December 2023 Book Reviews

Thanks to a few long-term reads, I am finishing a decent amount of books this month. Otherwise, December would not have been a very productive month reading-wise!

(If you'd like to see the other posts like this from this year, click here. If you'd like to see just the list of books, no reviews, you can see that here.)


What We Remember Will Be Saved: A Story of Refugees and the Things They Carry by Stephanie Saldana

A different book from what I've been reading recently, I'm so glad I decided to listen to this one. So often in our privileged life here in the US, the word refugee sends panic through our hearts. "Where are they going to go? Who is going to pay for them to stay? And will they ever go back to their home?" This book challenged my perceptions. As a Christian, it reminded me that I'm commanded to love each & every person. Not based on where they're from or what their religious affiliation was. Jesus just tells us to love. Another mindset shift was learning about the diversity of these war-torn regions. It is not a homogenous group of people who are affected in these various conflicts. They each have rich ethnic heritages that differ from each other. They are from different faiths & occupations & speak different languages. They're musicians, pharmacists, mothers, fathers, friends, sons, daughters. I would encourage anyone to find a book about the refugee experience. I hope it will help us all look with more compassion on our fellow human beings & spur us to action in finding ways to help them in their time of need.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My oldest & I read this aloud together. The style of writing makes this such an enjoyable read. Not to mention the adventures with goblins, shape shifters, elves, dwarves in barrels, dragons, enchanted treasure, & a magic ring! My son had seen the movies, so we were comparing & contrasting throughout the book. The first 70-75% of the book are the 1st movie & the last few chapters are stretched out to those looooong 2nd & 3rd movies. Much of the book is very different but still a classic for a reason. I look forward to reading this again with my other kids in a few years.

He Gives More Grace: 30 Reflections for the Ups and Downs of Motherhood Through the Years by Sarah Walton & Linda Green

Written by a mother & daughter, this book brings such practical, Gospel-driven encouragement to the mama's heart. The chapters are short enough to read with your coffee before the babies wake up or to squeeze in while they play. It includes questions for further thought & meditation & pages for notes after each chapter. I really appreciated some of the chapters on navigating health difficulties in your child. We're just starting out on a journey of this kind & so many of the thoughts shared in this book spoke right to where I was/am struggling. I appreciated the candid, honest, humble approach of this book. I kept thinking that I wish it had been around in those early years of my motherhood!

Blessed: Experiencing the Promise of the Book of Revelation by Nancy Guthrie

If you've been here for a while, you know that I love Nancy Guthrie. She & Jen Wilkin are 2 female theologians that have had such a profound impact on me & my spiritual journey over the past few years. I really wanted to read this book, but I wanted to save it until right before I read Revelation as my year of Bible reading drew to a close. And wow! I am very uneducated when it comes to this book & eschatology in general. I grew up in a certain school of thought but have been slowly learning the validity of other views of last things. Nancy graciously guides you through this book, not sidestepping the difficult passages or getting too technical or controversial. She faithfully interprets the Scriptures & incorporates other passages that help shed light on John's writing. If you've ever been intimidated by this last book of the Bible (I'm raising my hand), read this book. And if you can listen to her read it, do that, too!

The Advent of Glory: 24 Devotions for Christmas by R.C. Sproul

These short readings have been so good to help my focus on the true meaning of this festive season. I can get so caught up in the to-do lists & wanting to make everything perfect & magical for my family that I am just a ball of stress. It's been good to slow down this advent season & have more reminders of what this season actually means. Each devotion focuses on a single word that is part of the Christmas story. The thoughtful meditation each day has been so challenging yet helpful for my soul this season.

52 Weeks in the Word: A Companion for Reading Through the Bible in a Year by Trillia J. Newbell

I was so excited to start this at the beginning of the year & somehow have managed to get to the end mostly on time. Trillia's Gospel-centered insights help you see the bigger picture of each week's readings. It's a great tool to keep yourself on track to read through God's Word annually. While it's not a requirement, of course, its a very doable & enriching thing to do! I would encourage everyone to try to read straight through the Word. You can also read it chronologically or a variety of other schedules.

Teach Me to Feel: Worshipping Through the Psalms in Every Season of Life by Courtney Reissig

Courtney takes you on a quick but thorough trip through the Psalms in order to show us how our range of emotions are nothing that we can't bring to God. This is a helpful book to reference as the highs & lows of life bring so many different feelings into our hearts. Some trials can feel isolating, but this book comes alongside you & guides you to Scripture where you can find the hope & strength & love of God.


That's a wrap on another month of reading! It's been fun sharing my love of reading in this way this year. I hope you've found some new reads for yourself!

What are some favorites that you've read recently? Tell me below in the comments, please!

Cheering you on!


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