Three Sentence Book Reviews

I slacked on book review throughout the year, so here are three sentence reviews of some of the books I read this year.

The Ickabog 

By JK Rowling

This story seemed unpolished snd unsavory at times, which is probably due to the bedtime story origins of this book. In typical Rowling fashion, there was a lot of background and buildup before the story really took off. I won’t be reading this aloud to the boys due to their sensitivities and the kidnapping and killing as part of the story.

Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage

By Gary L. Thomas

As stated by the title, this book delves into a word in traditional marriage vows that is often overlooked in the day to day. Daily struggles and inconvenienced are reframed by the desire to cherish our spouses. This book probably could have been halved in length and still thoroughly covered the topic.

The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie ten Boom

By Corrie ten Boom

After decades of hearing Corrie ten Boom quotes and pieces of her story, I picked up this book for myself. It is sobering and strengthening, convicting and encouraging. Highly recommend.

The Vile Village

By Lemony Snicket

I still do not see the great appeal of this series, but I will finish it. The orphans live in a most interesting village with a curious population. The backstory of their parentage is explored deeper, which is an intriguing addition to the series.

Doomwyte

By Brian Jacques

These newer additions to the Redwall series do not hold my attention as much as the earlier volumes. I still am unclear about how exactly the titular doomwytes lured their victims, as they were not insects attracted to lights. There seems to be never ending surprise passages within the Abbey to keep these adventures going, but I do appreciate the winks to the original characters.

Stuart Little

By E.B. White

I read this aloud to the boys and we all enjoyed it. I did not anticipate the confusion with our youngest who innocently asked, “So when we adopt baby sister she will be a mouse?” It was  fun adventure story, but the boys didn’t like the abrupt ending that didn’t seem happy to them.

Hearts of Fire: Eight Women In the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith

By The Voice of the Martyrs

I received this book through a free online promotion and it sat on my shelf for years. It was humbling and convicting as these women faced horrible persecution and loss for standing up for their faith in God. The stories were so difficult to read, but so necessary to understand the state of the Church and not only my privileged position in America.

The Carnivorous Carnival

By Lemony Snicket

Yet another interesting setting for the orphaned children. There are more teasers to who exactly Count Olaf is and how he plays into the orphans history. Mildly enjoyable but not overly captivating in plot.

 Creative God, Colorful Us

By Trillin Newbell

This is a great resource for discussing ethnicity and differences with older children. I love Trillia’s book “God’s Very Good Idea” and this seems like the next step from that platform. I want to have helpful conversations with our boys in how the world might interact with them snd how they can interact with others who are different than they.

Juniper Spark and the Dagger of Mirren

By Courtney Woodruff

This book is authored by an online friend of mine and it is delightful! Such a fun story of woodland creatures and secret identities. My curiosity is piqued for Juniper’s next adventure! 

Fantastic Mr. Fox

By Roald Dahl

This was my first time reading this book and I read it aloud to the boys. It had short, manageable chapters and had such funny characters! The boys laughed and came up with interesting ideas of what Mr. Fox might do next!

Troubled Blood

By Robert Galbraith

The fifth Cormoran Strike mystery and it held up to the others! I am used to the writing style now but I still could not figure out who the perpetrator was! There were some triumphs in this mystery but also still the sense of “close but not quite” in the lives of the investigators.

Ten Words To Live By: Delighting In and Doing What God Commands

By Jen Wilkin

I hope there is never a day when I can’t recommend a book by Jen Wilkin. This enhanced my understanding of the 10 commandments and made them more applicable to my daily life. This book stayed true to God’s Word and is rich with His truth.

When Strivings Cease: Replacing the Gospel of Self-Improvement with the Gospel of Life-Transforming Grace

By Ruth Chou Simons 

This is the story of one woman learning that striving in this world is futile and only the grace of God is sufficient. Ruth uses her real life experiences to share how God has shown her the power of His grace throughout her life. This gives encouragement to all who read and who feel caught up in the self-help, guided lifestyle that never brings true peace.

The Well-Watered Woman: Rooted in Love, Growing in Grace, Flourishing in Faith

By Gretchen Saffles

Each chapter begins with a story of a soul-thirsty woman, which serves as a practical example women can relate to. This book points women to the Well that does not run dry (Jesus) and gives applicable lessons to put into practice. This is an easy read with approachable methods of incorporating the deep truths of God into daily life.

Greenlights

By Matthew McConaughey 

This was my first audible listen and it was so funny hearing Matthew MacConaughey tell his own story. His perspective on success, failure, and standing up for yourself had lessons for every person. Hearing how he changed his mind about certain directions or goals throughout life is indicative to the growth we all go through.

Adoption: What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us About This Countercultural Choice

By Russell D. Moore

This is a quick read that gives a little more understanding to the man who chose to adopt the very Son of God. We do not learn much of Joseph the carpenter in Scripture, but there is a lot to learn from what Scripture does choose to tell us. Adoption is part of the story of the family of God and is a worthy thought for churches today.

Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything By Redefining Everything

By Katherine and Jay Wolf

Katherine and Jay are worthy candidates to talk about redefining suffering when they have walked through catastrophic life circumstances and health struggles. Together, with community, and with Christ they began to reframe their outlook on their circumstances and learned to live with hope. Their personal humor brings a lightheartedness to their serious story of pain, loss, and life.

Christmas With Anne and Other Holiday Stories

By L.M. Montgomery 

I read this with Everyday Reading’s book club, my first read with her. Each story brought such cheery feelings of Christmas and loving others well. It was a perfect holiday hug.

The Sable Quean

By Brian Jacques  

This was the slowest moving book by Jacques that I have read. I do not know if it is due to the larger group of child creatures that are central to the story or the less interesting antagonist party, but I had trouble making it through this one. I always enjoy the addition of Salamandastron to the stories.

So there are the 24 books I kept track of this year. I hope to spend more time reading this year and to expand my genres. I do not currently have a library membership because of a bad experience we had at our local branch when we first moved. But I plan to rectify that this year as well.

Happy reading!

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