Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Reads

Ah January.  The month of cozy warm fires and large stacks of books to devour.  At the beginning of January I really thought I was going to cut my reading time in half to allow more time for other projects around the house since we moved in December.  After a long chat with my wise husband I changed my mind.  As of right now I plan on reading the same number of books that I did last year.  Here's a look at what I read this past month.    

What's up with the Fig Leaves? by Heather Thieneman:  Let me start by saying wow.  What a thoroughly researched and thought provoking book.  I probably haven't taken the time to think long and hard about modesty since the time five years ago that I taught a Middle School Girl's Bible Study.  I was blown away by Thieneman's careful research and clear humility which was coupled with grace.  This was a wonderful read that I whole heartily recommend.  If you happen to come across this book pay special attention to the last paragraph on page 199.  The book is worth its cost just in that one paragraph.

Enjoy by Trilia Newbell:  I'm super excited to finally be reading one of Newbell's books.  This author has been on my "to read" good reads shelf for a long time.  I found this book both incredibly encouraging and challenging rolled up into one.  I even took the time to journal through the questions at the end of a few of the chapters.  Throughout this book Newbell touches on what it means to truly delight daily in good gifts from the Lord.  Enjoy was a true joy to read.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books.

The Returning by Rachelle Dekker: Let me start by saying that I chose this book in order to stretch myself.  It's really not my genre of choice.  I guess you could call it a futuristic, Christian science fiction book about a future dystopian society.  In some ways it reminded me of a suspenseful movie that I might watch with my husband. That said I did enjoy the book for the most part.  It is a beautiful (somewhat allegorical) story of the beauty of forgiveness.  I knew that this book was part of a series but for some reason I didn't realize that it was the third book in the series until after I finished reading it.  Reading the previous books in the series would have definitely been helpful to help understand different aspects of the book.  I think I would recommend reading the other Seer Novel books first.  Overall it was a nice read that I think many readers would enjoy.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers.  My review did not have to be positive.

Good News for Weary Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick: Every time I read a book by Elyse Fitzpatrick it is like a fresh wind of grace and encouragement blowing into my heart.  This book was no different.  I loved having Elyse remind me of the good news of the Gospel in the midst of my long to-do lists.  (We just bought a home and moved in December.) This book w excellent resource to combat the lie that our worth as women is measured by what we do.

To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd: Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres but I realize it's probably not every one's favorite.  (My chiropractor was really amused when she found out I enjoy historical fiction.)  I find myself really enjoying this author.  I also read Mist of Midnight in December which I found fascinating.  This book is the tale of two best friends: Meg Wyatt and Anne Boleyn.  I found the book to be delightful but if you know anything about history you already know how this book is going to end.  What a bummer.  I wouldn't say knowing the ending completely ruined the book but it was a bit disappointing.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines: Yeap.  I'm definitely a fan of the Gaines' tv show Fixer Upper on HGTV.  This book was simply adorable.  It told the back story of how they met and their first ten years or so of marriage before they began filming their hit television show.  I found it inspiring and delightful.  Thanks to my friend Emily for the recommendation.

1 Peter : A Living Hope in Christ by Jen Wilkin: Since I ended up not doing this Bible Study in a group I took my time going through this study.  I literally sank my teeth into the book of 1 Peter for months and it was very fruitful.  I will say this study was challenging and I found myself digging very deep.  Wilkin encourages the reader NOT to use a study bible or commentaries at first.  While I love a good Study Bible, this was a great personal challenge that caused me to dig a lot deeper into the Word.  One of my favorite questions throughout this study was the last question that she included on each day which was to summarize the passage.  What a simple question that really helped me to grasp the meaning of each passage.  On another note, I didn't have access to the DVD's that accompany this study.  I'm sure they are fabulous but they just weren't an option financially.  If there is a Bible Study out there that you would love to walk through don't be afraid not to work through the study just because you can't view the DVD sessions.

What books did you read in January?  Do you find yourself reading more or less during the winter? 


  1. Have you read any of Ted Dekeker's books (Rachelle's father)? I was a HUGE fan of his in my late teens and early 20s. I especially loved his Circle Trilogy (which spun off into many other series and sub-series).

    1. No I don't think I have read any of Ted Dekeker's books but I might try one this summer. I believe our library has one of the series. Thanks for the recommendation!