Plenty of books under the Christmas tree!
A welcome site in the Artisan family, stacks of books under the Christmas tree. As I mentioned, we spent Boxing Day at home enjoying our new reads, hot coffee & afternoon naps – I’m fine with us creating a new tradition with that. My requests were varied this year – a mix of fiction and wide ranging non fiction. While some of these books have already been consumed, others await to be read throughout this year.
During this most recent Advent season, I picked up a couple of books to establish a daily advent reading routine. One book I put on the Kindle, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper. These were short reflections that were focused on the Gospel.
My second Advent reading was Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. I found this through another blog and was a couple days late getting started with the readings. This is a great collection of writings from a wide range of voices from the ancient to the modern: Brennan Manning, St. Thomas Aquinas, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis and so many more. Some days the readings were brief – other days they were longer. Most of these readings were new to me and many authors were new reads, too. On several occasions, I was actively highlighting & sharing words I was reading with family & friends. I look forward to coming back to this book each year.
Beyond the Advent reads, these are some of the books that I have enjoyed recently…
– The King & Checkmate by Steven James – The final 2 books in the 7 book Patrick Bowers series. I started this series several years ago with books under the Christmas tree and have enjoyed it the entire time (even when I fell behind in reading the books as they came out). This is a smartly written thriller series with Patrick Bowers as an FBI agent who focuses on environmental criminology as a way to solve the crimes. His back story is developed in early books as he solves other cases and as the series progresses everything “comes together” towards a bit of a final showdown. This series wrapped up nicely and I think the door is open for a new series to develop with “minor characters” in this series taking the lead. As an aside, I now use honey as a sweetener in my coffee because of this main character.
– Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke – The fascinating story of an Englishman who goes to work for a British teak company in Burma after WWI and becomes an elephant master. Over the years Billy Williams develops an amazing relationship with the elephants he manages; changes how elephants are trained for the work; truly becomes an elephant whisperer. When WWII hits Burma, he & “his elephants” join the British military and the elephants are used for some great people exoduses from Burma into India. In addition to being a good story about a piece of history I was unfamiliar with, there were leadership lessons to glean from how the elephants worked.
– One Word that Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, Jimmy Page – As I mentioned, this year I’m choosing one word to focus on for goals, intentions, resolutions: CULTIVATE. As I was “in process” on coming to that word, I read this book – a very quick read – to further wrap my head around what this sort of goal setting could achieve.
– The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn – From under the Christmas tree, a fairly fast read from an author I enjoy. This time the blend of current action and history was centered in Greece – against the backdrop of the Greek financial crisis, Grecian antiquities are disappearing. A journalist and a forensic archaeologist, lifelong friends, team up to investigate. Along the way to solving the mystery, they are drawn into the island of Patmos where John the Baptist wrote of the apocolypse. This adventure wraps up by the end of the book…there are definitely some loose strings that leave the door open to future adventures with these characters.
– Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow – From under the Christmas tree. Another clever installment in taking the illustrations & words from the classic Little Golden Books and getting to the heart of what matters during the Christmas hustle & bustle. A fun add to the Christmas books.
– A long term read for the year, as I’m focusing on making daily devotional time a priority, I am working my way through The One Year Women in Christian History Devotional. So far I am enjoying learning more about women of faith that span the ages.
Still in progress, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Hector Tobar. So far I’m enjoying it – I’ll provide a review next month.
With some business travel on the horizon, I see more Kindle based reading in the coming weeks. Also, my 11 year old goddaughter is eagerly awaiting me to finish reading The Giver Quartet so we can discuss the full cycle. I’m excited at the prospect of book discussion with this sweet girl!
Connecting up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s monthly reading roundup, now renamed QuickLit.
What are you reading these days? Do you have any reading goals for 2015?