Posted in Book Reviews

Second Five Books of 2016

Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.

-Jane Eyre

You can find books 1-5 of 2016 here!

*SPOILER!* I may include some of the book’s plot/content in my reviews for them, so if you haven’t read one or more of these yet and want to read it without spoilers, then you can just skip down. *

6. A Line in the Sand by Sherry Garland – Another Dear America. 🙂 You would think that I’ve read all of them, but nope, there are still plenty more I need to check off my list. This one was about the fight at the Alamo. I loved the look into Texan history and the presence of danger the author gave us of the Mexicans marching forward. Not one of my favorite Dear Americas, but certainly a unique one.

7. R My Name is Rachel by Patricia Reilly Giff – I believe this is the first historical fiction told in present tense that I ever read. It struck me about halfway through reading that this was definitely not written in past tense and it caught me by surprise. I hated books written in present tense with a passion growing up, but I’ve slowly adjusted myself since (I could never write in present tense myself, but I digress). There are a couple of Giff’s books that have really moved me (Willow Run and Nory Ryan’s Song, mainly). However, I have read quite a few of her other books since reading my favorites and they just haven’t impressed me as much. This one takes place during the Great Depression and I felt it was a good depiction of the simple life they led with no unnecessary dramatizations. So, nothing big, but very sweet all the same.

8. * Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – I had intended to write a book highlight post for this book, but I guess it never happened. It was required reading for school (i.e., I asked Mom if it could be required reading 😉 ) and I absolutely loved it. Brontë’s writing style is impeccable and obviously her plot is enticing and her characters engaging, to say the least. I had seen one of the movie versions before reading, so I knew the big plot twist at the end. But what really struck me more than any plot twist was Jane’s moral character. She was treated like dirt growing up, but used it as a tool to become a stronger person instead of an excuse to mope around. Although the age gap between Jane and Mr. Rochester is a little difficult to swallow, what really sets them apart as a romantic couple is that despite their age difference, their personalities are so compatible. Never had Jane met someone who thought about life as deeply and keenly as she did. And, never had Mr. Rochester so felt the desire to be good than when he was faced with such purity and innocence as was in Jane. Add the plethora of Christian themes…and you have a classic.

9. * Lady Susan by Jane Austen – Now, this was a fun one. I didn’t even know about this little novella until a movie (Love and Friendship) was coming out based on it. A friend and I quickly read the book before seeing the movie together. What an experience! This book is told entirely through letters, which is rare and fun. It’s so different than Pride and Prejudice or Emma, you would hardly know it was the same author…except for her writing style. Oh, if I could only write as Austen did! I would recognize her style anywhere. Anyway, it was definitely more of a humorous tale than a romance, but I enjoyed watching the characters react to all the situations Austen put them in.

10. Get Real by John S. Leonard – I read this book on evangelism as “homework” for my Kenya mission trip. While I didn’t agree with everything Leonard put forth, I did feel that his approach to evangelism was a breath of fresh air. The church often (though perhaps unintentionally) puts pressure on their Evangelical churches to evangelize to whomever–whenever–however! But Leonard, on the other hand, gave us real life examples of how building relationships with people is a much more realistic and reliable way to share the gospel to those who do not know it yet.

* Books that I highly recommend have a * next to them

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