I can’t believe another year is wrapping up. Where does the time go? Life was obviously busy this month, but I was able to squeeze in a little bit of reading time. Here’s what was in my December Book Stack:
THE HOLY BIBLE
About two weeks into 2021, a friend mentioned that she was using The Bible Recap to read through the Bible chronologically in one year. I recognized the name, and realized I had seen several other friends post about this Bible challenge as well. Y’all know I love a good challenge. So even though I was already two weeks behind, I decided to print out the reading plan and jump on board. I’m so glad I did!
Reading through the Bible chronologically was truly transforming. It is not the same as in-depth Bible study, which is what I am more used to. However, there is something about reading God’s story start to finish that paints a picture of God and humanity that we can miss if we’re too focused on individual ideas and verses. Both are necessary, but I think the overview is often the more neglected of the two.
I hope to share a blog post soon on some of the things I learned. For now I will simply say that I highly recommend it! If you are interested, The Bible Recap is a wonderful resource to help you accomplish it!
Caraval and Legendary by Stephanie Garber
I have been craving a good YA Fantasy series (it feels like I’ve read them all!). So, I was super excited when my oldest daughter, Sarah, came home from the bookstore with Caraval over Thanksgiving break. Unfortunately, she accidentally took it back to college with her, so I had to wait until she came home for winter break to actually read it.
I love this series! There is one more book in the trilogy, but since I haven’t read it yet, I will save it for my January book stack. As an author, Garber does a terrific job in this series of balancing showing and telling. Her language is beautiful and descriptive, but also purposeful. She quickly pulled me into the magic of Caraval, and once inside, I didn’t want to leave!
Caraval is a once-a-year, real-life game organized by a magician named Legend. Think Carnival meets Murder Mystery meets Escape Room. In the first book, a young sailor persuades our protagonist, Scarlett, into participating in Caraval. However, she quickly learns the prize is saving her younger sister, Tella, who has been kidnapped by Legend. As the characters weave in and out of the story, it becomes impossible for Scarlett (and the readers) to know what is real and what is part of the game. I love an unpredictable plot that keeps me guessing! Caraval did not disappoint.
Without giving any spoilers, the second book, Legendary, traces the steps of a different protagonist as she plays her own version of Caraval. This time there is way more at stake than in the first game. And just as before, it is nearly impossible to tell what is true and what is part of the game. This is the kind of story that kept me reading into the wee hours of the night because I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t started the third one yet (just finished Lendary this morning!), but Sarah really liked it. Be sure to read next month’s book stack to find out my thoughts on the final book!
Well, friends, those were the books in my December book stack. It looks like I finished the year having read 42 books. There are a few I started that I wasn’t able to finish… maybe next year! Hopefully I will wrap up my year-end review in the next week or two and get it up on the blog so you can see which ones I recommend (and which ones I don’t).
In the meantime, I am already preparing my January stack, and I will be starting a new reading challenge for 2022. Do you have any suggestions? I would love to hear them!
What are the best books you read in 2021? And what’s on your nightstand?