Friday, December 30, 2016

December Reads

From This Day Forward: Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage by Craig & Amy Groeschel: This book was gifted to me by a ministry mentor couple in early December.  This was my first experience reading or listening to anything by the Groeschels.  I aim to read a few marriage books every year so I jumped at the chance to dive into this one.  I thought this book was filled with some great, practical advice.  It was also very funny!  The five commitments mentioned in the book are: 1) Seek God. 2) Fight fair. 3) Have fun. 4) Stay pure. 5) Never give up.  These are all great commitments to implement in your life.  Personally I plan on working on number two and number three.  We moved this month and Brandon and I have both been working so hard.  We could definitely use a little more fun in our life!

The Christ of Christmas by James Montgomery Boice: Every December I try to read some type of Advent devotional as I prepare my heart for Christmas.  This book contained many good stories but did come across as a wee bit scholarly to me.  Honestly I did have a few thoughts of abandoning it but I continued.  I'm glad I did because I really think the second half of the book is much better than the first.  The book is divided into four sections: 1) Christ and Christmas. 2) The Virgin Birth and Christmas. 3) The First Christmas. 4) People of Christmas.

Ariel Custer by Grace Livingston Hill:  Are you familiar with this author?  My friend introduced me to her in high school.  Since then I've read a number of her books over the years when I find them at the library or a used book store.  At one time I had some vintage books (the kind that look adorable as home decor) that I found at an antique store.  They are all very typical and what I would call a feel good, vacation type novel.  Usually they are quite predictable much like a Lifetime or Hallmark movie.

Praying through the Bible for your Kids by Nancy Guthrie: I have thoroughly enjoyed every Bible Study and book that I have had the chance to read by this author.  I couldn't wait for the opportunity to review this book.  Ever since reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian I knew I wanted something to help guide me in praying for my children.  I think a mother's natural inclination is just to pray for good things to happen to her children.  (I care more about my children's souls then I do their happiness so I really want to move past that in my prayer life.)  This book is organized with one page for every single day of the year.  Just one page.  How practical!  It includes a Scripture, devotion, and a short guided prayer for your children.  I actually keep this book on my vanity and read it while fixing my hair or makeup.  Such a great book for any parent.  What better way to spend five minutes than in praying for your children?  Please note that I did receive this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review which I have provided.

Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd: I ended up reading this novel while on vacation at the beach.  Hooray!  It was fantastic in every way that a Gothic novel can be.  This was such a page turner that I found myself staying up way past bedtime to read it.  Isn't that the true mark of a great book?  In the book Rebecca Ravenshaw returns from India to her homeland of England only to find that someone impersonated her in order to steal her inheritance.  The pretender ended up dying before her arrival but Rebecca finds herself untangling webs of lies for months.

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore: When I found this book on the "New Releases" shelf at the new library I jumped at the chance to dive into it.  I've done a few Beth Moore bible studies and I was simply intrigued by the fact that she wrote a novel!  (It just seemed so out of character to me.)  While parts of this book were good it left a lot to be desired.  I really felt like the author went way too far in some of the things she included in the book.  For example: taking the Lord's name in vain is NEVER acceptable.  She could have easily said that the person cursed and the reader would have experienced the same emotion.  I also felt like the book was ridiculously long.  It moved a little too slow for my taste.  That said if Beth Moore does decide to write another fiction novel I will probably read it if I find it at my library.

Currently Reading:
Enjoy by Trilla Newbell
Keep it Shut by Karen Ehman
Mason Jar Nation by Joann Moser

If you would like to see a fun info graphic from Goodreads of all the books I read in 2016 you can click here.  This year I hit my reading goal!  What books did you read in December?  What was your favorite book you read in 2016?


  1. Beth Moore is hanging out with Joel Osteen now, so I'd be a little wary of reading her for anything more than entertainment =(

  2. Thank you for sharing Renee. I wasn't aware of this at all. I will definitely look into it. Are you familiar with Jen Wilkin and Nancy Guthrie? I actually like their bible studies a bit better than Moores. They also both write books in addition to Women's Bible Studies.