Curling up with a good book by the fire has been one of my favorite pastimes this month. in December I managed to read 10 books while eating countless cookies and drinking my new favorite tea. Since I read a lot of great books I had to split my Book Banter post into two parts. Read Part 1 here and see the first five books I read this month.
Without further ado here is Part 2:
This book was recommended on one of my favorite Podcasts, What Should I Read Next , for people who loved A Man Called Ove (and love that book I did). Before I tell you about the story can we just appreciate the title for a minute? So good. Ok back to the book, this book is about Arthur Pepper whose wife has been dead for a year. He gets up every morning and does the same things day in and day out. He is sad and lonely. When cleaning out his wife’s closet he comes across a charm bracelet he has never seen. On one of the charms he finds a phone number and that is where his adventure starts. Arthur goes on a journey to discover some of his wife’s secrets, but along the way he learns a lot about himself. This was a delightful read. It is not as emotionally riveting as A Man Called Ove, but it does have a lot of humanity to it. I really enjoyed this and read it rather quickly. Hooray for books about old men being a thing!
7. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Well for those of you who are not HGTV fans the names Chip and Joanna Gaines will mean very little to you. For Fixer Upper binge watchers you know and probably love these two. Anthony bought me this book for our anniversary because not only do I like the show Fixer Upper, but I like what Chip and Joanna stand for. Their faith is strong and guides how they live their lives. They are not ashamed of it and do not try to hide it for the TV cameras. In a world full of social media and very different opinions, putting your beliefs out there for everyone to criticize is scary, but they do it with such grace. This book tells the story of how their businesses came to be. It talks about the good times, and the bad times, and how they never gave up. It talks about their marriage and how in different seasons, they fill different roles for each other. I book darted (if you don’t know what it means click the link, you will thank me) so many passages in this book. It was full of wisdom and things I want to revisit. I loved reading this book, it felt like reading about a friend. It made me feel like anything is possible.
First of all, you need to buy this book because the cover is so pretty, especially if you ROYGBIV your bookshelves. It will make your shelves look happier with its cheery red color. Then once you have purchased it, you should read it. It is good. This is the story of how a man becomes a father after his only son has died. Really. It is also the story of finding friendship in the most unexpected places. It is about World Records and trying to break them. It is about love and loss and lost love. I had heard a ton of hype about this being “The best book of 2016” so I think my expectations were a little high, but I really did enjoy it. The characters are vibrant and fun. Even with the loss of a child as the backdrop for the story, it remains uplifting and is not a total downer. I didn’t even cry until the very end! While this is not my favorite book of 2016 I could see why so many people claim it as their favorite.
This is the first book in the Space Trilogy series written by Lewis. I bought the series for my husband for our anniversary and after he finished the first book he asked me to read it too. This story follows Ransom, an Englishman that is kidnapped and taken to Malacandra, or as we know it Mars. While this is not nearly as exciting as Lewis’ Narnia series (in my opinion) the way Lewis writes dialogue and descriptions of landscapes are some of the best I have read. Ransom’s time on Malacandra is not full of adventure (there is some) but is full of observation and learning. This book is slow to start and given that it isn’t long at all, I was well over halfway through the book before I decided I liked it. There is a lot of philosophy packed in at the end so I found myself really savoring it. Usually I rush through the end of a book to discover what happens, so this was new for me. I think Anthony liked it more than I did, but I still enjoyed it.
I picked this book up on a whim when I read it is set in an Inn during the holiday season. This book it written for pre-teen audiences and I have no doubt they will enjoy it, but I LOVED it too. The main character is a boy named Milo who lives in the Greenglass House, an inn frequented by smugglers, with his (adoptive) parents. He is just getting ready to settle down for a great Christmas vacation, a time when the inn is usually vacant, when all of the sudden a guest appears. But not only one person has come to stay, the cast of characters keeps getting larger and things start being taken from the guests’ rooms. Everything that is taken is in some way linked to the mysterious history of the inn. Of course, Milo and his new friend Meddy set out to find out who is snooping around the house and why. This is a fun mystery, it is not scary and no little description I can give this book will do it justice. The author works Milo’s musings about his birth family in a really unique and interesting way. There is a lot of love and fun in this book and I am already looking forward to the day I can read this with my own kids.
I read a lot of great books this month. I mean when your library holds come in all at once, you know it is going to be a good stretch of reading time. Have you read any of these? What did you read this month?
Until next time,
I love you more than old man adventures and middle grade mysteries,