Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sisters' November Reading Challenge


Another fun reading month. 

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1. Read a book published in the 1800s.

Charity - Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray

Murray focuses each chapter on a different verse of the Bible and talks about Christ as our Redemption, Sanctification, etc. I have read and enjoyed a few of his other books, but this on has been a slow read. I find myself needing to completely focus and so this challenge will spill over into the next month!

Gina - Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

If you had asked me, I would have said that I loved Jane Austen, but maybe it would be more accurate to say that I loved Pride and Prejudice, which I've read numerous times. I wasn't as excited about Austen's other books and had never read Mansfield Park. But this month I not only read Mansfield Park, but I listened to the conversation about the book on The Literary Life podcast. I'm now of the opinion that Mansfield Park may have been one of Austen's greatest books. There was so much symbolism and depth to the book that I probably would have never recognized on my own, without the help of teachers. Fanny Price is not a dashing Miss Bennet, but I love her ability to perceive others' character.

2. Read a book about a disability. 

Charity - Remembering by Wendel Berry

I picked this book off my TBR pile and was never so delighted to see that it was about a man with only one hand! Berry's novels are works of art. The way he writes is beautiful, contemplative, and a strange mixture of grief and joy. This story is about one man working through the grief of a changing farm community and a lost hand. He finds himself walking the streets of San Francisco remembering the past and deciding if the future has any hope. This book is part of Wendel Berry's Port William series.

Gina - A Smile as Big as the Moon by Mike Kersjes

Mike was a special needs teacher who wanted to encourage and challenge his troubled students. He battled the opinions of the school leadership with a bold plan to take his students to NASA's Space Camp - an opportunity that was reserved for only the best and most gifted students. This book challenged me to see the gifts that others, even those with a severe disability, can give to the world. Note: Contains some profanity.

3. Read a book about clothes.

Charity - The Beauty of Modesty by David and Diane Vaughn

The Vaughns dig into history and the Bible to explore modesty. I appreciate their focus on the root issues of the heart that end up flowing out into our clothing. This was a reread from a few years ago and somehow this time I didn't like it as much. I haven't been able to decide exactly why, but I only partially recommend it.

Gina - The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzelmach Lemmon

The author traveled to Afghanistan in search of stories of women who supported their families during the takeover of the Taliban in the 90s. We are introduced to Kamila and her five sisters who were left alone in Kabul with no way to support themselves since they weren't allowed to leave their home without a male family member. Kamila began a sewing business in her home for her sisters and other needy women. It is hard to read stories from war-torn cities, especially knowing that the women in Kabul are currently facing very hard times, but this book was inspiring.

4. Check a book out of the library for one of these challenges.

Charity -I was on library duty at church one morning in November and was struck with the realization that we didn’t specify a public library! There are scads of books in our church library that I want to read and one of them was Andrew Murray’s Abiding in Christ. I was delighted to start another book on my TBR list and all without a special trip to town!

Gina - For years I reserved books to pick up at the library or bookmobile, but somehow I've lost my routine (not sure if I can blame Ed's illness or Covid or both). But this month I made an attempt at beginning again. I love choosing books from the comfort of my home and picking up a book stack of new reading material.

5. Chat with a librarian about their favorite book or ask her for a book recommendation.

Charity - That same morning at church, on of my fellow church librarians and I were chatting. She recommended The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Now I'm eagerly anticipating this historical fiction!

Gina - On my visit to the bookmobile this month, I chatted with the world's best librarian (the one who did home delivery after my babies were born and Ed was sick), but I forgot to ask her about her favorite book. Instead we talked of her grandbabies, which is a worthwhile distraction!

What did you read in November?


  1. I read Fish in a Tree and the Dressmaker of Khair Khana and borrowed Bleak House (but haven't read it yet) from the library along with the other 2 books. However I did not think to ask the librarian for suggestions:)

  2. Well I was hoping to get to the library last month but I just didn't have time.
    For the book from 1800s I'm still reading Pride and Prejudice and started reading Sense and Sensibility both by Jane Austen
    Book about clothes I have the book Fitted to Holiness by Cory and Jennifer Anderson that I read a few years ago. I planned on reading it again but I didn't get a chance. I'm "anxiously" awaiting the challenges for December.🙂

  3. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is one that has been on my to-read list. My favorite book of november was The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady by Sharon J. Mondragon- it's about a knitting group that gets ousted from their church during renovations and ends up knitting in the mall during the busy holiday season.


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