January 26, 2013


With my extra long Christmas holidays :), I have been doing a bit of reading which has been so nice. I hadn't really read a book for months, so working my way through several books has been a real treat.
Some books I've been reading;

Katie by Clara B. Miller

This is an older book, my Aunt lent it to me to read while I was visiting her. It's the story of an Amish girl who comes to understand grace and what real faith in Christ means, this leads her to be at odds with many people in her community.

This book was very different to many of the Amish books I had written, I think because while it is classified as fiction, the author grew up/lives in the Amish community and states that much of the story comes from her own experiences. The Amish in the book are depicted as real people, rather than idolised or described as caricatures which happens in most Amish fiction.

A really lovely, thought provoking but easy read.

Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White by Claudia Mair Burney

A little while ago I came across the blog called ereader girl. Often Amazon will list Kindle books for for free for 24hrs, this blog links to ones that are free that day. I check it every now and then - normally their fiction is the usual Christian Romance that I try and steer well clear of. (I am more likely to look at their non-fiction, they often have simple/natural living books for free listed).  But randomly they do have some really interesting books; a nice way to try different authors for free.

Which is a long winded way of my explaining how I came to read this book which I probably wouldn't have otherwise read - the description and reviews intrigued me. Nicky and Zora come from completely different worlds, though both are pastors kids. They meet each other at a Bible study and meeting each other causes both to question their beliefs, prejudices, faith, family culture, understanding of the world and what God wants from their lives.

This book is beautifully written, one of the first book in a long time that kept me up until 2am devouring the sentences.  The characters are unflinchingly real - so real I often felt like grabbing them and shaking them and telling them to stop being so stupid. My only real concern was the time line - the whole book takes place over 4 weeks, completely unrealistic in my opinion, but it is fiction I guess.

 Choosing to See: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman

I wrote about hearing the story of the death of the youngest daughter of Steven and Mary Beth Chapman earlier this year. This book tells Mary Beth's story, not just when Maria was killed but Mary Beth's whole life and struggling to see God in the mix of life.

One of my favourite quotes is from the foreword written by her husband
"By her own confession Mary Beth has had a lifetime of watching God overwrite her plans with His story. Sometimes the result has been wonderful, and sometimes it has been devastating. Sometimes she has been a willing participant and sometimes she has gone 'kicking and screaming'"
'Watching God overwrite her plans with His story' - As soon as I read that I knew I had to read the book all the way through; because, oh my goodness, I can relate.

Mary Beth is completely honest about her struggles (including those before the accident) and doesn't shy away from describing how she cried out to God during her pain. Which I really appreciated - while she continues to be heart-felt in her belief that God is in control and working through His perfect plan; she is honest about the mess of anger at God and asking "Why!".

I thought I was doing really well and was holding it together well - then the accident happened and I had continuous tears running down my face for the entire second half of the book.

So, anything else I should be reading?

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