Books 2022

 Books Read 2022

 RA read aloud

  1. Harold St John: a Portrait by his daughter Patricia St John. A heart warming biography of a godly man- "whose faith follow". I would rate it 4/5 due to some language which needs updating. Not in the Challies challenge as started in 2021. January 2022
  2. The Lullingstone Secret Jill Masters. A children's fictionalised  version of the latter years of Lullingstone Villa. January 2022
  3. Grandparenting with Grace-Living the Gospel with the next Generation Larry McCall January 2022. This book is like the curate's egg-good in parts. The chapter "My grandchild needs a Savior" is excellent as is the chapter about prayer and some of the ideas in the chapter about grandparenting in today's culture but the chapter around relationships with children and children in law could lead to some avoidable sticky situations. This chapter suggests repenting for past failures and apologising to the children which is fine but unless there are exceptional circumstances, raking up "ways you have felt hurt by them" could make reasonably good relationships deteriorate. Obviously, if there are major difficulties then this may be different. Overall, I am glad that I read this book and glad to be pointed to a Gospel focus in being a grandmother. 
  4. Servants of the living God Graham Chewter. A collection of short biographies mainly of Strict Baptist ministers but also a chapter on the Pilgrim Fathers and on Lord Wharton who founded a Bible charity. This book brings out the godliness and preaching to the heart of these ministers, many of whom didn't have the benefits of an extensive education and often were by no means rich in material possessions. There are references to members of their churches. The members of one church were known for dying well. This reminded me of the hymn May I live a life of faith; May I die Thy people's death. I greatly enjoyed this book although it is sad in that some of the chapels mentioned are now closed. May the Lord raise up more godly ministers in this day and use this book to encourage prayer for this. January 2022
  5. Poirot's Early Cases Agatha Christie There are so many similarities between this book and Sherlock Holmes Short Stories, which I have been reading with my son. It is obvious that Conan Doyle provided inspiration to Agatha Christie. Hastings is Poirot's foil in much the same way as Watson is to Holmes. I am not sure that I will be able to remember which story belongs to which book. February 2022
  6. Up from the Ashes "Dr  A" with Samara Levy This is the biography of a Syrian doctor who has been  living and working in Syria through the civil war. "Dr A" was brought up in a Roman Catholic family; he became a highly successful doctor then had to decide whether to stay in Syria during the war. The war was obviously a dreadful time but through this difficult time, he came to a firm faith in the Lord Jesus and a strong wish to live for him. At points this book becomes a bit wordy and "Dr A" has interesting methods of guidance, often through dreams yet his love for the Lord shines through this and into his work to try to restore life and community to Syria.
  7. How Christianity changed the World. Sharon James An overview of the blessings which Christianity has brought to the world and a refutation of some of the charges sometimes laid against Christianity. Interesting and useful read. February 2022
  8. Christmas Carol Charles Dickens A read together with my youngest son. I had forgotten quite how strange this book is: ghosts and Christmas mingled in with being kind to the poor. March 2022
  9. The Wood that Built London: the human history of the Great North Wood CJ Schuler A history of the wood which once covered much of South London. This explained so many place names; gave fascinating history about how the woods were once managed and the changing species seen in the woods. If you live in the area where the Great North Wood once existed then you should read this book. March 2022
  10. A Cup of Cold Water: the compassion of Nurse Edith Cavell Christine Farenhorst RA A biography of Edith Cavell written from a rather American perspective and with rather American, rather than Edwardian English language, but still a useful insight into the life of this important woman.
  11. The Scarlet Plume Constance Savery March 2022 Historical fiction set in France in the time of the Huguenots. Rose has been released from a thirty five year long imprisonment and returns home become the custodian of a nameless, abandoned child. A quick, easy read which I enjoyed although the passing reference to the French Revolution at the end was rather underplayed. I suspect that it would have had more impact than it appears to have done in the book!
  12. The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom RA March 2022 Famous, moving account of the life of a middle aged Dutch spinster in the Second World War: how she hid Jews and worked for the Underground before being arrested along with most of her relations.  An amazing testament to God's love even in the most difficult circumstances. The story of the fleas in the concentration camp always makes me think. Highly recommended. 
  13. The lies we are told, the truth we must hold: Worldviews and their consequences. Sharon James April 2022 A useful overview of modern worldviews compared with the Christian worldview with absolutes and God given standards of right and wrong. This is a helpful book for understanding the background to much of modern thinking and is highly recommended. My two gripes are the defence of capitalism and leaning too heavily on secondary sources. Do read this though!
