Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Episode 56- The Christian Bookworm Podcast

You can listen right here or through Amazon // Anchor // Apple // Google // Overcast // Pocket Casts // Radio Public // RSS // Spotify // Stitcher 

General show notes page 

Share a Christian book recommendation for episode 60! Email it to skbell36@gmail.com or leave a voice message for me to play on the show! 

Fiction - What Happens Next by Christina Suzanne Nelson // More Than We Remember 

nonfiction - Mom Set Free by Jeannie Cunnion  

children - Like Me by Laura Wifler 

Other fiction featuring special needs characters - A Thousand Tomorrows // Tacos for Two // Deadline // The Edge of Everywhen // When Stars are Scattered (secular) 

Don't forget to send me your recommendations for a great Christian buck through email, social media, or by leaving a voicemail for the show

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Friday, March 17, 2023

WWII Books on my Personal TBR shelf

I have found a lot of enjoyment in exploring all kinds of history through fiction but WWII stories are still my favorite. 

New ones sneak in all the time between review books and audio books but here's a list of WWII fiction currently on my TBR shelves. I'll list out WWII Books I've already read and loved at the end. 

The Auschwitz Escape (Christian, historical fiction)... I first heard about this in a What Should I Read Next episode where a Christian Grandma loved this book that appeals to men. I later passed it on to my grandpa and he plowed through it in under 48 hours. I'm hopeful that it'll be a yes for my son's high school shelves!

Bonhoeffer (Christian, nonfiction)... I have always found Dietrich Bonhoeffer's story to be powerful and inspiring so high hopes for this one!

The Boy Who Dared (secular, middle grade, TGTB book)... Based on a true story, about the youngest person Nazis sentenced to death.

Catching the Wind (Christian, time slip)... An old man searching for the sister he lost during the Holocaust. Probably heart-wrenching? I love Melanie Dobson books.

Children of the Stars (Christian, historical fiction)... I tried another Mario Escobar book (Remember Me) which was dark, depressing, and full of horrible things involving children. I was super excited for Children of the Stars before that but I've been nervous about it ever since.

Emancipated Heart (Christian, historical fiction)... I met Jan Cline when I attended the Spokane Christian Writers Conference and I have been meaning to read her Japanese internment camp novel ever since!

Everyone Brave is Forgiven (secular, historical fiction)... I have a feeling this award-winning secular novel will be too gritty for me but I so hope not!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (secular, historical fiction, epistolary)... I love epistolary novels but have given up on this one twice now. It's loved and recommended by so many people so maybe third time's the charm?

Henry's Red Sea (secular, middle grade, TGTB book)... A boy and his family running away from the Russians at the end of WWII.

Jane and Henry: A World War II Adventure (middle grade, TGTB book)... Children evacuated from London and sent to the countryside.

On the Edge of the Fjord (middle grade, TGTB book)... Set in Norway and I love a good Norway book!

Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky (secular, middle grade, TGTB book)...  Japanese Internment camp story

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (Christian, time slip)... A contemporary young woman returns to her family's English cottage and stumbles upon a 60 year old murder! Time slip.

Snow Falling on Cedars (secular, historical fiction)... This Japanese internment camp story has been on my shelf since my junior year of high school!! My English teacher planned to go through it with us but then she got super sick and we had a substitute for like two months so never read it. I have heard great things!

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (secular, nonfiction)... The true story behind The Sound of Music (we like the Carrie Underwood version best). Yes, please! 

Things We Didn't Say (Christian, historical fiction, epistolary)... I love a good epistolary novel and I've been looking forward to this one since it first came out! 

Vienna Prelude (Christian, historical fiction)... A friend told me this is one of her favorite authors and there so many books in this series!

Within These Lines (secular, YA)... This Japanese internment story is by blink so should be a clean YA novel. But it's also a love story so we'll see! 

