It always makes me happy to start a new year of reading! The excitement of what’s ahead makes me almost giddy. And it’s especially good when we get a weekend away here at the beginning of the year when much of our time was spent reading.
It’s a good list this month, so pick one to try for yourself!
I’m going to start with two books I ended up finishing around the same time. And the dovetail of their themes was only something God could orchestrate.
We’d been reading Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund in our home group, but it was taking eons since we only meet once an month—and even then we sometimes have to skip because so many have conflicts. So I decided I wanted to finish the book for myself.
At the same time, I was reading The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold. I’d seen people gushing over it everywhere, which usually doesn’t make me want to read a book. But for some reason, it drew me to this one.
In Gentle and Lowly, we see the heart of God revealed for us through Scripture. It’s a beautiful and sometimes surprising picture. In The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, we see a life devoted to putting God’s heart on display to others, and it’s a beautiful picture. Can you see the serendipity here? God’s heart for me, God’s heart for others. When I internalize God’s heart for me, I can mirror it to others. Both pictures are now seared into my brain.
I often tell people more fiction has changed my life than non-fiction, yet this is an example of both working together to bring me closer to the Lord and give me passion to do the work He’s called me to do.
Movers and Shakers by Janice Thompson
This is book #7 in the Secrets from Grandma’s Attic series—set in December. So yes, this is kind of a throwback Christmas read since I’m behind on these books! But it was still a fun read, even in January. Of course, Janice Thompson has written a bazillion novels and is pretty much a master storyteller.
The Sisters of Sea View by Julie Klassen
Julie Klassen hasn’t written many series books, but this book begins a new one. I love the seaside holiday town setting—and the sisters, their mother, and their guests were delightful! I look forward to what Julie has in store for us in the next books!
The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz
One of two books this month I bought on their release date! Set in 18th century Scotland, this story is steeped in history and brimming with romance. Honestly, I wish Laura would write all her books set in Scotland! 🙂
Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden
This is the other release day buy! The final book of the Blackstone Legacy series, and it did not disappoint! Yet again she finds a crazy bit of history and weaves it into a page-turning story. Although I warm you, you’ll be hungry for ice cream by the time you finish this one!
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
This is our neighborhood book club’s February read. I was so excited to learn it was a dual time-line story, and that the historical storyline involved the murals commissioned by the federal government to be mounted in post offices around the country. I had actually considered using this program for my first Secret from Grandma’s Attic book because the post office in Canton, MO, still has it’s mural hanging. My story required a change and so I scrapped that angle, but it still interested me. And the way Diane Chamberlain wove that into her story was amazing! A sad/sweet story that kept me turning pages to the very end.
The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels
This was my second Erin Bartels book. And I confess I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first. I felt there were some pacing issues and some plot/characterization weaknesses. Of course, you might feel differently. Books are so personal and subjective.
That’s it for January! Already into two wonderful books I’ll finish in February, so stay tuned!
Thank you for the book recommendations. I’m familiar with a couple of these authors, but it’s always good to have an author recommend others.
I always love to connect readers with new authors! Hope you find some you love!
I enjoy your these updates on your monthly reads with comments. I’ve ready a few and have others on my TBR. Sara’s debut was a favorite from 2022…so good!
It was! I’m so glad I didn’t give in to my “everyone’s reading this so I won’t” rebellion on this one!