Well, as it is already December 4 (HOW? How did it get to be December already?), I’m going to combine the books I read in October and November into a single post. It will have a good number of books because I’ve been getting in a lot of reading time and really enjoying it.
- Britfield & The Return of the Prince by C.R. Stewart – This book is the 3rd in a series that involves a young man searching to find who he is and his family. Please visit the post to read the summary of this book and what I thought about it.
- The Prayer Jar Devotional: Hope by Wanda E. Brunstetter – This was a series of devotions that were designed to focus on hope. The main post was on Instagram so you can read more about it over there.
- Being A Ballerina by Gavin Larsen – This is a very insightful and inspirational look at Gavin’s life from her earliest ballet classes through her professional career. It brought a very human aspect to her experiences and drew me into her heart and mind as she strove to be the best she could be. I found it to be quite illuminating for the life of a professional, especially one who deals with many health concerns. Her dedication was quite intense and it definitely helped me understand better the mind of one persuing this life. A definitely recommend for anyone who is interesting in knowing more about this life or seeing the background of a professional’s life. (Don’t tell my daughter but she’ll be getting this for Christmas! It is that good.)
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott – This was not my first read of this book and I enjoyed it a lot. This set of memoirs from a farm animal vet in rural England is fun to read. It is enlightening to see the life that James Herriot went through in order to serve those in his community. He writes with humor and honor of the people and animals he encountered during his career. I enjoy the scenes where he stops to appreciate what he is surrounded by in the Lakes district and the weather that both helps and hinders his treatments. He write about so much that he notices and it brings to life the world of a large animal vet.
- Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee – The Secrets of Emberwild will grab hold of your imagination and keep you in the story all the way through. Nora loves her horses and doesn’t understand why “proper etiquette” can’t change. Yet, she loves her family despite the tensions and tries to honor her mother and father. But the horses keep beckoning. And she follows. When a stranger shows up and begins helping around the farm, she grows uneasy with the questions he asks yet finds herself appreciating that he honors her knowledge of horses and the way she handles them. Where is all of this going to go? Will Silas get answers? What will happen for Nora?
The Secrets of Emberwild was a lovely read. It was set in a simpler time yet the themes of difficulty ring true for today. It is a clean read with none of the sexuality in many “clean” books today. The story is labeled as Christian, and though you see a tiny bit of that, I don’t feel there is enough Christianity in it to label it a Christian romance. However, thoroughly enjoyed it and can easily recommend it.
- By Way of the Moonlight by Elizabeth Musser – When Nana Dale passed away, Allie’s whole world crashed. Nothing happened as it was supposed to. There is some sort of secret there but Allie is the only one who sees it. Everyone else keeps telling her to just accept what happened and move on – find another way to open her equine therapy practice. But Allie knows there is something there. So she keeps digging. And as she digs, her grandmother’s life opens up in way Allie had no way of guessing. And in response, Allie’s life opens up in ways she had not way of guessing. Life can be so unexpected but there can be beauty that grows out of that unexpectedness. I really enjoyed this book – a mystery without being a mystery. It was a clean read with a good amount of romance without anything unChristian about it. Clean, enjoyable, fun. I can wholeheartedly recommend this one.
- The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron – Such a fun read! Keira Foley has a job to do in the old manor where they have found some unusual art. She is hired to authenticate the art so it should be a pretty straight-forward job. But then Emory Scott is involved and nothing is straight-forward. As Keira falls deeper and deeper into the mysteries surrounding the art she is supposed to authenticate, her life begins to make more and more sense. It is like the manor’s past is tied to her future.
There are three different time periods to follow in this novel and it is a lot of fun! With all three of the women, the life of hope and love and generations of secrets is uncovered and it just might push Keira’s own life back into some semblance of order.
This was a clean and enjoyable novel with just enough romance to make it a fun historical read. I have no worries recommending this read to someone who is interested in the time periods, the art, or just a relaxing read. Definitely one I am glad I read and now I need to read the others in the series.
So, that’s my October reads. I enjoyed them quite a bit.