Already read + loved (not exhaustive... Will readdress when I've unpacked the rest of my books!): 

Picture Books (post-WWII): Boxes for Katje // Christmas Tapestry // Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot // A New Coat for Anna 

Chapter books: The Little Riders 

Middle Grade: Bicycle Spy // The Boy on the Wooden Box // Brian's Victory // Candy Bomber // Echo // An Elephant in the Garden // Faithful Spy // The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History // Hunger Winter // The Plot to Kill Hitler // Snow Treasure // Shadow of His Hand // Twenty and Ten // When the Soldiers Were Gone 

Adults: Hidden Among the Stars // The Hiding Place // The Italian Ballerina // The Lines Between Us // Until Leaves Fall in Paris // What I Would Tell You // When Twilight Breaks // Whose Waves These Are // The Winter Rose 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Recent Reads

12 Story Library books- 12 Epic Rescues // 12 Extreme Survival Stories // 12 Suspenseful Mysteries (secular, nonfiction, chapter books)... My son and I are so into these stories and have been looking into quite a few of the people we've learned about.

Cavall of Camelot (secular, middle grade)... I'm not super comfortable with a lot of the spiritual world elements of this book but it was engaging.

Compassion: Seeing With Jesus's Eyes by Joshua Mack (Christian nonfiction)... This was a very short read (I believe it was 48 pages?) I wanted to read because of my 2023 intention of growing in compassion and empathy for some difficult people. It didn't deep dive into difficult people like I would have liked but it was a good read with good points. 

The Forgotten Puppy by Holly Webb (secular, chapter book)... We first discovered this series through The Good and the Beautiful Book list but a few of my kids love it so I've read several of these now. They're pretty formulaic and this one was unsurprisingly just fine.

The Glass Castle (Christian, middle grade)... I really enjoyed this audio book experience and I look forward to reading book 2 soon!

Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition (middle grade // history // nonfiction)... This story is not new to me but the young readers edition was. Good read! Added it to our 6th grade shelves. 

On the Bright Side (Christian, nonfiction)... I really loved the feel of this book. I got through it very quickly because I was always excited to pick it up and often wanted to squeeze in one more chapter. Fair warning though- There was some great spiritual mixed with a lot of worldly content and one chapter had a curse word ($h!t) I think 3-4 times.  

Take One (contemporary Christian fiction)... Book 1 of the next Baxter Family installment! I was not at all looking forward to the introduction of the new characters but I loved it within a few chapters and now I am just so excited to see where things go with them! 

Writing with Rosie (secular, chapter book, nonfiction)... Loved this 3rdish grade writing book by a TGTB book list author. Looking forward to reading more of her work now! 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Easter Books!  

Amon's Adventure (Christian, middle grade)... This is a devotional style biblical fiction four middle graders but I enjoyed it too. Sarah McKenzie of Read Aloud Revival encourages you to just read the story rather than the devotional element and I have to agree.

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett (secular, picture book)... This is fully secular, all Easter eggs and bunnies, but I can't resist Jan Brett's gorgeous illustrations!

The Easter Story by Carol Heyer (Christian, picture book)... Love this one! Beautiful message at the beginning and end, lovely way of writing out the Easter story, and lovely illustrations.

The Easter Story by Patricia A Pingry (Christian, picture book)... This is one of our books that gets read every Easter. Very cut and dry, the Easter story with simple illustrations that we all like.

The Friends of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury (Christian nonfiction) ... This biblical fiction by Karen Kingsbury was such a powerful read! I do seem to love anything she writes, at least so far, but I would highly recommend this one around Easter!

God Gave Us Easter (Christian, picture book)... We like all the books in this series so this is of course a fun one to pull out and read every year at Easter.

The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown (secular, picture book)... Technically I do not adore this book, although I do like it fine, but it is special because it belonged to my husband when he was little. It's fun to pull a book out of the shelf that we know daddy once read during his childhood Easters!

The Legends of Easter Treasury- The Legend of the Easter Egg // The Legend of the Easter Robin // The Legend of the Sand Dollar (Christian, picture book)... I love all three of these stories, which you can find as standalones as well.

Precious Moments The Joy of Easter and The Wonder of Easter (Christian, picture book)... We enjoy both of them. Precious Moments was a part of my childhood and I still love the sweet illustrations to this day.

Rufus and Ryan Celebrate Easter (Christian, board book)... This one is a board book for the littlest Easter lovers and the series was a hit for our family during our board book days. 

The Tale of the Three Trees (Christian, picture book)... I recommend this beautifully written book at both Christmas and Easter and you will see why once you read it! There is such a beautiful, powerful message in this book about three trees being cut down and turned into something powerful in the life of Jesus. 

The Time of Easter by Suzanne Richterkessing (Christian, picture book)... Church mice explain the Lutheran practices surrounding Easter. Cute illustrations, informative in an understandable way.