Where do you love to read? I vacillate between preferring a summer scenario with a book on the beach, lazily listening to the lap of water on shore—and then curling up with a comforting hot drink under a cozy blanket reading in the dead of winter. Whatever the circumstances, books are always a good idea! And I’ve picked six of my absolute favorites I have devoured this year for your perusal…
Whether you still need to do a little Christmas shopping (books are the BEST gifts for anyone) or are looking for something for you to read over the festive season, I have some suggestions. This year has been rather busy for me with 2 novels published—The Glass Bottom Boat and The Lighthouse Baby—and now The Orphan Beach launching in February…
“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” – Louisa May Alcott
Quite possibly, Louisa. But I have to make time to read—for my craft, sanity, and pleasure. I have a memory like a sieve, therfore I keep track of books I want to read and those I have read on GOODREADS. It’s where all the bookish people loiter. Check it out and feel free to follow me HERE.
So allow me to present my little reviews on each of the favorite six from my reading stash this year (it was oh-so-hard to choose only six…) along with my Amazon affiliate links on the titles in case you want to grab a copy (full disclosure here) which means I get a tiny commission while you pay the regular price for any of the books:
BECOMING MRS. LEWIS by Patti Callahan (historical fiction)
A brilliant novel depicting the love story between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. The layers of love are vast and varied between these two uniquely talented writers and unlikely partners. Patti Callahan brings to life the bold and brave woman we generally hear so little about in this fascinating biographical fiction. Charming and heartbreaking, hopeful and devastating—this is a story that moved me deeply. I thoroughly recommend this beautifully penned book.
STRANDS OF TRUTH by Colleen Coble (Christian romantic suspense)
I love a good family secret, and Strands of Truth did not disappoint! The results of DNA testing turn marine biologist Harper Taylor’s life upside-down in ways she could never have expected. A heartbreaking murder and suspicious activity throw Harper together with the murder victim’s son, Ridge Jackson, as they unravel strands of truth from thirty years ago.
Death, pregnancy, kidnapping, cold cases, and an unlikely romance—this story has it all. And the twists keep the reader guessing to the end. A must-read for Christian romantic suspense fans!
LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb (historical fiction)
When WWI began, many hoped it would all be over by Christmas. For Evie Elliott, it would just be a matter of time before she would celebrate the festive season with her brother and best friends in the magical city of Paris. Of course, the brutal reality was very different, and in this fascinating read, we follow Evie’s evolving relationship with her childhood friend Thomas Harding as they communicate as penpals through the horrors of war. Friendship, devastation, romance, and hope are beautifully portrayed in a series of letters, creating the most compelling love story. I had the privilege of reading this book while actually in Paris, which added wonderfully to its charm and nostalgia. If you enjoyed The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society book, I think you will love this!
BEHOLDING AND BECOMING by Ruth Chou Simons (Christian non-fiction)
“We are so captivated by our technology and all that it puts before our eyes that we overlook the ways that God displays His glory through creation, relationships, and our ordinary circumstances in the day to day.” Ruth’s gorgeous artwork and words of encouragement studded with Scripture stir the heart to want to see more of God. On topics such as rest, hospitality, motherhood, and everyday struggles, this book is written with honesty and humility and is a treat for the eyes and the soul!
IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY by Lysa TerKeurst (Christian non-fiction)
“Sometimes to get your life back, you have to face the death of what you thought your life would look like.” As I read this book depicting Lysa’s recent life journey, there is no doubt that she has been through more in the past couple of years than many of us will in a lifetime. And yet as she candidly talks about her harrowing marriage and health trials, she never fails to encourage with grit and grace. As she has drawn ever closer to God, seeking Him even in her confusion and frustration, she shares a plethora of Scripture and wise words with her honesty, humour, and exemplary courage.
SAVE ME THE PLUMS by Ruth Reichl (memoir)
In this beautifully written memoir, Ruth Reichl documents her fascinating ten-year experience as editor-in-chief of the iconic Gourmet food magazine. She begins the book with her initial exposure to the magazine as a child, and as her story unfolds, we see what a huge impact it had on her life—and in turn, what a huge impact she then had on Gourmet. Essays include snippets on food in Paris, life in New York, her family, kitchens, colleagues, and how she learned to navigate a prestigious career one day at a time with humor, honesty, and passion. I’ll confess—I was not familiar with Gourmet, but am now intrigued and determined to find a copy to digest! This book is for foodies, writers, and anyone looking for some inspiration and a satisfying read!
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Friend, at this most precious time of year when we focus on the greatest Gift given, I pray that as lovers of words and books and reading, we will lift our eyes from the Christmas chaos and adore THE WORD made flesh; our Saviour, our Jesus.
Blessings, joy, and happy reading!
P.S. BONUS: If you need additional inspiration for fiction books—I have you covered! My monthly newsletter freebie is a lovely curated PDF of TWENTY mini-reviews of my favourite fiction books. Sign up HERE!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: