The Housemaid by Freida McFadden is a domestic thriller about a young woman named Millie who is just out of prison trying to make it in life. She has been living in her car and has applied to a housekeeping ad. She is finally called for an interview. The woman who will be her boss lives the life Millie could only dream of. Nina dresses meticulously in white, has tons of money, but there is something Nina isn’t telling Millie. Millie is soon hired and part of her job is to live in the house with Nina’s family. Millie’s rooms are not what she thought they would be, and it looks like the door can be locked from the outside. Then there’s Nina’s handsome husband who has to also deal with Nina’s outbursts. Little by little Millie begins to figure out something is not quiet right, but what Nina’s family doesn’t know is that Millie also has a secret of her own. What later transcends is a rollercoaster ride of suspense and a twist at the end that will leave you speechless.
The Housemaid was one of the books the Shire Bookstore picked to read for our latest book talk. Something I have come to enjoy about these book talks is that we tend to pick books that I wouldn’t go out of my way to read, and lately it has been very refreshing. I had heard of Freida McFadden on BookTok, and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I was pleasantly surprised. The Housemaid is a fun read. There weren’t any quotes that I had to highlight or moments in the book full of wisdom. The book wasn’t thought-provoking or life changing, but it was entertaining, and that is sometimes what is needed in life. Nothing deep or profound, but something enjoyable enough to keep me in suspense throughout the reading. This is what The Housemaid was to me. The characters were not very deep, but the story line was good and the twist in the end did actually procure a small gasp from me. I am learning to try to read a book without trying to figure out the end of it, so I allowed myself to be carried away in this one, and I am glad I did
There is a sequel to this book called The Housemaid’s Secret. I have heard that it is good, but not as good as the first book. Freida McFadden has another book called The Inmate that I have heard is even better than The Housemaid.
I recommend The Housemaid to anyone who likes domestic thrillers or suspense. I was a bit fearful of graphic sex scenes, but there weren’t any – that just isn’t my vibe. There is some gore though and a lot of psychological suspense. Most of the ladies at the book talk enjoyed the book. If you are interested in joining one of our book talks, we get together about once a month towards the end of the month. Our next book talk will be on the book When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill. For more information check us out on Facebook or Instagram.
The book is 338 pages. This book has a Goodreads rating of 4.36
The word “demand” brings about a lot of connotations. When someone demands instead of asking for something, my rebellious nature usually tends to not give in to said demand. My heels tend to dig in when things are demanded of me. Just ask nicely, and things will go smoother.
Like many of John Piper’s books, he has a way of explaining what he means in very honest ways. My defenses would not be up nor my heels dug in to disobey if a fire fighter, after rescuing me from the flames of a burning building, thrusts a cool cup of water at me and demands I drink it. “Here, drink this!” he would exclaim, and a heaving, soot-covered me would gladly oblige. This is the tone of the book. There are many things that Jesus demands from His followers, but like the newly rescued, my attitude shifts because all Jesus is demanding of me, He is providing and ultimately is for my good. As a rescue, I am grateful and wanting to do what He demands because it feels good to do it. Like the cool water to my parched throat his demands will help me and heal me. There are some healing that is slow and painful, but in the end, I become better and He is glorfied.
In an interview about this book, Mr. Piper states that he took a 4 month study time to focus solely on the second part of the Great Commission which states “and you shall teach them all that I have commanded you”. What has Jesus commanded us to do? Piper mentions that he was able to group all the commands Jesus gives into 50 categories, each one is then listed as a chapter in the book.
This book was intense, but isn’t Christianity? We are miraculously saved from not just Hell, but our own destruction here on earth. What Jesus asks of us goes against the grain of our nature. To forgive the unforgiveable, to love the unlovely, to pray for our enemies and give to those who would steal from us. Why does Jesus ask such things from us? Because, it was/is what He did/does for us. He forgives the unforgiveable. He loves the unlovely. He intercedes for us, and all that we have exploited and taken and used in His creation, He gladly gives us more. We do all these things for others, because we know it was done to us first. Then, to top it all off, we are better for it. When we gladly obey His commands, we are not tied to the petty things and feelings of this world, but we are elevated to a place the world cannot understand.
