Sunday, September 4, 2022

9 recent audiobooks

🎧 God's Story, Your Story by Max Lucado... I tend to really love Max lucado's writing and this book was no different. I have a lot of thoughts on this one that I am going to eventually put up a full post on hopefully but there was a lot of great stuff packed into this short read so I would say it is definitely worth your time.

🎧 I'll Be Seeing You by Robin Lee Hatcher... this is one of those novels that does not fall under the category of squeaky clean or perfectly wholesome. Some characters make a very huge decision that ends up drastically changing the lives of multiple people but it was well written and engaging. The whole story is set in boise, Idaho but we have a contemporary storyline and a World War II storyline. Our contemporary heroine has been given the task of interviewing the oldest person and her family about what life was like when she was the same age. We flash back to see what was going on in our historical heroines life at that time and we are drawing connections and putting everything together as we go. I was happy with this one and will definitely seek out more by this author.

🎧 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford... I have heard about this secular novel probably a good 20 different times but I never gave it a chance until now. I absolutely loved it! We are focused on one main protagonist but we slide back and forth through time, seeing him as a young man coming of age surrounding the Pacific Northwest Japanese internment camps during World War II and seeing him now as an older gentleman exploring the artifacts recently found in the Panama Hotel while also examining his life as a widowed father. This was touching and beautiful! It wasn't perfect as far as content goes but this is probably the cleanest secular novel I have tried in a good 5 years.

🎧 Intervention trilogy by Terri Blackstock (Intervention // Vicious Cycle // Downfall)... I am not sure what got me feeling so excited about suspense but I found myself flying through these three and really interested in the characters. These are all about a family's struggles since one of their members is a drug addict and so you will absolutely see a lot of mention of drugs and drug-related violence as a result. Again, definitely not squeaky clean and wholesome but I did find these really exciting and interesting. I didn't adore any of these main characters yet I still wanted to read about them and see their stories through so that always says something! While I do think you could read the second book as a standalone you wouldn't get quite as much out of it without having read the first and the third book probably won't feel like a very good read for you if you haven't read the first book. However, you also could potentially skip the second book as long as you read the first and then the third. 

🎧 Boxcar Children #32: The Mystery in the Snow by Gertrude Chandler Warner...  I always pre-screen The Boxcar Children books because the good and the Beautiful book list said once that there are some questionable behaviors or situations and some of the books after the original 19. So far I have not encountered anything alarming and any of the ones I have read but anyway, this was my very favorite book of all The Boxcar Children books I have read so far! I really loved the sweet family message at the end of this one.

🎧 A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham... this historical fiction is set in the Black Hills back when South Dakota was still just Dakota territory. This is kind of a story about a town and that we are seeing this young Community banding together and getting to know many of the key players but the heart of it, this is a love story. You know by now that romance is not my go-to genre but I have been trying to embrace it lately since it is so heavily prevalent in Christian fiction I ended up really enjoying this one. I would also like to warn you that it does mention child loss multiple times.

🎧 I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist...  I have read each one of this authors essay Collections and I have loved them all. This one was no exception. She just has a way with words and has a way of stringing things together that make me tear up from the beauty of this life and this world. I am keenly aware of all the darkness and sadness and sorrow but I am also keenly aware that this life contains a whole lot of both and it's so precious to pause and focus on the simple and the beautiful. 

One thing I want to mention is that I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet, along with several of the other nonfiction new releases I have read in the last year and a half or so, have talked so much about the pandemic / quarantine / shutdowns / social distancing/ sheltering in place. That is only because of the timing in the publishing world and the fact that that's what was being written at that time and is now in release mode but it has been odd to read about all these things in this setting as though they were currently happening r have just started happening. It feels like something worth mentioning because I fully believe that all of that resulted in collective trauma for the masses and that some of us processed through that all easier or faster than others. It seems important to point out that a lot of the books released towards the end of 2021 and throughout 2022 do contain at least brief mentions of those themes and if you feel particularly sensitive to it you might consider checking in with people who have read these nonfiction new releases to make sure it's something that won't set you back in your personal journey. 

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