Words on Wednesday – On Wonder

Hello Reading Friends!

A newly discovered opinion: January is the perfect month for reading.

Hear me out:

It’s cold. (I don’t really like going anywhere.)

Activities end up cancelled due to weather. (For instance: we’ve cancelled church two Sundays in a row. I really cannot remember another instance where that happened!)

I feel optimistic about growing, learning, and changing when the calendar flips from December to January. (So, my reading stack grew exponentially.)

Result: lots of reading happening around here! (And yes, it’s still been pretty busy. Not all activities have been cancelled. But a full reading stack means I’m equipped with different types of books for different occasions. The book I take along while waiting for my daughter to finish physical therapy is different from the book I read at bedtime, etc.)

And I’ve missed talking about books and great quotes with you, so here I am. Trying to remember how I used to do this…
wonder is the beginning of wisdom

Recently Finished

Thus far in January, I’ve finished nine (9) books:

      1. Lethal White. Series mystery by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling). Rowling is a master scene setter but this long awaited sequel could have used better editing. It is SO VERY WORDY. Which is a weird complaint for someone who loves to read, I know. But it really could have been tightened up. (This series would never qualify as a “cozy” one, so if you’re squeamish or prefer less swearing, bad choices, etc. this is probably not the mystery you’re looking to read.)
      2. On Reading Well. Nonfiction by Karen Swallow Prior. Excellent, as Prior always is although I honestly loved Booked a bit more. My main quibble with this one (and it should not discourage you from reading it!) is that several of the choices are negative examples of the virtue Swallow Prior wants to highlight and that makes for some depressing reading.
      3. The Gate Keeper. Series mystery by Charles Todd (mother / son writing team). I’ve persevered through this series (this is #20!) but the quality is uneven. This is a somewhat forgettable entry in the series for me.
      4. The Long-Lost Home. Children’s fiction series by Maryrose Wood. No, I did not read this one aloud. (We gave the audio book to our daughters for Christmas and they’ve already finished it.) But yes, I had to know for myself how the series ended and I don’t really do audio books. Verdict: a fitting ending, even if it’s not the strongest book in the series. I kind of wish she had just let the books keep going instead of wrapping it up. (Although, given my complaints about certain mystery series hitting high double digits, maybe ending is best.)
      5. The Storm-Tossed Family. Nonfiction by Russell Moore. Convicting. Encouraging. Timely. Highly recommended.
      6. Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. Nonfiction by C.S. Lewis. I did a lot of reading, studying, and thinking on the subject of prayer in 2018. This kind of finishes off my prayer specific reading list. Lewis is always worth my time, even though this was published posthumously and it’s not exactly the book he had hoped to write on the subject of prayer.
      7. The Case of the Missing Servant. First in a series mystery by Tarquin Hall. Fun new to me series set in a very different world from where I live. I’ve already ordered the next one!
      8. The Lifegiving Home. Nonfiction by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. I wanted to love this one and sometimes I did, but mostly…I didn’t. There’s not much encouragement here if you haven’t exactly led your family from birth the way Clay and Sally Clarkson did. And the Sarah portions come off as…pretentious, maybe? I think if she had explained how she was living out what she learned while living away from home it would have been more effective. And my goodness, some of her prose is truly purple. (The July chapter in particular.) Maybe that’s just because she was very young when some of it was written (I’m guessing. The book doesn’t really say.) Over all, I’d call this more of a memoir than a “how to”. Still, there are some lovely suggestions and reminders of what our homes ought to aspire to be. (And, one more observation: tea and candles must be a line item on the Clarkson Family Budget.)
      9. My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie. Nonfiction by Todd Fisher. I do occasionally enjoy a hollywood related biography or nonfiction title. Fisher has led an interesting life, to say the least. I’ve heard him described as evangelical (Carrie Fisher called him her “born-again brother”)but…well, Hollywood Evangelicals are something I know little about, I guess. Great pictures throughout, but there’s a sadness knowing that nothing really helped Carrie Fisher defeat her demons.

I told you January facilitates reading!

Currently Reading

Theology: Knowing God by J.I. Packer. I’m reading (and processing) this one slowly.

Nonfiction: The Graves of Academe by Richard Mitchell.

Fiction: The Dry by Jane Harper

I’ve also got two Bible study books going:
Lies Women Believe by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (I’m leading a group discussion of this one at our church so I’m trying not to get too far ahead so the material will be fresh in my mind. In other words: slow read because it’s a 12 week study.)

In His Image by Jen Wilkin. Reading and working through this one on my own.

Current Read Aloud

Our oldest requested we read aloud through “The Little House” series this winter. We’re about 1/2 way through Little House on the Prairie right now. (We read Farmer Boy first, then Little House in the Big Woods.) Sometimes we read multiple chapters and some nights we don’t read at all because the oldest works until 9PM and doesn’t get home until 20 minutes after that.

Current Kindle Deals

If you’re interested in The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd (see above), it’s $1.99 for Kindle right now.

And if you’re interested in My Girls by Todd Fisher, it’s also $1.99 for Kindle right now.

Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey is another $1.99 deal.

Another $1.99 bargain: Striding Folly, a collection of Peter Wimsey stories by Dorothy Sayers.

So, what have you been reading in January? I’d really love to know!


Dover Books

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