Heyyyyyy, new year, same reader, here!
As with the start of a new year, same as last year, I had a tough time coming up with a name for this year’s book blogging monthly series of mine. 2021 was “Reading Moments” and 2022 was “In the Reading Corner.”
I felt like my options were exhausted. I’m not all that creative – I am, but not when it counts – when it comes to a series for a whole year that I’ll have to put up with.
January 26th I finally came up with what you see here. “A Bibliophile’s Path Forward” is pretty accurate.
A bibliophile is defined as a person who collects or has a great love of books. Not necessarily only books read, but all books. I simply have a problem with collecting books at this point. And… I’m on a path forward.
I don’t know what this year holds in any area of life. While that’s scary in some ways, I’m also looking forward to see where this path leads me on my reading journey – and what books I collect.
So that’s where that title came up, in the midst of my frustration I might add! Who knew blogging and blog titles was so involved?
Well, enough of that.
Seeing as how I know I’m not going to be able to finish another book today… you’re getting this post on the last day of January!
Here’s what I read in the month of January! (Heads up: it’s a long post because I got quite far on my reading goal for the year already. 🙂 )
Engaging the Competition by Melissa Jagears
Well, like many of the books I read, whether ebook or paperback (occasionally a hardback), this one, too, shall come to you with a backstory.
As it turns out, I’ve actually had a library book for months. Not this one mind you, since this is the novella before book one. BUT. I’ve had that book one for a while and for some reason never read it. I was going through my stack of books early afternoon on January 1st and came across it again and looked into what order the series was in. I found the ebook of the novella that kicks off the series (this one!) and read it first before I got into book one. TURNS OUT… I have my own copy of book one and I remember reading it years ago. So that’s cool. All to say that I may not read book one again right now, but I will be trying to get the rest of the series soon.
That was a long paragraph story that didn’t go much of anywhere. You’re welcome.
This novella was adorbs and I gave it an easy 5 stars because I love the enemies to wow we misunderstood each other all these years to wow I actually love you. It was beautiful and my hopeless romantic heart appreciated it.
The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston
I LOVED this book.
On January 2nd, I went to my favorite place (Mardel) on a mission to buy the box set of C.S. Lewis books I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. What do I find? Not the box set. With a very limited amount of self control, I exited the store with this book and a new One Year Chronological Bible (if you follow me on GoodReads, you probably noticed I started reading it – another story, maybe). I debated whether to start this Amy Clipston book, I almost didn’t even buy it, but I was like no… I think this will be good. And it was!!!
In some ways, with the grief after the death of her father and the trials of holding it all together for her family, I can relate to this.
I found myself thinking about this book long after it was over.
I would very much love to revisit these characters and this community. HINT HINT, Amy Clipston!! 🙂
Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Well this one was actually pretty funny. I haven’t read an Elin Hilderbrand book before, but she seems pretty popular – she has quite a few books out there. Figured I’d give her a go.
Though this wasn’t my usual read, and was a bit more secular than I would normally like… I felt pretty sucked into plot, the family dynamics (multiple points of view through the whole book that spans over 3 days time at Christmas) and wanted to read to find out how it ended. I read most of this January 5th and 6th. I didn’t realize that I started it NYE. Lol
So what happened?
It left me on a cliffhanger. So now I guess there’s a second book. And a third. And a fourth.
Will probably grab those at some point. I enjoyed the alternating point of view more than I thought. She developed each character so well in little blurbs and thoughts.
This is a Christmas read, but you won’t see it in my recommended Christmas List for 2023 – not Christian fiction or clean fiction. This was a closed-door romance though.
Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah
My friend gave me this book and Firefly Lane last year some time and I never read either. I was nervous to start a new author. So since I read Angel Falls and loved it so well, I figured heyyy, why nottttt.
This one was just as good! I really enjoyed this and the message behind it. Forgiveness and moving on, learning when to let go. The preciousness of life and connections.
I noticed after the fact that it had mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it and the ending. Maybe it’s not all that believable, but sometimes the joy in reading fiction or fable is the new world you escape into. 🙂
Here and now, I can do something that will make a difference in someone’s life, and perhaps that – the simple act of helping someone else – will help me in my own.Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah
The Sisters of Sea View by Julie Klassen
I LOVED this. There was no doubt that I would though because Klassen is CLASSIC.
I enjoyed the differing viewpoints in the story between sisters. My favorite romance from the story was that which played out between Viola and Jack. Ugh, such sweetness.
A must read for sure!! 😍
I’m looking forward to what direction Julie Klassen takes the rest of the series since this one left so many unanswered questions and cliffhangers.
