This month signifies my last chance to finish the VT (Visual Theology) Christian Reading Challenge. I still have a few books to read. My goal for the year was 104 books using the prompts from this challenge. I need to finish 5 more books in December.
Word of the Month
Bible Verse of the Month
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given…”
– Isaiah 9:6a
This month’s reading diary is at the bottom of this page, after the book list.
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/lindajm
I have another blog updated frequently with a to-do list, gratitudes and a reading list: Linda’s Life
★ – I’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
⇗ – Still reading at the end of the month.
⇓ – I did not like it or finish it.
∅ – Stalled – I started but didn’t finish.
My December goals:
1. Reading – I have five more books to read to finish the 2022 Visual Theology Christian Reading Challenge. I’m already about 1/2 way through two of them. – FINISHED 12/19/22 !!!
2. Art – Create more sketchbook paintings using acrylic ink.
3. Listen to some Christmas novel audiobooks.
4. Watch Chrismas movies daily until Dec. 25.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
✓ Christian Nonfiction: Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot
I’m reading this for the #vtreadingchallenge – the prompt is to read a book about a missionary.
Finished: December 18 – Well, this book grabbed my heart and didn’t let go. I’m admiring them. I’m grieving for them. It is a hard book, but a good book to read. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
✓ Fiction: Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes
I’m reading this for the #vtreadingchallenge – the prompt is to read a book about euthanasia or abortion. This novel has a character contemplating euthanasia.
Finished: December 12 – This is a chick-lit kind of novel with deep implications about what it feels like to live as a paraplegic. It is tragic and romantic at the same time. Here’s my Goodreads review. Four stars.
✓ Nonfiction: Confrontations, by Jacques Vallee
Aliens! This is for the #vtreadingchallenge prompt to read a book about science or worldview. This book was written by a scientist.
Finished: December 19 – I’m so happy to have finished this… I learned a lot about UFO sightings and how they are investigated. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
✓ Christian Historical Fiction: Until Leaves Fall in Paris, by Sarah Sundin
I’m audio-reading this. I have to have an audiobook in progress at all times, and Christian fiction works well for that. I listen while doing housework and while I’m painting, and as I’m falling asleep at night. As of December 1, I’m 53% through this audiobook.
Finished: November 2 – I finished this audiobook in the early morning hours.(Yes, it night-owled me.) Great WWII story about life in occupied Paris. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
✓ Christian Memoir: Face to Face with Jesus: A Former Muslim’s Extraordinary Journey to Heaven and Encounter with the God of Love, by Samaa Habib
Reading for the VT Christian Reading Challenge. As of December 1, I’m on page 189 out of 263.
Finished: December 3 – I finished this book at 2:20am. It is inspiring and motivational. Reading it is a great blessing to me. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
✓ Memoir: The Shelf Life of Ashes, by Hollis Giammatteo
I’m reading this for the #vtreadingchallenge. As of December 1, I’m on page 73 out of 187.
Finished: December 17 – I finished this book and enjoyed it though a lot of the subject matter was depressing! Here’s my review at Goodreads.. Four stars.
✓ Christmas Fiction: The Noel Stranger, by Richard Paul Evans
I’m doing something I rarely do – I’m reading book 2 in a series before reading book 1. But hey, it is Christmas, and the book is available from Overdrive. Yay.
Finished: December 14 – I finished… and wasn’t a fan. Romances written by men are… weird. The woman was recently separated because her husband had been arrested for bigamy. The man she met at the Christmas tree lot was secretive. She was desperate for male attention and quickly fell in love and threw herself at him. He took one look at her lovely home and her catering business and was willing to create a relationship with her. Anyhow, this book was mostly cringe-worthy but with one episode of extreme charity. A mixed bag? Here’s my Goodreads review. Two stars.
✓ Christmas Fiction: The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan
Christmas fiction – just because it is December.
Finished: December 24 – Not a Christian book, but relatively clean aside from some bad language. I liked learning about life in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here’s my Goodreads review. Three stars.
