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Sunday, March 31, 2019

What I Read February/March edition

February: 
The Color of Forever by Julianne MacLean- The Color of Heaven #10
I started this series several years ago. The books can be read independently, but characters from previous books are interwoven throughout so if you read I'd recommend reading in order. They talk about life after death, finding love on earth, and have some components of fantasy involved. Quick reads with likeable characters.  There are other books in this series so I'll be reading for a while.

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
I enjoyed this book, but it was hard to read at times. It centered on how God is holy, using Scriptural references, and then encourages us to be holy as God is holy. An overwhelming concept for sure, but very thought-provoking.

Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs- Friday Night Knitting Club #3
Loved this series! This follows a group of women who bonded over knitting, and then over a friend's death as they became family to that friend's young daughter. The last book in the series focuses on Dakota's transition to adulthood and the decisions she has to make. Great read!

Always Forward- Ginny Dye- Bregdan Chronicles #9
I've been reading this series, set in the Civil War and the years following, for several years. It tells the story of Carrie Borden and how she and her family overcame in the years following the Civil War. Carrie is a strong female character and is a polar opposite to my other favorite Civil War heroine (Scarlett O'Hara). There are other books in this series as well so I'll be reading on it for awhile.

Christ-Centered Parenting
This was a Bible study through Lifeway. They offered it as online Bible study several months ago and provided the video sessions free, so I watched those and took a little longer to digest. This book has short articles that focus on societal topics that parents should address. Good for parents with kids of all ages, as each section has a couple of pages focused on communication strategies for different age groups. Really thought-provoking. 

The Scarlet Letter- Nathaniel Hawthorne
I had read this book many years ago in high school but decided to revisit it. The language is hard to understand but it is a beautiful concept of redemption, and also a reminder that there are always two sides to ever story.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader- CS Lewis
This is part of the Chronicles of Narnia series. It was one of the harder ones for me to read for some reason, but the fantastical story of a boy turning into a dragon and then not being recognized as a boy (not the exact story line, but the part that stood out to me most) really made me think of how we perceive other people. I love the beautiful images of Aslan, and the reminder that God is always sovereign (as they say in the first book in this series, He is far from safe, but He is good.)

Summer People- Aaron Stander
This was a free book I downloaded years ago. I have a list of books I've downloaded from Kindle and I work through it (when I'm not jumping ahead and reading a "got to read now" book), and the second book on this series was on my list, so I had to read the first one, of course... a murder mystery. Easy read. Good characters. Not the best book I've read... but definitely not the worst. 

4  under my goal... putting me behind. (I figured if I wanted to read 150 books this year, I'd need to read 12.5 a month).

March:
Dumplin' (Dumplin' #1)- I LOVED this book. I downloaded it and moved it to the front of my to read list because EVERYONE was watching it on Netflix and I can't watch something without reading it... and it was great. A lovely story of Willowdean, whose Mama is a beauty queen that reminds her a lot of times that she's not... a feel good, save the day story. (Which was, as always, better than the movie... but the Netflix movie was good. Although I've always liked Jennifer Aniston and I really didn't like her character...) Definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to learn how to accept themselves for who they are.

A Peculiar Glory by John Piper
This book highlighted the glory of God, using references from Scripture. Really enjoyed it but makes you think!

The Runaway Midwife by Patricia Harman
I love midwives. I mean, I've never been to one, and I obviously am not one, but I have worked with them and then the history of Frontier Nursing in Eastern Kentucky has always fascinated me. This book is about a midwife who has a patient die during childbirth, and she flees her life to travel to a remote island. A little suspense, a little romance... a very good novel. I'll be reading more from this author!

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell
Millie has had a tough life. Her dad and mom have a dysfunctional relationship. She wants to get away. She dreams of joining a gypsy group, but tragedy strikes and she finds herself stuck. It's a beautiful story of a young girl finding herself and finding love. There's a second book, so I'll be reading it.

Darker the Night by Lisa London
I love WW2 fiction. This book is one from the viewpoint of a German citizen. I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the end of the book to learn that it was loosely based on real-life events. This book encouraged empathy. Highly recommend for anyone interested in WW2 fiction.

Devil's Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #14) by Joanne Fluke
I love this series. Hannah Swensen is funny, and also unlucky, as she finds more dead bodies than living people in Lake Eden. The recipes sound yummy (if only I cooked!) and each one of these in the series that I have read are entertaining, with interesting characters. Still have several in this series, and I'm glad!

The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew #2)
I loved Nancy Drew when I was a young reader, and last year I decided to start re-reading the series. It's funny, though, that reading them with fresh eyes makes you realize how much different things are now from when they were first written years ago. They do seem simplistic, too... but still one of my favorites!

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
My sister bought my a book called 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, and this book was the first one listed. I loved it. The author was a camp ranger in a park out west, and it was all about the desert and exploring and the outdoors and it spoke to my hiking loving heart.

Dearest Dorothy, If not Now, When? 
This book is a part of a series as well, and I was sad to find that there wasn't another book. Dorothy is an 80+ year old woman who lives in small town America. One of her newest best friends is Josh, whose Mom has moved in and sent an erroneous message that she's trying to take over the town. As most small towns are, residents are resistant to some change, and this book follows them through the process of growth. A great read with delightful characters. 

Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
Again, this was a series that I read when I was young. I love Louisa May Alcott... have read biographies of her. Little Women is one of my favorite books, and this is the last series of the book, concluding when the little women are now adults. Jo has started a college for young men and some women, and this book tells of some of her earlier pupils and how their adult lives have turned out.
 

When God Calls the Heart: Devotions from Hope Valley
This devotional uses shows from When Calls the Heart to provide a short devotional topic. There's a prayer and a question to think about, and I really liked it because I liked the show.

11 books read in March. This means I've read 31 books. Using my plan to read 12.5 books a month, I should have read 37 books, so I'm 6 short.

Means I'll have to read 13 books a month... so here's to reading!

As always, I'd love to here what's on your to read list, even though I never have enough time to read as I'd like!


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