December 29, 2016

10 Great Reads of 2016

My reading goal for 2016 was 55 books and I was able to surpass that by 4 books to 59. It always amazes me when I get to the end of the year and see how much I've actually read!

Most on my list this year are non-fiction, with only two fiction favorites. It's always so hard to pick what I loved the most, but I really enjoyed all of these.

I've also been slowly reading through the book of Psalms this past year. Such a beautiful book. I'm hoping to do another post on some of them. Here is a link to my first post... The Psalms

I didn't blog as much this year (I took off about 6 months!) and so I didn't write about most of these books but the one's I have, I will leave a link to.

Now onto my top 10 reads of this year, in no particular order...

At Home with Jane Austen -  I really enjoyed this book! Filled with lovely photos and great information about the places Jane Austen lived. You can read my thoughts on this book... HERE

A. Lincoln - This one took me quite awhile to get through, but I really enjoyed reading about the political system in the United States and how it worked in Lincoln's time, as well as about Lincoln himself. Long read, but well worth it.

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert - Rosaria's story was fascinating. And I found her book lovingly and thoughtfully written, as well as humbling to read. She was a English professor who lived with her lesbian partner, when she encountered God. She says here of her conversion:

"Conversion put me in a complicated and comprehensive chaos. I sometimes wonder, when I hear other Christians pray for the salvation of the “lost,” if they realize that this comprehensive chaos is the desired end of such prayers. Often, people asked me to describe the “lessons” that I learned from this experience. I can’t. It was too traumatic. Sometimes in crisis, we don’t really learn lessons. Sometimes the result is simpler and more profound: sometimes our character is simply transformed." 

If you are a Christian and would like to learn how to lovingly interact with the LGBTQ community, I highly recommend this book. As Rosaria's humbling words say here: "Homosexuality is a sin, but so to is homophobia." 

Parables - I'm just finishing this one, so I'm including it here. I love John MacArthur's books and this one is no exception. He thoroughly goes through several parables of Jesus in an easy and understandable way. I may write about this one in the new year.

The Magnolia Story - Loved this book! And love their show! You can read my thoughts.... HERE

Little Women - I can't believe it took me this long to get to this book! This beautiful novel is filled with the love of family, and the nostalgia of a time gone by. I've loved the 1949 version of the movie since I was a little girl, and now, I will treasure this book for years to come.

God's Pursuit of Man - Loved this one, as I always love Tozer's books. You can read some excerpts...HERE

Ruth - This classic novel was very moving and I really enjoyed it. You can read my thoughts... HERE

Prayer - This was an intense book! Timothy Keller does a great job defining true prayer from a wide range of Christian forefathers, such as Augustine, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards and John Owen, as well as more recent Christians such as J. I. Packer, C.S. Lewis and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

He also looks closely at the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9–13. It took some time to get through this one, but definitely a book worth reading.

Dear Abigail - I really enjoyed this biography of Abigail Adams (the wife of John Adams) and her two sisters. It takes us from their childhood until their deaths.

What a time period to live in (the American revolution and the birth of a new nation, the United States of America) and what lives they lived, especially Abigail. This book was based on the many letters the sisters wrote to each other, and it was interesting to hear of their beliefs, their every day lives and their relationships with family and friends.

                                                              HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

December 10, 2016

Merry Christmas!

"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."                                                 Isaiah 9:6-7


                           Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season! 

                    Be sure to stop by at the end of the month for my top ten great reads of 2016!  : )

December 4, 2016

99 Stories of the Game by Wayne Gretzky

I was raised on Hockey Night in Canada.

Though I'm not a huge hockey buff or follow every move in the sport, it's always been very special to me. Special because watching those games, as a child,  was when I bonded with my dad. My dad loves hockey and he rarely missed Hockey Night in Canada. If we wanted to watch TV that night, we had to watch hockey.

My dad always included his daughters in the game. Always happy to answer our endless questions about what was going on. It was his way of showing us he loved us and we felt it in his respect for us as girls watching hockey.

When I saw this book I just had to read it and I'm so glad I did. It's filled with stories from the 99 years of hockey history written by one of it's greatest players, Wayne Gretzky. These stories are not only informative of the sport, but also filled with many heartwarming stories.

One of my favorites was of Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay who in 1966 decided not to go to the awards ceremony, because women were not allowed. He wanted his wife and family to share in his moment and because they couldn't, he didn't go.

It says here:

"He (Ted Lindsay) was induced into the Hall of Fame in 1966, but declined to go to the ceremony because women weren't allowed into the event. He felt his wife and family were part of his career and they deserved to be there. The next year, the rules changed and families were invited."

I really enjoyed the historical parts of this book. One example, is how the Chicago Blackhawks got their name. In the 1920's, Major Frederic McLaughlin bought a Canadian team from Regina, Saskatchewan and moved it to Chicago.

It says here:

"In civilian life, McLaughlin was the president of his family's coffee import business. He'd taken a leave of absence during the First World War to join a machine gun unit in the U.S. Army. His unit's nickname was the Blackhawks after Black Sparrow Hawk, a Sauk warrior (part of the Algonquian people) who fought on the side of the British in the War of 1812. And so that's what McLaughlin called his hockey team."

I also enjoyed the history behind some of the awards given out to exceptional hockey players and teams.

The Vezina, The Lady Byng and The Stanley Cup.

In these chapters Gretzky shares the stories of Lady Evelyn Byng, wife of the governor general of Canada in the 1920's. George Vezina, a great goalie in the early 1900's and Lord Stanley of Preston, governor general of Canada in the 1880's. These were all such interesting stories.

Wayne Gretzky throws in a few great stories of his own throughout the book as well, which I absolutely loved. I mean who doesn't love Wayne Gretzky? One particular story surprised me, a story of a trade that didn't go through, a trade to the Vancouver Canucks. I had to ponder that one for awhile since Vancouver is my team! I'm still trying to imagine what hockey would have been like if Gretzky had played for us. : )

I highly recommend this book to any and all hockey lovers. It would also make an excellent Christmas gift for loved ones who enjoy the game.

Buy it HERE on Amazon