This month is almost gone, and I still haven’t posted reviews for Awaking Wonder or any of my other December reads. And, come to think of it, I missed posting my November books last year, as well, so I’m including those in this list, too.
What’s not included are reviews for the books I re-read or finish up every December:
- My own Christmas devotional journal, Joy to the World
- Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
- Glad Tidings (the first 25 years of our family Christmas letters), which my husband reads aloud every December as a fun way of reminiscing together
- And the Bible, which I read cover-to-cover every year by following this Bible Reading Plan
Also, I listened to (and thoroughly enjoyed) the audio version of my good friend Abbie Halberstadt’s M is for Mama last month, but since I’ve already read and reviewed the hard copy (here), I won’t repeat that review in this post. Nor will I re-review Stealing Home, the World War II graphic novel I read last month and reported on here.
So that leaves me only five titles to review in this month’s column. Which is a much more manageable list! Here are my impressions of each, given in the order I read the books. 😊
5 Books I’ve read recently:
Cajun Kids Adventures: Mystery at Indian Point by C.P. Landry
The kids and I recently started reading a new series called Cajun Kids Adventures together in the afternoons in November. We finished the first volume, Mystery at Indian Point, in short order and are looking forward to reading others as they become available.
The stories center on a homeschooling family with five children who live on a houseboat in the swamps of Louisiana. I love the fact the kids cooperate well and work together to solve problems. And, of course, we can well relate to the large-family dynamics that come into play as they tackle the mystery at Indian Point.
We share some mutual friends with the author, so we’ve been hearing for years about this Louisiana homeschool family who lives in the swamps and stocks their freezer with alligator meat every spring (or is it fall? I don’t remember when Alligator season actually occurs). But that is how I first found out about this new series, which I would highly recommend to any of our fellow adventure lovers out there!
10 Words to Live By by Jen Wilkin
Jen Wilkin’s book, Ten Words to Live By, provides a comprehensive look at the Ten Commandments and all that keeping them actually entails.
The book is biblically well-grounded and theologically meaty — something that cannot be said of many popular Christian authors these days. I deeply appreciate Wilkin’s unflinching commitment to the authority of Scripture and her clear desire to “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Would that all Christians would allow God’s Word to shape their views on modern-day culture instead of the other way around.
So, as has been the case with all the books I’ve read by this author, I found Ten Words to Live By both challenging and thought-provoking. Just as Jesus expanded upon the meaning of adultery and murder when He condemned their precursors, lust and anger, Wilkin tackles each of the ten commandments, revealing how far short we’ve all fallen in keeping the spirit of the law, even if we manage to keep the letter of it. What a fitting book this was to read during the advent season, as we celebrated the WORD made flesh, who dwelt among us! How blessed we are to have a Savior who kept the law perfectly and completely, then willingly gave His life as a ransom for lawbreakers like me!
Awaking Wonder by Sally Clarkson
I’ve long been a fan of Sally Clarkson’s wholehearted mothering conferences and books. So when I saw she had published a new title, I immediately bought the audio version.
Awaking Wonder did not disappoint. It’s an excellent book, cram-packed with practical ideas for fostering a love for learning and channeling the natural curiosity of children.
And hearing Sally read it herself felt as if we were discussing these concepts together over a leisurely cup of tea.
My husband and I hit on some of the same ideas Sally shares ourselves while raising our twelve children, which definitely served to make our lives richer and more enjoyable. But several of her other suggestions — the ones I’d never thought of before on my own — made me wish she’d written this book (and I’d read it) years ago.
Crazy about Mistletoe by Mark Gilroy
This was a super fast and easy seasonal read, chosen for its bargain-basement price as much as for its subject matter.
I found it at a thrift shop while my family was on vacation and purchased it to have something to else read, since I’d already finished the book I’d brought for the road.
I love all things Christmas, so this was a natural title for me, full of witty observations, fun ideas for making family memories, and even a few seasonal recipes that sounded delicious enough to try once we returned home.
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
My daughter read this book aloud to me on a recent trip to Dallas.
The short novella is only 96 pages long, but it took nearly ninety minutes to get through it, because she had to stop every few pages to swallow hard and dry her eyes — and let me dry mine.
I don’t want to give away any important plot points, so I’ll just say the story centers around a man’s relationship with his son and grandson, and the dynamics that come into play as they all grow older.
It’s a touching, well-told story — told from the grandfather’s perspective — and particularly poignant for anyone who has had to deal with aging parents.
PLEASE NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of those links, we may receive a small referral fee, at no extra cost to you. Such fees help defray the cost of running this website. This, in turn, allows us to continue offering our readers a wealth of FREE printable resources. So thank you for your support!