Whoa! I cannot believe one twelfth of the year is already gone…and that it is time for another What I Read Last Month post. As many of you know, one of my #20for2020 is to read 75 books. I’m sad (and ashamed) to say that January was kind of a disaster as far as reading is concerned.
To be honest, I spent so much time talking/thinking/writing about the new year that typing 2019 feels quite odd. Nonetheless, I cannot completely close the door behind last year without sharing what I read in December. Because my semester ended in the first week of the month, I head more time to read for pleasure (because that is actually the only thing that matters, correct?).
I have followed this British YouTuber for a couple of years now, and I really enjoyed looking through this book. No, she didn’t come up with a ground-breaking seasonal to-do list or never-heard-of recipe. Even so, it’s still fun to be able to search for the season you’re in and glean some fun ideas for your own home.
I don’t think there is much that needs to be said about this bestseller. Though I had seen the movie long before I decided to read the book, I enjoyed it so much that it took me only a day to finish it. The characters are relatable, the world a picture of the political struggle we are in right now, and the evolving relationship between Four and Tris is dreamy. I might have been picturing Theo James every time Four was present in the story.
“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent trilogy. I was excited to continue where Divergent left off, but Insurgent failed my expectations. Tris became a bit too whiney and Tobias (formerly Four) also seemed to have changed a lot more than his name. If I remember correctly, I gave Insurgent only 3 stars on Goodreads — somewhat of a great fall from the 5+ star I gave Divergent.
“The truth has a way of changing people’s plans.”
As you might have guessed already, despite my disappointment with the previous book, I made myself read the third Divergent book. I wish I could tell you that Allegiant fixed everything that was wrong Insurgent, however, it got even worse. The truth is, I skimmed through the last 200 pages.
As I’ve already mentioned, Tris and Four’s relationship was what I loved about Divergent. Sadly, this book ruined literally everything. Between the lies, the arguments, and the anger…. their relationship just stopped holding the same appeal. Because I saw a spoiler and knew what was coming, I didn’t even really bother to pay much attention to the ending. I got through the book, but I didn’t really care about any of the characters anymore.
Confessions of a High School Disaster
This is basically a YA version of the Bridget Jones Diary. Yes, it’s very simple. but it’s also unbelievably relatable, funny, and captivating. Some of Chloe’s choices were somewhat annoying; however, isn’t that in the job description of all teenagers? Long story short … I really enjoyed reading this book. If you’re looking for something light, give this one a try.
“I’m Chloe Snow, and my life is kiiiiind of a disaster.”
I read couple more books in December, but none of them are really worth writing about. If you’re interested in my reviews of Five Feet Apart (Rachael Lippincott), Hold Me Close (Megan Hart), and the Four short stories (Veronica Roth), you can indulge yourself on my Goodreads profile.
And that’s a wrap for the last What I Read edition of 2019. If you’ve read my #20for2020 list, you know that my goal for this year is to read at least 75 books. I can’t wait to share my reading journey with you all!
Though some of you are following me on Goodreads, I have decided to track my monthly readings here on the blog as well. You may remember my #19for2019 post from the beginning of the year where I set a goal of reading 100 books this year. Due to an extremely hard load consisting of my work responsibilities, Masters classes, Literacy Specialist certification, and just life in general, I am way behind on my goal (55 books right now). Nonetheless, I you can have a look at what I read in November.
William Wilberforce: Freedom Fighter
Betty Steele Everett
Though very short, this book summarizes William Wilberforce’s life — his upbringing, salvation, political career, and most importantly his fight for abolishing of slavery. I loved the little details about his life and the devotion to his Lord. He was willing to die to himself so that God could use him.
“His warfare is accomplished, his course is finished, he kept the faith.”
Tatiana de Rosnay
Similarly to Sophie’s Choice, this book speaks about the terrors Jewish families had to endure during World War II. The story begins in Paris in July 1942. Thousands of men, women, and children are rounded up and taken to Vel d’Hiv, in indoor velodrome France originally built to host the 1924 Summer Olympics. When the Nazis gave orders to roundup all Jews, the French police took matters into their own hands.
