January Reading Roundup

I’m going to take a page from Beth’s blog and start doing monthly roundup posts, detailing at least what I read and stitched during the previous month.

In January, I completed 5 books. I’ve set a goal for myself to read 75 books this year, so I think I need to up my pace, though I finished half of a book I had to return to the library, as there were holds on it, and read 95% of a book in January, but didn’t finish until yesterday, so it will have to be counted for February’s finishes.

The first book I finished in 2012 was ‘Snowflake Bride’ by Jillian Hart, the fourth book in her ‘Buttons and Bobbins’ series. The series chronicles the friendships and love stories of 7 girls in 1880s Montana. ‘Snowflake Bride’ is Ruby’s story, and it’s my favourite of the series so far. I really related with Ruby, as a shy girl, who often doesn’t feel like she deserves to be loved. Ruby is also a crocheter, like me, and the name of the book refers to the crocheted snowflakes she makes for her friends’ Christmas gifts. Because Ruby’s family is poor, and work is hard to find, she seeks employment as a maid with one of the wealthiest families in the area. Lorenzo, the family’s son, knew Ruby from school, and has been drawn to her kindness and compassion. As Lorenzo and Ruby come to know each other better through more constant interaction, they must face difficult choices if they are to find out God’s plan for their lives. (four stars)

The second book I finished was Ally Condie’s ‘Crossed’, the second book in her dystopian ‘Matched’ trilogy. In this book, Cassia, who has already started questioning what the Society wants her to do with her life, goes on a journey to find the young man she loves, Ky. The book alternates from the points of view of Cassia and Ky, as they try to find their way back to each other. Each one must also decide if they want to return to the Society, or if they are willing to risk joining the Rising and fight against the Society for a chance to choose what they will do with their lives. I enjoyed ‘hearing’ Ky’s point of view, and it helped me understand the motivation behind some of his choices. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the storyline. (four stars)

‘The Healing’ by Wanda Brunstetter is the second book in the ‘Kentucky Brothers’ series. This book tells the story of Samuel Fisher, a widower who decides to move to the Kentucky Amish community where his brother lives in hopes that the memories of his deceased wife will stop haunting him. He hires Esther Beiler to watch his children while he is working, and as Samuel heals from the loss of his precious Elsie, he finds himself drawn to Esther. Misunderstandings and jealousies arise and both Samuel and Esther must open their hearts to see God’s hand at work in their lives. (three stars)

I was so excited when it was announced that the Church would be publishing a book on the history and work of Relief Society. ‘Daughters In My Kingdom’ did not disappoint! As I made my way through the chapters, a sense of awe, and joy captured my heart at the very fact that I am a member of a society that has blessed the lives of so many. I felt inspired to try my best to live up to the examples of the righteous women of Relief Society who have gone before me. I will be reading this over and over again, to remind myself of what my Father wants me to do. (five stars)

I belong to a group of Amish fiction lovers over on GoodReads, and each month, two books are chosen for the group to read together. January’s ‘Amish’ choice was ‘Hannah’s Journey’ by Anna Schmidt. Most books in the ‘Amish fiction’ genre are set exclusively in the Amish community itself.  This book was set primarily amongst a circus community in the late 1920s. Hannah’s son, Caleb, has run away with the circus that wealthy Levi Harmon owns, and Hannah turns to Levi for help in bringing her son home to their Amish community. Levi suggests that Hannah come with him to meet up with his circus train so that she can find Caleb and bring him home, and as Hannah makes her journey to find her son, she finds unexpected friendships along the way, including one that will change the life of her and her son forever. As mentioned earlier, this book is a departure from the norm in Amish fiction, but I enjoyed it and will be reading more of Anna Schmidt’s work.  (three stars)

2012 book count ~ 5/75 

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6 thoughts on “January Reading Roundup

  1. Thank you for a nice little list of books to read. I have been so out of touch with what is happening in the world of adult literature that I haven’t read an adult anything (other than the newspaper and school newsletters in years) I trust your opinion and am grateful to have some one that I can rely on. Thanks Kate. I will some day use your list as a jumping off point to finding something to read.

  2. Yay! Glad I can inspire this post, because I love hearing what others are reading — and while I see your books on Goodreads, I always appreciate a few words about the books, too. I haven’t picked up that Daughters in My Kingdom book yet, but it sounds like I should.

  3. How inspiring you are, Kate! You’re reading goal is quite ambitious! As you recommended, I secured Lydia’s Charm from the library. I read it over just a few days (I can’t seem to moderate my reading once I get into a book), and enjoyed the new perspective gained from reading a book set within an Amish community. I’ll need to add Daughters in My Kingdom to the stack of books on my nightstand. Any further Wanda Brunstetter recommendations? Or should I try another author?

    • Well, Wanda Brunstetter and Beverly Lewis are the 2 authors who got me into reading Amish fiction. So, I’d recommend both of those authors. If continuing with Wanda Brunstetter, I’d recommend her ‘Daughters of Lancaster County’ series, which starts with “The Storekeeper’s Daughter”. If you want to start on something by Beverly Lewis, go for ‘The Postcard’. Happy Reading! 🙂

      • I put a hold on the ‘Daughters of Lancaster County’ series at my local library. It seems the entire series is available in one volume. I had to wait a couple weeks before I began to consider reading more fiction–my inability to moderate my reading, you know!

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