder said:

    Will we be reading them in the order you listed?

    • Nancy Ray said:

      Yes! Reading in order :)

  • Michelle said:

    I'm a mom of a 3 year old and 3 month old, and this looks like an awesome challenge for the coming year (I will also be turning 30 in 2016). I've been hesitant to say I'm joining just because life has been crazy since I became a mom of 2! I think this will be really good for me and hope that the accountability of a group will help me stay on track and work on applying new habits and principles from what I read.

  • Heather said:

    Hello! I am new to this whole group! Just discovered this blog and now this fantastic Book Club! Signing up today and truly can't wait to get started! Looking forward to the POSITIVE changes coming my way for 2016! This is step One...

  • Ashley Gantvoort said:

    I am an avid reader and I am so excited to participate in this!

  • Jaime Nash said:

    Looking forward to this!

  • Sonja said:

    Can't wait to read and re-read your list. It looks so inspiring!

  • Josie said:

    Can't wait to jump in with everyone! Nancy, thank you so much for this!

  • Drew said:

    Absolutely can't wait!

  • Liz Merringer said:

    I am SO looking forward to this. I love to read but have a hard time finding books that really challenge and impact my life! This is really a wonderful idea!

  • Yay! I always love your reading lists so I'm excited to join in on this one. I'm actually currently reading Seven and it has been so convicting. And that Wild and Free book sounds really interesting!

  • Reagan said:

    Nancy — What an interesting selection! I will be busy behind a tower of books to finish my MA degree, but I fully plan on completing this book list with your group. This selection takes me beyond literary studies and into a few genres that I have been wanting to tap into... very excited about Boundaries (this was already on my 2016 list of must-reads) and the 4 Hour Work Week. Great idea, Nan!

  • Totally joining ya'll! Super pumped about the books you chose and happy to walk with you all through the year!

  • Brooke S. said:

    Yay! I am excited to challenge myself to read non-fiction this year. I usually use my reading time as an escape, but I am ready to push myself this year. Great idea!!

  • oooh I have been wanting to be a part of a book club for so long!! I am so excited and looking forward to growing and being inspired!

  • Ana said:

    So thrilled to join in!

  • Sarah B said:

    I would like to join! Excited about reading through this list :)

  • Kate said:

    Grateful for the chance to join-in and read-along.

  • Elisha said:

    Excited to join in! Just grabbed a copy of the January book this morning :-)

  • Pingback : 2016 and January Goals » Lauren Jolly Photography

  • Joining! Love reading and haven't in so long with 4 blessings under 9 and the newest 6 months. I'm nervous too, with lack of sleep, returning to weddings in January from maternity leave, homeschooling and life! God is able and I'm excited!

  • Pingback : Happy New Year! January & 2016 goals | Nancy Ray Photography

  • Meg said:

    Looking forward to participating! I love reading but don't often make it a priority and this will certainly help me be accountable and stretch myself!

  • Pingback : Twenty Sixteen | The Commonplace

  • I plan on joining! Thank you so much Nancy for organizing this. You are such an inspiration and I can't wait to start reading these books :)

  • Caitlyn said:

    Jumping in with you!!! Can't wait and thank you for organizing such a great idea!!!

  • Libby said:

    Hey Nancy!
    I am totally joining and am so excited. I am going to post about it on my blog as well so others may join in sometime this month too. Thanks for taking the dive to do this amazing idea. Can't wait to see how it goes!

  • Pingback : January Goals | The Commonplace

  • Sabrina said:

    So excited for this book club!! I have been wanting to read many of these books. Now is the time!! :)

  • Pingback : Happy New Year & Goals For 2016 | The Robert Family

  • Incredily excited about this! Also - Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is one of the BEST books I have ever read, along with the book "I Quit" written by Geri Scazzero. Following along with the hashtag and Periscopes is going to be amazing!!

  • Pingback : 2016 Goals – catching up

  • Pingback : here’s to another great year |

  • Pingback : 2016 Goals: Reading Goals | The Library of Alexandra

  • Pingback : Tackling a Reading List for 2016 - A Lovely Little Wardrobe

  • Nathalie H said:

    I am NOT a reader BUT with my friend's encouragement, we will be doing this together :)

  • Terri Elder said:

    For some reason I am not getting the email book club guides. I may have clicked on something on my end to unsubscribe. I am sure you are busy, if you have time, I would appreciate a check to see if I'm on the list! Thank you!!

  • Stephanie Stewart said:

    I would like to join please

  • Pingback : january recap & february goals. |

  • Pingback : February Goals | 2016 » Lauren Jolly Photography

  • Pingback : His Needs Her Needs

  • Pingback : Lately……

  • Pingback : His Needs Her Needs Giveaway: Winner! | Nancy Ray Photography

  • Ashley Mohair said:

    I signed up for the book club last month and I still didn't get an email.

    • Nancy Ray said:

      Just sent you an email!

  • Pingback : March Goals – Emma Louise

  • Pingback : March Goals | 2016 » Lauren Jolly Photography

  • Pingback : Nancy Ray Book Club: thoughts so far | Nancy Ray Photography

  • Lauren Crow said:

    I also never receive the emails. When I signed up I got the subscription confirmation, but I have never gotten the reading guides! Help :) I would love to be on track for this month's book!

  • Pingback : June 2016 Goals | Nancy Ray Photography

  • Pingback : 2018 Nancy Ray Book Club | Nancy Ray Photography