Muthuraj Swamy – Reconciliation

I feel like I can’t really give this book a fair review (and it’s all my fault). The book was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lent book for 2019, and as it’s currently October 2021, you can probably see I wasn’t very timely with reading it. The book is designed to be read daily over the course of lent, and I did find the content really interesting for the first half of lent but then I got out of the habit of...

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Rachael Newham – And Yet

Disclaimer; I was given this book in exchange for a review on NetGalley. From the blurb: “In a life full of highs and lows, choice and challenges, the words ‘and yet’ can change everything. We are surrounded by darkness and yet there is light. We feel we are lacking and yet God provides. We are broken and bruised and yet there is hope.” The topic of lament feels particularly appropriate right now, it’s been a very hard few...

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Rachel Held Evans – Inspired

I bought this book with my audible subscription after it had been on my Waterstones wish list for absolutely ages, but I slightly regret that decision now. Not because the book was disappointing, in fact quite the opposite. The book was so good and there were so many times that the author said something that I wished I could have highlighted or noted but with an audiobook that’s impossible (especially if you’re reading while walking the...

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Kate Bottley, Richard Coles & Giles Fraser – Three Vicars Talking

I had this book on my Christmas list this year as I absolutely love both Kate Bottley and Richard Coles. I’d not heard of Giles Fraser before reading this book, but now I think he’s great. What I didn’t realise when I asked for this book is that it is a transcript of a series of radio shows that the three vicars recorded together over the previous year (I guess I should probably have figured that out from the title…), but the fact...

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Faithful

As soon as I saw this book announced I knew from the list of collaborating authors that it was going to be a must-read. And boy was I right. A collection of stories about how God shows his faithfulness through women in the Bible, it was written by a group of women who came together in Nashville to write this book and record an accompanying album of matching songs. Containing heartfelt personal stories alongside brilliant insight into the...

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Sister Elizabeth Pio – Bible to Go!

This book takes the reality that God can speak to us in any place, and puts it into action. Each chapter is written from a different location – a Costa coffee, a pub, on the sofa watching Eastenders, and uses that situation to put a particular verse from the Bible into context. Each chapter starts with a little introduction – always Sister Elizabeth talking to you and her little doggy. Then we dig into a Bible verse before...

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Sarah Yardley – More Change

Thank you to the publishers & NetGalley for giving me an advanced copy of this book to review. I found this book fab – short and succint but packed full of knowledge. The last year has been long and complex, but the author talks with wisdom about how to navigate times of change in our lives, while keeping our focus on God. Each short chapter in the book starts with a personal story from the author, then weaves in a story from...

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She Reads Truth – Colossians & Philemon

I’ve been looking forward to this book since it was announced and it did not disappoint. As much as I love She Reads Truth studies that are in familiar areas, I am always more excited to be spending time in a book of the Bible that isn’t so familiar to me – and this was a two-in-one! I’ve read a bit of Colossians before, but I can’t remember ever opening Philemon, which is silly since it’s such a short book...

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Simon Reynolds – Lighten Our Darkness

This book was requested from NetGalley in exchange for a review. This short but packed book is a guide to Choral Evensong, giving insight into the structure and elements of the service, along with detailed history of each of those parts. I think I’ve only been to one Choral Evensong service before when I was at St Paul’s in London, and I have to admit I didn’t really ‘get it’. But now I’ve read this...

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Stephen Cottrell – Dear England

The author introduces this book by recounting a story of a conversation he had in Paddington Station (Caffe Nero to be precise), when the barista asked him what sounds like an innocuous question: “What made you become a priest?”. Obviously when buying a coffee in a busy train station, there’s not much time to answer such a question as that, but this book is the response that he would have made if he’d had the time (a...

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Tim Hughes & Nick Drake – Why Worship?

I was given this book on NetGalley in exchange for a review. I’ve been following Tim Hughes’ music since I bought one of his CDs in a Wesley Owen shop (remember them?) in Leeds in 2003, and when I saw this book start to be mentioned on Twitter, I knew I needed to read it – seeing it on NetGalley just sealed the deal for me. The book is split into 4 parts: Who and why we worshipWhere and how we worshipWhat happens when...