One night, Sarah and her brother are woken up by a loud bang on the door. When her mother opens the door, the French police orders them to pack up some clothes and follow them. Sarah, believing that they will come back home soon, locks her little brother in a secret cupboard — promising him that she will come back for him.
It is hard to review Sarah’s Key without going into too much detail (aka spoiling the whole book). I have always been a firm believer in the importance of remembering the evils that were done during the War. This book not only describes what the children must have felt when the Nazi helpers took them away from their homes, but also what the survivors felt when they realised their families were not coming back.
“Where are you, my little Michel? My beautiful Michel. Where are you now? Would you remember me? Michel. Me, Sarah, your sister.
The one who never came back; the one who left you in the cupboard; the one who thought you’d be safe.”
I love Frances Ridley Havergal and the truth and encouragement her hymns are filled with. Until now, I never knew much about her personal life. This tiny biography contains not only her salvation testimony but also the joys and struggles God allowed her to have. The illustrations only add to the sweetness of this story. The only think that was a bit distracting is the free verse Eileen Berry used to write this book.
A huge thank you to NetGalley and BJU Press for sending me this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
What should I even say about a book written by such a godly and inspiring missionary? Amy Carmichael was always ready to examine her life against the Word of God. She lived what she preached and she loved sharing what God laid on her hearth. This tiny book has been such a blessing to me! I would especially recommend it to those whom God called to full-time Christian service!
“It is possible to touch the spirit of the world at many points with the best intentions, without making any appreciable difference in its worldliness. We may influence the tone of a community for the space of the hour we spend in it, but does our presence there lead to opportunities for direct unequivocal work for our Lord? If not, is it worthwhile?”
So, there you have it! I can’t believe I only read 4 books (other than couple of Beatrix Potter’s books I re-read). November was a bit crazy, but December has already been a bit better — at least as far as reading goes. Fans of Utopia/Dystopia should definitely come back in January to read the next issue of What I Read Last Month.
I know, I know … you’re probably thinking …. how great of you to finally show up! I admit, life has been a bit crazy lately. I am ready, however, to interrupt this radio silence and tell you about a biographical book of Susannah Spurgeon that I absolutely loved!
Before I dive into the review, I’d like to take a moment and express my gratitude to Moody Publishers for gifting me a free copy of the book. As always, all opinions are mine.
Name: Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles H. Spurgeon
Author: Ray Rhodes Jr.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publishing Date: September 2018
Susie is a well written, complete biography filled with historical records, personal writings from the Spurgeons and wonderful testimonies from their family and friends. Ray is a great storyteller, the hardcover book is beautiful, and the photos are great!
Susannah accomplished much in her earthly life in addition to being the wife of the Prince of Preachers. She was an author, she started a book fund for pastors, planted a church, was a student of the Word, hiked the Swiss Alps, was the mother of twin boys, content in the shadow of her husband, served Christ faithfully, loved the Gospel and provided a warm, loving home that was filled with prayer.
Susie’s life reminded me that every day is a gift and all is given by grace. God is good and faithful always. Suffering is part of our earthly life, and the hope is we will respond with faith and trust in our God with hearts that are joy-filled and thankful. Her story reminds women of the importance of being a supportive and encouraging wife to their husbands. Sussanah desired to be an excellent helper to him and not hinder the work of the Lord in his life but help flourish it in any way she could.
The book was edifying and challenging. You will be blessed by it, and if you enjoy Charles Spurgeon, it will give you a better picture of who he was through the words and life of his wife. Charles would not be Charles without Susannah.
Besides Susannah Spurgeon, I have been reading a ton of missionary books — especially ones written by Elisabeth Elliot. You can be sure one or more books will be reviewed here in the near future! In the meantime, you can browse some of my other book reviews right here. What are some of your favourite missionary biographies?