After reading these kinds of books, I often wonder what my life would look like if I radically obeyed all Jesus commands. What would my life be like? I have failed to obey most of the things He demands of me, but as always He is longsuffering and compassionate in allowing me to continue in my sanctification. In His eyes, I am forgiven. Blameless. Loved and doing a great job! Even when I don’t feel that way. Truth is immovable to my fluctuating feelings, and I am so grateful for that.
Piper does warn that it is easy to fall into leagalism with these demands, and anything done without love is in vain and even sinful. This also isn’t a to-do list. Remember the imagery given at the beginning. You are not drinking that cool cup of water begrudgingly. In order to have the right attitude, we must have a right understading of what it cost to save us and be grafted into the family of God. And when we understand who we are and that inspite of that, God loved us and sent His Son to save us, then obeying what He demands becomes easy and even pleasant.
To say I enjoyed this book would be the wrong phrase. I grew when I read this. As Christians, we cannot look the same as the world. There is no other religion in the world where the god does all the work, provides all the faith and asks us to rest in his love. We are truly blessed to do as He demands.
This book is 400 pages. It has a Goodreads rating of 4.26.
Usually after reading a book with a WWII setting, I have to take a break from the genre. The depravity of human behavior always shocks me, as does the will to live or to hope during such a dark time. The seriousness of these kinds of books is heavy, and reading one right after the other is hard for me. With The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, I knew to expect a heaviness since I had an idea that it was set during the Holocaust. But the fact that it was written from the perspective of a 9 year-old boy really threw a curve ball into my reading.
I have an infinity to this time period. I read about it, watch documentaries and movies about it, and listen to interviews of survivors. I say this because I have an idea of the atrocities that happened at Auschwitz, but little Bruno (the narrator of the book) had no clue of what was happening on the other side of the wired fence. He’s nine. He’s German and his dad is the Commandant in charge of this concentration camp. Bruno has just moved to Auschwitz in Poland and misses his friends and the previous life that he had in Berlin. In his innocence he can’t even pronounce Auschwitz correctly and pronounces it Out-with. He even calls the Fuhrer, “fury”. One day, Bruno takes a longer walk than usual, and meets a little boy on the other side of the fence. His name is Shmuel. Shmuel is small and super thin, but Bruno at least has a friend now, since there aren’t many little boys to play with in a concentration camp.
The author, Mr. Boyne, does an incredible job to keep the book tightly locked in the perspective of a little boy. But as an adult who knows exactly what is going on in Auschwitz, who knows how obscene humans can be, the clashing contrast of these two worlds – that of a little boy in 1943 and a 41 year-old woman in 2023 – made me frantic. Bruno cannot fathom why his friend is so thin. Bruno cannot understand why the people who march, then fall and then some never get up. Bruno cannot comprehend why Shmuel shivers at the sight of the soldiers. He is clueless! As he should be! The whole time I am reading this book I am literally shaking the book to somehow shake Bruno to not eat part of the food that he brings Shmuel. To advocate for Shmuel. To stand up to the cruelty and inhumanity that his dad bestows on the prisoners of Auschwitz. But he’s only nine! He can’t even pronounce the name of the camp correctly. And even if he could comprehend that people were methodically starved and worked to death. Bruno has no power. He has no say. He has no authority. This is why I think this is an amazing book, because most of us know what happened in Auschwitz, but Mr. Boyne is able to make it read as a children’s book.
The book is astonishingly not gory or horrific. All the emotions I felt were only because of the knowledge I have of the Holocaust. The end was the hardest part to read, but written so well that my heart was pounding.
If you are a reader of WWII historical fiction, you should also read this book! Although, the book is written from the perspective of a nine year old, it is not a children’s book. As a mother of 6 children, I would allow my older middle schoolers to read this, but no younger.
This book receives 4.5 stars out of 5 for me. The book is 240 pages long It has a 4.15 rating on Goodreads
If you like WWII period books, here are some I recommend: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah The Violinist of Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood The Huntress by Kate Quinn Night by Elie Wiesel The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
If you are into true crime, you may have heard of Morbid. It is a podcast on true crime, creepy history and all things spooky. It is co-hosted by Alaina Urquhart who is the author of The Butcher and the Wren. Ms. Urquhart is not just a co-host of the podcast, but she is also an autopsy technician, which to me brought a whole new element into reading her book!
