Read Any Good Books this Winter?

I love to read! I read all kinds of books. My goal is to read at least fifty-five books this year. Some of the books on my list are long biographies and history books; others are short, easy read novels. I read devotional books and books on grief by those who walked this road before me. I enjoy suspense stories but not horror stories.

Here is the list of books I’ve read this winter and spring.
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When Holidays Hurt by Bo Stern
This devotional book is amazing! Bo’s husband was diagnosed with ALS. She wrote this book while caring for him. The book addresses issues faced by those suffering, not just full-time care-givers or those grieving. It has 36 short, helpful devotional articles. Each reading includes scripture, a prayer, and an exercise to help you during the holidays. Christmas is not the only season included; there are devotionals for spring, summer and fall holidays as well. I highly recommend this book for everyone who may face challenges in life.

Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary

This is a compelling story of a young girls who walked away from her family and Islam to follow Jesus. She paid a high price. Jail, foster homes, and court battles are all part of her journey. A journey that took place in American. A journey that is not yet complete. A great book!


41 by George W. Bush

It’s clear that George W has great affection and love for his father. This book is evidence of their loving relationship. I enjoyed reading the more personal side of George H.W. Bush, his life and his career. This is a very enjoyable book. I highly recommend it.


The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel has issues. Lots of them. She rides the train each morning. One morning she sees something, someone. It changes everything.

I read this thriller in one day. A day between Christmas and New Years. It was hard to follow at first. And a bit disturbing. But it kept my attention.

I’m not sure that I recommend this book. I had a strange feeling after reading it. Like I’d been a part of something very wrong. Murder, affairs, deception. I was glad when I finished it.

The Bark of the Bog Owl by Jonathan Rogers 

Book one in a very fun adventure series. Aiden is a shepherd boy. Fifth son. An enemy has invaded, and their giant champion has challenged Aiden’s king. If one champion can defeat him, they enemy will become Corenwald’s slaves. Otherwise, Corenwald must surrender. Sound familiar? But this book has fun twists. I highly recommend all three books in this series.

As Aiden says…”“Who knows what the future holds? Only the One God,” explained Aidan. “You just live the little bit of life that you can see in front of you. You live it well. And that gets you ready for whatever unfolds next.”

I also read The Secret of the Swamp King and The Way of the Wilderking, books 2 &3 of the series. All three are fun reads!

 The Redeeming, The Kindling, The Longing, by Tamara Leigh

These are books 3, 4, & 5 of The Age of Faith Series. Fun stories of knights and damsels. The story center around one family but span over a number of years. As the series title indicates, faith is sprinkled throughout. Men of war battle with their own temptations and desires to do the right thing. The women are strong. I’ll read all of these again.


Letter from the Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr

While in jail in Birmingham, Dr. King wrote a letter addressing those who challenged his choice to protest and stand up against racial injustice. This should be required reading for all high school and college students. It is available in print,Montenegro in gift editions, but I read it online.


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

From Amazon:

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

The story is well written. I hated the ending! But I did enjoy the story.


The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

As the cover implies, this is a story about rabbits. And Wolves. And fighting a war. An adventure story starring rabbits. And I loved it!

From a Goodreads review:

The Green Ember is about two rabbits, Heather and Picket (brother and sister), who find themselves caught up in the struggle of good vs. evil. The characters have a lot of depth and are thrown into an unexpected and big adventure against long odds. They meet many friends, some long lost family and some enemies along the way. There is danger,betrayal and frequent pitfalls of some sort or another. Fighting forces die and there are many battles… but there is also hope. There are heroic deeds, loyalty, trust and wisdom given out; especially from the older animals to the younger. It is a tender story, fun, adventurous, mysterious, and surprising. It is a beautiful story, sad at times, but really wonderful.

It certainly holds your attention and you will hear many pleas to keep reading and don’t stop if you are reading it aloud to your children. It is not Christian but has good values and is very well written. I would compare it to the Redwall series and like it as well as those books and it has some hints of influence from Tolkien and C.S. Lewis as well. I loved the map in the front as well and the illustrations are wonderfully done.


The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

These books gave been family favorites for years. I read the every couple of years, usually in winter sitting by the fire.

Gen is the Queen’s Thief. In The Thief, we are introduced to him as he steals a precious stone from Attolia, or tries to. Full of adventure, fun, wit, and endearing relationships, this series is appropriate for young readers but keeps my attention as well. I highly recommend the whole series! And I wish my adult children would stop taking the copies from my house!


