REBOOT: What I’ve Been Reading

Time for reading slowed considerably for me this last year. It didn’t stop entirely, though, and I’ve read quite a bit since early summer.

You know, of course, how important I believe it is that you, and I, spend some time reading. These wise words echo often in my mind:

“Read, read, read! Use the Bible as your home base, but vary your diet. I usually have several books going at once, tucked around here and there for easy access.” ~Ruth Bell Graham~

Spending time in God’s word is, of course, vital for us; but reading, and reading widely, is also good. When Paul was imprisoned he asked Timothy to bring him not only the Scriptures, but also his beloved books.

“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, ALSO THE BOOKS, and above all the parchments.”
(added emphasis mine)
2 Tim. 4:13

(Please remember, if you click on the links below, and then make a purchase, some of them may put a few pennies into my pocket. Of course, there is no additional cost to you. I am always grateful to those of you who choose to bless me this way. You can read about how I spend those pennies, and more about how I earn them, in my disclosure policy.)

I’ve not read nearly as many books these last few years as I would have liked, but the pace has recently picked up. For that I am very grateful! Here’s a quick look at the books I’ve read recently, with just a quick recommendation of each.

 

I was quite a ways behind the crowd in reading Emily Freeman’s wonderful A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live. It’s pretty normal for me to arrive late to the party where new books are concerned. Here’s the deal, though. God always, always has perfect timing. I read this book while Copper and I were away for our annual anniversary get away to the coast this summer. I had gobs of quiet time,  with only the sound of the waves crashing over the rocks, to read and ponder before reading and pondering some more. I loved this book! No matter who you are, or what you do, you are an artist! Remember what I said about homemaking as art? Emily’s approach is kind and encouraging, with plenty of gentle reminders to put away the voices of the naysayers and to live out the art form that God has given uniquely to you.

I’ve found Eric Metaxas to be an interesting writer. In the past, I’ve found his writing style difficult to digest, though I’ve enjoyed every book of his that I’ve read. In Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, however, I thought his unique style was perfect for this biography of William Wilberforce and, specifically, his almost life long war against slavery. The book is never graphic, but the subject matter will make it a heavy read for some. Wilberforce was a champion in the fight against slavery, and a dynamic Christian man. This was a great read.

Haywood Smith’s The Twelve Sacred Traditions of Magnificent Mothers-In-Law was a fun, quick little read that lived on my Kindle for quite awhile. It was the perfect book to open while waiting for a short time at the orthodontist’s office or for my son to finish his piano lesson. Each of Haywood’s twelve traditions is given in a short, light-hearted chapter that will make you smile (or even giggle a little), but there is wisdom there, too. Fun reading!

Looking for a good romantic drama set in 1950’s – 1960’s Ireland? Me either, but Maeve Binchy’s Echoes was a wonderful surprise! It’s not all romance. There is intrigue and scandal and a lot of reflection about life in a small, Irish coastal town just a few decades ago. I loved her characters and this story.

I’ve read Creating a SenseSational Home countless times over the years, but every reading inspires me anew to remember to appeal to all five senses as I look well to the ways of my home. Too many times we concentrate only on how our homes look, but we forget to make sure that they smell nice, have pleasing sounds in and around them, and that we fill our homes with things that are pleasing to the touch and to the palette. Though the book is quite old, very little of its content is dated, and you can score a copy, as of this writing, for as little as a penny.

I didn’t see the movie, but I enjoyed the book! The Hundred-Foot Journey is the story of a boy, the son of a restaurant owner in Bombay,  who becomes a famous French chef. The story is filled with colorful characters and lots of culinary details.

I discovered this book when Lori Holt, whose quilting blog I follow, mentioned that she was listening to the audiobook version as she worked. I checked it out on Amazon, thought it looked good, and ordered a print copy late in the summer. Whistling Past the Graveyard is a charming, often intense, and a couple of times downright frightening, story of a young girl who leaves the home of her not-so-loving grandmother in search of the mother who left her years earlier. It’s set in the deep south of the early 1960’s, and reminded me,  just a bit, of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I liked this one a lot.

I gather book recommendations from all sorts of places. Reviews in magazines, fellow bloggers, Amazon recommendations, friends, and, quite often, the notes for the quotations given in a book, are just a few of the ways I find the books I read. When a friend recommends a book, though, I usually make it a priority to read that book as soon as I can. If she mentions a book, or series, repeatedly, then I really pay attention.

Christian fiction has never really been my thing. I usually find it wanting in either substance or writing quality. So, I was surprised when my friend, and fabulous author, Kendra Fletcher, mentioned The Reluctant Prophet series to me on more than one occasion. I bought the first book, The Reluctant Prophet, by Nancy Rue, in mid-July, intending to take it with me to the beach in August. The book never made it to the beach.

Less than two weeks later, I bought Unexpected Dismounts, the second book in the trilogy.

Then, just six days later, I ordered the final book, Too Far to Say Far Enough. I’m not sure what to tell you about this series. It wasn’t so much the story line, but that was really good. It wasn’t just the characters, though they were amazing and I loved all the heroes and heroines, and despised all the villains. It wasn’t even the amazing way that the gospel was unfolded and presented at every turn without coming across as phony or forced into the story.

The thing about this series that is so amazing to me, is what it awakened in me as I read it and the way those ideas and thoughts have continued to spin in my mind ever since. What does it really mean to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, visit those who are in prison, and invite in those who are strangers? (Matthew 25) Those thoughts have haunted me, and inspired me, and given me a lot to ponder since reading the books, in rapid succession, just a couple of months or so ago.

I think that’s it! I’m fairly certain that’s a complete list of the books I’ve read since I last checked in, book-wise. I have book marks moving along in several more books right now, and you can see those here (give them a couple of seconds to load), or in the widget in the right sidebar you can see if you click through to my site.

Until next time, God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!

 

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