With such a huge following of the Morbid podcast, the moment this book was released, it easily became a bestseller! This book is set in the Louisiana bayou and introduces us to forensic pathologist Wren Muller who works for the medical examiner’s office. There is a brutal killer on the lose who is leaving a string of victims. Can the dead reveal who this monster is? Can Wren give the detectives evidence to help them track down who the serial killer is? With several twists and turns, the book is a fast paced, cat and mouse thriller.
I think the fact that the author has the experience of being an autopsy technician added validity to the scenes in the book where Wren is in the autopsy room. The author was very knowledgeable in this area, but then, the book fell short. Ms. Urquhart didn’t really develop her characters very well. I really didn’t get a good sense of who Wren was in the book. She lacked depth and personality. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her – I don’t mind hating a character in a book – it was that I didn’t know her well enough to form any opinion of her. The same thing went for the serial killer. He was brutal, but that was all. What made him the monster he was? Tell me the history of his home, tell me of his depraved thoughts and mind, or of his past. Tell me more so I can get this creep into my mind and then into my nightmares! There were gory parts, but that seemed all it was. The book felt bland where we are just given some substance, but not context. There was great potential for the book, but in the end, it fell flat for me. The constant use of short sentences with minimal adjectives, didn’t allow the reader to fall into the book or get lost in it. Even as I write, I struggle to remember the main characters in the book. The twist towards the end did redeem it slightly for me, but then the end left me a bit confused and then disappointed. It really didn’t make any sense.
I really wanted to like this book. The cover is amazing, and I liked the word play of the title, but in the end, it gets a 2.5 out of 5 star rating for me. I didn’t completely hate it, but I didn’t like it either. It will not go on my permanent bookshelf. Although, I do believe this book would be a good book for someone who is maybe just getting into reading. I would also recommend it to younger adults who are into slashers or thrillers and doesn’t care too much about character building or context.
You can buy this book at The Shire Bookstore or click here.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We have all heard the saying. The same could be said of a book lover, I’m not even playing. For into The Shire a rough neck hunter can walk in to see If I have any romantic fairy warrior high fantasy. Seriously? Then comes in a grey-haired older church lady, so wise Head for the spicy section with sunglasses as her disguise. The young man or woman with blue hair and a celtic locket They’re looking for a Bible that can fit into their back pocket. Then a young boy about ten or eleven Talks to me about Homer’s Odysee, oh I’m in heaven! By the way – He read it when he was 8 or maybe it was seven. The short man with the most beautiful blue eyes, comes in with his 3 sisters looking tribal He asks if I can place an order for him. He wants the Satanist’s Bible. Girls wanting books on construction, and plumbers wanting info on alien abductions They all have been in here. I have had so many conversations, and have even shed an occasional tear. Many have come and made me laugh out loud And hearing “you’ve turned me into a reader.” Man, I feel so proud! You have given me a treasure, and enchanting precious pearl. For you have let me into your life. You’ve let me into your world. So many adventures have entered through these doors. All so unique, telling me about the books they adore. It is my hope and prayer to continue to share life with you. There’s nothing more in the whole world I would rather do.
A Man Called Ove (pronounced OOvah) is a book about a curdmugeon who has just lost his wife. He battles with suicidal thoughts. He also is perpetually annoyed by his neighbors and all those around him. He is cranky and mean, but slowly he is awakened to a new version of himself and slowly begins to enjoy his life, sort of. The same people who annoy him, end up being the same people who smooth out his rough edges. Also, the cat who is just as cranky as him, is super hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout this book and most of the time, the cat was in the scene.
COVERT SPOILERS AHEAD!
I am the opposite of Mr. Ove. I see rules more like guidelines, and for Ove rules were obeyed always. I try different things all the time where Ove hated change. I struggle with routines, Ove thrived in them. I am fluid with what I wear or eat, Ove didn’t have much of a wardrobe. Silence with others is a treasured thing for me, but with strangers, the hardest thing for me to do is be quiet – you get the picture. I usually am not cranky and I definitely never send back my food at a restaurant, return items to a retail store or write emails or letters regarding my warranty. But as life would have it, I am drawn to people who are hyper routine oriented. People who see black and white, right and wrong, and who lean more towards stoicism. I can see the necessity for people who see the world like Ove – granted, I do believe Ove needed someone to slap him once in a while to snap out of it. There is a point where you are taking yourself or life a bit too seriously. Ove did have someone like that in his wife. She saw potential in his seriousness, but as luck would have it for Ove, she passed away. His wife, Sonja, died and Ove didn’t know what to do with himself. Us extroverts need the introverts to draw us into ourselves and contemplate about things. To not speak and listen. To see that this way is right or this way is wrong. The same goes with introverts, we draw them out into sponteneity, a little bit of chaos, and once in a while, side-splitting laughter!