The Miracle Man by Buck Storm

I picked this up in an eBook free. I would gladly have paid full price! This is Buck Storm’s first novel, and I hope he writes more!

From a Goodreads review:

 “Reality doesn’t always serve up what you want. But it always has a purpose.”

A well-conceived, well-developed tale of faith and perception set in the golden years shortly after World War Two. Storm creates a subtle sense of time and place throughout his story. A world without computers, cell phones, cable and internet suggests a slow pace which turns out to be as illusive for them as for us with all our labor-saving gadgets.

“Confusion put an arm around Luke’s shoulder.”

The characters are complex and real … mostly. We share the point of view of several characters will no doubt whose head we’re in and an adequate sense of certainty and confusion as appropriate. The varied cast avoids obvious stereotypes while providing realistic depth to most characters.

“Is the right way to do things always the right thing to do?”

Despite the best efforts of the good guys, things just keep getting worse. Their opposition seems a step ahead of them at every turn. You’d think they’d quit underestimating their opponents. The climax, while not predictable, was just a bit too easy.

“…picking at a big hive with a short stick.”

Quibbles: World War Two letters would have locations and future battle plans censored out. Few bodies were returned from the Philippines to the United Sates for interment. No, World War Two wasn’t “over for all intents and purposes” with the liberation of the Philippines, and it would be naïve to think mustering out “just a formality”, and, yes, the Department of War, later Defense, would have cared.

“A body can learn more with his mouth closed than with it open.”

Overtly Christian, this tale will still engage and even entertain a variety of readers. Suitable for young adult readers.

“Truth always has a way of finding the surface.”


21 Days of Grace compiled by Kathy Ide

Buck Storm is one of the featured writers in this devotional book. That is why I bought it. Some of the stories are a bit cheesy. Each has a Life Application and information about the author at the end. The Life Applications seemed forced for more than a few of the stories — like the author wrote a story and then had to think up a lesson to go with it. Even so, I enjoyed reading the short stories. I think I may have found some new authors to read this summer! I’ll let you know.

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Everyone should read this book! Two or three times! It’s been years since I read it. It won’t be years before I read it again.

The ten Boom family lived above their watch shop in Holland for years before World War II. Devout Christians, they knew they had to do something to help the Jews when the Germans invaded. This is the story of their participation in the resistance and of how they helped hundreds. Corrie and her sister went to a concentration camp because of their work. This book is a tale of faith, suffering, and God’s love for all people.

Have you read any good books lately? Any you recommend for my summer reading?

Please share!

11 thoughts on “Read Any Good Books this Winter?

  1. Pingback: My Book List | kathleenbduncan

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I’m always looking for good reading material. It looks like we have similar taste. I’ve been meaning to read Corrie ten Boom for a long time and still having picked it up yet.

    Some books that I’ve read this year that I would recommend are The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This book took me a while to get into, but by the end I really loved it. It shows the complexity of relationships and the decisions we make in life. It takes place during WWII and two sisters are trying to find their way in how to cope/survive/help during such an evil time. They both take very different paths, but find much love and respect for each other in the end.

    I also recommend The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This is a classic book that I should have read a long time ago, but only now picked it up. Everyone should read this book.

    A very long time ago, I read Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It With the importance of faith in your life and your history of pain, I would recommend this book to you. It is hard for some people to get into because it’s told in allegory form (the main character is called much-afraid and her companions are Sorrow and Suffering). Because of the format, it’s hard for some to read . . . But the message is so so good. I’ve read it twice. Both times my faith was at a very different place and both times it challenged me to see and trust God in a new way. It’s a short book. Give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoy John Grisham novels and hadn’t read any in a long time. So, I finally read his non-fiction work, The Innocent Man. I’m a big fan of true crime and legal thrillers: the psychology of the criminal mind, the forensic investigations and the courtroom drama. This was an engaging read about a man on death row for all the wrong reasons. I also read Grisham’s Sycamore Row, the sequel to A Time To Kill. I liked A Time To Kill better, but appreciated all of these selections.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are some great recommendations! I am in the middle of The King’s Speech right now, but I recently finished Mere Christianity and I absolutely loved it. C.S. Lewis is a phenomenal writer with excellent wit, logic and humor. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      • The Screwtape Letters is a good, thought-provoking (and grimly humorous) read. I listened to Mere Christianity through my audible account and I believe Julian Rhind-Tutt was the reader. He did a great job. I felt like I was part of a conversation as I listened. I highly recommend it. I was actually considering doing a post on it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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