Saturday, June 8, 2024

Sisters' Spring Reading Challenge Report

 Our spring reading was so fun! I loved how the duet challenges pushed me to look at books in a new way. 

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1. Duet Challenge: Read two books that are by the same author but in a different genre. 

Charity - Andrew Peterson - The God of the Garden and On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

In The God of the Garden, Peterson explores beauty, home, trees, and poetry in this well-written collection of thoughts. It filled me with the longing to dig deep into the earth around my home and create. The second book is a totally different genre and target audience. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a middle-grade fantasy novel, the first in a series of four. I loved the theme of the battle between good and evil and the way he threw humor in to make the reader chuckle. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.

 A few years ago, a friend introduced me to Luci Shaw's poetry. I love how her words drew me to God and the beauty of His creation. But I didn't know until recently that Luci also wrote nonfiction. God in the Dark is compiled from her journals over her husband's cancer journey and her first year as a widow. I related so much to her words. Life Path shares the value that Luci found in journal keeping. The Green Earth is a compilation of poetry, organized by season. All three of these books were much different from the others, but each celebrated the beauty of words and the presence of God.

2. Duet Challenge: Read two books connected to the same author.

Charity - Paradise Lost by John Milton, The Truth and Beauty by Andrew Klavan, and The Chid from the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge

Reading the well-known and often-referenced Paradise Lost (I’ve only read part of it so far…) has made me so excited. I find it mentioned by so many authors and speakers. Klavan’s book about the Sermon on the Mount and England’s poets, mentioned Milton and I was so pleased to understand the references more fully. The Child from the Sea is an historical novel about the secret wife of Charles ll and spends much time talking about the English civil war. Milton also was living at this time and supported Oliver Cromwell. Reading several books that connected in some way was fascinating.

Gina - Jane and Dorothy by Marian Veevers and Darcy's Story by Janet Alymer

This winter I finished reading through all of Jane Austen's novels and I wanted to learn more about Austen. Jane and Dorothy compares and contrasts the lives of Jane Austen and Dorothy Wordsworth and their contribution to literature. I knew almost nothing about Georgian England in which these two ladies lived. The author delves deeply into the social context of single women of that time which sheds light onto Austen's beloved book characters. Then, just for fun, I read Darcy's Story, a retelling of Pride and Predjudice from the perspective of Darcy. The author stayed very true to the original, even quoting passages.

3. Read a book that celebrates beauty.

Charity - Garden Maker by Christie Purifoy

A beautifully bound book filled with words and photos from Purifoy’s own garden has left me with the longing to plant roses and host a garden tea. This book is for the garden lover, wanna-be gardener, or just a lover of the Creator who has given so much beauty for us to enjoy.

Gina- Calling Your Name by Janice Etter

I wanted to read a poetry book as my book that celebrates beauty and chose Janice Etter's Calling Your Name. The book is divided into sections with poems celebrating nature, children, and grief. The latter section was probably the most meaningful to me. 

4. Take some notes every day about your Bible reading. 

Charity - Journaling along with my devotions is a habit I plan to continue. Often I only write a sentence or two or sometimes just a verse that I want to think about, but the practice of slowing down and thinking has enriched my quiet time.

Gina- I enjoyed jotting down a few notes with my Bible reading in March and April, but then the busyness of May dropped the habit. But I began again in June and hope to continue. Reading with a pen helps me read with more intention. 

5. Place a book in a free library box. 

Charity -The excuse to slip a book into one of the many Little Free Libraries I pass was so fun. Maybe I’ll do it again soon! 

Gina- This spring, I've been going through some of my shelves and clearing out some books to make room for new ones. I got rid of several boxes of books at a homeschool book swap/sale. But when I dropped off a few books at the free library box, I brought home several books, so I'm not sure that worked very well!

I'd love to hear what books brought beauty to your life this spring.


  1. I’m so appreciative of your book reviews and challenges.Thank you,Gina and Charity ,for taking the time to share them with us!
    They’ve blessed my family many times over.

    I’ve also enjoyed Christie Purifoy’s writings since you introduced me to Placemaker.
    If you could find her article titled “Unlearning the Art of Hospitality “ online, I think you’d love it.😊
    Blessings on your summer!

  2. So the Spring challenge I didn't do that well. 1.For two books by same author but different genres I focused on John Bunyan. So I read a book of his poetry which I didn't know he wrote poetry. I have ten pages left of Pilgrims Progress. 2. Two books connected to same author managed to read Jane Eyre. I tried reading a book called How to Be a Heroine or What I Learned by Reading Too Much ( I don't have the book in front of me so I don't remember the authors name.)but her book was boring and I gave up. 3. For a book that celebrates beauty I started but haven't finished Daughters of Eve, Daughters of God because I wanted to read about the beauty of being a woman who follows the Lord.
    4. I failed miserably with my Bible note taking. 5. I put a book in my doctors office. They have a unofficial Little Library.
    Here's hoping summer reading will be better.

  3. I enjoy your book posts so much - I always read them with a library tab open!!

    Here are some of my own recent reads:

    Have a wonderful summer, Gina!


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