This and more is what A Man Called Ove is about – our differences. How in the mundane and in the monotony is where deep relationships can flourish. Our lives intersect and touch each other unceasingly, and what we do in those moments either chips away at our humanity, or interlinks it. I loved A Man Called Ove because I have a lot of cranky people in my life that just need a hug, and even though I may run the risk of being rejected, I am confident in myself enough to keep loving them.
Something else I really didn’t expect from this book was the insight I would receive about people who are suicidal. I am continuously grateful that I have never struggled with suicidal thoughts. I know that there are many out there who suffer from these kinds of thoughts. I know many who have to fight depression and sadness every day. I am thankful that this is not my lot in life. Reading Ove’s thoughts really surprised me. In my mind, I thought that he would quit after his first failed attempt at hanging himself. What a shock I received when Ove attempted yet again to kill himself. He failed to kill himself several times, and still tried to do it. In my sunshine-rainbows-and-kittens-type-of-mind, he should be grateful he didn’t die, see the light, realize he has so much to live for and move on from his loneliness. I am so dense! All who I have spoken with who struggle with melancholia and depression, these thoughts seem to never leave. Yes, they have happy moments. Yes, they see that they are needed. Yes, life does go on, but in the background hangs this low dark cloud of sadness, loneliness or even suicide.
Learning things like this is why all of us should read fiction. C.S. Lewis writes that fiction “enlarges our perspective”. It allows us “to escape from ourselves into one another”. What a better way to get to know those around us who are not like us. Yes, could I read statistics on suicide among teens? Could I read about chemical imbalances or hormonal fluctuations in the brain? Of course. But something else happens to my soul when I read about a man’s bellowed sob that springs from his soul at the loss of his wife. At the frustrated wail of a mother when the doctor can do nothing more for her child. Of the silent cry of a woman holding the lifeless body of sister, who survived a Nazi camp only to die later of pneumonia. Fiction reaches us where statistics can’t.
I will eventually forget the stats I read, but I probably will never forget Ove.
This is officially my first 5 star rating of the year!! I recommend this book to anyone who likes heartwarming books! You can buy this book and other books by Mr. Fredrik Backman at the Shire Bookstore. If you liked As Good As It Gets the movie, you’ll definitely like this book. Obviously there are several attempts at suicide throughout the book, so if you struggle with those thoughts, please be careful as you read. Also, there is a movie based on this book starring Tom Hanks called “A Man Called Otto”. I recently read that it will eventually stream on Netflix.
This year I was able to read 60 books. Here is my list with short comments on some of them!
The rating is to the right of the book title and author.
* = did not like. Had trouble finishing. ** = it was okay. Sometimes felt like a waste of time. *** = not bad. Some parts were annoying. **** = good book, recommend if you like that genre ***** = excellent book. totally recommend for all. May have changed my life!
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak ***** This book brought back a lot of memories. The illustrations are still impacting, and I so enjoyed reading it again!
John Wycliffe: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History ***
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch **** This book was very interesting if you like books about parallel universes. It took a couple of chapters to figure out what is going on, but my oh my what a wild ride!
Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier ***** Book on the affects of transgender ideology on our young girls. This book is fair to both sides and raises excellent questions.
Tilly by Frank Peretti *** A book about a woman dealing with an abortion.
Post Mortem by Patricia Cornwell ****
A Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent *****
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner ***** Total fan-girl of Skippyjon Jones now!
Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Edward T. Welch ***** Great book if you are a Christian who struggles with any kind of addiction.
Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston **
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides ** This was nothing like the Silent Patient. Ugh!
Where the Crawdads Sing *****
Eating Disorders by Edward Welch *****
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier ** Too much teenage drama for me to care.
Fractured by Karin Slaughter ****
Help! I’m a Slave to Food by Shannon McCoy ****
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James ****
The Premature Burial by Edgar A. Poe **** This one was actually good, and cracked me up. Who knew Poe could be funny!?
The Long Walk by Stephen King *** Mr. King and his horrible endings! Great story though!
