Books to read: 2017 list

Some of the books I read last year I wanted to share with you. Hopefully you find one in here you might like to pick up for yourself. It’s a mix of fiction, non-fiction and biographies/auto-biographies. A little something for everyone 🙂

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

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This is a delightful read I couldn’t put down while at the beach last summer. There is plenty of Chip’s charisma to keep you entertained and to see how their story unfolded into what it is today is inspiring.

 

The Paper Magician Series by Charlie Holmberg

This series was the author’s first in a line of other imaginative fiction stories. A young apprentice finds herself assigned to the most boring of all magical elements- paper. But she is in for a surprise as she quickly learns her new trade is more than she bargained for as she sets off to rescue her teacher in the most unusual circumstances.

I liked this because it was original and fun, without a lot of filth most fiction writers seem compelled to put in their books. Appropriate for young adults and up.

 

The Fifth Doll by Charlie Holmberg

This one is a mystery with a Russian theme containing a surprise twist at the end. We learn who is in control and who is not- think puppets and the puppeteer.

Another amusing read that will keep you thinking about the subject matter days after you’ve finished reading it. Appropriate for young adults and up.

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Spurgeon: A Biography by Arnold A. Dallimore

A book not only good to read but inspires on a deep spiritual level is one I will recommend any day. It is so evident the Lord blessed this specific time in history under Spurgeon’s preaching. An extraordinary revival took place over his lifetime that could only be explained as the supernatural work of God. Add this to your library.

“Too many think lightly of sin, and therefore think lightly of the Saviour.”

“Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls.”

 

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either. The storyline is a nod to the myth of the Greek god Cupid and Pysche. (I learned all this from the back cover of the book). It is still original even though Lewis was inspired from this legend. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Lewis’ work. It’s fiction for adults.

 

Letters to an American Lady

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This was amazing to read simply because it de-mystified the man we know as C.S. Lewis. Not in a bad way, just more human. I think sometimes we as Christians can make demi-gods out of “super” Christians that have impacted us.

This book is a compilation of letters he wrote to an American woman named Mary that he never met in real life. Lewis was faithful to respond to anyone who would write him, but this particular correspondence lasted his entire life. The friendship was mutual and they often encouraged one another in their trials, particularly health issues. Recommended to C.S. Lewis fans.

 

Made for More by Hannah Anderson

 

I highlighted and dog-eared this book so much. I actually want to go back and re-read it very soon. Anderson is a pastor’s wife in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She and her husband serve in a rural area, and she brings a lot of that life knowledge to this gem. Hannah shares her stories through gardening and small town living.

“The deeper magic is that while God has the power to do whatever He pleases, it pleases Him to exercise His power on behalf of His children. While our good is found in seeking His glory, it is His glory to bring about our ultimate good.” (p. 141)

 

Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson

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I have a habit of finding an author I like and then reading whatever else they have written. This is a wonderful book on humility. (Another one to re-read!) Anderson takes the natural world around her and incorporates those lessons into faith analogies.

In a social media obsessed world, Hannah invites us as a sister in Christ to find our rest and satisfaction in Jesus alone. We strive too much and the end result is often a weary, burned out spirit or one puffed up in pride. Either way the remedy is found not in likes on Instagram, but in the Gospel.

“So what does it mean to trust Jesus for rest? How does seeking His kingdom free us from anxiety and stress? He frees us from our burdens in the most unexpected way: He frees us by calling us to rely less on ourselves and more on Him. He frees us by calling us to humility.” (p. 32)

 

Honey for a Woman’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

Christian author and avid reader Gladys Hunt encourages other Christians to expand their reading lives. Not only does she have recommended lists for every genre you can imagine, Hunt argues her position on why reading is so important.

A friend loaned me her copy of this and I liked it so much I bought one for myself. As a believer, I try to choose books carefully. As with movies, TV, and music, books can be a form of the “trash in, trash out” cycle. This book is helpful because the author is addressing Christian readers looking for great book suggestions.

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Different by Sally Clarkson/ Nathan Clarkson

I try to read one or two books each year about children with special needs or parenting. This book hits both of those categories. Sally and Nathan Clarkson are a mother and son team who co-authored this book. Nathan grew up hyper active with anxiety and OCD. Sally and her husband learned to parent Nathan differently compared to the three other children they have.

Sally’s faith anchored her in the difficult seasons of parenting four small children. She also demonstrated her relationship with the Lord in front of her children, teaching them not only about the Bible, but how to live out their faith. This impacted Nathan greatly as he grew older, and helped him through his personal battles. I would recommend this as an encouragement for all parents.

 

“Book love. It will make your hours pleasant to you as long as you live.”

-Anthony Trollope

Happy reading to you!

Grace upon grace,

April

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