Monday, May 31, 2021

Sisters' May Reading Challenge

Did you enjoy reading in May? We did!

This post contains affilant links.

1. Read a book of letters (fiction or nonfiction).

Charity - The Letters of E.B. White

I knew this author only from his children's books, but through this compiliation of letters, that span his life, I glimpsed into the real person behind the most beloved pig. I didn't complete this book, but enjoyed it in little moments, especially before bed. White's humor and life experiences are a blast to tage along with.

Gina - Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

I've read lots of historical fiction set during World War 2, but I didn't realize until I read this book how little I knew about World War 1. Thousands of letters traveled between English troops stationed in France and their family and friends back home. This book uses fictional letters to share stories of hope and grief. The plot isn't gripping, and it was hard to feel attached to characters known only through their short letters, but I enjoyed this glimpse into another era.

2. Read a book set in a country you've never visited (fiction or nonfiction).

Charity - Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge

Goudge is one of my favorite authors, and this book was another emotional roller coaster. Most of the book is set in either the Channel Islands or New Zealand. The main characters are two sisters and their childhood friend, William. The book follows their entire lives and their battles with each other and love. As I read this book, I was reminded of surrender and how our will has the ability to destroy our lives. I loved how this novel was entertaining but also personally challenging.

Gina - I read a travel memior from Austrailia and discovered that I knew almost nothing about this huge fascinating country. While I learned an immense amount from the book, I'm not going to mention the book by name because of its off-color humor. 

3. Read a book that your mother or mentor enjoys.

Our mom has great book tastes, and I always like to check out what she is reading when I visit her house. 

(Fun fact: There are more years between Charity and me than my mom and me. My mom was twenty when I was born, and forty-three when Charity was born - which means that Charity and I are twenty-three years apart. So glad that books have bridged the years between us. We have seven siblings in between us.)

Charity - The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield

Rosaria has shattered my view of home and family. Along with her husband and children, the author challenges you to make your home a place of refuge for your neighbors, no matter what their background or current life. As believers, we have something wonderful to offer, the Gospel. How will we use our house key? Hospitatlity took on a whole new meaning after reading this book.

Gina - Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman

I've read a lot of parenting books, but none like this. Furman took me on a journey through the Old Testamen to see God's plan for humandkind, then shows how Jesus fulfills God's plan as prophet, priest and king. How does that relate to motherhood? Furman says "mother" is a verb and challenges all women, whether biological mothers or not, have been called to help others find new life in Christ. I'll be rereading this book.

4. Read in your backyard, on your porch, or on your fire escape.

Charity - One very exhausting Tuesday I arrived home from work with only one goal in mind. Rest. And when I rest, I read. I spent two delightful hours in my backyard with a hammock and an entire bag of books, journals, and pens. I read, listened to the chatter of my neice and nephews, and traveled to New Zealand (aka Green Dolphin Street). Moments like those got me through the crazy weeks this month.

Gina - When I sit on the hammock or the porch to read, it rarely lasts five minutes before I'm interrupted. But that doesn't keep me from continuing to try. At this point in my life, I find most of my reading time at night, but maybe since it is warmer and the sun is up earlier, I should try reading on the hammock before breakfast. 

5. Ask someone at church what they are reading.

Charity -Books are quickly a conversation between the youth girls at church. Recently we have been reading a book together and enjoying lots of conversations about it. But I also love chatting about books with random people at our little church library.

Gina - One Monday in early May, a friend from church texted to tell me she had finished reading a particular book and would love to discuss it with me. Since it happened that my oldest three children were away that morning and we weren't having a typical school day, I invited my friend to come over. I was thrilled when she agreed. It was such fun to set aside the Monday projects and enjoy some unexpected book (and life) conversation. 

I'd love to hear what you read in May. 

Look for the Sisters' June Reading Challenge tomorrow!


  1. May reads were:

    Mrs. Whaley's Charleston kitchen ( my fourth read of this) by Emily Whaley

    Below stairs, by Margaret Powell

    An antebellum plantation household, by Ann sinkler Whaley leclercq

    The greedy queen, by Annie gray

    All very good, esp Mrs Whaley, but all are within my interest sphere.

  2. I enjoyed reading this month. For the book of letters I didn't finish but its Clippings From My Notebook by Corrie ten Boom. I didn't get very far in my reading challenges since some books I read didn't apply to the challenges. Looking forward to June challenges.

  3. I read 3 things:

    I started The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. May this never be repeated. A tough read, but a necessary one. Not done yet.

    I read The Thursday Murder Club, a fun cozy mystery for my book club. About a group of retirees in a retirement community poring through old unsolved murder cases. In there I read abut how they manage as widow(er)s, caring for invalid spouses, caring for mentally challenged spouses, finding new friends and companions.

    The third was pure fantasy and fun - Ashes by Paul J Bennett. I enjoy fantasy books because they are pure escape and I always root for the underdog who is trying to do right.

    I'm an accountant who is a project manager of accounting projects. It's good for me to read things that aren't all about debits and credits.

  4. 1. book of letters- Prison Letters by Corrie ten Boom
    Book of 1 Peter

    2. Another country-
    Chuma and Chuma Finds a Baby (Africa) Charles Ludwig
    Ruth (Moab)
    Jonah (what country is Ninevah?)

    3. My mom gave me Old House, New Home by Naomi Rosenberry, awhile ago and I didn't get through it. But now with her recommendation, I tried again and really enjoyed it. It traces a Mennonite migration from Lancaster county to Ohio. These are the areas my mom lived and she really enjoyed it.

    4. I read from the Bible on my porch swing a couple times in the early morning.

    5. Friends w

  5. I wasn't done with my comment:(

    5. Friends were reading Fiber Fueled and The Tightwad Gazette

  6. It is such fun to see what you all are reading!

  7. I didn’t follow the reading challenge but in May, I read The Dry, The Giver, and Wintering: the power of rest and retreat during difficult times. The Giver gave me so much to think about regarding emotions and choices. And I found Wintering to be fascinating even though I didn’t agree with all of it.

    1. I read The Giver in May too! My daughter is reading it in english class.


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