Greetings, Readers!

Looking for something good to read? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I love reading, book lists, and recommending great books to others. Please accept my humble reviews and recommendations of Christian, Classic, and Children’s books. Check out my lists of “Books Every Christian Should Read,” and feel free to comment on my articles and to offer some of your own recommendations!

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The Fight for Equality: Animal Farm

Animal Farm by George Orwell

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Although I enjoy reading fiction and read a fair amount of it (I earned my degree in English, after all), I recommend more non-fiction here on my site because for the most part, non-fiction tends to be more profitable to the mind and soul. However, I do feel there is merit to reading good fiction, which unfortunately is becoming more difficult to come by in this day and age. I find the most worthwhile fictional works were published before the 20th century, and certainly before about 1950. If you haven’t already checked it out, you can see my current list of fiction I believe every Christian should read, which I continue to add to as titles come to mind or are brought to my attention.  After reading a review of Animal Farm by a fellow Goodreads member, Natalie Vellacott, I realized that it was a novel that I should add to my list of recommended fiction. Now there have only been a couple of times that I have posted or reblogged a review that I did not write myself. And Natalie’s great review was so on-point that I figured, Why invent the wheel? I asked Natalie’s permission to share her review here, and she graciously agreed.

Animal Farm (1945) is an allegorical satire by George Orwell (himself a Socialist) which he wrote to criticize and expose the problems with Communism under the Soviet Union’s totalitarian leader, Joseph Stalin. I will let Natalie take it from here: Continue reading

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To Die is Gain: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe

A History of the Lives, Suffering and Triumphant Deaths of the Early Christian and the Protestant Martyrs

“This is a book that will never die, so long as men love and serve our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
“After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs.”

Ever since the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (see Acts chapter 7), followers of Christ have been persecuted, oppressed, imprisoned, tortured, and killed for their faith. My last post shared the story of Brother Andrew, who has dedicated his life to helping Christians living in oppressive, atheistic countries. Organizations like Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs provide support and help to many Christians around the world who are not free to worship and express their beliefs openly.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, as it came to be called, is a collection of stories of Christian martyrs through the centuries recorded by John Foxe, who was born in England in 1517, the same year that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. Continue reading

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Strenghthening What Remains: God’s Smuggler

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill

“Awake and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death” (Rev. 3:2)…Could it be that God was speaking [these words] to me right now, telling me that my life work was here behind the Iron Curtain, where His remnant Church was struggling for its life? Was I to have some part in strengthening this precious thing that remained?

Here in the U. S. we are so blessed and privileged to have free access to God’s Word, and liberty to speak about our beliefs and worship the Lord as we desire. Over the centuries and even today, this has not been the case in many places throughout the world. Brother Andrew’s story, as told in the book God’s Smuggler, gives us an idea of the oppression suffered by Christians living behind the Iron Curtain, specifically during the 1950’s and 60’s.

It was 1987, the year after my husband and I were married, that we took a trip to Macau to spend a couple weeks working with a missionary family that we knew there. One day the plan was to go on foot through the border into China, accompanied by Mrs. A. While we were tourists there to see the local sites, we also had an ulterior purpose for going there –to deliver Bibles and other Christian literature to waiting recipients. Yes, for one day my husband and I were Bible smugglers, and not only that, but we were caught! Continue reading

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Understanding – the First Step Towards Compassion: Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

“…it did not occur to them that this twelve-year-old boy might be as gifted at peace as he was at war.”

Well, I’m not a huge Sci-Fi reader, but I had seen the movie Ender’s Game and decided to give the book a try, and I’m so glad I did! One of my rules is that typically I won’t watch a movie until I’ve read the book first, but this was one of those cases where I didn’t know about the book (which was published in 1985) until after seeing the film. I still hold to my theory that the book is always better than the movie, but I am going to watch the movie again, now having read the book. This may not be the greatest science fiction novel – I don’t read that much sci-fi so I may not be the best judge – but I liked it. Continue reading

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A New New Year’s Challenge: Learn a Catechism!

Happy 2018 Everyone!

Every year at this time, I typically challenge my readers to consider reading through the entire Bible during the coming year. As I’ve said before, the Bible is not a book that is meant to be read once, then checked off a reading list and set back on the shelf. I have made it my habit to read through the whole annually for probably about 20 years or so. There are many One Year Bibles and Bible reading plans to choose from. I’ve read One Year and Chronological Bibles in different versions, and a couple years ago I started using the free YouVersion app on my phone, but there are others out there as well. If you have a long commute to work, maybe the Bible on audio would be a good way to go. The key is to find a method and format that works for your lifestyle and will help you to be regular in your reading and stay on track. Continue reading

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‘Tis the Season – to Try a Little Dickens!

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“Who can listen to objections regarding such a book as this? It seems to me a national benefit, and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness.” – William M. Thackeray on A Christmas Carol

It seems an appropriate time to reshare my thoughts on this well-known story, mainly because it’s an opportunity to talk about a book by one of my favorite authors. I know Dickens isn’t for everyone; he can be rather wordy, and many of his novels are REALLY long (like, 600+ pages). His stories always have complex plot lines with lots of characters and interesting twists, and he has created some of the most interesting and memorable characters in all of literature, Ebenezer Scrooge being one of them. Continue reading

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