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My Top 5 Books of 2022

49.

That’s how many books I read in 2022.

18,409

That is the number of pages I read in 2022

My Goodreads goal for last year was set at 52 books, one book a week. I managed to come in just under that number but several of thew were quite lengthy (I’m talking 800+ pages) so I’m still calling it a successful year in reading.

As I spent time scrolling through my Goodreads “Year in Books” review I was pleased to see the variety of reading I had done and I’ll be honest when I say that it was quite a challenge to choose my top 5 books for the year but I did it so here we go.

Favorite Nonfiction Books

Becoming Elisbeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn

Elisabeth Elliot was a young missionary in Ecuador when members of a violent Amazonian tribe savagely speared her husband Jim and his four colleagues. Incredibly, prayerfully, Elisabeth took her toddler daughter, snakebite kit, Bible, and journal . . . and lived in the jungle with the Stone-Age people who killed her husband. Compelled by her friendship and forgiveness, many came to faith in Jesus.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53419962-becoming-elisabeth-elliot

Most individuals who have been around the Christian community for any length of time has probably heard the name Elisabeth Elliot. Her ability to devote everything she had to her ministry even in the wake of unspeakable tragedy is something that has inspired many people all over the world. In this book, Ellen Vaughn introduces the reader to a young Elisabeth as she navigates life, love, calling, and trials. While many people are aware of who Elisabeth became after she was thrust into the public eye following the death of her husband and friends, not many had be given the opportunity to learn who she was prior to that fateful day. Now we all have the chance. This book was heartwarming and heart wrenching all at the same time. I highly recommend this read and I am looking forward to the second volume.

8 Great Smarts for Homeschoolers by Tina Hollenbeck

Kids don’t just learn one way . . . and that matters a lot for homeschool parents.

One of the benefits of a home education is a curriculum designed to fit each student. But that means knowing how your child learns. Not every child receives knowledge the same way. It’s up to the teacher to figure out the best way to reach each one.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57132926-8-great-smarts-for-homeschoolers

As a homeschool mom of multiple kiddos I am ALWAYS on the hunt for ways to make learning for each of my kids be enjoyable and help to instill tools in their “toolboxes” that will equip them to be life long learners. Tina Hollenbeck, after reading “8 Great Smarts” by Dr. Kathy Koch, took the same principles and adapted them to fit the homeschool family paradigm. While I believe I would have gotten quite a bit more by way of understanding each of the “smarts” if I had read Dr. Koch’s book first, the practical principles found in this book helped me to reevauate how I relate to each of the kids when we are focusing on school time. I do plan to read Dr. Koch’s book this year, however. If you are looking for a way to help your kids learn better I highly recommend this book!

Favorite Fiction Books

A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t set foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind; plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instil fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58132544-a-river-enchanted

I LOVED this book. This was one of the first books I got in my Book of the Month club subscription for 2022 and I could not put it down. It has romance, mystery, fantasy, and magic woven throughout the story. Rebecca painted a beautiful word picture that made me feel like I was transplanted to the coast of Scotland. There is a second book in the series that was just released in November I will absolutely be reading that one as soon as possible!

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.

They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller.

Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.

When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman–and a killer–of a certain age.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60149532-killers-of-a-certain-age

The best way for me to describe this one is Kill Bill meets Golden Girls. 4 women who were targeted and recruited to be assassins as young women because they could easily get lost in a crowd now find themselves on the wrong side of the mission files. This book was such a fun read for me. I have always been a fan of the spy vs spy type books, tv shows, and movies and this one didn’t disappoint. As I read this book I kept picturing both my grandmother and my great-grandmother in the place of some of the characters and I’ll be honest when I say it made it all the more entertaining. It’s nice to know that women “of a certain age” can still be forces of nature! I highly recommend!

Top Homeschool Read Aloud

Madeleine Takes Command by Ethel C. Brill

Madeleine Verchere’s story is based on a true account of colonial French Canada of the 1690’s. Harassed by Iroquois, the Verchere family’s fort must keep a continual guard. 14-year-old Madeleine is left alone with two younger brothers and few others when the Indians attack. We follow the brave and determined stratagems of Madeleine and her small circle. Madeleine’s youthful leadership, especially of her brothers, will win the reader’s admiration.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/538163.Madeleine_Takes_Command

Throughout the year our homeschool curriculum provides an opportunity for us to read books aloud together. They are usually centered around what we are studying in history. Sometimes they are biographies and sometimes they are historical fiction based on real events. This book is one like that. It tells the story of a young girl who, along with her two young brothers and a handful of loyal colonists manage to defend their fort from the violent Iroquois tribe while both her parents are away. This story shed light on what life was like in the times of the colonists. It showed the need for resilience and determination and relying on one another to see things through. If you are into historical fiction I definitely recommend this one.

Final Thoughts

I have come to realize I am a series reader. If I can find a series of books that tell a larger story I will eat them up. The problem with this is that it makes it hard to choose a favorite book. My goal for 2023 is to actually get to the 52 books this year. We will see!

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