My first book, Anne of the Island, by L.M. Montgomery, I chose because I had read the first two books in the series and was still in an Anne kind of mood. Aren't these books just lovely? I read them when I was younger, and have seen the show many times, but I was surprised by how much more I enjoyed the books as an adult. They are so full of charm and dreams and beauty.
My second book was Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. I was surprised by how much I loved this book. I was expecting a good survives-against-all-odds kind of story, but it turned out to be so much more than that. Louie Zamperini was a truly remarkable man. His strength, determination, and fortitude were unbelievable. The fact that he survived the war is nothing short of miraculous. Hillenbrand did an excellent job of packing this book with historical information without weighing down the story. It could easily have been dry, but she brought it to life.
I enjoyed this book so much I considered recommending it to my kids, but decided against it because of a few not very kid-friendly scenes. I was thrilled when I found out there was a young adult version of the book. I immediately bought the audiobook and the whole family listened to it when we were out and about in the car. Everyone loved it. Many times during the book one or another of us would say, "Whoa" or "No way". I remember one time in particular, we were just pulling up to a store when we reached an especially powerful part of the book. My husband turned off the car and my daughter said, "I feel like might start crying!" My son responded, "Start crying? I did a little bit!" Whig and I admitted to getting teary-eyed ourselves. It was a beautiful moment.
Unbroken left me on a WWII kick, so I picked The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom. Oh my goodness, what a book! This one is my favorite of the ones I read this month, and that's saying something. TJed really encourages you to highlight and make notes in the book you're reading, and I have a hard time of it, because I get so engrossed that I forget to write in it. But I marked the heck out of this one. Not because I wasn't engrossed, but because there was so much to write! This book is rich with history, but more importantly, it's full to the brim with examples of true Christlike love. I marveled at the wisdom of Corrie's father, the goodness of Betsie, the complete honesty of Nollie, the foresight and charity of Willem. Apart from Corrie's father, I think Corrie herself was my favorite person in the book because she was so human and accessible. She struggled with the same doubts, fears, and weaknesses as the rest of us. She wasn't perfect, and struggled to understand and emulate the goodness that she saw in members of her family. Her insights inspired me. Her growth helped me grow. Her love for others, even her enemies, softened my own heart. This is such a beautiful, life-changing book. I highly recommend it to everyone. And take my advice, highlight and take notes in your book. It really enriches your reading experience.
Somewhere in the middle of reading all these books I listened to Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correia. I like listening to audiobooks when I'm making dinner or doing chores. It makes the work less tedious. My husband had listened to this one previously and recommended it, so I gave it a go. This is a fun book. It's not a classic by any means, but it is full of monsters, heavy-duty weaponry, libertarianism, and punching, so I enjoyed it. There is some language and loads of violence, so be warned. Otherwise it was a nice break from my more ponder-worthy reads.
My final book this month was The Great Brain, by John D. Fitzgerald. I have mixed feelings about this book. One one hand, there are some stinking funny parts. I shared the chapter where J.D. tries to get the mumps with my kids and they thought it was hilarious. There are also great lessons about kindness and looking out for others. And I must admit, Tom is pretty ingenious. On the other hand, Tom is SO greedy and proud! It was driving me nuts, especially the way he manipulates J.D. I was all set to seriously dislike this one, but the very end turned it around for me. I love how much he helps his friend and that he doesn't (for once!) accept payment for it. I gives me hope for book two, which I think I'll read next even though it's not on my list. It's a quick read after all.
I'm excited at how many books I got through this month. Reading that many excellent books in such a short amount of time was a great experience. I'm starting to get how life-changing reading the classics (and lots of them!) can be. Here's hoping I'll be able to keep the momentum going after the baby's born!