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Books Archives - Ruth Chesney
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My 5 Favourite Books in 2018

Last year I decided to use the Goodreads website to record all the books I read. There was quite a variety! From health-related books and biographies, to books about Christian living, as well as lots of fiction, it was fascinating to look back and see what I’d been reading in 2018.

This year, I’d like to regularly blog about my favourite books in various categories, so I’m kicking off January with my five favourite books in 2018.READ MORE

Book review – Frances Ridley Havergal’s Opened Treasures

January 1 – ‘For ye have not passed this way heretofore.’ (Joshua 3:4) We have not passed this way heretofore, but the Lord Jesus has… He knows all about it, and leads us according as we are able to endure… And He does not only know, with that sort of up-on-the-shelf knowledge which is often guilty of want of thought among ourselves, but He remembereth that we are dust.

Thus begins ‘Frances Ridley Havergal’s Opened Treasures – A Daily Devotional Reader’, compiled by William J. Pell. Despite its somewhat wordy title and out-of-date cover, this book really is rightly named. First published in 1962, and reprinted a number of times since, this little volume was given to me by friends when I was fifteen. I like to alternate daily reading books each year, but this one remains a firm favourite – so much so, that the binding is beginning to suffer from overuse!READ MORE

My top 5 tips for storywriting

I didn’t overly enjoy English class at school. Instead, I trudged my way through comprehensions, various books I’d never have chosen to read and everything else in the syllabus that I’ve long since forgotten. But when it came to creative writing, I was in my element. From a story at primary school about riding with Santa in his sleigh, to my all-time favourite piece of GCSE coursework – a story about an Irish girl named Bridget who emigrated to America during the potato famine – writing stories was something I always loved to do, both inside and outside of school.

I’m no expert. The more I write, the more I’m painfully aware of how much improvement there could be. I have, however, learned a few things from experience over the past few years, which I’m happy to share.READ MORE

Book review – Sergei by Sergei Kourdakov

Sergei, an autobiography by Sergei Kourdakov, is a book that I read multiple times as a teenager. Sergei was a police squad leader whose job was to break up secret meetings of Christians, usually in a most violent way. As a young believer, close in age to some of the persecuted young people mentioned, this book left a massive impression on me, along with a fascination for Russia, her people and captivating history.

With Russia’s name once more popping up more frequently in the news, I decided to re-read this unforgettable true story. Published firstly in 1973 as Sergei, then in other editions as The Persecutor, and Forgive Me, Natasha, this is the life story of Sergei Kourdakov.READ MORE

Book review – Where we Belong by Lynn Austin

What kind of fiction novel appeals to you? I prefer something a little out of the ordinary, something in an unusual setting, whether in era, culture, country or occupation, than what tends to dominate the bookshop shelves. For this reason, I read romances set in Victorian times pretty sparingly – there’s only so much swooning over tall, dark, handsome gentlemen that I can take! Where We Belong, however, while it is set in Victorian times and contains some romance (although not the main theme of the story by any means), is full of those added elements that make me feel that I’ve not simply been entertained, but actually educated.

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Children’s Bibles – reviews and recommendations

Visit a Christian bookshop, or google ‘children’s Bibles’ and you’ll be faced with a vast array of sizes, shapes and colours of books. How in the world is someone to choose? How can parents or grandparents find a scripturally-sound and easy-to-understand Bible story book to read with the children in their lives? To save you trawling through everything that’s available, I’ve asked some of my friends with young children for their favourite children’s Bibles.READ MORE

Book review – A Martyr’s Grace: 21 Moody Bible Institute Alumni Who Gave Their Lives For Christ

“I can think of nothing that would make death more welcomed than to meet it here, to die for these dear children as my Savior died for me. It is the suffering and dying Savior that melts the stony heart. So with us – that which our lives cannot do our deaths may do.”

 

So wrote Ella Mary Schenck, missionary to Sierra Leone, West Africa, in the late 1800s. Only a handful of years later, she was dead – brutally killed by a band of bloodthirsty rebels. Ella Schenck was the first former student of Moody Bible Institute to die as a martyr in a foreign land. The stories of all twenty-one are recounted in this fascinating and moving book, A Martyr’s Grace.READ MORE

Eight ways to help your child love books

One of the best compliments I get is when someone tells me ‘My son/niece/grandchild isn’t a reader, but I gave him/her your book and they couldn’t put it down. They want to know when the next one is coming out.’ I absolutely love hearing stories like this! Reading a good book is my favourite thing to do. I love knowing that I can play a part in helping others find the pleasure that can be found in bringing words on a page to life.

There are many reluctant readers out there! Some children need little or no encouragement to read, but others have no interest. They would rather be more active, which is important too – all children need to play outside in the fresh air for a variety of reasons. Sometimes I’m asked what I’d recommend to encourage a child to read. I’ve compiled a list of ideas for parents who would like their children to read more and develop a love for books.READ MORE

Anne Frank’s Journey, Part 3 – Auschwitz-Birkenau

In this final post of the three-part series about Anne Frank’s journey, guest blogger Chloe Smyth recounts her recent visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Anne Frank and the other inhabitants of the Secret Annex were sent after Westerbork transit camp.

In February of this year, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Krakow with my school. On the second day of our trip to Krakow we went to Auschwitz, a concentration camp to which innocent people, mainly Jews, were transported by the German Nazis.READ MORE