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  • Writer's pictureJenna Miller

September 2022 Reads!

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary: Henry Huggins is a third grade boy living on Klickitat Street who believes nothing ever exciting happens to him...until he meets a stray dog one day and takes him home. Their shenanigans are hilarious. I read this aloud to my oldest two boys, and I may have laughed until I cried on one chapter. My 6 year old was not quite sure if I was okay or not! We have also read Henry and Ribsy in this series and loved it just as much. We highly recommend these! For those familiar with Cleary's other books, you will also spot some familiar characters in the form of Beezus and Ramona Quimby.

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis: Why must humans suffer? If God is all-powerful and good, then why does He allow His creation to suffer? These are tough and personal questions, We have all suffered. I am sure most of us have asked these questions to ourselves or aloud in some format. Lewis, a former atheist, addresses these questions and much more in this book. He was an incredibly intelligent thinker, and his work is extremely thorough. I highly recommend this (and also recommend not trying to read it when you are tired!) I feel like this is a book I will need to reread over the years.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles: historical fiction novel following two separate timelines--Odile in 1939 Paris, and Lily in 1983 Montana. In 1939, Odile lands her dream job working at the American Library in Paris. She has memorized the Dewey Decimal System in preparation. As World War II and the Nazis march through Parisian streets, Odile watches in dismay and denial as those close to her are traumatically affected. Teenager Lily lives in small-town Montana and dreams of a bigger life. She becomes increasingly interested in befriending the older, lonely Frenchwoman in town, A friendship forms and Lily slowly uncovers her new friend's past. I really wanted to love this book. The cover is beautiful and the story sounded interesting. I found it just okay. I did appreciate Charles' exploration of how tangled and sordid Parisian life became with the Nazi occupation. It was a good read, but not my favorite WWII novel. I also wish the ending contained an epilogue as well.

Educated by Tara Westover: memoir; Westover depicts her traumatic upbringing in the mountains of Idaho with Mormon, survivalist parents, violent brothers, and all sorts of abuse. I first read this book in 2018, and decided to mostly reread it for book club this month. It was just as readable as the first time. It is such a hard read, but it also shows (to those who can see it), just how much God equipped her to be able to leave, receive an education, and experience reality. I had noticed on my first read through, and saw again this time, the sadness that permeates her and also her lack of self-worth. I personally believe that only a relationship with Christ can aid her in that. I had to pray for her as I read. It is worth a read. If nothing else, her life story is exposing the darkness she lived through. I pray that more of her family will be rescued from the lifestyle in which they grew up.

Indwelling Sin in Believers by John Owens: Owens goes into great detail on how sin greedily leeches into your heart and soul, and Scriptural ways to over come it. Indwelling sin cannot be overcome by laws or rules, but by continual communion (doing life) with Christ. Christians must be on their guard, never lazy in recognizing and fighting off the temptations that eagerly turn into actual sin. This book was first published in 1667, so the old English was difficult to get through. I did not understand the entirety of what I was reading, but what did sink in packed a punch. I was so impressed with his understanding of the turmoil sin causes within all people, especially those who believe in and follow Christ as LORD. I will have to reread this as a physical copy (and maybe abridged).

The Snow Queen: The Complete Saga, Books 1-3 by K.M. Shea: Rakel should have been queen, but when it was discovered that she had magic, she was exiled by her parents. She leads a lonely, frightened existence in a self-made ice castle on a secluded mountain. Everything changes when her country is invaded by an army of magic users, and Rakel is faced with the decision of whether or not to save the country that has hated and feared her unnecessarily, or join the fellow magic users in their invasion. Bitterness versus forgiveness. When one of the colonels from the army of magic users continually finds his way to her side, Rakel's carefully constructed walls start to deteriorate. This was such a great read! I thoroughly enjoyed this series, as I do all Shea's books. Recommend!

The Clavering Chronicles, Books 1-3 by Jennie Goutet: regency era historical fiction set in England; this trilogy follows a different Clavering sibling (Lucius, Philippa, and George) as they find their own happy endings free from the disfunction of their family of origin. These were fun to read, clean, and put me in the mood for my upcoming UK trip. I really enjoyed the first two, the third not so much. I felt as if some aspects toward the end of that particular novel were superfluous. Other than that, I enjoyed Goutet's novels!

Sorry for the late reviews this month! Our family moves stateside at the end of the year, and tis the season for packers!

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