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What I read in January 2020 (Part 1)

The books featured in this post were ones I borrowed from the library.

Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland is a very interesting novel. The language in the opening pages indicates the frame of mind of the main character. It might put some readers off! She works in a bookshop in Yorkshire called Lost for Words and very slowly reveals why she is happier with books than with people. The story develops with the past affecting the present. There is plenty to keep the pages turning. Questions for reading groups are included. I enjoyed this book, which reminded me of a novel by Margaret Forster in which a female protagonist had a hidden past, although the details were completely different.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman also has a young female main character, affected by past events. This story is set in the USA. I found that I could only read one or two chapters at a time, partly because the American setting and some of the vocabulary were more difficult for me to follow than books written in UK English. There were abbreviations, which I did not understand at all. I have to mentally translate some that I recognise, for example, ER to emergency room and then to casualty or accident and emergency (A&E). It is a good story. At the end I was puzzling about which of the characters the title, Faithful, referred to. One stands out, but there were perhaps others. Although the opening is quite miserable it is a hopeful book. I enjoyed it.

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Some reflections about words

Last week I joined in with Cee’s ‘On the Hunt for Joy’ photo challenge. This was a new challenge, although I have joined in with some of Cee’s challenges in the past. When ‘Get outside’ came up in my WordPress Reader, I had just loaded up my photos from a walk on a hill that day. I had not been hunting for joy because I believe that joy is something, which I already have. However the walk was very enjoyable. It was a longer walk than usual for hubby and me, involving more climbing, but the slopes were relatively gentle. The views were well worth the climb. The post I wrote is on Sue’s words and pictures.

Hubby commented, “I really enjoyed that”.

A view on our walk

Did you notice that JOY is in the middle of enJOYed? The French word for joy is joi. We use it in the phrase we have borrowed, joi de vivre. It forms the centre of our word reJOIce.

So why do I say I already have joy, or that I am joyful?

The Bible tells us that those, who believe the Good News of salvation are marked by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (otherwise known as the Spirit of Christ or, in older language, the Holy Ghost). 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 and Ephesians 1:13-14 are some of the verses, where this is stated.

Part of the Holy Spirit’s work is to make believers more like Jesus Christ. He does this gently. In fact gentleness is one of the characteristics listed as fruit of the Spirit, the results of the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer. Joy is another. Click the link for the full list. Galatians 5:22-23

The Photo challenge is a blog hop. One of the contributors to the More than Writer’s blog has written about blog hops his week. If you have time, have a look at what she has to say.

Even better click on the links to Bible Gateway and read the Bible verses I have mentioned.

Please note: If you are reading this post because you follow this blog on bloglovin’ please be aware that I shall soon be deactivating my bloglovin’ account. There are other ways of following Sue’s Trifles and Sue’s words and pictures, for example, via the WordPress reader or following by email. Links to my posts are also shared on Twitter and on my Facebook page.

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What I read in December 2019 (Part 3)

I finished reading two more books in December. The first one was a Christmas present and the second a library book.

Mrs Noah’s Pockets by Jackie Morris and illustrated by James Mayhew

Mrs Noah’s Pockets is a beautiful picture book. Although it appears under the genre ‘Religious books’ on some websites, the story is so loosely connected to the biblical account (Genesis 6-8) that I’d move it to fantasy! It would be a good book to use in discussion with older children as well as reading aloud with younger children. On Christmas Day three adults read my copy and discussed it; their reactions reminded me of two of the characters in The Library of Lost and Found (previous post.)

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

This is a long, light read. Although I had brought it home from the library, I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the time required to read over 700 pages by an author, many of whose books I had already read. However it was just right for the period between Christmas and New Year. The main characters grow from childhood into adulthood during the story, which is set in Ireland in the mid 20th century. The Irish culture of the time influences the story, which I become engrossed in.

Please note: If you are reading this post because you follow this blog on bloglovin’ please be aware that I shall soon be deactivating my bloglovin’ account. There are other ways of following Sue’s Trifles and Sue’s words and pictures, for example, via the WordPress reader or following by email. Links to my posts are also shared on Twitter and on my Facebook page.