I am back on track this month with seven books read–though a couple of them were pretty quick reads. I can’t wait to dive into all the books I expect to get for Christmas!

First up is Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

book cover for Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Title in blue above the profile of a black horse with a white star on his forehead

I picked up this copy at a flea market. It’s the very same copy that I, a lover of horses and a precocious reader, devoured multiple times before starting first grade.  don’t know how many years it is since I read it, but as often when coming back to childhood favorites I understood it better now. It’s still a delightful and moving read. And I did a little research and discovered what an impact it had on animal welfare.

The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert was an extremely strange book that I picked up last month at the library book sale.

Book cover of The Children's Home by Charles Lambert. The title is encircles by thorny branches.

It’s a weird fantasy about a disfigured man who lives alone in his family mansion with a bunch of children who magically appear there. It’s very absorbing but after it ended I just did not get the point of it. I looked online for help and no one else understood it either!

Golden Years by Andrew Greeley is another book sale find.

Book cover for Golden Years by Andrew Greeley. Author's name is very large at the top; title is smaller at the bottom. In betweens are four red-heads playing musical instruments.

I have read the previous books in this series, and I have been fond of Greeley’s work for years. This was entertaining but not a favorite. But the characters seems like old friends, so there’s that.

I highly recommend Our Lady of Hot Messes by Leticia Ochoa Adams to my Catholic readers especially.

Book cover for Our Lady of Hot Messes by Leticia Ochoa Adams. Colorful picture of the blessed virgin with the title in yellow over the lower part of her.

This is an unflinchingly honest an vulnerable account of one woman’s spiritual journey, with a focus on the impact her young adult’s suicide has had on her life and faith. If you follow Leticia’s work, this will seem like you are reading a letter from a friend.

This month’s local book club read was Change of Possession by J.T. Dwyer.

Book cover for Change of Possession by JT Dwyer. Shades of blue and gray; title in white over a silhouette of a football player.

I personally know both the author and editor of this book so I was especially excited to read it and it did not disappoint. This is the kind of book that will leave you thinking about it long after you read the final words. It starts slowly and deliberately but stick with it and eventually the action comes thick and fast. This is definitely a Catholic novel with themes of sin, mercy, and redemption but it accurately portrays sin in our world which may make it a tough read for those who shy away from bad language and sexual themes. There are two more novels in this series and I am looking forward to them.

I got sucked into reading The Protector (Men of the North) by Elin Peer by a Facebook ad.

Book Cover for Men of the North by Elin Peer showing a handsome Viking-like man with a beard above the title.

You know the kind–it lets you read quite a bit and then offers you the opportunity to buy the book if you want to see what happens next. It was a 4.99 ebook so a took the bait. Here’s the blurb: “400 years in the future, men are few and women rule the world.Except for the area formerly known as Canada and Alaska, which is inhabited by the Men of the Northlands, a group of strong men, who refuse to be ruled by women.” So imagine what would happen if an enlightened female archaeologist had the opportunity to head north, where she was assigned a bodyguard from amongst these manly men? I’ll bet I don’t have to tell you what happens but it made for a fun afternoon’s read and the world-building was interesting honestly. There are many, many sequels.

I picked up Precious Blessings by Jillian Hart at Goodwill one afternoon.

Book cover for Precious Blessings by Jillian Hart. Title is above a landscape with mountains and fir trees.

I read it at the end of the month just to make sure I met my reading goal, as it is the kind of brain candy that I can get through in an hour or so. It’s a Love Inspired romance which means it is “clean,” and people go to church and talk about God as if He actually matters to their lives and decisions, which is actually nice. In this one there’s a book store owner with a hidden trauma in her past and a hunky widowed state trooper with a troubled daughter who shoplifts from the book store. The rest is just details but it was not a bad way to spend an hour or two.

I made it just in the nick of time to link up with An Open Book. Many thanks to Carolyn Astfalk for providing me with motivation to get the reading posts up each month!  Click below to see what other folks are reading.

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