Great Reads for Autumn 2016

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I’ve recently had to move house and leave my job due to unforeseen circumstances. Thankfully I now have another job in the pipeline, once all the paper work has gone through.

It’s been a tough couple of months, but it has meant that in the last few weeks I have had time to catch up on doing some of the things I love, like reading and crochet!

These are books I have read and enjoyed during this transient time, that I think others will enjoy as well. I am thankful to the publishers and Netgalley for allowing me to read the following in exchange for an honest review. Continue reading

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What I’ve Been Reading Recently

I spend a lot of my free time in the bath with my head in a book, that was no different over the Christmas Holidays! And I managed to read some great ones, which I thought I would take the opportunity to share.

25316736The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

A tale of an old wedding chapel, built in the middle of the woods. A story of two couples undone. A tale of faith and hope, but most of all a good and proper love story! I love books which are set on a dual tie frame, and also books which are based around family secrets. This book ticked both of these boxes. It also seamlessly blended the Christian aspects in a non cringeworthy manner.
If you enjoy Nicholas Sparks books and movies, I would recommend this although, spoiler alert! It has a much happier ending than his books!

24974122The Painters Daughter by Julie Klassen

A lot of people can be quite sceptical about Christian fiction. Although I read some myself I can understand why. Sometimes these stories can be overly sentimental or simplistic, reading (how I imagine) a Mills and Boon novel would..
The Painters Daughter left me with none of these worries. It was genuinely good, not just good- for a Christian novel.
I loved reading about the mess Sophie found herself in after becoming unexpectedly pregnant, and marrying the fathers brother, to save face.
I found her feelings realistic, and liked the fact hat neither herself, or any of the other characters were perfect people. There was some spiritual aspects, and the main character grew in her faith throughout the story, but it was never too in your face.
There was also a Secret Passage, which satisfied the Enid Blyton loving child in me!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty19486412

This is not a Christian book, so more sensitive readers may want to read with caution.

Oh my goodness, I could not put this book down. Within the first chapter we find out that someone has been murdered at a school quiz night for parents, we just don’t know who it was… or who did it.

As we read through the book we discover the deadly impact which secrets, kept by both parents and kindergarten children can have. It was gripping reading, with some massive twists. However reading this did make me a little terrified to have children and meet the playground mafia for myself.

Also, it’s being made into a major TV series, starring Reece Witherspoon, very soon. So if you like being ahead of the crowd and being able to say: “I read the book first,” then I would recommend picking it up ASAP.

22668636Tongue Pierced by Nelson Searcy

Okay, so I haven’t actually finished reading this book yet, but I’m already being more than challenged about the importance of words and how we should use them. (Also I thought I should add in some non-fiction to make myself look more intellectual!) If I’m totally honest, I was worried that this book might be quite dry, but it is actually really readable, full of relevant, real life stories.

It’s highly recommended and only 99p as a kindle download at the moment, so grab it while its cheap!

So tell me, what great books have you been reading recently?

 

 

 

My Christian Fiction Challenge!

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Although I love reading, I haven’t read much Christian fiction, apart from the chronicles of Narnia and a couple by Francine Rivers. I guess I thought they would probably be cheesy, so never bothered to pick one up! Well recently, I thought I really should put my prejudices aside and give some a go. I set my self the challenge to read three books, and thought I might as well review them here.

IMG_0230From The Start by Melissa Tagg

I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed reading this very sweet romance, although it’s not something I would usually choose.

Kate Walker is an aspiring writer, suffering from writers block and still getting over a relationship which ended several years previously. She meets Colton Greene, whilst visiting her family in Maple Valley. Both of these characters are carrying a lot of excess baggage from the past which makes it hard for them to trust and build a new relationship with each other.

All of the characters in this story were likeable and easy to relate to. I loved the American Mid West setting, especially the parts set in Chicago, as this is where my husband grew up.

The story is told from both Kate and Colton’s point of view, some thing I always enjoy, so we are able to get inside both of their heads. I really enjoyed watching them grow as characters, overcome obstacles and move on from their paths.

I was surprised at the start of the book how little their faith was mentioned, however by the end you could see God’s hand on both of their lives, and how their faith affected the choices they made. This is ultimately a story of learning to forgive, move on from the past and of trust in God for the future

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a sweet romantic story with something a little bit deeper. I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for further books in this series.

IMG_0229Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

I was really excited to read this book.  I loved the premise: After her father dies, a woman discovers her entire life has all been a lie; the mother, brother and sister she believed to have died in a house fire when she was a child are actually still alive. She then goes on a path of unravelling the lies she has been fed her entire life and discovering who she really is. I really like stories where family secrets come to light, so this did not disappoint. There is also a nice romantic sub plot, which was very cute.

Whilst this book wasn’t entirely realistic, it was a fun and entertaining read. There is a lot of soul-searching in this book and the character does grow in her faith, however I did feel that the whole faith aspect was kind of tacked on, as an afterthought, and at times it did feel a little bit preachy. I felt that this book could have gone a little bit deeper, in faith and other areas, as it has a really great premise, the author could have definitely done a bit more with the subject of fathers. These are just my opinions though.

However, this is definitely a decent book, and I was gripped throughout, wanting to find out what happened next. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys stories with a little bit of mystery.

IMG_0228The Creole Princess by Beth White

Out of the three books I read this was probably my favourite. Set in the gulf coast of America this is an exciting story about Lyse, a daughter of a freed slave and a Frenchman, living in a turbulent period of history.

This book tackles a lot of issues, most notably racism and slavery. Lyse’s cousin is a slave in bondage, whilst Lyse herself is a free woman. This obviously brings up a lot of questions, and strong links can be drawn between this story and the freedom that we find in Christ. This book certainly made me think about what it means to be truly free.

This book is fast paced, there is a lot of action, to keep you turning the pages It also has not one, but three great romances! Again the character in this story were all Christians, but they were maybe a little bit too perfect. Despite that, I really enjoyed reading this book, and would recommend it.

I enjoyed reading all three of these Christian novels a lot more than I thought I would. Yes, they were a little bit cheesy, and there and there seemed to be a bit of theme where the romantic interests were recovering from sporting injuries! But they did keep me entertained for a couple of hours. It was also refreshing to know that there would be nothing explicit in the books. I will definitely be reading more Christian fiction in the future, but not exclusively.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post!

Do you ever read Christian fiction?

Are there any books you would recommend?