Something I have found I have needed to work on a lot more recently is that is my speech and my tongue, especially when it comes to communicating with my husband. I know what the Bible has to say about the tongue, but so often I have found myself glossing over those verses. A few weeks ago I cam across Conversation Peace by Mary A. Kassian at a used bookstore and decided to pick it up and go through it as a supplement to my personal Bible reading and study. Even though it does cover a lot of the usual verses about words and the tongue, Mary A. Kassian does a great job of breaking them down, as well as providing some good courses of action to improve how one speaks. She also explores all the different ways in which our speech can cause conflict, hurt others, and also be dishonorable to the Lord. I really liked how almost everything she talked about was saturated in Scripture and that she was not really grasping at straws. I will admit towards the end it got a little bit repetitive, but it was still really good. I highly recommend this one, even though it is an older book, if you are interested in learning more about working on how you communicate with others. This might be a stretch, but I really think that this book is just as good as any Spoken Communications text book that is out there.
The next book is one that I have been reading on my Kindle at nights once we turned the lights out, Dearest Josephine by Caroline George. The book follows recent high-school graduate Josie who’s last year of high school was filled of turmoil and grief, especially after the death of her father. While she figures out what she wants to do next, she travels to the manor her father had purchased before his death, and while there she discovers letters and a novel written by one of the previous owners, Elias Roch, who lived there in 1820. She starts reading these items and instantly feels a connection with someone who lived 200 years ago, especially since the letters were written to someone who was her namesake. I had mixed feelings about this book, because there were aspects that I really liked, but also there were flaws that made me not love it as much as I thought I would. I do have a longer review up that goes into more detail about what I liked and didn’t like, but I will share one thing I didn’t like. I felt like it was teased throughout most of the book that there might potentially be a paranormal aspect to it, and there wasn’t. I get why the author didn’t go that direction, but as someone who was invested in the story it was kind of a let down. Also, a big thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and Edelweiss+ for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. Click here to read more of my thoughts on the book.
The next book I picked up was Blackout by Candace Owens. I picked it up because Candace Owens has made a name for herself as a black conservative and I was interested in reading what she had to say from her perspective. It was an interesting read just about the political climate the U.S, especially in light of everything that happened last year. It was very thought-provoking and it was definitely a different read from a lot of other books that discuss racism. Before I read Blackout, I did pick up Caste by Isabel Wilkerson in order to read from someone on the opposing side of the topic so I could educate myself on what is being said on either side.
In between chapters of Blackout, I did read Fullmetal Alchemist Volumes 4, 5 & 6 by Hiromu Arakawa. This is a manga series that follows the Elric brothers who are trying to figure out a way to get their original bodies back after they broke one of the laws of alchemy trying to bring their mother back. In these three volumes the brothers are leaving Central so that they can go back to their teacher so that they can learn more alchemy and perfect their fighting techniques in order to go up against Lust, Gluttony and Envy. In the sixth volume we get a lot more of their backstory, especially as to how they became alchemists and eventually start working for the military.
After finishing Conversation Peace, I planned on picking up Ten Words to Live By by Jen Wilkin (thank you Crossway and Netgalley for giving me an eARC in exchange for my honest review), but before I started reading it, I wanted to read through Do Christians Need the Ten Commandments? by Phylicia Masonheimer which is a concise work that provides a short but thorough overview of successionism, the free grace movement, as well as how we as Christians are still commanded to obey God’s Word, even though we are not under the law. I have no idea if what I made sense, but I highly recommend it if this is a topic you are interested in knowing more about. After reading it (it’s about 16 pages), I jumped into Ten Words to Live By by Jen Wilkin, which is about the ten commandments and how they apply to Christians today. It was a pretty decent book, I learned quite a bit in the first half, but then the second half seemed to be a rehash of what I already know. But I still appreciated how Jen Wilkin takes readers through each commandment, breaks it down, and then shows how we can apply it in our daily lives. I also loved that she emphasized that while certain sins can be viewed as “personal” sins, they still have an affect on the community as a whole (especially the Christian community). She also emphasizes the importance of knowing the Lord in able to be one of His followers and strive to follow His commands. I recommend it for those who are interested in learning more about the then commandments and their applicability today, and for fans of Jen Wilkin’s previous works.
Janelle L. C.