what I have been reading (december edition)

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A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season by Katherine Paterson (via Netgalley)

Katherine Paterson is one of my life heroes so basically I was going to like this no matter what, but of course it is lovely. I got a copy of it several months ago but I just couldn’t read it until after Thanksgiving. It was worth the wait. These short stories all center around someone experiencing a change, a repentance, at Christmas time. Katherine Paterson was born in China, so some of these stories reflect her time there and the work her parents did as Christian missionaries, but most of them are set in America. Read all in a row, they ran together a little bit, but reading a story here or there would be a nice family activity. I could also see them being used at a church service (which she explicitly gives permission for in the introduction). Every year my grandma reads something like this on Christmas Eve, so I will be giving her a copy of this book this year for Christmas, which should tell you how sweet it is. Recommended for: families to read at Christmas, my grandma.

Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren (via the used bookstore)

I keep trying to read Brian McLaren’s books but I find him kind of boring. However, I really enjoyed the section of this book on communal practices. Recommended for: fans of Brian McLaren, I guess.

City of God: Faith in the Streets by Sara Miles (via Netgalley)

I am going to write about this more fully once we get closer to Lent, but I loved Sara Miles’s reflections on administering ashes to the people of her city on Ash Wednesday. Definitely my new must-read for Lent. The only drawback was that I was reading it during Advent. Take This Bread is one of my favorites, and I just couldn’t wait to read it. For now, put it on your “to-read during Lent” list.

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin (via the public library)

This is a book about a high school student and his two younger sisters and how they survive the abuse that their mother puts them through. It shows how little the system can do for them and how hard it is for others to protect them. The ending felt a little too happy if only because so many children are stuck in unsafe situations. Recommended for: middle and high school students.

Netgalley provided me with some of these books but my opinions are my own.

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