December Book Report

That’s a wrap on 2023

My Goodreads “Year in Books” says I’ve read 61 books this year. That doesn’t include re-reads of books I had already reviewed or the countless short stories and serials I’ve read on Substack. Of the fiction books, I loved The Girl with the Louding Voice (Daré), The Midnight Library (Haig), and Remarkably Bright Creatures (Van Pelt). Of my non-fiction selections Breath from Salt (Trivedi) was particularly valuable since my great-niece has cystic fibrosis. Favorite memoir: Beth Moore, All My Knotted-Up Life. Most fun read: Hail Mary by Andy Weir. Most overrated: Lessons in Chemistry (Garmus).

I’ve enjoyed writing these reviews and I will continue in 2024. I hope you find them useful!

And here are the final reviews of 2023!

C.S. Lewis (2004). The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. [Audible] Narrated by Michael York. Original book published in 1950.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between” (Introduction to Athanasius: The Incarnation of the Word of God, 1946). He was referring to interposing classics with modern texts, particularly the ancient classics of Plato, but I think any book in the modern canon of literature qualifies, too. Lewis also observed, “The re-reader is looking not for actual surprises (which can come only once) but for a certain surprisingness” (Of Other Worlds, 1947). Re-reading requires a mind open to experiencing a familiar story in a different way.

Listening to York’s excellent narration keeps the story moving. His voicing and accents make it easy to follow individual characters, even Susan and Lucy, whose differences are harder to capture than others unless you already know their temperaments. In this reading, I also heard the details more than I had before. One of the downsides of being a fast reader is that I sometimes lose the insignificant descriptions that are actually quite important. This time I paid attention to the textures in the book, from the softness of the coats in the wardrobe to the cold of Susan and Lucy’s fingers as they struggled to…

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Defaulting to Grace and other observations

By Stephanie Loomis: Lover of Jesus, Wife, Mom, Ama, Writer, Teacher, Photographer, Singer, Athlete, Artist...a modern Renaissance woman.