Every month I try to read at least one book from the following categories: nonfiction, devotional, and fiction. Non-fiction ensures that I’m always learning something new. Devotionals ensure that I’m keying into my faith. And fiction books are just so enjoyable to read! This is What I Read in December 2015.
Loyal To A Degree by Horst Christian
Last month I read, Children To A Degree, which was so good! I’d put the rest of the series on my Kindle wish list; and they are part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, so I was able to borrow this book this month. I loved it just as much as the previous entry in the series. They have serious and violent subject matter, World War II in Nazi Germany, but follow the lives of children. So the series is an interesting take for a couple of reasons.
This book starts and ends strong, but is a little slow going in the middle, as the author sets up background information on all of the major players. It appears to be well-researched, and takes up a historical event that I was unfamiliar with. And it’s even more interesting, since it’s told from the perspective of a Notre Dame alum from well after this event took place.
This book is best started on December 1, as each entry is dated, I started it a couple of days late, because I discovered it in a Christian bookstore after December 1. It is beautiful, as Voskamp’s writing always is. I picked it up because of the beautiful cover art, and the book includes wonderful illustrations inside too. I loved it, and will read it again next Advent season for sure. If you liked One Thousand Gifts, then you’re sure to love this book as well.
The Story Girl by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Told by a little boy who is spending time living at his father’s family farm while his father is working oversees. Much like the early Anne books, the story follows his childhood friends and adventures. This one differs slightly in that it is told by the boy later in life as an adult and reflecting back on those days. If you enjoyed the early Anne books, this will be a great read for you.
Adoption: What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us about This Countercultural Choice by Russell D. Moore
This little book(let) is about Joseph’s decision to adopt Jesus, and what that would have meant for him in his day. But in addition, the book makes the argument that we as Christians need to do more to adopt and love those whom are unwanted and unloved, whether they be orphans, the poor, etc. And indeed, how different our world would be if kids could grow up in loving Christian homes, which certainly could happen if our churches were more encouraging of adoption. Since I work as an attorney in child welfare as my ‘day job,’ I work with kids who have been abused and neglected every day. It’s incredibly sad when kids don’t have anywhere to turn or anyone to love them. And there is a shortage, both here in Nebraska and nationally, of foster and adoptive homes. And the Christian church could change this.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Christmas Series Book 1)
A Christmas classic, you can’t go wrong reading or rereading this story during the holiday season. This year I learned that Dickens actually wrote a series of Christmas books, so I’ve challenged myself to read them all. I think this still ranks up there as my favorite, but The Cricket on the Hearth is probably a very close second.
The Chimes by Charles Dickens (Christmas Series Book 2)
This story follows Trotty and his daughter. One evening Trotty follows the chiming of the bells and climbs the bell tower, only to wake up and find that he died nine years before. In the same vein as What a Wonderful Life, Trotty watches how life has gone on without him, and the despair of his loved ones’ lives. However, the despair is not lasting, as there is a twist at the end.
The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens (Christmas Series Book 3)
This sweet little story mixes love of home and love of family to create a lesser known classic. As in A Christmas Carol, spirits are used to help characters to find the right path forward. A sweet little story with endearing characters. I enjoyed it very much.
The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens (Christmas Series Book 4)
This story follows two sisters, as well as a young man that they both love, Alfred. Alfred goes away on a journey, and when he returns at Christmas time, the sister to whom he is engaged has apparently run off with another man. The plot is reminiscent of Jane Austen, and was an enjoyable little read.
The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain by Charles Dickens (Christmas Series Book 5)
In the final installment of Dickens’s Christmas book series, a man comes into contact with a ghost, and makes a bargain whereby he essentially has no feelings. But in exchange, he passes this along to all those that he comes into contact with. The story then follows the discontent that he sows with everyone he meets, and his ultimate conclusion that he no longer wants this curse. As in A Christmas Carol, he again comes into contact with the ghost, who gives him a way out. A nice little story, but it was harder to follow than the others, and is probably my least favorite of the five books.