I love to crawl into bed a little early and read until I fall asleep. It’s not the fastest way to read a book, but I love it anyway. So, here’s an ongoing list of what I’ve been reading this year, most recent at the top.
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Lies Women Believe: and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
I borrowed this book from our public library but I am definitely going to buy it. The title is a bit of a misnomer and rather unfortunate. While the book is written specifically to women, it really should be gender neutral and written to everyone! The lies mentioned are ones that everyone struggles with and the Truths are universal to a healthy Christian life. I am begging any solid and mature Christian man to write this same stuff, at the very least, for men. But better yet, write this in book format for all human kind. Seriously, no man will ever read a book with this title. And everyone, men and women, should read it.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
It’s been a long time since I’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia. And I don’t think my husband has ever read them. So we’ve started reading to each other a chapter a night. The book is even better than the movie. Isn’t that always true? But I especially love C.S. Lewis’ casual conversation with the reader that you just don’t get with the movie. Everyone should read these!
A Mending at the Edge by Jane Kirkpatrick
The third book in Jane’s Change and Cherish series brings to a close the struggles of Emma Giesy. While finding the help she needs in the community she once ran away from, Emma begins to find the good that can come out of the struggles she is faced with. The community eventually builds Emma her own home where she uses the home God has given her to take in other women who are also facing hard times in their lives. It was a good story that reminded me to also look for God’s hand at work in my own life, His forgiveness and provision for my own needs, and to look for the good that can come out of the hard times.
Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay
The Other Side of the Sun by Madeleine L’Engle
I had read this before, but it was so long ago that I couldn’t remember what it was about. So I dug it out of the bookshelf to read again. Madeleing L’Engle has a way of really bringing you into the story. I love books that grab me without causing me to read faster and forget to go to bed. This book kept me going but in a way that is leisurely yet engrossing.
Set in the years after the Civil War, a family’s secrets of slavery and freedom battle against each other. Good against evil, a family tries to find a way to live peacefully after the war but finds trouble within their own household. If you’ve never read any of Madeleine L’Engle’s books, this would be a good place to start.
Swan by Frances Mayes
Frances Mayes is known for her travel books Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany. This is her first fictional novel. I do like her writing style.
This book is about a brother and a sister whose mother was thought to have committed suicide when they were young. Several years later, the exhuming of their mother’s body brings them closer to each other and closure in what is the proverbial skeleton in the family closet. Of course there has to be a touch of Italy in the story as well. And the ending will not disappoint.
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
Be prepared for some rather graphic descriptions of teenagers gone awry. This book is about a father who grew up in an Eskimo village in Alaska, his daughter who is heading down a wrong road ending in date-rape, drugs, and suicide, and his wife who is having an affair. While the story is a bit graphic in places, there is also a certain depth to the characters that bring out the struggle in life when things turn upside down.
The father in the book is also a comic book illustrator. So, the book contains comic illustrations that I tried to read at first, but ended up skipping over as the book progressed. It was just too distracting to the story. One of the book’s redeeming qualities was that it actually had a real and believable ending, unlike some of the books I read last year. In my opinion, books need to have endings. I hate to be left hanging.
Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott
I had heard and seen a lot about her book, Traveling Mercies. So, when I headed to the used book store to stock up on a few books, this one was on the shelf. I don’t know about her other books, but this one wasn’t even worth the used book price.
It’s about a woman, Mattie, going through a divorce who falls in love with another married man while her mother is losing her mind. At the same time Mattie finds out that her father was also having affairs with various women when she was a kid. I trudged along to the end, hoping that there would be some redeeming quality that never came. The book then ended abruptly at Mattie’s birthday party. Blech. Don’t bother reading this one.
Rising To The Call – Discovering the Ultimate Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness
I think we may have acquired this book through Truth For Life, but I’m not totally sure about that. The tagline, or addition to the title is what caught my eye. Discover my ultimate purpose in life? Right. I was skeptical.
This book is not going to tell you that you should be working at X job, living in Y city, doing Z. But it will tell you that living for Christ is your ultimate purpose. If you aren’t doing that in every aspect of your life, then you aren’t discovering your ultimate purpose. Read it to be reminded that our greatest calling in life is Jesus saying, “Come, follow me.”
