She Reads Truth – Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope

“A Thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices”. O Holy Night – one of my favourite Christmas hymns. And I’ve sure been feeling weary these last few months. This for me was the perfect reading plan for Advent – getting ready to celebrate Christmas in the best way possible – by reading the Bible. I love how, as always, the focus of this book was the Bible passages for each daily reading. But interspersed...

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Dave Walker – How to Avoid the Peace

I’ve been a fan of Dave Walker’s cartoons in the Church Times for quite a while now, and last year when I saw this book was coming out, I absolutely had to buy it for my husband, who is a reluctanct peace hand-shaker at best. He loved it straight away, and I ‘ve been slowly flicking through it over the last year. Every page without fail made me chuckle, it’s just so relatable. Probably no matter what church you attend...

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Jeff Lucas – Lucas Out Loud

I picked this book up in the second hand book basket at my Church after flipping through it randomly and reading a page about the perils of radio-microphones as a vicar/speaker. It made me laugh out loud, so I decided I might as well read the whole thing. Presented as a series of short articles on a variety of subjects, the book was simultaneously light hearted but thought provoking. Hitting the nail on the head and getting direct to the...

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Krish Kandiah – Faitheism

“When we are not afraid to talk about our beliefs, our conversations are richer as a result.” So is the basis for this thought-provoking book by Krish Kandiah. Each chapter presents two opposing viewpoints of Christianity vs Atheism for example “Christians are boring / Atheists are fun”. Each one is split into four sections: Collision, Collusion, Contention and Collaboration, exploring different sides to the chapter...

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She Reads Truth - I Am

She Reads Truth – I Am: Statements of Our Savior

Another fabulous reading plan from She Reads Truth. This is one of their shorter ones at only 14 days, and takes us through the things that Jesus tells us that he is. Beautifully laid out and giving space to just breathe in the Bible verses contained within, I found this to be one of my favourite plan books so far. I loved the notes section at the end that was a bit more structured than some other plans – rather than just being a...

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Rachel Held Evans – A Year of Biblical Womanhood

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a couple of years, but when the author sadly died earlier this year, it moved up my to-be-read list after I heard so much about the author and the books she’d written. The premise really intrigued me, trying out different aspects of biblical womanhood each month in an attempt to try and be the ‘perfect’ woman. You may have heard of things like the ‘proverbs 31 woman’...

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Paula Gooder – Phoebe

I picked this book up after seeing an advert for a talk with the author at Southwark Cathedral which just so happened to be while I was in London (this never happens!). I booked onto the event straight away, and the kindle version of the book was only 99p, so I dug straight in. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled for personal reasons, but I’m so glad that the event was what caused me to pick the book up in the first place, as it was...

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Andrew Pettegree – Brand Luther

I started reading this book as a recommendation when we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the reformation in Church. As the reformation started in 1517, that probably makes it quite obvious that it’s taken me quite a while to read this! The book was a fascinating take on the reformation, focused on the impact that Martin Luther had on the printing industry in Germany. Not too deep on theology, but I found the subject matter rather dry...

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Pete Greig – How to Pray

I pre-ordered this book when it first came out, but it’s been languishing in the middle of a rather large stack of books that I want to read so I hadn’t got around to it, until my vicar mentioned it as part of a sermon on prayer on Sunday and I decided that I’d move it to the top of the list. Turns out, it was perfect reading for a rainy bank holiday and I found it really hard to put down – I ended up staying up til...

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Gary A. Haugen – Good News About Injustice

I seem to usually start a book review saying whether I enjoyed the book or not, and I can’t in all honesty say that I ‘enjoyed’ this book, but it was necessary and eye-opening and quite frankly a must-read. So the fact that I didn’t ‘enjoy’ it should not put you off from reading – I give this book 5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in a Christian perspective of injustice, I...

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She Reads Truth – Job: Suffering and the God who speaks

I have read many SRT plans before using the app on my phone, but this was the first time I’ve bought one of their study books to use. I had read online that their study books didn’t contain as much information as the reading plans online – the ones in the app/online come with a mini devotional for each reading and also a discussion area so you can leave comments and talk to other ‘Shes’. So I was really unsure...