✓ Christian Memoir: From Recliner to Revival: Living Your Best Life After Eighty, by Beverly Albrecht
I’m so excited about reading this book. My social worker (re: forest fire related recovery issues) told me about this earlier this week. Author Beverly Albrecht lived near her in Redding, but recently passed away. She mentioned it to me because I told her how I bought my van with the plan to volunteer at Christian charities, but now I felt I was getting too old. The book hopefully will inspire me to try again. God’s will be done!
Finished: December 21 – What an inspirational testimony! I’m so glad she wrote this. My review. Five stars.
⇓ Christmas Novellas: Silent Night, Holy Night, by Colleen Coble
I started this on December 19. So far, I’ve only read chapter 1, and I think these will be good stories. Two novellas in one paperback.
DNF: December 21 – There are two novellas. I read the first one and enjoyed it. Great writing style. Good plot with some suspense. However, I’ve decided not to read the second novella, not because I don’t like the writer’s style, but because it takes place in Kauai and I don’t need any reminders. Earlier this year I turned down an opportunity for a week in Kauai, all expenses paid. True story. I just don’t want to think about Hawaii right now.
★ Nonfiction: How to Write Like a Writer, by Thomas C. Foster
I’m reading this for Netgalley and the publisher, and because I like to read books about writing.
✓ Christian Fiction: The Girl From Montana, by Grace Livingston Hill
I joined a new Grace Livingston Hill group at Goodreads. This is the group book right now. Lots of action!
Finished: December 23 – Wow, great book. That flew by. I read it in only 24 hours. Here’s my review. Five stars.
⇓ Christian: Enough: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity, by Adam Hamilton
I stalled on this last April. I’ll resume now, on page 35 out of 154.
DNF: December 25 – I have to stop trying to read this book. The advice is good, but it is just rehashed from someone else’s well-known work, and nothing is new to me. Sorry, but I can’t continue even though it is a short book.
∅ Christmas Vanlife Fiction: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop, by Rebecca Raisin
Listening to the audiobook because… Christmas.
Stalled: December 25 – I’m not going to read the last 2/3 of this book right now. Christmas is over and I just can’t take anymore of the Chick-Lit genre. Not a favorite genre for me, by a long shot.
★ Nonfiction: More After the Break: A Reporter Returns to Ten Unforgettable News Stories, by Jen Maxfield
Riveting nonfiction by a journalist revisiting people involved in some of her most memorable news stories of the past 22 years.
✓ Romantic Suspense: This Rough Magic, by Mary Stewart
Another beautiful Mary Stewart novel. This one is set in Corfu, an island off the coast of Greece. This one was originally published in 1964.
Finished: December 27 – The beauty of great fiction!! Here’s my review. Five stars.
★ Christian Nonfiction: Braving the Thin Places: Celtic Wisdom to Create a Space for Grace, by Julianne Stanz
I’m adding this back into my reading plan.
★ Christian Nonfiction: The Power of Praying For Your Adult Children, by Stormie Omartian
Adding this in at the end of the year. It will count toward my January goals.
My December 2022 Reading Diary
December 1 – Here we go. Do it or do not do it. Right now I’m finishing the books I started in November.
Audio: Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin
Kindle: The Shelf Life of Ashes by Hollis Giammatteo
Physical: Face to Face With Jesus by Samaa Habib
WARNING – Twitter is addictive! I used to think it was the most useless site on the internet, but since Elon Musk bought it, suddenly it is fun and hard to quit using. Somehow it is entertaining to see the richest man in the world interacting with us common folks and telling us when the site might be slowed down or where to click to change our settings. He really is innovative and will bring a lot of changes to the site to make it viable and profitable. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with his huge investment in free speech. Here’s a link to my page there.
December 2 – I finished listening to the audiobook version of Until Leaves Fall in Paris. Great book, much appreciated. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
December 3 – During the early morning hours I finished reading Face to Face With Jesus. Awesome book. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
December 8 – I’m making good progress in my books this month, gently. I’m aiming for a chapter daily from each book. Also I’m reading Exodus in the Bible. Here’s a video I made yesterday, that was published this morning.
December 12 – I finished my audiobook, Me Before You. Here’s my Goodreads review. Four stars.
New audio-read: The Noel Stranger, by Richard Paul Evans
December 14 – Still reading, one chapter daily from three different nonfiction books. Also I have a Christmas fiction audiobook in progress.
