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Ten tips to help you read more books this year

In my last post, I shared my five favourite books of 2020 and promised to give you some tips on how to increase the number of books you can read in 2021. Here are ten of them. Also, if you would like to read more of your Bible this year, a number of these tips will help you with this too!

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My Five Favourite Books of 2020

It’s become something of a tradition each January for me to share my five favourite books of the previous year. Despite a busy year with a book deadline, I managed to read more books in 2020 than in other years. (Check back in a few weeks’ time for tips on how you can increase the number of books you read.) After much deliberation, here are my top five books.

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My Five Favourite Books of 2019

Last January, I posted about my five favourite books of 2018. I set myself a higher target of books to read last year, which made choosing only five quite difficult, but after some deliberation, here are my favourites of 2019!

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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 Despite its somewhat wordy title and out-of-date cover, this book really is rightly named.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