Where Have I Been? + April 2021 Reading Update

Excuses, Excuses

I’ve been gone from the blog for a grand total of two weeks.  It’s quite possible no one even noticed.  In fact, I’m sure no one noticed because I have no following whatsoever.  I often feel like I’m just talking to myself here.  Nevertheless, I felt like I should explain that due to Spring Break, a church retreat, and a week-long chest cold, I have not been up to my usually scheduled writing and posting.  Many apologies for any who are actually reading this, and the few, if not non-existent, readers who have been waiting for my next post.  🙂

All that aside, I’m due to give another reading update because it is basically April, folks!

Crossing the Finish Line

I’ve always got way too many books that I’m currently reading and not enough that I’ve finished!  But I’m doing better this year about reading books that I haven’t read before and reading them in a *mostly* timely manner.  I’ve finished three books in the past few weeks, and wouldn’t you know it, I was able to write reviews for two of them.  I will include links to those reviews!

  1. Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, Wife of Charles H. Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes Jr.
    I’ve decided I need to compile a list of the best biographies I’ve read.  The material in this book easily put it on the list, although the writing style certainly doesn’t.  Am I the only one who hates it when people try to write like journalists?!  That aside, there was such a wealth of information about Charles and Susie Spurgeon in this book that you should read it, flaws and all.  Check out my full review here to see why you should read this book.
  2. He Will Hold Me Fast by Connie Dever
    The subtitle to Connie’s book could not be more accurate as a descriptor of her experience: A Journey with Grace Through Cancer.  Do you want a book that points you to Christ while dealing with the reality of life’s difficulties?  Do you want a book that seeks out the grace of God while acknowledging that we are unable to reach Him on our own power and initiative?  Look no further.  Read the full review here to decide if you should read it for yourself.
  3. The Allies by Winston Groom
    I love studying World War II.  I’ve been obsessed with its complex history since the seventh grade when I wrote my first paper on Pearl Harbor.  Winston Groom is a phenomenal writer (although from what I’ve heard, his book Forrest Gump leaves much to be desired).  This is the first history book of his that I have read, and I will be coming back for more, to say the least.  I’ve already bought his book The Generals in anticipation of narrative similarly impressive to The Allies.  To give a brief summary, The Allies is a well-researched look into the lives of the “Big Three” – Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin.  While focusing mostly on their political and military careers surrounding WWII, Groom still gives a well-rounded look at their childhoods, and young adult lives.  Check back sometime in the (undetermined) future to (possibly) find a review of this book. 😉

Currently Reading

I’m reading way too many books right now.  I brought three books to work today simply because all three had the potential to be finished today.  I suppose since I’m closest to finishing those, they will be the ones I highlight.  Interesting to note, all three of these books are completely different (although two of them are non-fiction with political bents and historical information).

  1. The Ancient Regime and the Revolution by Alexis de Tocqueville
    I will be honest, this one has taken me a bit to get into.  It’s highly academic and a slow read.  However . . . it’s packed full of fascinating information.  If you couldn’t tell from the title, it is an attempt at explaining how 18th century France took the plunge from an established monarchy to complete mayhem.  The short answer?  Taxes and atheism.  Those interested in lengthy essays, academic research, and wordy descriptions and explanations would enjoy this book to dig into the longer answer.  It certainly isn’t for everyone, but this is a fabulous resource for understanding at least part of the French Revolution.
  2. Blackout by Candace Owens
    Do you want to know how Black America can make it’s second escape from the Democratic plantation?  Candace Owens has all the answers.  Okay, maybe she wouldn’t say she has all the answers, but she’s got quite a few.  Candace is able to convey in eloquent yet common words what exactly is behind the BLM movement and details what exactly is wrong with our culture and our treatment of Black America.  And no, white supremacy is not the problem.  This is one book you will want to have on your shelf.  It’s short, sweet, to the point, and I’m enjoying it immensely.  She’s as sensible, realistic, and sarcastic as Matt Walsh while honestly laying out her life experiences in tandem with her historical and political narratives.  Can it get any better than that?
  3. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
    I adore Kate DiCamillo’s writing.  I grew up reading Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Tiger Rising.  For some reason, I missed out on Flora and Ulysses.  Not sure how or when that happened, but I’m rectifying the situation right now!  So far, it is just as endearing and sentimental as the others.  However, there are a few little things in here (so far) that I don’t recall having read in the others.  Nothing super serious, but just enough that I’m not sure it’s as good as The Tale of Despereaux (my personal favorite, at this moment anyway 🙂 ).

Next Up to Bat

I’ve always, always, always got a list a mile long and then some of what I want to read next.  But I’ve got a few in particular that I’ve been itching to get to.  A World War II book is a must, of course, but I’m also due up for another investment book for my uncle.  (Overdue actually . . . sorry, Russell!)  My sister, as always, has a list for me that I should probably dive into one of these days.  There is also a massive stack of books sitting on my (fake, electric) living room fireplace from my Dad that need to be read.  What’s a girl to do?

*Hears Dory singing in the background: Just keep reading, just keep reading, reading, reading . . . what do we do? We read!*

  1. The Jersey Brothers by Sally Mott Freeman
    Three brothers and a World War.  Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  Even better, this is a true story.  I didn’t even read the summary to decide if I should read it.  In fact, I flat out bought the book knowing absolutely nothing about it.  The cover drew me in about like The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown did.  And the rest is history . . . well, not quite.  It’s still collecting dust on my shelf!
  2. Future Grace by John Piper
    I started several of John Piper’s books when I was in high school, and I finished none of them.  Isn’t that shameful.  I got the furthest in Desiring God and I learned a lot from that.  I read the first few chapter of Future Grace and was fascinated, but not enough to keep my full attention.  I’m sure I was reading The Hunger Games or a Gilbert Morris book at the time and thus had little interest in any other books.  But I’m here now, older and wiser, and also more patient apparently.  I’m planning to start Future Grace again shortly and can’t wait to dig through all the theological truth buried in this book!
  3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
    This is another book that I started with very good intentions and high hopes . . . but I got bogged down in the middle of the book and completely gave up.  Don’t ask me why, my sister has preached over and over again how this book is worth my time.  Ah well, here’s to second tries.  I’m a huge Jane Austen fan (Pride and Prejudice is the very best of course, but all of her books are fabulous) and so it follows that I should read all of her books, right?  This one is next immediately after I finish Flora and Ulysses. 

Until Next Time

That’s it for today folks, I think I’ve waxed on enough about my bookshelf.  What are you reading?  Have any recommendations for me?  Comment below!

Until the next raid on my bookshelf. 🙂

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