Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
~Attributed to Groucho Marx
The month of January included some great reads. Some of these were family reads, while others were on my personal list. Here’s a rundown of the books we’ve enjoyed this month:
- Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (JK Rowling) – Ever wonder how to defeat a troll? Want to know what you feed a dragon? Fantastic Beasts is a clever book by the author of the Harry Potter series, written as an encyclopedia of all the fantastical creatures featured in the original series, and more!
With an upcoming movie release, our family wanted to review this fun read. Short, silly, and full of imagination, this was a great book. If you’re a fan of the Potter series, or plan to watch the upcoming film, this might be a book you’d enjoy.
- The Nature of the Beast (Louise Penny) – A little boy known for telling tall tales is found dead. The question is, which of his stories was worth murdering for? A retired inspector must find the answer to this puzzling question before their little town is turned upside down by chaos.
This was a read from my stack. I had never heard of this author before, but am always willing to try a new read. I was pleasantly surprised. The story was cleverly told, and the characters well-written. The back story was based on actual events, which piqued my interest and taught me something new. While there was some language in the book, it was minimal. Over all, it was a good read. It will be interesting to see if other books in this series prove as well written.
- Pulling Back the Shades (Dannah Gresh/Dr. Juli Slattery) – Where does God stand on the issue of intimacy in marriage? What is acceptable and what’s forbidden? Pulling Back the Shades is a short read laying out the Biblical concept of intimacy in a Christian marriage.
This read was suggested to me as a ministry aid. Many women in the church have questions about Biblical intimacy, and just as many are not receiving much-needed answers. I found this book to be incredibly well thought-out and Biblically sound. I loved the authors’ take on the issues, and their encouragement to seek Christ in all areas of life, especially our marriage.
- The BFG (Roald Dahl) – Instead of going to bed as she should have, a little girl finds herself being whisked away to the land of giants. There, to her horror, she discovers humans are the giants’ favorite food! With the help of the BFG – the big, friendly giant – she must find a way to stop the giants’ evil doings and save the day!
This read was part of our Morning Basket for the month of January. This is another book seeing a movie released soon. While I’ve read this story before, this was a first for the kids. It was lots of fun! The kids found the story quite appealing and are anxiously waiting for the movie.
- The Flower Recipe Book (Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo) – A handy guide to creating gorgeous bouquets for your home, The Flower Recipe Book will walk you through essential elements of flower arranging.
Yet another read in my stack, this book was brought to my attention by a fellow WP blogger! While we’re encouraged to not judge a book my its cover, it was the colorful front image which caught my attention. The pages between didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed learning about various flora and being a taught a thing or two about the joys of decorating my home with lovely bouquets. I borrowed this one from our local library, but this is one which might be gracing my own shelves at home soon.
- Fairest (Melissa Meyer) – What if Cinderella’s evil stepmother wasn’t always evil? Perhaps she has her own story to tell; a tale of sorrow, rejection, and evil sisters who’ve scarred you for life. The newest book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Fairest allows Cinderella’s stepmother a chance to tell her story. Told in a futuristic universe, we’re given a glimpse of what life was like before Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress tried to bring down the evil queen.
Part of my growing stack of books, this newest installment was everything I expected. Categorized as young adult, this series is fairly clean, but a little dark to pass onto my girls yet.
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making (Valente) – Little September is bored with her life. Adventure is what she wants, and adventure is what she gets! Carried off by one of the Harsh Winds in his sporting green jacket, September is taken to a land of fairies desperately in need of help.
This book was a complete gamble; I had never heard of the series nor the author. However, it proved to be an interested read. Reminiscent of Phantom Tollbooth with its cleverly named characters, this was a fun read to share with my children.
- All Dressed in White (Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke) – Laurie is looking for yet another mystery to uncover on her hit TV series, Under Suspicion. She finds it in a missing persons case involving a possible runaway bride. But, is this a case of wedding jitters or murder?
The most recent book written by Ms. Clark and Ms. Burke, All Dressed in White was another good read. A great mystery, with well-written characters; this book will keep you guessing until the end.
Finding good, non-Christian fiction is definitely a challenge. Even when it comes to young adult fiction, clean literature is a needle in a haystack. We also understand the Lord has given each family different convictions about which books to read. Some enjoy fairy tales and fantasy, while others find such literature an issue.
We read a lot. To the best of our ability we keep our reads clean. While we’ve enjoyed this month’s reads, we highly recommend doing your own research before picking up a book. Ask the Lord to guide you in picking literature for your family.
February’s stack of books is already piled high and we’re ready to get moving. Here’s to good books and comfy chairs to read them in.
Time to Chime In: Fiction or nonfiction, do you have a book suggestion for us? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this month’s reads, and ideas for our 2016 book list.