Reading Recap

Since I took a two year hiatus on this blog, I’ve not kept you all up to date on the books I’ve been reading. And thanks to the pandemic I’ve read a lot in those two years: 114 books in 2020 and 96 and counting this year. That’s an average of over 2 books a week. Of course I could not possibly read this much if not for audiobooks and my beloved Hoopla Digital.

So when I was getting my website ready to relaunch I took a look at my favorites list. I removed books I hadn’t read in a while and could no longer vouch for. And then I went through my Goodreads list and marked down all of my new favorites.

I’ll list them here with some mini reviews, but I might come back later and do some Favorite Book Features on some of them. You’ll notice that this list is no longer all young adult or science fiction. I’ve started reading a lot more Christian nonfiction and children’s fiction, and I highly recommend all of these!

Christian Nonfiction

  • Heaven by Randy Alcorn
    • If you have any questions about Heaven and Hell and the New Earth, read this book. It’s long and difficult, but it will fill you with more hope than you could possibly imagine.
  • Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
    • Based on neuroscience, this book is full of practical advice about changing thought patterns and truly renewing your mind (Romans 12:2). Jennie Allen is quickly becoming one of my favorite Bible teachers.
  • Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson
    • In this book Andrew Peterson shares his journey as a signer-songwriter and author. He and I think the same way about wanting to make art as a Christian, but not “Christian art.” This book gives incredible advice about making beautiful art in our broken world.
  • The Radiant Midnight by Melissa Maimone
    • This is the best book I’ve read on depression. I highly recommend it if you or someone you love struggles with depression.
My new favorite Christian nonfiction books: The Radiant Midnight by Melissa Maimone, Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen, Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson, and Heaven by Randy Alcorn

Young Adult

  • We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler
    • I love this story about a teenager in 1965 running away to join the circus and her granddaughter 50 years later, who is forced to leave the circus just after her grandmother’s death. This book was a great inspiration to my work-in-progress, which is also a story told across generations.
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
    • This is hands-down the funniest book I have ever read. It’s a fantasy spoof on Lady Jane Grey and King Edward VI. Listen to the audiobook. You won’t regret it. (I have four times already!)
  • The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle
    • This is a beautiful contemporary story about a girl with epilepsy dealing with losing her father and going to public school for the first time. I love this story because my dog has epilepsy, so I could relate to it, and it gave me a glimpse into what my dog goes through. I also love the book because the main character has to choose whether to retreat back into her safe life at home or be brave and join the bigger world.
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
    • I read this science fiction romance book once several years ago as an ebook (which I don’t like doing, so the book didn’t make much of an impact on me), but when I read it again recently in print I fell in love. This is one of the best love stories I’ve ever read.
  • I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
    • This book follows two teenage girls, one black and one white, as they face questions of race and equality when a race riot breaks out at their high school football game. This book helped me to understand things from different perspectives.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
    • I’ve already shared about these books, but after reading them several more times I’ve now added them to my favorites list. These fairytale retellings are super fun and imaginative.
Some of my new favorite young adult Books: The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler, and My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Children’s/Middle Grade

  • The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
    • Erin Entrada Kelly is a new-to-me author, who I found on Hoopla. I quickly read through most of her books and fell in love. This book is about two young girls from the Philippines who share stories to give themselves hope in their hard circumstances, and it greatly reminded me of my own book.
  • We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly
    • Another book by Erin Entrada Kelly, We Dream of Space is set in the 80s and follows three siblings as they dream of space travel and deal with family issues leading up to the Challenger explosion. As a fellow space-lover, I thought this book was incredible.
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    • I read this series for the first time as an adult last year. I read the illustrated and print versions last year, and then a second time on audio this year. I don’t think I need to describe how amazing these stories are.
  • Sheets and Delicates by Brenna Thummler
    • These graphic novels surprised me in a wonderful way. Not only is the art incredible in this ghost story, but Thummler dives deep into topics of grief and loneliness and mental health.
Two of my new favorite middle grade books: The Land of Forgotten Girls and We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

Do you have any recent favorites from reading during the pandemic?

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