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Anne Lamott – Dusk, Night, Dawn

I had a copy of this book as an ARC from NetGalley, the cover drew me right in, and the blurb seemed like it could be a very well timed book for me: ” How do we get through dark times when we feel like giving in to fear and despair, and when existential dread has convinced us of our smallness? “ Unfortunately, the style of the book was not my cup of tea. It was written kind of like a stream of consciousness, and I found that...

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David Robertson – What Would Jesus Post?

I started reading this book before lockdown 1.0 last year and unfortunately it just wasn’t the right time for me to be reading it, so I’ve only just got round to finishing it – not a reflection of the book, just a crazy year! Focusing on how to remain true to your Christian self while interacting online, this book was so interesting. With topics like wisdom and discernment and sewing a digital seed, it covered a wide range...

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Tony Evans – A Kid’s Guide to the Names of Jesus

I requested this book as an advance reading copy from NetGalley as I thought it might be useful for my youth groups. Although the book is pitched at a lower age range than I usually teach, I thought it would have some material that would be helpful. And I think I was mostly right. I think actually if I was to use this book with my teenagers, I wouldn’t have to do much adaptation in terms of aging the material upwards as some of it was...

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She Reads Truth – Esther

I absolutely loved this study. I’ve been struggling to commit to spending time in my Bible and a two week study felt like a perfect opportunity in the run up to Lent. I knew the rough outline of the story of Esther, but this is the first time I’ve read the whole book through, and it was such an eye opener. First of all, I never realised that God isn’t mentioned by name in the whole book of Esther, because it feels really...

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Sarah Bessey – A Rhythm of Prayer

I received this book as a free copy in exchange for a review from NetGalley. I thought this was a great collection of prayers and meditations, although like some previous NetGalley books, I think my experience was diminished by the fact it was an ebook not a physical copy (this is in no way a reflection on the book itself, I just feel like it would lend itself better to something physical). The book is comprised of contributions from a...

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Rev. Chris Lee – The OMG Effect

I’ve been following Rev. Chris on instagram for a while and have loved his 60 second sermons that he posts to give a brief moment of pause during the day. When I saw that he was bringing out a book, I had to pre-order it. Each chapter in the book starts with one of Chris’ 60 second sermons, then continues on with that topic. Topics including Positivity, Prayer, Humble Confidence, Death and Grief, and Love. Each chapter is...

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Sister Wendy Beckett – The Art of Holy Week and Easter

Having no art background and having not ever gone to art galleries or spent time looking at art, I’m probably not the target audience for this book. But then again, maybe I’m exactly the target audience, because I found this book absolutely fascinating. Filled with some pictures that I’d seen before and a lot I’d never come across, this book opened my eyes to the deeper meanings behind the canvas. Each picture...

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Lenny Duncan – Dear Church

This is possibly one of the most passionate books I’ve read in a long time – the subtitle was “A love letter from a black preacher to the whitest denomination in the U.S.”, and that’s exactly what it felt like – a love letter. A book that raises as many potentially ‘controversial’ points as this one could easily be seen as provocative and argument-starting, but the whole book is written from a...

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Colin Marshall & Tony Payne – The Trellis and the Vine

I picked up this book on the recommendation of a few people from Church. As is clearly obvious, things are not normal at the moment and of course Church has been affected by that. Almost every activity we do has been cancelled or materially altered in some way, and as we start to look to ‘the new normal’, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a deep breath and evaluate what and how we’re doing. As I’m sure it did...

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She Reads Truth – Daniel

During lockdown, I thought I’d have so much more time for doing things like reading and digging deeper into the Bible. But I’m sorry to say that I’ve completely lacked any kind of motivation and have struggled to either start or finish any of my She Reads Truth books for the last 5 months. So I was pretty made up to be able to find the time each day to sit down and read the book of Daniel. I was particularly motivated...

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