Remember God by Annie F. Downs
Infused with Annie’s wit and candor, she takes readers on a very personal journey to share how faithful God has been in everyday moments of her life. Although I’m in a different life stage than she, the truths of seeing God at work were broadly applicable and encouraging.
Read via: Hoopla audio
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
Every few months I have Three Pines withdrawls, so, once again, I returned back to literary friends in this 11th installment. Two murders have occurred around Three Pines (are they interconnected?) and even though Chief Inspector Gamache is officially retired, he’s still on the case as a mentor and consultant to his protegees. At the end, even though the story is resolved, I see hints of a continuing story line with one bad-guy character and have a feeling the Chief Inspector may not stay retired for much longer. But I’ll have to keep reading to find out!
Read via: public library
For the Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
There are some Christian authors who are sweet and others who are spicy and I love them all. But Jen Hatmaker is definitely in the snarky/spicy category and, boy, does she tell it like it is!
We don’t have to be saviors and critics for each other. We’re probably better as loved people beside one another. We aren’t good gods, but we can be good humans.
Amen, preach it, spicy sister. While this is my first experience reading anything by Jen, it ended up not being the last (keep reading)!
Read via: Hoopla audio
The Red Bandanna by Tom Rinaldi
For the second time I am serving on our university’s common read committee, which I last did in October 2016. As we evaluate books for what next year’s Freshmen class will read together, this was on our short list, previously unknown to me.
This was such a heart-wrenching but inspiring read about the life of Welles Crowther, a dynamic young man who gave his life to help others find their way to safety during the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. (You just might want to have a red bandanna handy as you read it.)
Read via: academic library InterLibrary Loan
The Wave by Todd Strasser
This was another common read contender, also previously unknown to me. At a brief 138 pages, this is a dramatized account of what happened in 1969 when a high school history teacher experimented with how he could better teach his students the concept of the Nazi’s oppression of the Jews in World War II. While the vocabulary is more suited for junior high or high school students, the reminders of thinking for yourself and not being swayed by peer pressure are reminders worth revisiting at any point in history.
Read via: borrowed from a colleague
Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
I’ve long been a fan of Italian-American author Adriana Trigiani, and was excited to get my hands on an ARC of her newest sweeping saga. The full review of Tony’s Wife is available here.
My thanks to Edelweiss for access to the digital ARC.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
I’ve begun my Christmas reading! This was on my short-list of Christmas books I have been excited to read, about which I recently wrote here.
My initial impression about the book was that it was going to be rather formulaic: memorable meet-cute, separation, longing, reunion. However, it had a bit more complexity than that, with deeper looks at missed opportunities, sacrifices for friendships, living the life you have, and second chances. While heavily laced with profanity, the characters were likable and the plot memorable.
My thanks to NetGalley for access to the digital ARC.
Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
This has literally been a month filled with Jen Hatmaker in my ears. Once I finished For the Love, and saw that Of Mess and Moxie was also available through my library’s Hoopla offerings, I dove right into this newest of her essay collections. Like For the Love, this was filled with laugh-out-loud accounts of her real-life as a momma of five, and tender moments where she “fan girls” about her people.
Read via: Hoopla audio
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
This middle-grade story has been on my TBR list for a long time and found it just as charming as I anticipated. Red, a red oak tree, has stood guard over a neighborhood for generations and has stories to tell about the wishes people have left on Red’s branches, if one only takes the time to listen.
What a lovely story this is, filled with beautiful illustrations and timely lessons about kindness, diversity, and inclusion.
Read via: academic library youth collection
Christmas is around the corner and I’m excited about more holiday-themed books and a break in which to read them! How about you?