Books I Read 02/19

As suspected, I didn't have as much time to read this month as I did in January (I miss you Christmas holidays!), so I finished fewer books than last month, but some gems nonetheless!

A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle

This book was such a pleasure. It was a very light read - one you can pick up out of nowhere and get into easily - but still transported you to the world of the author, which I think only the best books do well. I felt like I was in Provence as I read this book, and boy do I long to go back after having finished it. We have actually been to the exact place Mayle writes of (Aix-en-Provence in the Luberon Region) and it's exactly as splendid as he describes. The author is British so two fancies were met in one book for this French-living Anglophile. He compared their southern French life to that of busy London, and writes like a true Brit, so I obviously enjoyed those aspects immensely, but how he writes of France you can't help but fall in love with the food, the customs (even the frustrating ones!), the language, in short, all things French. He has several other books about their years in Provence and I can't wait to get my hands on them in due course. 

The Livegiving Table by Sally Clarkson

This was a natural followup from last month's The Livegiving Home by the same author, and I enjoyed it just as much. It's not a deep theological read, it's lifestyle meets hospitality meets recipes meets encouragement from the word. A really lovely read and really spurred me on in setting the table of fellowship and discipleship before my children, friends, and neighbours. Clarkson says again and again, "it's not what's on the table, it's what happens at the table" to remind us that it's not about homemade bread or a perfectly laid table (though those things are wonderful and add beauty and comfort to our lives!) but about making the most of mealtimes and using food and drink to bring merriment and welcome. 

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan 

I've wanted to read this books for a very long time after having heard countless historical Christians state it as one of the most influential books in their lives. Queen Elizabeth II says it opened her eyes to true religion and read it to the world on her first Christmas Broadcast. Charles Spurgeon gave it away liberally, including to his wife Susie, who credits it as having won her to Jesus. It was written in 1675 and is one of the most published books in history, and still today I have to say, it's a treasure. The story of Pilgrim, later named Christian, as he journeys to the celestial city encountering all numbers of snairs and evils on the way is an allegory for the Christian life. It's poetic and pointed and goes to show how there really is nothing new under the sun. The same challenges we face today, at their core, were the same 350 years ago, and long before that. I listened to this book on Christian Audio and delighted in every word! I will say it was a bit hard to follow at times if I wasn't giving the audiobook my full attention. I highly recommend the audiobook over the paper copy simply because there are so many characters to keep track of, and the performer does a great job giving them all distinct voices to help you differentiate. 

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