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Fiona Lloyd - The Diary of a (Trying to be Holy) Mum

Fiona Lloyd – The Diary of a (Trying to be Holy) Mum

I picked this book up on our church book stall a little while ago – the cover caught my eye – I’ve always liked diary style books. At first, I thought it was a biography style book, but some of the characters in the book were such caricatures of characters you see in a church that I thought either it can’t be real, or the author is brave to be naming them in her book! Having no children, I can’t really...

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Jimmy Dodd & Larry Magnuson – Pastors are People Too

I remember when I first bought this book, our Vicar was a few months into his new role in our Church, and he shared a link to it on Facebook. I bought it thinking that it sounded interesting, but it just never popped to the top of my reading list. Probably not helped by the uninspiring cover, I never got around to it. But I’m now quite sad that I didn’t – I know now that there’s a reason why our Vicar probably shared...

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The One Hour Bible

I can’t really review this book in the same way as I would usually, for one simple reason. Unlike some other ‘read the Bible’ books where the content is rewritten to make it fit into an hour, this was the actual words of the Bible – selected passages to give you the general overview of the Bible story in just about an hour (I think it actually took me slightly longer than an hour to read, but thereabouts). I really...

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Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons

Starting with the story of Matt at the Grammy’s, you’d be forgiven for starting to think this book was going to be a popularity thing. But it rapidly becomes clear that Matt is not like that at all. The book is so unexpectedly humble, and more an homage to the power of worship in the most testing of times. The book is a collection of people who have been impacted by what is arguably Matt’s most famous song: 10,000 Reasons...

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Bryony Taylor – More TV Vicar?

When I spotted this book on a trip to my favourite book shop (Barter Books in Alnwick), I knew I had to have it. Firstly, because I’ve heard Bryony’s name mentioned many times at our church as she was here before she went to train to be a vicar. And secondly, I’ve always found it interesting the ways that Christians are portrayed on TV, so I was really intrigued to see if I would agree. The book is split into three sections:...

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Arani Sen - Holy Spirit Radicals

Arani Sen – Holy Spirit Radicals

I ordered this book after we did a group reading plan of the book of Acts with my Church Life Group over the summer, and this popped up as an advert in my Facebook feed: it seemed like it was placed there for a reason! Written by the vicar of Christchurch in Armley, it’s a great book filled with insight on the book of Acts and how we can apply it to helping the undervalued and underappreciated in our communities. “Luke asks the...

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Enid Blyton – The Boy with the Loaves and Fishes

I picked up this book on a trip to one of my favourite places – Barter Books in Alnwick. If you’ve never been there – go. Seriously, it’s the best book shop. I love it for finding old books like this that you would never find anywhere else – this book only has 1 review on Goodreads and it’s not available at Waterstones or other bookshops. But it was a delightful little book – a re-telling of the...

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Gemma Willis & Emma Randall – Diary of a Disciple: Luke’s Story

I bought this book thinking I was just reading it to check if it would be okay for our Sunday School/Youth Group kids, but actually I ended up loving it for myself too! This beautifully designed hardback book is a re-telling of Luke’s Gospel, aimed at children and perfect for them to read either by themselves or with their parent or in a group. I really liked the informal style of the writing which made it feel really relatable, it was...

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Nick Page – A Nearly Infallible History of the Reformation

I started reading two books about the reformation at a similar time, and they are very very different books. The other (which I’m still reading) is very dry and serious and hard to get into, but Nick Page manages to take a topic (like Church history) which could be quite boring or unexciting and make it a joy to read. Filled with amusing little sketches and footnotes which frequently made me laugh out loud and interrupt my...

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Adrian Plass – Blind Spots in the Bible

Please don’t judge this book by how long it took me to read it! It lends itself really well to being read in small chunks so I’ve been reading it a small part at a time while waiting for the shower to get hot, which means it’s take a long time, but it’s also prolonged the enjoyment and given me time to mull over each snippet I’ve read. The book takes what are mostly familiar passages from the Bible and points out...

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