- Along The Rio Grande by Tracie Peterson – Book 1 of the series; I found this series because of the review over at A Net In Time – Susanna Jenkins is just along to help her folks get set up and then she’ll return to her previous life as a widow. But her family needs her more than she thought, as they have never had to work for the things in their life. Now that they have to, Susanna is caught up in the middle of it, working hard and trying to honor her parents. They have to open the new Grand Hotel in San Marcial, NM, a small town where everyone knows and helps everyone else. Susanna’s family has to adapt to this new place and new idea of community. Can they do it?
With the help of the Lord, whom Susanna truly leans on, she tries to help her family see how to honor Him and each other.
This is wonderful novel set back in the later 1800s along the Santa Fe Railroad and the Rio Grande River. It is clean and can truly be called a Christian story. While there is romance in the story, it isn’t the focus of it AND there is nothing in it that I would be embarrassed about someone else knowing I had read (something too many “Christian” books include). The amount of writing that included thinking about, serving, or honor God was wonderful and I will definitely be looking for more stories by author Tracie Peterson.
- Beyond The Desert Sands by Tracie Peterson – Book 2 of the series – I enjoyed this clean romance novel set in New Mexico. It was a bit expected but it was fun to read a story set in the Land of Enchantment. I could see the setting so clearly and I enjoyed the story line. It was a pleasant story that I was able to read in just a couple of days. Easy and enjoyable.
- Under The Starry Skies by Tracie Peterson – Book 3 of the series – This was an enjoyable story set in New Mexico and along the railroad. I enjoyed the simplicity of the story, the beauty of the setting,and the infusion of Christian beliefs into the story line. The focus on belief and prayer to get one through the tough times was something I could relate to. I found this a pleasant read, completed in just 2 days.
- Where is God In This? by Landra Young Hughes – This was a book that I read through but struggled to gain much from. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right place for it to really speak to me. If you are in the “hard” part of life right now, this just might be the book for you. Read the review to find out more.
- A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus – The review is yet to publish on this book but it was fun holiday story about starting over and learning to trust those around you. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a fun, enjoyable holiday read about a Christmas tree farm, starting over, and daring to dream all over again.
- Once Upon A Winter Wonderland by Susan May Warren, Rachel D. Russell, Michelle Sass Aleckson, and Andrea Christenson – This review is yet to publish but this was a fun set of stories from authors I was unfamiliar with. They brought the reader to Deep Haven (hometown setting to a whole slew of books) where they find peace amidst challenges, hope amidst fear, and love amidst loss. This was a wonderful series of stories tied together by the characters, setting, and storyline. I completely enjoyed it.
- America’s Favorite Christmastown by Dawn Klinge – A quick, fun, holiday-time read that is clean and a bit off the beaten trail. This was a fun read for me and I really enjoyed the setting of an out-of-the-way resort. That brings a lot of small-town America comfort to the story. With the relationship between Alexis and her grandmother I found a comfort and joy that brought to mind many times spent with my own grandmother. This is the story of a vlogger who is considering a change of business and needs the advice of a trusted source. That is her grandmother and she finds out that her grandmother is considering a major change herself- to resort owner. Teaming up with her grandmother, the real-estate agent, and eventually the whole town, they bring the Christmas spirit to all around. It was a fun, simple read that didn’t take more than a couple of days to read but it brought me much joy.
- The Light Before Christmas by Marty Machowski – Please read the review on this one. The contrast of light and dark is an interesting idea so head over to see what I thought about it.
- Give The Winds A Mighty Voice by Stan Mitchell – The official summary: Give the Winds a Mighty Voice is an adventure in the subject of singing and its history. Stan takes us on a tour of music — music among the Israelites, music among Christians of the first century, music through the psalms, early writers, prolific writers, writers who were members of the Lord’s church and those who were not but whose songs and hymns have reverberated through the ages. Both individuals and congregations can profit by studying the lessons, along with practice sessions to learn new songs suggested in the book and to improve the quality of our singing.
I am enjoying this book and am almost done with it. I find there is so much packed in that I’ll probably want to read it again. It can be purchased at Chula Vista Books.
- Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – Honesty here: I could not read this book. I tried. Several times. But it just never drew me in. So, this one isn’t really and “I read” book but rather and “I tried.” I didn’t enjoy it so I put it down. But I know many, many people really love this story. Maybe the TV series would help? I need to try that, perhaps.
Okay, so that’s it. All the books for October and November.
Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!
Lori, At Home.