A lot of pages were turned during the month of January. A miserable virus and lots of dark, foggy days and long, cold nights, made that possible. What follows is a list and brief review of the eight books I completed last month.
Please understand, I read broadly. I do not necessarily recommend to you everything I’ve read. I understand that some folks would rather not read best selling fiction, best selling non-fiction, or books by authors of faiths and religions other than their own. I’m also keenly aware that some of the books I read might be offensive to others. That’s okay. I’ll not ask you to stretch beyond your comfort zone, and I’ll ask you to kindly extend grace to me, and to others, who read books that you would not.
If you ever have any questions about the content of a particular book mentioned here, I would be more than happy to answer your questions via email (my email address is on the sidebar of the main blog page). In the future, I may share with you my reasons, some of which are very personal, for reading as broadly and extensively as I do. In the meantime, I will share an unabridged list each month of the books I’ve read. Please do exercise discernment when deciding to read books from a list, whether the list is mine or another’s.
I first read about The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series sometime last year on Cathi’s blog. I’ve come to appreciate Cathi’s reading list, so I decided to check the series out. Since my public library didn’t have this first book on the shelf, I read another in the series first. I was hooked and immediately requested the first book through the inter-library loan service! I’ve really not read much in the way of mystery, but this first book in the series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, written by Alexander McCall Smith, has certainly whet my appetite to read more about the “traditionally built” Mma Ramotswe . Set in Botswana, the story unfolds her personal history as well as a bit of the history of Botswana. The lead character is charming, witty and clever! I was intrigued not only by the various mysteries in the story, but also by the glimpses the author gives of African culture. I’m looking forward to reading more from this series. (note: not for young readers)
The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing, by C.J. Mahaney. Every once in awhile, I read a book that makes a powerful impact on my life. The Cross Centered Life is one of those books. Find a copy. Read it! I’ll be sharing more about this book throughout the coming year.
Teen-Proofing Fostering Responsible Decision Making in Your Teenager, by John Rosemond. Finally, a no-nonsense, no-psychobabble, down-to-earth approach to parenting teens. The book is filled with practical examples of how and how not to parent your older kids. Rosemond’s description of the micro-managing parent fit me to a tee. I’m grateful for his showing me that very ugly side of myself and even more grateful for his advice on how to stop micro-managing and how to start mentoring. Excellent! HT to Kendra for telling me about this book.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first book of a trilogy written by Stieg Larsson. The story was gripping and horrific and I couldn’t put it down! The main characters in the book are likable and the author does a fine job of giving them depth. The title character, who is “the girl with the dragon tattoo”, is fascinating and mysterious and yet somehow endearing. This series has been on the NY Times best seller list for quite some time and for good reason. While these are not for the sensitive reader, I was intrigued by the unfolding of layer after layer within the story. Stieg Larsson knew how to write a thriller!
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp. Most of you, I’m sure, are familiar with Ann Voskamp’s aptly named Holy Experience blog. When my husband blessed me with a Kindle for Christmas, Ann’s new book was the first book I bought. Ann’s amazing way with words and her admonition to be always watching for the many, many ways that God shows His grace to us are probably already known to you. Her book, written in her own lovely, unique way, is at times heart-wrenching and painfully real, but it’s always edifying. Ann’s call to live every moment in communion with the Lord, to live every moment in gratitude, makes this a book I’ll come back to for encouragement again and again.
The Wind in the Willows , by Kenneth Grahame. A delightful children’s classic. My children have all read this, but somehow I never had. I read the free Kindle version. This would be a fun read aloud for the whole family.
The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and “Women’s Work” , by Kathleen Norris. This was the 1998 entry in The Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality series. A fascinating look at the tasks that we perform on a daily basis and their importance in our Christian walk. This book, which I read simultaneously with Ann’s One Thousand Gifts (see above), has given me much to ponder as I undertake the quotidian tasks of my life. The author’s Roman Catholic faith is evident in her writing, and her “coming of age” stories might not be for everyone.
Wuthering Heights ($0.95 Kindle version) One of the categories I’m using for my reading this year is simply called “The Classics”. The Brontes didn’t appeal to me in my younger years, but I thought I’d give them another try. I’m glad I did! Though it’s a bit dark, it was a great story. I read the ninety-five cent Kindle version. The formatting was wonky in one or two places, but nothing too distracting. I’ll definitely read more from the Brontes in the future.
What books might be found in your reading basket? Any particular titles or authors that you’ve been especially enjoying? Please share them by leaving a comment.