Read a new/new-to-you author
It’s no secret that I love books. I recently discovered a treasure box full of my childhood books. As I stacked my old friends in a pile next to me, I was amazed at just how many books my family had bought for me while I was growing up. When I questioned, and thanked, my Mom about it, her reply was that they wanted to encourage my reading and that every birthday and Christmas I asked for books!
My insatiable desire for books continues, and this birthday just past? I asked for more books. There’s nothing quite so nice as curling up under a soft blanket and entering another world through someone’s words. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
I met Sharlene McClaren at a recent author’s event at a local bookstore. She’s a novelist from West Michigan and I won (I never win anything!!) her set of novels – the Daughters of Jacob Kane series. It had been a long time since I had read any romance novels, and even longer since I’d read a historical romance. Oh my, I’d forgotten how much I love the swishing skirts, skittish horses pulling wagons and proper gentlemanly courting. The books are set in the early 1900s in a small town called Sandy Shores along Lake Michigan. The second book follows the middle daughter as she moves to New York City to work in an orphanage. What I especially loved about the books is how in the second and third books she highlighted some aspects and issues of their society that are the same today. But I don’t want to spoil it. You’ll have to read them for yourselves.
I discovered Shari Braendel’s blog just a couple weeks ago. I left a comment on the first post I read and won her new book Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad. I guess I’m on a winning streak! I love her blog, and I devoured the book in just two days. It. Is. Amazing. I have been fashion flustered ever since having kids. My body shape changed, my hair color and texture changed, and I now realize that I have been wearing all the wrong colors and wrong kinds of jeans. After reading her book, I’m even kind of excited to go look for a swimsuit for spring break. The book is THAT good. Shari reminds us that “the King is enthralled with your beauty” just as you are – no matter what your size or what your weight or what your style. Just. As. You. Are. She also instructs us that our faith even colors our clothing choices. There’s a great chapter on modesty and how to give our daughters modesty boundaries without it ending in a fight. The book is beautiful, the pictures are colorful, and it’s an easy step-by-step guide. She’ll have you “shopping with a purpose” and spending your money appropriately and making every purchase count. You just have to get your own copy. Trust me. You’ll mark it up and refer back to it over and over.
A friend sent me a link to Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience around Christmas. Her book A Thousand Gifts: Dare to Live Fully Right Where you Are was just released. I’ve read a few chapters and I can’t wait to finish it. Her writing is poetic, each sentence full of truth and words as rich as the darkest chocolate. As she walks us through pain and heartache and saying “No, God. No God.” she reveals her heart and God’s patient grace – the gift of life and how full it can be, even in our darkest hours. How He’s waiting for us to wake up and live fully alive. It is another must-read for these winter months.
Have you read any good books or new authors lately? If so, please share, I’d love some recommendations!