  14. Animal Farm George Orwell Read together with my son. May 2022. There is so much in this short novella. Ideal for reading together and discussing.
  15. The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow Allen French May 2022. It isn't always easy to find children's historical fiction set in the early Middle Ages but this fits the bill. It is located in Iceland and the Orkneys and tells of a feud between two families. 
  16. Wonder RJ Palacio. May 2022 Sensitive story of how a child with a major facial deformity started school. Thought provoking and well written although not from a Christian worldview. Loads to discuss. Recommended read aloud with tweens. 
  17. A new Name Emma Scrivener June 2022
  18. Mystery of the Periodic Table Benjamin Wiker RA June 2022 A great living book about chemistry ideal for reading with older children.
  19. Sign of the Beaver Elizabeth George Speare June 2022 A preread for reading with my son next year. Lots of interesting thoughts about the relationship between settlers and indigenous people. June 2022
  20. A Place for Everything Anna Wilson June 2022 This book was advertised as being about someone diagnosed with autism very late in life, and that is true, but is more about the difficulties of caring for elderly, unwell parents from the other side of the country. The diagnosis was sadly, really too late to be useful. It might have helped understanding but I suspect that the caring difficulties might have been unchanged. Having been a sandwich carer, looking after older and younger generations, I can empathise with the author and some of this rang so true. Worth reading but quite sad.
  21. House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason July 2022 Book about a famous, very musical family. Fascinating read! I was a bit worried that this would be about "How to make your children into musicians" but thankfully, it wasn't. The Kanneh-Masons seem to have been born with perfect pitch and the ability to ace music exams. Undoubtedly, there has been an enormous amount of work, sacrifice and expense to get them to where they are now but it is clear that this is a very talented family. An easy and interesting read-I can certainly understand some of the descriptions of raising a larger family!
  22. Another way to learn Compiled by Molly Ashton August 2022. Chapters about home education in the UK. Helpful for home educators; those considering home ed and anyone who wants to know more. Due out in September 2022.
  23. Billy the Kid  Michael Morpurgo August 2022. Children's book about a fictional footballer. Portrayal of life from just before the Second World War to more modern times.
  24. For Richer, For Poorer: Twenty-first century lessons from the lives of nineteenth century women Clare Heath-Whyte August 2022. Short biographies of six Christian women from the nineteenth century. I appreciated these biographies and knew little of Mary Muller, Minny Shaftesbury and Emma Moody before reading these. I didn't agree with some of the comments about the Downgrade controversy from Susannah Spurgeon's biography and would have liked to know more about some of these ladies. This has inspired me to read other books in the series.
  25. Boy Roald Dahl October 2022
  26. Hercule Poirot's Christmas Agatha Christie November 2022
  27. God's Smuggler Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherill RA December 2022 Amazing book about God's grace in the life of a young Dutch man and his mission to take Bibles across the Iron Curtain. One of my children was reading this with a book group.
  28. Mysterious Benedict Society Trenton Lee Stewart December 2022 I read this with my book group and the children loved the book. I have read it several times and to be honest, it seemed to lag a bit, but then I did know what was going to happen!
  29. How Christianity Transformed the World Sharon James December 2022 RA I read this with my younger two. A worthy read aloud and led to some interesting discussion. 
  30. A doctor in Africa: the Australian surgeon changing the lives of women in Africa Andrew Browning with Patrick Kennedy December 2022 The story of a Christian doctor who has spent years repairing fistulas in women who have had dreadful obstructed deliveries. More recently, he has also been working to prevent fistula formation in the first place. Highly recommended. Very thankful for modern obstetric care after reading this!

Challies Challenge 2022

I am taking part in this challenge probably in the light reader category.
  • A book published in 2021 or 2022: Servants of the Living God
  • A memoir or autobiography: The Hiding Place
  • A novel The Scarlet Plume
  • A book by a woman: How Christianity transformed the World 
  • A book by a man: Christmas Carol
  • A book published prior to 2000: Poirot's Early Cases
  • A book with the word "gospel" in the title or subtitle: Grandparenting with Grace: Living the Gospel with the next Generation
  • A book with an image of a person on the cover House of Music
  • A book about a current social issue The lies we are told, the truth we must hold
  • A book for children or teens The Lullingstone Secret
  • A book about suffering Up from the Ashes
  • A book about Christian living A new name
  • A book for your choice The Wood that Built London: the human history of the Great North Wood 

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