Piercing Heaven by Robert Elmer ***** Excellent book on prayer! WOW!!
Oliver Twist: A Graphic Novel by Charles Dickens & Dan Johnson ****
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins *** It was okay. Not as good as the Hunger Games. Knowing that Snow isn’t going to die, somewhat removes the suspense for me. Interesting history though.
Endless Love by Scott Spencer **
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary ****
Naughty Mabel by Nathan Lane **** Laughed. Cute book!
Extraordinary Insects by Anne Sverdup-Thygeson ****
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry ****
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen ****
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman ****
Verity by Colleen Hoover *** Not my type of book. Not into relationship drama!
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein ***** Very emotional book.
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin **
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ***** Excellent book! I couldn’t pick up another book for days because I was still processing this one!
House of Shadows by Darcy Coates **** First time I have read this author. Very gothic. I will be reading her again.
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R.R. Tolkien *** Mr. Frodo would agree, it is a long journey of a book.
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson ***** Suprised at how much I liked this book. Definitely recommend! There are some very uncomfortable scenes of pain and torture though.
Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson ***
The Crucible by Arthur Miller ***
Drowned Town by Jayne Moore Waldrop *** Great resource if you want to know more about our local history of Western Kentucky. Historical Fiction though.
Ruckkus on the Ranch bya Texas Tenors **
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart * I can’t stand teenage drama! I wanted them all to die!
Lord of the Flies by William Golding ****
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid *** She is a good writer, but lots of gay relationships, and frankly that just not my cup of tea.
Gild by Raven Kennedy **
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell * Too woke!
The Bald Bandit by Ron Roy ***
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah Maas **** Ms. Maas is an excellent writer, but just not a fantasy fan.
Hearth-Shaped Box by Joe Hill ** Not into old man, young woman relationships!
Exalting Jesus in Ecclesiastes by Daniel Akin ***** Excellent Bible study!
Queens Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle ** Queen Kathering Parr was not woke!
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson **** Wonderful classic!
Knowing Sin by Mark Jones ****
Thinner Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews ***
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom ***** Everyone needs to read this book! WWII non fiction.
A Cat’s Life by Gemma Correl ***
Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica *** Great book until the ending! Hated the ending!!
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey ****
Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Durham *** Great characters except the main characters.
Zoo by James Patterson ** Sorry, I’m not a James Patterson fan. I don’t like his writing style. Its too typical!
The Unsaved Christian by Dean Inserra **** I just finished this book today. Great read! Recommend to all who live in the USA. There are a lot of unsaved Christians.
Is there a certain scent that just floods you with good memories? Is it the freshly cut grass of an early summer? The smell of apple pie in the fall? Is it freshly washed sheets or the scent of the soft hair of a newborn? This book is so descriptive that sometimes I felt I was there in the small Mexican town of Linares. I could smell the beautiful nature it described!
The book is set in the early 1900’s, but also goes back and forth in time. It tells of the story of a baby found underneath a bridge covered in bees that seem not to hurt him. I would say that the genre is magical realism. It also had a lot of history on Mexico right before their revolution. The book gives the perspectives of the baby’s caretakers, family, friends and enemies. There is also tragedy in the book, but also lots of places that made me smile and sigh with nostalgia. The characters are deep and developed very well. I loved Simonopio, who is one of the protagonist, and his innocence and loyalty. And like so many of my favorite movies and books, I was sad and happy in the end.
I deeply enjoyed the book and losing myself in the story Sofia Segovia, the author, wrote.
The book was originally written in Spanish. It was translated by Simon Bruni and I believe he did an excellent job. I can only imagine how beautiful the book would be to read it in its original language!
I highly recommend this book if you like magical realism like The Alchemist or Beloved. If you want to lounge around and have a long good read, this is a great book to escape to. The book is very clean and has no sex scenes. There are some times where the sadness and evil is very raw and real, but Ms. Segovia does it in a way that doesn’t assault the senses. I loved this book and 5-starred it on my Goodreads account.
The book is 471 pages long. As of right now it is free if you have Amazon unlimited. You can buy the book here.
Every year I choose to do the Tim Challies book challenge and if you want to know what I have been reading here is the list so far. I will put the challenge, the title and a quick note of what I thought about it.