Night Fall by Nelson DeMille
My mom found this book in Border’s bargain section while she was visiting. Then she left it at my house to either read it or pass it on. So… I read it. It is a murder/conspiracy/mystery type book about a plane crash just outside of New York City. It kept me turning the pages even though there was quite a bit of rude language. I was anxious to get to the end and find out “who done it.” Except that the ending abruptly ends and no one ever knows who did it. I hate that in books. I need reasonable endings. Oh well. It was free. And now I can go take it to the used book store. Hmmf.
Total Heart Rate Training by Joe Friel
Customize and Maximize Your Workout Using a Heart Rate Monitor
ISBN10: 1-56975-562-0, ISBN13: 978-1-56975-562-4
An in-depth book about heart rates and endurance training for athletes. The information is very interesting. However, I’ve had to slack on my exercise program due to time and never have gotten back to trying to implement some of the book’s premises. Someday…
The Christian In Complete Armour, Volume One
A modernized abridgement of the Puritan Classic by William Gurnall
A heavy/deep book to read that I can only handle in small bits. A must read for every Christian. First published in 1655, it’s part of a 3-volume commentary on Ephesians and putting on the full armor of God. Still reading… but oh so good.
Light From Heaven by Jan Karon
The last book in the Mitford series and probably my favorite. Father Timothy takes on the job of Vicar of a mountain church. Although the ending of the book was a little abrupt, I love the intertwining of relationships and how God’s love breaks through all of the character’s odd lives. It’s a good pick-me-up easy read.
Helen of Troy by Margaret George
After 638 pages I’ve finally reached the end of the book. Parts of this book were good and other parts were gruesome and dark and hard to read. I don’t really know much about Greek mythology and the story of Helen gave me some perspective. Helen of Troy and the Trojans are as much of an enigma as King Arthur and Camelot. But, after chapter upon chapter of the war between the Trojans and the Greeks, I was glad for the peaceful ending. I really like Margaret George’s writing style. I’ve also read her other books An Autobiography of Henry VIII and Mary, Called Magdalene.
A Tendering in the Storm by Jane Kirkpatrick
A continuation of the first book, A Clearing in the Wild, in Jane’s Change and Cherish Historical series. Based on a true story, Jane loves to take small historical facts and turn them into a fictional novel. This book continues the story of Emma, a German American from a religious community, and her community’s relocation from Missouri to the Oregon Territory.
The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Definitely better than the 44 Scotland Street series, this book is a bit of a murder mystery. There really is very little about philosophy. And there’s a good twist to the ending.
The Princess Bride The “Good Parts” version abridged by William Goldman
I loved this book! Even after finding out that there really is no S. Morgenstern, I still like it a lot. If you loved the movie, you will love the book. As always, the book fills out the story a little more. And even though we all know the ending, it’s the words that let the imagination run free, not the visual of the movie.
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – Complete and Unabridged
I’m sure that I read the not-complete and bridged version many years ago, which was supposedly not all that was in her diary. This was a bargain book picked up at a local book shop. For just a few bucks, I was inclined to read again Anne Frank’s diary written during WWII before her family’s eminent arrest and deportation to one of Hitler’s concentration camps where all but her father died. I’d forgotten how well written it was for just a young girl of 13. How shallow our own generation has become.
Homestead by Jane Kirkpatrick
Jane’s autobiography, the newly revised version. It recounts her and her husband’s adventure in building and living on a remote piece of land in Eastern Oregon and adds on a few more chapters of more recent events in their lives. I love her writing style and the thread of faith and hope that is in everything she writes. Life isn’t perfect, but she eloquently captures the meaningful character building lessons that come along with the trials.
Your Pal Steve by Steve Peifer and the Solution Beacon Foundation
Steve and his family live and work at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya, a school for the children of missionaries in Africa. This book is a compilation of his heart-warming letters that he has written to friends and family about their life in Kenya and all that God is teaching him.
Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
Not as good as the first of this series, 44 Scotland Street, which I read before Christmas last year. But I had to continue the saga of the residents of 44 Scotland Street to find out what happened to them. The ending was a bit of a let-down.