Among the Fair Magnolias by Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser
Not my favorite read, unfortunately. I actually had high hopes and it fell short. The writing wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t my thing I guess. My favorite was the story by Tamera Alexander, but she’s also one of my favorite authors.
I didn’t feel connected or gripped to these stories like I have others, namely by Tamera Alexander.
The Red Sea Rules: 10-God Given Strategies for Difficult Times by Robert J. Morgan
This was a great read!!! This is one you would read and then come back to re-read, when you’re in that place by the Red Sea. Morgan had some great quotes and I didn’t put them all here. He was able to succinctly state points to think on and turn to in situations and ultimately pointed us back to Jesus. With a multitude of biblical references used and his continued guide being that of the Red Sea, this was a well written strategy book for a Christian.
God has placed you in your situation so something you can do is convert your worries into prayers and your fears into faith. we can trust “God to intervene, to redeem, to help, and to heal.”
A goal in future trials is to learn to consult the Scriptures for guidance. In all of life’s trials we make choices and how often do we neglect the Book that holds all wisdom, God’s very Words to us?
Do you believe that the same God who led you in will lead you out?
If we could only look upon a difficult crisis as a occasion of bringing out, on our behalf, the sufficiency of divine grace, it would enable us to preserve the balance of our souls and to glorify God, even in the deepest waters.C. H. Mackintosh
Robert J. Morgan says, “The Lord devises ways of turning difficulties into deliverances and problems into praise.”
Many times we cannot solve problems, heal hurts, change circumstances, or win our own battles. We must kneel in prayer, then stand to see what He will do. We must leave room for God, staying calm and giving Him time to work.Robert J. Morgan
I have found that if we go as far as we can, God often opens up the rest of the way.Isobel Kuhn
Our faith grows when we choose to apply God’s promises to today’s problems and use the experiences to mature us for tomorrow’s challenges. In a sense, we are storing up faith for times ahead.Robert J. Morgan
A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter
I’ll start with why this took me so long to read. I don’t have a good reason! I think that at the time of reading this I was on a Kristi Ann Hunter binge and I knew how this would end, just without the details. I lost focus midway through.
This is your typical, swoon worthy, unexpected romance by Kristi Ann Hunter. you really can’t go wrong with her books.
The intricate details in this one may have played a factor in my focus. There was a lot to keep track of it felt like and I don’t do well with details like that when reading for fun. 🙃
EVEN WITH THAT… I still loved it because I loved the slow romance that built up between characters and the hilarious moments between them.
I will admit that I picked this up this month determined to finish it (like I did last month and failed). I read more than half of this book in past few weeks and now that I’ve read it, I wish I had just devoured it in one weekend because the ending was worth it.
Sigh. Bookworm problems I suppose.
New York, New Year, New You by Rachael Bloome
A most anticipated book read in one day, in mere hours. Are you surprised??
As soon as I knew this book was releasing, I checked Amazon daily, no joke!! I wanted it in paperback (obviously) and it wasn’t available til basically release day. I ordered it January 22nd while in between hockey games and then it arrived on January 27th with the regular mail. I was finishing up some work at the time and I was really wanting to dig into the book. Work set aside soon after, I ended up taking a nap and then woke up and started reading, headache and all!
Now for the actual book details…
As Rachael Bloome mentions, this is a bit different than her usual novel. If you’ve read her Poppy Creek series, you’d see a difference, but if this happens to be your first book read by her, I guess you wouldn’t notice. 🙂 That fact though doesn’t take away from the impeccable writing skill she honed on this one. I loved the inspirational messages throughout and the clear development of character for our heroine. I adored the characters and the funny little quirks thrown in. It was a surprising read, but in the best possible way. One of my favorites!!!
This is a stand alone novel and not part of a series she’s working on. I was going to say, “Read it at any time!” but I really think you need to read it ASAP.
Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong
Oh. Em. Gee.
I picked this up at Mardel on Friday. It was almost like in slow motion. I was drawn to this book and just thinking back to it… it was sitting there all by itself, just waiting for me to pick it up. The cover, the title (which I guess is true but isn’t totally accurate since there weren’t “auditions”) and just the whole premise of the book. It’s cute and I like cute romcoms. What can I say?
This book was hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times! It was actually pretty unbelievable but in some ways relatable. I loved the development the characters went through and the lessons they learned along the way.
I hope you were able to read this month. If so, let me know in the comments what you completed! 😍 I would love to get more ideas, AS YOU KNOW!
