The Stuck-at-Home Book Club

Hello, Gracepoint Family! It’s been awhile. I hope 2019 was a great reading year. I realize that’s a bit belated, since we’re now a quarter of the way through 2020. 😂

With all of us at home from school and work due to Covid-19, this can be an awesome opportunity to make headway in our 2020 reading goals. I’m apparently 3 books behind schedule in my goal to read 0202 books in 2020, but I’m determined to put a big dent in my TBR pile!

This is also an opportunity for me to revive this blog, and to post some recommendations for what you can read with your family, or on your own. There’s also been a call for a Family Reading Challenge, so we’ll see what we can come up with.

For my first Stuck-at-Home Book Club recommendation, I present to you The Green Ember series, written by S.D. Smith. There are four main books (with the fourth coming out April 14th!), plus four other novellas set in the same world.

The-Green-Ember

I don’t want to give away too much about the series, but I will say this: Do *not* let the fact that they are rabbits dissuade you from reading this book! It is a captivating adventure, and there are lessons and themes that are for everyone in the family.

Families have read these aloud together, others have listened to the audiobooks (which are excellent), and other pre-teens, teens, and adults have just read them on their own! This series is so beloved that one of the 7th graders just told me that in anticipation of the April 14th release of Ember’s End, she re-read the series as a refresher.  More great news – the kindle version is only $2.99, and free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

If you’re still not quite convinced, there’s a Green Ember super-fan I’ve asked to provide an endorsement, so stay tuned for that!

What are you and your family reading during the next few weeks? If you want to write a recommendation, send it on over to me, and it might be featured here!

Books as Gifts: Easier Said Than Done

The most popular question I get from people at Gracepoint Berkeley church, and our church plants, is about a recommended reading list. And even more so, since it is Christmas time, and people are trying to buy gifts for nieces, nephews, cousins, and other friends and relatives.

But are you surprised by the title of my post? The reason is because it’s really hard to know if the person 1) already has the book, or 2) will like the book! So this requires you to know the person’s reading tastes and history fairly well. In fact, I have gotten several book donations to Bibliopolis from patrons who received books they already had as gifts from relatives, as well as books they received that they didn’t like.

Another thing to consider is that other people might get the same book for your friend/relative. How many of you received several copies of The Return of the Prodigal Son for your baptism? 🙂 An amazing book, but you end up with multiple copies that you feel like you can’t give away, because people have written personal notes at the front of the book!

So if you are positive person X wants a certain book because it’s on their wish list, or her mom told you, then go for it! If you’re not sure what to get for person X, but you know they don’t read all that much, so you’re pretty sure anything you buy will be new to them, then maybe you’ll find my recommended reading list as a useful starting point. I’d been working on a list, but realized it’s never going to be “ready” or finished. It is going to be forever in progress, so I decided to just share what I have so far. I invite you to help me add to it as well.

If you’re not sure what to get your person X who is an avid reader, or who has very particular reading tastes, then I really do think a gift card to a local book store, or online book seller is ok! Of course with a card from the big-A, you can’t prevent person X from buying toys or a juicer, but one can hope!

 

Do you buy books for people? Do you have go-to books you gift? Any favorite books you received? Or stories about bad book gifts? 🙂