19. Anne of Ingleside – again, I think these books get better and better as I read. This was a nice, light-hearted choice.
20. The Wolves of Andover – this was the prequel to The Heretic’s Daughter that I read last month, and in the same way so many sequels/prequels are overly sensational and disappointing, this one was, too. I don’t recommend it.
21. One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp – I really enjoyed this book and was very challenged by it, and I will likely read it again to continue soaking up the truths in it. The main idea of this book is that being thankful in all circumstances and seeing all things as gifts from God will free us to worship, serve and live fully where we are.
22. Half the Sky: Turming Oppression into Opportunities for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn – this was a gut-wrenching, heart-stomping book that gives a glimpse into some of many problems faced by women around the world. They take a look into sex-trafficking (more girls and women are sold into sexual slavery each year now than African slaves were shipped to slave plantations each year in the the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries), honor killings, rapes and violence against women, why women die in childbirth (one woman dies every minute giving birth around the world), maternal mortality rates (this looks into the horrible reality of fistulas among women in Africa), women and Islam, the value of education, microcredit and ways of really helping women around the world. While many books like this are incredibly difficult to get through, I really appreciate the way the authors approach this subject–with hope. As each well-researched chapter discusses a different horrible reality for women, they have a section of what someone is doing to help, along with how and why it is working. The book is hopeful and is full of practical ways someone here in our wonderfully cushy life in America can help. I highly recommend this book.