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Reading Year in Review

I love to read. That has always been a thing about me. While I was in Seminary the bulk of my reading time was taken up with text books, required readings, and assignments. While I did enjoy a lot of what I was reading it wasn’t what I wanted to be reading. What I wanted to be doing was getting lost in a fictional world where all the problems get wrapped up in a nice pretty bow at the end of the story. I wanted to make friends with the characters.

When I graduated from seminary the first year after was spent with working full time, schooling the kids, and trying to get Dusty through another semester. Then the world kind crashed down around our feet and we moved and I was back in survival mode. I did a lot of reading at the end of 2019 but 2020 really became a year of reading for me.

So here is a review of the books I read (or listened to) during 2020

Books I Read for Myself

The Shadow Dragons, The Dragon’s Apprentice & The Dragons of Winter are the 4th, 5th & 6th books in The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series. I discovered this series in 2019 and had hoped to continue through this year. Unfortunately, our public library doesn’t have a copy of the 7th and final book in this series in its catalog. It is my hope to purchase the 6th book at some point, read it, then donate it to the library so they can have the complete set. I may also choose to purchase the complete set just to have in my own personal library as well. Who knows. This series has a lot of fun twists and turns that I really have enjoyed. It’s also a lot more fun when you have a good working knowledge of classic literature and authors.

This is one that focuses on church revitalization. We as a family are in the midst of this season in our ministry and life. This book hones in on the question “What is there about a dying church that brings glory to God?” As you could imagine, the answer is “Nothing. Nothing at all.” Mark Clifton, the author of this book discusses how dying churches can make a come back, reclaim lost ground, and bring glory to God again. I recommend this book to anyone who is in the midst of a struggling church setting.

This book was a random book my mom and I stumbled upon while we were in a local bookstore. It almost jumped off the shelf at my mom and after reading the teaser on the back she just had to buy it. She read through it in a matter of days and passed it on to me. I read it almost as quickly. The fun thing is that it is the beginning of a series as well and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books. In truth its designed to be a book for older elementary and middle school aged kids but I truly enjoyed the whole thing.

Books We Read for School

The thing I love the most about our chosen curriculum program for homeschool is that it is centered around books. We get the opportunity to read a lot of wonderful different types of books. I tend to count the read aloud books we read together on my Goodreads challenges for a couple reasons: 1) I am generally the one doing the reading and 2) They are almost always books that I have never read before which means I’m learning new things right along with the kids. These are three books that we have read this year. All three of them were written very conversationally and helped to bring the history they represented to life for the kids. They asked a lot of great questions that lead to a lot of fun discussion.

Along with historical read alouds we also have some fun fiction read aloud book. This is one we have read so far this year. This is a fictional story from the perspective of a young servant boy in Phillipi. It tells the story of the foundation of the Philippian church and the journey this young boy takes to find faith in Jesus Christ. This is another story that had the kids asking questions and led to us getting into some great conversations as well, especially with my 10 year old who is beginning to think a bit deeper.

Books I Listened To

Ok, so I am IN LOVE with audio books. And yes, I still count them as books I have “read” even though I just listened because I am enjoying the story and I’m not staring at a TV screen while I’m working or exercising. So, a lot of the books I have made it through in 2020 have been audio books. Here are a few:

This is the first “prequal” of the Shadowhunter series. I actually found Clockwork Angel on our local library online platform first and got super hooked. I listened through the whole series of the three. It follows the story of Tess, Jem, and Will as they navigate life, love, and the most unlikely of circumstances.

This is the original Shadowhunter series. This series follows Tessa, Jace, Isabelle, Alec, and Simon in the modern world. They are trying to fight against demons, downworlders, and family ties all while still only being teenagers. These are the first 3 of the series. There are 3 more that I plan to either read or listen to in the new year. The author Cassandra Clare has created an entire world through these books with multiple spinoff series. I am looking forward to reading or listening through all that are available.

And lastly, The Case of the Missing Marquess. This is the 1st in the Enola Holmes mystery series. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes you will enjoy these books as well. They follow Sherlock’s younger sister as she works to solve her own mystery and avoid detection from her older brothers. Netflix just released a theatrical version of this book and I will be honest, it isn’t all that far off from the story. Of course, the book is much better than the movie but I will enjoy watching through the movie again from time to time.

So there it is. A brief overview of what I read in 2020. I have a lot of reading goals for 2021 but that is a post for another time!

What was your favorite read of 2020? Let me know in the comments!

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