A book published in 2020 or 2021 – Piranesi by Susanna Clarke This book was weird. I somewhat enjoyed it, but probably will not read another book by this author. If you like fantasy with minimal characters and slow builders, then you may like this book.
A memoir or autobiography – Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom This book was full of quips and ways to live. It has a lot of wisdom in it, but it is worldly wisdom. There was some religious aspects to it, but like all self-help books, they fall short to the wisdom given in the Bible. It’s a good book for older teens.
A classic novel – The Curious Life of Benjamin Button by F. Scott FItzgerald This was another weird novel. It was somewhat Kafkaish and I didn’t really like it. I liked the Great Gatsby, so I thought this would be a good novel, but I was left feeling confused and wondering why I even started it.
A book by a pastor – Something Needs to Change by David Platt I recommend this book to all Christians! Phenomenal book about taking our faith seriously and shaking off the clutches of complacent Christianity.
A book about a book of the Bible – Colossians He is Enough by Asheritah Ciuciu Great devotional book! I recommend reading her!
A book published by Zondervan – Case for Faith by Lee Strobel The book was informative but I had forgotten that Ravi Zacharias was one of the men Lee interviewed, so the book didn’t sit well with. It also seemed a bit too permissive when it came to sin and grace. Case for Christ was better.
A book the word “gospel” in the title – Another Gospel by Alisa Childers What a great book on the dangers of what is now called deconstruction. Every Christian needs to read this book. Alisa, also has a youTube channel that I enjoy watching. She is a great theologian.
A book with an image of a person on the cover – Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel This is the second book to the Wolf Hall series. I love the way this woman writes and I love Tudor historical fiction! If you love this era and historical fiction, you will love this book, bur read Wolf Hall first.
A book about a current social issue – (A)typcial Woman by Abigail Dodds This was a good book, the author did a good job in describing Biblical womanhood. She used Scripture well and I encourage you to read it if you are a Christian woman.
A book for children or teens – Wingfeather by Andrew Peterson Loved this book. Adventrure, Pirates. Villans. My kids really enjoyed this book It is a series that we may continue. I read this book aloud to my kids.
A book about theology – Royal Deception: Exposing the KJV Only Conspiracies by Fred Butler This book was lacking in what I really wanted to know. There is so much about KJV onlyist that I wanted to know about and this book did not provide it. I think James White does a better job.
A book about Christian living – Full by Asheritah Ciuciu I loved this book! I got in on audio, but bought the actual book after I listened to the audio. I plan on re-reading it this year! If you struggle with food addiction, this is a wonderful book full of the Gospel and freedom!
A book of your choice – The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware I love the way this woman writes. This was a good thriller, mystery book.
A book written by a puritan – Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards Puritans love their descriptions of hell. I am so glad I am saved and this motivates me to keep giving the Gospel to my loved ones.
A book recommended by a friend – Nightingale by Kristin Hannah This book is set in occupied France. Great book about the love between sisters and the courage of the people who suffered under the Nazis. This book is long, but it does submerge you into this time.
A book about social justice – Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice by Scott David Allen Totally recommend if you are Christian wondering what to think about the culture in the US right now.
A novel that won a Pulitzer prize – The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami This book was actually a runner up to the Pulitzer, but still it was beautifully written. It is about the Spanish conquest of the Americas and their exploits. It is harsh and sad. This book was about a slave of one of the Spaniards, one of only 4 survivors.
A book with 2 or more authors – Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie H. Perry and Nancy DeMoss The book was good, but not my kind of taste. JHP is very artistic and was a bit too long winded about colors, fashion partying and her relationships. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. When it comes to this particular genre, I prefer Rosaria Butterfield.
A book with at least 400 pages – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel Tudor Historical Fiction again. This book was harder to read than Bring up the Bodies because HM uses the pronoun “he” quiet a bit and sometimes I forget what “he” she is talking about. She does better in her second book. I can’t wait to read the third and final book about Mr. Thomas Cromwell.
A book cy CS Lewis or JRR Tolkien – The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis Must read for all Christians. What a wonderful and smart man is Mr. Lewis. This book is about a “younger” demon learning the ropes from his uncle Screwtape on how to ruin the lives of Christians and people.
A book that has a fruit of the Spirit in the title – Sovereign Joy by John Piper This book was about the lives of Augustine, Luther and Calvin. I loved reading about them and because of this book I have added Augustine’s “Confessions” to my reading list.
A book on the New York Times Bestseller list – Dream Big by Bob Goff Like always, this man inspires. This is a good book to get you motivated to dream big and pursue your dreams.
A book about prayer – Dangerous Prayers by Craig Groeschel This was a good book. I was pleasantly surprised though that I already pray dangerous prayers. If you want to grow in how you pray, this is a good book. I just need to pray more often!
A book about theology – Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Suffers by Dane C. Ortlund This is by far the best book I have read so far this year. What a breath of restful air this was. This book made me cry and reminded me of what a gentle and loving Father I have in God. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
A book of your choice – Outsider by Stephen King The book started off really good, but what a cop-out for an ending. I wasn’t too happy with the sci-fi cop out. SK does write well though, but the ending was so disappointing.
A book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with – Recovering from Biblical Womanhood by Aimee Byrd She has a chip on her shoulder and her illustrations and allegories were awful. I also listened to this book on audio and the author reads it and she sounded a bit to “karen” for my taste. Maybe if I read it instead of listening to it, it may be better.
A book by someone whose ethnicity is different than yours – Fault Lines by Voddie Baucham Jr. Great book. So needed for our times right now. It is a book about the dangers of critical race theory and social justice.
A book that won an award – Deep, Deep Snow by Brian Freeman This book won the Edgar Award. It is about a young detective solving a case in a small town. It was a great crime/suspense novel.
A book by Charles Dickens or one of his contemporaries – The Woman in the Black Veil by Charles Dickens This is one of his first books ever written and what a plot twist. Good short book. It was only like 35 pages long.
A book about leadership – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey There was a lot of insight and great advice in this book. Highly recommend for all people who want to get their life together and do more.
A book based on a true story – Beneath Devil’s Bridge by Loreth Anne White Good mystery book and great twist at the end.
A book with an illustration on the cover – A Court of Thorns by Sarah J. Maas This book was a bit too romantic for me. So not my genre at all. If you the Twilight series you will like this. SJM writes extremely well and there were some scenes in the book that were outright scary and frightening, but just not into the romancy parts.
A book with one word in the title – Heaven by Randy Alcorn Great book about the subject of Heaven. It makes me want to go there already. Death is hard for us to understand, but in the light of the Bible, physical death is what God uses to bring us to Him. Long book, but I definitely recommend.
A book whose title comes from a Bible verse – Filling up the afflictions of Christ by John Piper Great book on suffering and why we suffer and how God uses our afflictions to make us more like Him. This book is short but very impactful. If you are struggling through a painful time in your life right now, this is a good read. Full of Scripture and grace.
A book by an author 30 years or younger – Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne This book was great! Its about an FBI agent who happens to also be an ex-magician. The book was fun to read, but also mysterious. Great book for a summer read. Andrew Mayne is also a professional magician.
A book about theology – Knowledge of the Holy by AW Tozer A good book about why we should not just feel our faith, but know why we believe. It also has a lot to say about the character of God and who He is. Why we should know about the God we worship.
A novel set in a country that is not your own – The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler and Ann Long This book is set in Sweden and was annoying. The main characters were not very deep and the way they behaved was erratic and odd. I don’t recommend this book, and will not read any more of their novels.
37 books so far!! It is my hope to read 54 books this year and I think I will be able to make it. From now on, I hope to do book reviews on each of the books I read. Let me know what you think and tell me about some of the books you enjoy reading.
I read this book out loud to my children and they loved it! This book is about 3 coming-of-age children – Alice, Zach and Poppy. They are in that awkward stage in their lives when they want to play children games, but feel pressure to stop acting that way. Most of the pressure is place on their own selves and a lack of communication among this trio places them at risk of ending their friendship.
With the encouragement of Poppy they set out on one last adventure to find the gravesite of an old ceramic china bone doll. The thing is super creepy and is said to contain the ashes of a murdered girl with the hollow of her body. The adventure is super fun and exciting and a bit scary. There was never a dull moment.
I truly enjoy reading these kinds of books to my kids. The book has real characters with real problems. They hurt each other feelings, they misunderstand their parents, they feel overwhelmed by the pressures of life. They cry, the yell, they hope and they lose hope. Talking about all these moments is why I love fiction. My kids and I had great talks about so many different things and it was great to hear their perspectives and walk them through better understandings of things.