Again this month I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for What I've been Reading Lately...
This has definitely been a month of reading. It has been glorious. 12 new books. It has to be a lifetime record. I've never read so many books in one month.
I've enjoyed every minute. I tried to keep a good mix of fiction and non-fiction; read a non-fiction followed by a fiction, keeping this up almost through all 12 books. I crossed genres, as well, delving into science fiction, young adult, and true murder mysteries. I'm giddy with excitement at the books I read and just that fact that I've had the opportunity to read a bountiful.
Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs
Beautiful spiritual memoir that at its simplest Downs is looking for lovely - everywhere - and she intimately shares how her and her heart finds it, but in the deepest reaches of this book it is a journey of the heart, mind, and soul, one in which every believer who struggles with any self-worth issues needs to read. And somewhere in the midst of her journey, while not the same, I saw mine. Exquisite book.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine l'Eingle
Another lovely and beautiful read. While it doesn't surprise me that I've never read this book as a child or as a student, now that I have I realize how thankful I am for the opportunity to homeschool my twin boys from their 7th grade through high school because it grew in me a desire to read more classics, broaden my horizons, challenge the status quo of my reading repertoire. Thus, I'm blessed to have read books such as A Wrinkle in Time.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
What an amazing story! All 850-pages of this Scottish tale between two centuries of time was magical. The sheer breadth of the novel kept me from pulling it off my shelf any sooner but reading reading blogs whereby so many have read Outlander and shared rave reviews I decided I must jump in. It's a fitting story for fall, curling up with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee and escape. Escape to the highlands of Scotland, of clans and war and strong valiant warriors.
The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh
Listening, choosing to be obedient. Wow! Centering not only your ears but also your mind, heart, and posture on someone or something other than yourself. Again, wow! In our present-day me-centered society the art of listening has definitely been put on the back burner. I have learned to listen better over the years, recognizing poor listening in others and even when I am flagging in - obedience. This book will turn you toward listening and toward obedience and be walking listeners.
The Memory Man by David Baldacci
Wow! Oh, my. What a great detective novel. The main character, Amos Decker, is the most unusual of detectives with an 'memorable' skill set. This first book involving Decker introduces the life impacting story behind the character and multiple murders that hit close to home. It's a deeply involved storyline that kept me guessing until the end. My only caveat was that it seemed to come to a screeching halt, but then that maybe in perfect tract with someone who finally remembers what he - remembers. I'm definitely going to be checking out more Baldacci novels.
Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
I've never read Rubin's The Happiness Project and after reading Happier at Home I don't plan on picking it up. I drudged through this book and I put it down feeling heavy and - unhappy. It offered 'nothing new under the sun'. I believe it could serve many who have need of guidance in the little things of being happier at home but my spiritual walk has already led me down those roads. Simply, the book was not for me - at this point in my journey.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (A Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie
I did not see that coming! A brilliant, intricate murder mystery in the hands of a delightful, yet peculiar private investigator. But, here is the deal. You cannot skip a word of the book. You cannot skim through the book. You must read every word to retrieve the subtle nuisances and pertinent details. Very good and worth the time.
Code of Conduct by Brad Thor
What I loved about Thor's book is the topic of peril the intelligence community around the world was facing. A cleverly-twined counterintelligence thriller. Some of the 'intimate' paragraphs are quite choppy and definitely not Thor's strong-suit and if it's all the same could leave it out as unnecessary to the storyline.
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Read by Joss Ackland)
My first complete audiobook reading. An ingenious and diabolical script of letters of instruction between a senior demon (uncle) and his protégé (nephew) of how to keep someone from growing as a Christian or keep someone from salvation and showcases the ways Christians are of the world and easily distracted from the things of Christ. It is quite humorous, but ultimately, it is truly NOT a funny subject but instead, one Christians should take seriously.
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (Read by Robert Whitfield)
Another audiobook reading. Having never read The Great Divorce I was quite intrigued at the title. I read this perfect review on Amazon: "A man takes a bus ride through Hell, then Heaven and witnesses the choices made by others in their lives. The vivid stories within the story show that indecision is still a decision... it underscores the petty things in our lives that we allow to dominate us, things that will still plague us in Hell for eternity if we don't abandon them. Lewis' concepts (fantasized, of course) of the substance of spirit versus the substance of flesh and blood are incredibly thought provoking. There are mental images I got from reading this book that I will never forget. It is basic truth - you choose life, you choose death, or you choose not to choose. You will either give up the things that are holding you down (whether they be bitter resentments, anger, material gain, control, etc.) or you will cling to them until they become your master and you their slave. The book presents these concepts in such a non-threatening way that you've gotten a life lesson that you don't realize until you've finished this short, yet vibrant book" - Shelley Gammon, Amazon.
The Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I could not put this book down. Fantastic science fiction at its best. But, it is way more than sci-fi. It causes you to ask questions. Superb piece of fiction.
I'm Proud of You by Tim Madigan
Bring tissues. Be prepared to take notes, feel good, and want to live better. While the entire book is not solely about Madigan's friendship with Fred Rogers, it does however reflect the impact - and the friendship - Rodgers had with Madigan. Beautiful friendship. I knew there was good reasons to love Mr. Rodgers.