“Diamonds from the Corner” by Lew-Ellyn Hughes
Lew-Ellyn writes a lovely blog and runs a bed and breakfast in Maine. She writes about her life. It is wonderful reading! Short vignettes that bring a smile to my heart, and sometimes a tear to my eye. This is one to keep by your bedside or next to your favorite chair to read while sipping a cup of tea.
“Alivin York, A New Biography” by Douglas V. Mastiano
I liked that this book talks about Avin York’s faith. But overall, I’m not a fan of the book. Parts were too detailed regarding battle plans for my taste. I’d rather watch the 1941 movie.
“What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty
After an accident at her gym, Alice wakes up thinking it is 1998. The problem is the year is actually 2008. She doesn’t remember anything about her life over the last ten years, including her children. She finds out she is on the verge of divorce.
This is a great story. Well written. I know what I wanted to happen but was in suspense until the last page. This is one time I am very glad I did not cheat by reading the last chapter first! I plan to check out the author’s other books.
“A Posse of Princesses” by Sherwood Smith
Prince Lios needs to find a wife. He invites all the young, eligible princes, princesses, and courtiers from neighboring countries to a week long gathering at a castle in the country. What could go wrong? A bunch of fifteen to twenty-three year olds riding horses, attending a masquerade, learning new dances from the outer regions. The book is set in a fictional land centuries ago. Like her other books, Sherwood set this fantasy in a land with magic, mages, and sword fights.
Sherwood Smith writes fantasy books that are mostly for young adults. When I am having a difficult week for any reason, I enjoy reading easy books. You know the kind – the ones you read in middle school and loved? Anyway, some of Sherwood’s books fall into this category. She has rewritten favorite fairy tales in very engaging ways. I usually love her books. This one was just okay. I read it in a day and found it predictable. Still, I enjoyed it.
“Through the Eyes of a Lion” by Levi Lusko
This is not one of my favorite easy books. I do recommend it. It is a great book, but it is not easy.
After a fun date night, Levi and his wife pull into his mother-in-law’s driveway to find there is an emergency. Their little girl is having an asthma attack. A serious one. Breathing treatments have not helped. CPR is started, the ambulance arrives, and they go to the hospital where their daughter dies. Just a few days before Christmas.
This is book about the death of a child. But death is not the central theme. Christ is. Levi writes with honesty, transperancy, and even a smile in sharing their story. It us a story of a loving God who helped their family through a horrible tragedy.
“Gladys Aylward” by Janet & Geoff Benge
This biography is also in the young adult section of the library. I have needed some fun, easy reads this fall. And titles in the “Christian Heros: then and now” series are a good choice. This series includes stories of missionaries and church leaders over the ages. I can read one of these biographies in a day easily.
Twenty-four year old Gladys Aylward was turned down by the China Mission Board, yet she knew God was calling her to China. She went on her own. She eventually became the first foreign missionary to become a Chinese citizen. Gladys was in China in the 1930’s and through the Japanese invasion of World War II. It is a great story. This book may cause you to want learn more about her life and ministry. I hope you do, she was remarkable.
“Music of the Heart” by
This is a great story of a young, divorced mom who moved to East Harlem to teach violin lessons. Roberta raised her two sons and adopted daughter in the heart of Harlem, where they thrived. She began the East Harlem Violin Program and taught thousands of children to play. She brought the love of music to children who would not have had the opportunity without her efforts. A movie and an Oscar nominated documentary were made about her organization Opus 118. The movie stars Meryl Streep and, although it strays from the true story, is very good.
“I Dared Call Him Father” by Bilquis Shiekh
The story of a wealthy Muslim woman in her fifties who has an encounter with Jesus. He changes everything. I enjoyed reading this book, in part, because it is written in first person. The story of how Jesus can change even a woman my age and how He can help us learn to love our brothers and sisters is inspiring.
“Breathe” by Lisa T. Bergren
This is Book One of The Homeward Trilogy. Set in Colorado Springs in the late 1800’s, this is story of three siblings who move west because one of the sisters has tuberculosis. I won’t be reading books two or three. In fact, I didn’t finish this one. It was sappy and predictable. The characters seemed shallow and foolish. And that’s all I gave to say about that.
“The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis
Classic. Great. Profound. Inspired. Fantastic. I love this story of Screwtape mentoring Wormwood in the ways of their leader The Father of Lies. At times this book is scary in that Lewis seems to know me so well! He writes of my own struggles with being distracted from doing what God has called me to do. I believe that every believer should read this book at least once. Or maybe twice!
“Lords of the Earth” by Don Richardson
Stan and Pat Dale were missionaries to cannibalistic tribes in what was then call Dutch New Guinea. They risked their lives daily to bring The Good News to a group of people who spent their days plotting war and revenge on their enemies. The sacrifices made by the Dales and others are heart wrenching yet inspiring!
The book started slow. I’m a fan of stories of missions, but Richardson spent too many pages telling details of the people prior to the missionaries reaching their valley. I could have gotten a feel for their culture with fewer details. The latter half of the book was great! Learning how our Father works in the lives of others is beautiful. If you need encouragement, check out a biography of a missionary to primitive people groups like this one!
“The Unveiling” by Tamara Leigh
Great book! And, no, it is not about people getting naked, though there is some kissing and a married couple spends the night together (without details). Set in England during the times of knights and squires, this is great story of bravery and adventure. I enjoyed the characters and the integrity of the protagonists. One of the lead characters searches God for guidance, but this is not a preachy book. Good story, interesting characters, and fun twists make for a great book to read by the fire sipping a warm beverage.
“And the Good News Is…” By Dana Perino
Former Press Secretary under President Bush, Ms. Perino writes of her life, her career and her advice for young people today. Ever the optimist, she writes of her time working in the White House in a style that makes me believe that not all is lost. An easy read full of great stories.
“Bruchko” by Bruce Olson
At age nineteen, Bruce Olson was sure God had called him to share the Gospel with the Indians of South America. Without support from a Mission Boatd or anyone but God, he went. He lived among people groups that were known to kill white men. He loved them. He lived among them the way they lived. And he showed them Jesus. I read this book in a day. It is a great story and a great read!
“50 Ways to Kill a Slug” by Sarah Ford
My children gave me this book a few years ago. I found it on the shelf on decided to read it before bed one night. Did you know a slug can live up to six years and can eat twice its body weight daily? I hate slugs. I’m glad to a have this silly and helpful book teaching me about how to keep them out of my garden!
What books are you reading over the holidays?
“The Yielding” by Tamara Leigh
Book Two of the Age of Faith series tell the story of Michael and Beatrix. A fun story of Knights and intrigue, I found this book entertaining. Again, there is no blatant sex or detailed violence, though there is a story of an evil knight “ravaging” one lady and attempting to ravage another. I read almost all of if one night when sleep eluded me. The book did not help me fall asleep! I wanted to read the whole thing in one sitting! Instead, I finished it the next day. I’m now a fan of Ms. Leigh and plan to read to the other three books in this series.