This is my second Open Book blog post! I don’t know if anyone caught the date of my last Open Book post, the one for September, but I titled it with the year 2107! Wow, I was really looking into the future with that post!
I hope that by the year 2107, I’ll be reading books from the Divine bookshelves!
One reason I like doing the Open Book blogs: I’ve discovered that while it feels like I have no time to read, I actually #AmReading! I guess it feels like I don’t read because I don’t get to read in my favorite way: resting on a mound of pillows on the couch with a hot beverage and pastry within easy reach in a quiet house, for hours and hours and hours. Oh well; there’s always the Divine library in the year 2107 for that.
I am happy to participate in CatholicMom.com and Carolyn Astfalk’s My Scribbler’s Heart #OpenBook, where bloggers link posts about books they’ve recently read. You are welcome to link up your own blog about the books you’ve read. Stop by Carolyn’s blog to see how.
I first stumbled upon Lisa Mayer’s Aletheian Journeys a year or so ago. I enjoyed The Arrow Bringer, the first book in the series, and jumped at the opportunity to read the second book. These fantasy stories contain Christian allegory, much in the style of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. They are filled with action, adventure, battles, and a bit of magic. Jario’s Battle shows the struggles of a man who has turned away from a life of profound wickedness. As he strives to fight the good fight, his past continues to haunt him. He wants others to believe that he’s changed, but at times he can’t even convince himself. I enjoyed the thorough development of themes about free will, forgiveness, and the purpose of suffering.
I love solving puzzles. Lately, I’ve been addicted to Sudoku. The lousy game keeps me up at night. I tell myself, “As soon as I find one more number, I’m turning out the light.” Then I find another number, and I’m saying the same thing again! I guess I like to keep my mind busy, and maybe that’s why I enjoy Judith White’s 1940s mystery series. I was excited to learn that Drowning in Deception, the next installment of The Case Files of Sam Flanagan, is out! Set in Detroit, these sleuth stories remind me of the Old Time Mystery Radio Shows. I’ve come to know the regular characters, so it’s fun to see them again in each new book. My favorite is Sam Flanagan’s grandmother! In addition to enjoying the great time-period details, I love how Judith White’s mysteries are a challenge to solve. She develops characters and threads so well, revealing a bit at at time so that you’re never really sure who done it! Her newsletter is quite a treat too. I encourage everyone to sign up. It’s unique and entertaining.
Because I am now following Erin McCole Cupp’s Sabbath Rest Book Talks, several of the books I’ve read have Christmas themes! Unlike the rest of the country, I don’t like to think about Christmas until we are at least in Advent. (I guess that’s not entirely true because I think about the Blessed Nativity every Monday when we pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary! But I digress…) Anyway, I still enjoyed these Christmas-themed books.
The first one I read was Christmas Grace by Leslie Lynch. This story follows three women (a mom, her daughter, and her mother) who are also not in the Christmas mood, each having her own personal struggles. Natalie is pregnant and her husband is deployed, Ella’s husband takes her for granted, and Gert is trying to find herself after losing her husband. Before they find answers to those problems, crisis strikes and they are forced to reevaluate their priorities. This story got me thinking about the challenges and blessings of different stages of life.
The next book I read for the SRBT was Unearthing Christmas by Anthea Piscarik. This book is hard to get a hold of at the moment, so I am grateful to Carolyn Astfalk for sharing her copy. This story jumps back and forth between 1955 and modern times, following two 14-year-old girls and their families. The families have their share of flaws and you can see how the faults of one generation affect the next generation. When one of the girls gets permission to turn the family bomb shelter into her own personal Christmas room, the story takes a wild turn. This story brought home to me the message that we shouldn’t put of reconciliation because tomorrow is never promised to us. I also enjoyed a little thread about the Infant of Prague and the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.
The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin is the third book that I started reading for Sabbath Rest Book Talks. I didn’t get to finish the book yet because I was reading on my library’s website and they only let me read the first chapter. My reserved copy just arrived at the library so I’ll finish it today. But so far it seems like a sweet Christmas story that would make a perfect read-aloud. It begins with a beautiful presentation of family and motherhood. And the descriptions are lovely. The brand-new baby girl is described as “a rose dipped in milk” and “a little cherub with a halo of pale yellow hair softer than floss silk.”
Okay, that’s all I’ve got for this month! If you want to link up to Open Book with the books you’ve read, you are more than welcome to! Click here for details.