Physical: Confrontations, by Jacques Vallee
Physical: Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Eliot
Kindle: The Shelf Life of Ashes by Hollis Giammatteo
Audio: The Noel Stranger, by Richard Paul Evans
When I finish those three nonfiction books, I will have completed the 2022 Virtual Theology Christian Reading Challenge. (104 books) This was my main intended challenge for the year.
Later – I finished reading The Noel Stranger. I’m not a great fan of this book. #couldhavebeenbetter … it was a Christmas season novel in which the woman bought her Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. This was not a Christian novel. Here’s my Goodreads review. Two stars.
December 15 – I started another audiobook: The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan. Wish me luck. These sisters are hard to love at the beginning of the book. Sibling rivalry, much.
I liked the movie I watched at PureFlix this evening.. The Miracle Maker. I’ve been watching a Christmas movie at PureFlix every night this month.
December 17 – Early morning hours… I finished reading The Shelf Life of Ashes… a rather depressing memoir, but the author’s writing style is outstanding. Here’s my review at Goodreads.. Four stars.
Started reading, on Kindle… From Recliner to Revival: Living Your Best Life After Eighty by Beverly Albrecht.
December 18 – I finished reading Through Gates of Splendor. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
December 19 – YAY … I finished the 2022 Visual Theology Christian Reading Challenge! 104 books!!! My last book – I finished earlier this evening: Confrontations, by Jacques Vallee…it was about UFO’s. Interesting! Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
Currently still reading:
Kindle: From Recliner to Revival, by Beverly Albrecht
Audio: The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Cogan
Paperback: Silent Night, Holy Night, by Colleen Coble (two novellas)
December 20 – I felt the Ferndale earthquake… 6.3 magnitude. I was awake, sitting in my travel trailer at 2:34am. No damage here – I’m too far away from the epicenter. Looks like Ferndale, Fortuna and Lolita are at the center.
December 21 – Wonderful memoir: From Recliner to Revival by Beverly Albrecht. Awesome. Inspirational. My review. Five stars.
Audio: The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
Kindle: How to Write Like a Writer by Thomas C. Foster
Kindle: The Girl From Montana by Grace Livingston Hill
December 23 – I loved the Grace Livingston Hill novel, The Girl From Montana. Here’s my review. Five stars.
Adding to my currently reading list:
Hardcover: Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity, by Adam Hamilton.
December 24 – Audio turnover time. I finished listening to The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan. Here’s my Goodreads review. Three stars.
New audiobook: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop, by Rebecca Raisin.
December 25 – It was a Merry Christmas. Good enough. I was alone most of the day (as I prefer life that way) and visited my daughter and her family long enough to watch them open the gifts I gave them. That was a lot of fun for me. Then back to my trailer home, and a nap. I’m old, and get tired out easily. When I woke up I decided to DNF the Adam Hamilton nonfiction as it had nothing new for me, and I stalled on the Chick-Lit about a vanlife Christmas shop. Chick-Lit is not a good genre for me.
Audio: This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
Kindle: How to Write Like a Writer by Thomas C. Foster
Audio: More After the Break by Jen Maxfield
December 26 – Okay, here’s a fact. We’re getting DRENCHED. Well, technically speaking, I’m dry in my travel trailer, but everything outside is extremely wet. Today I started a Celtic spirituality Christian book, and listened to my Mary Stewart audiobook.
December 27 – Finished The Rough Magic – amazingly good fiction. Here’s my review. Five stars.
December 29 – I don’t care if I’m perfect anymore. I’m just me. I try as hard as I can to survive. I praise God for the strength to carry on. I live to please Jesus, not critical people. So, have a nice day and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Oh, and I made these “short” videos yesterday just for the joy of learning how to make them.
December 31 – 11:45pm . . . nearly 2023! I had a great reading year and can only hope for more of the same next year. As usual I’m sitting in my borrowed 30′ travel trailer grateful for a place where I can have heat and showers. So much better than vandwelling full time. I have hope for the future (Thank you Jesus!!) and things are going along quite well right now. I need to make some important decisions about permanent housing soon. Books are waiting for me to read them. Yay! I feel blessed. Very blessed. Hope you all have a Happy New Year. God bless you, one and all.