3 Comments Add yours
Sorry in advance because my reply is looong…
You had me confused with the post being today. Lol. I had considered trying to finish a book today. But you helped me to not be so overzealous and crazy. So thanks for that.
It’s neat how you come up with a new title each year. You are obviously more creative than I am because I would’ve kept the same one. Lol.
You cracked me up with some of your comments.
I’m so sorry Mardel didn’t have the C.S. Lewis box set 😭
You had a lot of books and authors that I am not familiar with. But many of them sounded so good!
I have read Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah years ago. I really liked it a lot too! (Side note that I have stopped reading books by this author because the last time I tried, there was a 4 letter word early on. I put it down and never picked it back up. Can’t remember what book. But maybe that is out of the norm? If you read more by her I will stay tuned to see if there is hope. 😁)
Regarding the Julie Klassen – I had a feeling it would have a lot of unanswered questions, because that’s how the Ivy Hill series was. So I think I am going to wait to read them all when the final book comes out. I know that is a long ways away. But the good news is that I have a lot of Julie Klassen books that I haven’t read yet!
I finally got the Rachael Bloome book today! But I am in the middle of 7 other books 🤦🏼♀️ so will have to wait to start it. 🥲
Books I completed in January:
– Blessings on State Street by Rachael Bloome. Amazing, as you know!
– Faith from Fiction by various authors. This was a devotional different from any other I’ve read. It is all fiction authors and they took snippets from books they have written to pull a life lesson. I only gave it 4 stars because I felt many of the devotions were heavy, instead of uplifting.
– Christmas Present by Laurel Hawkes. This is a novella in the Holiday series that I have mentioned before. (And by the way, this is the pen name for blogger Judy over at https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com. I don’t usually mention it because I am not sure if she minds. But she does advertise these books, so…)
– Abide by Jen Wilkin. This was a Bible study that I was looking forward to. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought, mainly because it was a lot of work. I know with Bible studies you have to answer questions and whatnot. This one just seemed extra to me? Good content though.
– Devotional: Drawing Closer to Christ: 31 Days of Inspirational Writings to Encourage Your Faith in Jesus by Dawn Ivey. This was a 31-day devotional. Very encouraging. (Dawn is another blogger I follow at https://drawingclosertochrist.com.)
– Leap of Faith Day by Laurel Hawkes (novella in the Holiday series)
– All or Nothin by Laurel Hawkes (novella in the Holiday series)
– Drawing Closer to Christ: Honoring Jesus at Work: 10 Day Devotional for Strength in the Workplace by Dawn Ivey. This was a 10 day devotional that was very encouraging.
– The Bible Recap by Tara-Leigh Cobble. I started this last August, so it took me about 6 months. It is intended to be read in a year. But I am crazy about year-long devotionals and feel itchy about getting them off my plate. Lol. But this book was excellent and I highly recommend it. Basically it goes through the entire Bible to give a deeper understanding and insight.
– At the Table with Jesus by Louie Giglio. Another great devotional that helps the reader to learn more about Jesus and how He is always there for us.
I know it seems like I read a lot, but some of these books were short. And in some cases I binge read. So I don’t expect to keep up this pace all year. But we will see! 😅
Please let me know if you did / didn’t get a comment from me. I tried to comment, but didn’t see it post. Maybe it was too long!! 😬
Busy day and I knew it would be totally impossible to finish any of the books I have started since I have just shy of a million.
I’m glad you were saved from finishing a book today! Lol
I thought about it after that first year, keeping the same title going, but I decided to switch it up every year so the name of the blog posts wouldn’t be duplicated or super close. I overthought it and doomed myself to this over-involved process of picking a great title every January. Lol
I still haven’t gotten the box set – when I just went to the other Mardel location this past weekend, they didn’t have it either.
I actually don’t remember Kristin Hannah having foul language. I enjoyed her book because of that I think because I actually thought it would be. I didn’t know much about her before! I expected more secular from her honestly.
That’s probably a good idea on Klassen. You have more self control than I. Lol
I hope you finish your other books quickly so you can get to Rachael Bloome’s book. ☺️
I want to read Faith from Fiction, sounds interesting!
I need to check that Holiday series out because you’ve been reading those a while now and love them.
I think I marked the Abide study as want to read. I’ll have to consider the “a lot of work” part. Haha
A 31 day devotional sounds great for a 31 day month! I’ll have to try it.
I feel that way about year long books too but I’m dedicated to my chronological Bible in a year plan so I’m sticking with it and not getting ahead lol
All your books sound great and uplifting! Thank you for sharing 🤗 I don’t think I will read 10 books very month but it’s possible… lol