I am a reader. I always have been. If I don’t have a book to read I feel kind of lost and sad. However, I realized haven’t really talked about my favorite books on this blog! Shame on me! Since it’s such a huge list though, I had had hard time figuring out where to start. I decided to use the approach I favored as a reading teacher. I’ll give you a couple books I just finished, some I’m in the middle of, and what I plan to read when I’m done. I’m also trying to be better about balancing the amount of fiction and non-fiction (I’m a lover of novels and murder mysteries, but I know I need to feed my brain too, not just give it a vacation).
– The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
I think I mentioned my plan to read this during the month of December. It’s a devotional that follows the traditional Jesse Tree passages which trace God’s plan for salvation through the Old Testament. It’s a beautiful idea, and I was very excited about using this book as a tool to help me stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ and the completion of God’s plan to reconcile us to Himself. I think I finished about three weeks of the readings before holiday busyness, sickness, and other unexpected complications derailed my good intentions (see last week’s post on our “unexpected Christmas” if you missed it). Thankfully Christmas comes every year, and I’m looking forward to unpacking the book along with my Christmas tree ornaments next December and starting again.
– Allegiant by Veronica Roth
This is the last book in the Divergent trilogy. I reread the first two books just before Allegiant came out in October, then waited impatiently until Christmas when I finally got the third one as a gift. I am a fan of dystopian fiction, and count books like The Hunger Games among my very favorites. I actually liked this series better than The Hunger Games I think. Divergent and Insurgent were both very compelling reads, the kind that you just can’t put down at bedtime and end up reading past midnight (or is that just me?). I loved the dynamic, well-rounded characters the interesting world Roth created, and the questions about human nature and morality it poses. Allegiant was, I’ll admit, much harder for me to get through. I knew it wasn’t going to have a happy ending, since this kind of fiction rarely does, but I still cried. I will say the ending as a whole was satisfying and had good closure. I hate books that leave you hanging and force you to come up with your own ending. I didn’t necessarily like the ending, but I understood it and enjoyed the journey.
– Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist
I heard Shauna speak at the MOPS leadership conference I attended this October, and really connected with her message. I was eager to hear more from her, so I put all of her books on my Christmas wish list. I ended up getting three of them, and am absolutely thrilled! This book is sort of chronological, but doesn’t quite flow the same was as a memoir. It’s more of a collection of stories taken from Neiquist’s life experiences. They are different from mine, but I still find so much commonality between my memories and hers. This book highlights the specialness found in ordinary life, something I am trying to do more for myself. I’m about halfway through this one, and very excited to read the rest!
– Unspoken by Dee Henderson
I love a good romantic suspense, and this is an excellent example. As a bonus it’s also very well-written Christian fiction. I’ve been a Henderson fan for years, every since I picked up the first O’Malley book (her first series). This book is a stand-alone story, but it shares its setting and characters with her last book, Full Disclosure. It dwells a bit too much on the world of coin collecting, which I’m not very interested in, but the main characters (particularly the woman, a kidnapping victim who was rescued after four years) are fairly compelling and it has several layers of relationships, secrets, and mystery that keep the story moving forward. It’s a nice change from the last novel I read, and I’m looking forward to a satisfying, happy ending.
– Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten your Mother Load by Jen Hatmaker
Another Christmas gift, this book by one of my favorite authors (that I also got to hear speak at MomCon) is going to be a treat. Each devotion is no more than two pages long, short enough that I might actually be able to get through it before Baby Girl notices that I’m sitting down and looking at something else instead of giving her my undivided attention.
I haven’t decided on a novel to read next. Anyone have a suggestion of a well-written, inspiring, hard-to-put-down story with a satisfying ending? Please share!!