Current reads

"So many books, so little time"

Like always, I have been plowing through my pile of books (which never gets any smaller as I keep on adding to it!) and I have selected three to share with you that I have really enjoyed. 

What have you been reading - which book was the highlight in recent months?

Any that you would recommend?

Joni and Ken: an untold love story: Ken and Joni Earckson Tada

I read this book whilst on holidays a few weeks ago and loved it - it was one of those books I could hardly put down. My elderly mother recommended it to me and I can see why. Joni and Ken talk truthful and honestly about their marriage (which at times almost fell apart), the battles they have fought, the harsh words to each other, the difficulties they have faced when coping with Joni's disability, her increasing pain and her recent battle with breast cancer.

Their marriage hasn't been perfect, they have hit many pot holes and struggled like the rest of us, however, the Lord has always been centre of all that they do. They are two people who have travelled a very difficult road together and if they can make it, the rest of us can too.  I first read about Joni when I was only a teenager and therefore have grown up reading about her disability and her love for the Lord - she is truly inspiring and this book has continued to show me, that through any problem, whilst the pain may be great - the Lord is always with us.

My only comment would be that if you do not know Joni's backstory (and how she became a quadriplegic) this book doesn't fill in those gaps particularly - it has been written for people like me, who have grown up with her.

God, who foresaw your tribulations, has especially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain. ~ C.S. Lewis

I have really enjoyed this book,  so much so, that  I ordered the other two books in the series!! 

The life of a woman today isn't really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord's feet...but the daily demands of a busy world just won't leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him...yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy.

Then comes Jesus, right into the midst of your busy Mary/Martha life-and he extends the same invitation he issued long ago to the two sisters of Bethany. Tenderly he invites you to choose "the better part"-a joyful life of "living-room" intimacy with him that flows naturally into "kitchen service" for him.

How can you make that choice? With her fresh approach to the familiar Bible story and its creative, practical strategies, Joanna shows how all of us-Marys and Marthas alike-can draw closer to our Lord, deepening our devotion, strengthening our service, and doing both with less stress and greater joy. (from the back cover of the book)

She is honest, she understands the struggles that women have (being like Martha) because she has been through them herself, she offers practical advice (and we all need that), its easy to read and re-visit. She shows how unbalanced many of us are - rushing about like mad-women when we need to slow down and sit at Christ's sit far more often than most of us do.  

The world clamours, "Do more! Be all that you can be!" But our Father whispers, "Be still and know that I am God".

It would be a great book to study with other women as it contains a twelve-week Bible study at the back. 

"I need to know, " we tell ourselves. "No," God answers softly, "You need to trust"

I would highly recommend it to other women!! But you can't have my copy, I have written all over it much to the horror of my cousin C!!! 

Testament of Youth: Vera Brittain

When war broke out in August 1914, 21-year-old Vera Brittain was planning on enrolling at Somerville College, Oxford.  By the end of her first year, she had fallen in love with a young soldier and resolved to become active in the war effort by volunteering as a nurse. Vera suffered through 12-hour days by reminding herself that nothing she endured was worse than what her fiancĂ©, Roland, experienced in the trenches. Roland was expected home on leave for Christmas 1915; on December 26, Vera received news that he had been killed at the front. Ten months later Vera herself was sent to Malta and then to France to serve in the hospitals nearer the front, where she witnessed firsthand the horrors of battle. When peace finally came, Vera had also lost her brother Edward and two close friends. As she walked the streets of London on November 11, 1918--Armistice Day--she felt alone in the crowds. (from Amazon)

"For the first time I realised, with all that full realisation meant, how completely everything that had hitherto made up my life had vanished with Edward and Roland, with Victor and Geoffrey. The War was over; a new age was beginning; but the dead were dead and would never return."

Vera Brittain and many many women in Britain suffered greatly as a consequence of World War One. Their brothers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers and friends went off to war with many never to return and those who did, were changed men - forever damaged from the horrors of war.  Vera lost a brother, her future husband and her two her brother's best friends - she suffered greatly and took a number of years to come to terms with the death of her loved ones. This was an age where there wasn't help for those suffering post traumatic stress disorder and I am sure many of her generation - men and women alike suffered very badly mentally.

Her reason for sharing her story:  "warning the next generation of the danger of succumbing out of naive idealism to the false glamour of war"

Great read (selected by our bookclub group), however if you have strong anti-femininist feelings you might struggle with parts of the book. Vera was never going to be a woman who sat at home and had afternoon teas (the maids did all the hard work), she went off to university and carved out a career for herself and was vocal about the insanity of war. She also fought for the women's rights. Regardless of this, it is an fascinating look at the social history of our recent past and the cost and consquence of war on women.

Recently made into a beautiful and touching film that really portrays lost and loneliness that these women suffered.  Tissues required!



  1. I've always enjoyed Joni's books. She has a very fresh and cheerful approach to her sufferings that I aspire to achieve in my own life - not to model myself after Joni, but because it's also a godly, Biblical approach to sufferings -- think of the apostle Paul and his contentment despite his sufferings!!

    I'm looking forward to reading Joanna Weaver's book - it sounds very interesting. I have to say, I had a giggle at your comment about my horror at you writing in your book!!!! ;)

    Vera's story sounds very moving... And I'm sure her losses were shared by many, many women during the wars - and still are shared by people all over the world whose loved ones are taken in wars and fightings. War is so tragic - such a waste! I can't even imagine such horrors as she must have seen and experienced. I'm not sure if I could read the book - it sounds like a sad read.

    One book I read recently that really moved me was called "Only Glory Awaits" by Leslie Nuernberg. It is the story of Anne Askew who was a reformation martyr (martyred in the time of Henry VIII). Tissues required!!

    1. I had a look at “Only Glory Awaits” and the comments were all very positive and it sounds like a very interesting read. I would add it to my wish list, but I have put a temporary halt to my “wish list” as it is too long and I need to read everything on it first!!! Perhaps I need to start a second list of possible.

      We discussed “Testament of Youth” at book club this week and talked about the telegram that carried the messages of lost loved ones and how the families were always on edge waiting for the knock on the door with the bad news. The stress of 4 years must have affected those left behind for a very long time. The other thing the book mentions is that the residents of London could hear and feel of the bombs dropping in France – even their windows rattled.

      The think I like about Joni is that she doesn’t sugar coat pain and suffering and talks warts and all which makes her much more real. This was a very good read.

  2. Thanks for sharing... These seem to be wonderful books. Nice to meet you♥

  3. Sounds like these are some good reads! I love Joni's story... I still have a devotional of hers from when I was younger. Always very insightful.

    Thanks for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup ...I've pinned your post... hope you join us again this week!

    1. Joni writes in a language we all understand which is why she is so loved :))

  4. I thought this blog was special, but now I know it is!
    I read "Have a Mary Heart in a Martha World", several months ago. I enjoyed it so much that I ordered on for my best friend!

    First time commenting and stopped to browse around.
    Really like what I have read and appreciate your blog.

    1. Hi Christine, I really enjoyed the Mary heart in a Martha World and found that it was so relevant to me. I have bought Joanna Weavers other two books which I hope are just as good. At the moment I am reading another favourite of mine - Elizabeth George.

      Thankyou so much for leaving a comment :))


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