Stone Soup for Five: July Reading-- books, comments, and one book you HAVE to read.

July Reading-- books, comments, and one book you HAVE to read.

I finished three books this month and am working on my 4th.  Here's what I read and what I (and others) thought of them.

The Plain Choice by Sherry Gore

I picked up The Plain Choice at my library because I wanted a cozy, relaxing Amish book but didn't feel like reading a fiction story (sometimes the Amish fiction all kind of seems the same).  I thought that I could take my time reading through this one and enjoying it, but, I devoured it in just a handful of days.  Sherry's writing is open and honest and her life before choosing to become Plain was just as riveting as her life afterwards.  I related to her childhood and early adult years and found myself so impressed by not only her storytelling but her strength and determination to follow her convictions.  Quick read that I absolutely loved!

  • Sherry's Facebook and Instagram pages (I know, she has Facebook and Instagram?  She's non-traditional in a few ways...she's also a co-author of some fiction novels, and regular writer for the Amish newspaper, The Budget.)
  • I LOVED this video and will be sure to make this recipe ASAP!  (BTW, the author in the video with her is one of my favorite Amish authors!)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

In my childhood I was busy just surviving everything and didn't read many books for pleasure, so I missed a lot of classic childhood books.  I'm working my way through them now, and found a vintage copy of Anne of Green Gables for .25 from Exodus Books (EXCELLENT new and used bookstore for readers and homeschoolers!)

I did watch the original film years ago, and those characters stayed with me in the book.  Perfect casting!

On Instagram a friend wrote: I watched the Anne with an E series on Netflix. It was good, but you can't compare the two because no one can take the place of Anne, Matthew, Marilla, Diana, and of course Gilbert Blythe [in the original film].
Others responded:  One of my all time favorite stories ❤️ You should continue and read the whole series 😊😊
Wow! Me too! I just finished the 8-book series yesterday. Fell in love with the stories all over again. Love this series!
P.S. I think the Anne series would make excellent read-alouds for kids and teens, definitely lots of laugh-out-loud parts!

Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose

Evidence Not Seen is the book you HAVE to read.  If you've already read it, time to dig it out and re-read it.  What a wonderful book and story of Darlene's early life as a missionary in New Guinea before and during WWII.  She went through challenges most of us would never survive and as she depended more and more on God through crushing loss, torture, and sickness.  Not only was it an interesting look at WWII, but also such an encouraging and convicting and beautiful story of faith in God and the importance of Scripture memorization and application in my own life.
On Facebook, SK wrote:  "This book is in my Top Five all-time favorites. Ten years ago I contacted Darlene Rose's estate for a project, and the estate manager, Jan Henry, shared a beautiful story of how Darlene's faith in God remained strong to the end of her life. Jan wrote, "We ... have gone to great lengths to protect her audios, videos and book--that's all we have of hers. Everything else, journals, etc. were burned by marauders (cowboy types) in the shed where it was all stored in Darwin, Australia. This happened in 2000 and she just broke down and wept at the news--it was the last of any personal mementos, missionary memorabilia, anything at all. Then she looked at me and said, 'Well, dear, just think of all of these wonderful things we can do without.' Then I cried!! The only really sad thing is that it leaves us with so little as we go forward--we have very few pictures, etc., but God knows it all and we're just grateful for what we have."
"A total read and re-read. I've read it several times. Inspiring book! I better pull it out again.  ☺️ Thank you for reminding me."
"Such an amazing book. I think I've gone through a few copies. I'm due for a re-read."
Another friend told me there is an audio of Darlene speaking that is free online at:
I haven't listened to that one yet, but I will ASAP.  It is in three parts, about a half hour each.

And this short portrayal of Darlene on YouTube tells just a few snippets from the book.


I'd love to hear what you're reading (leave a note in the comments!) I'm always looking for recommendations!

Other book posts you might like:

George Muller Biography

Best Books list for 2016

My all time favorite short story--free!


  1. Right now I am reading The Power of a Woman's Words by Sharon Jaynes and it is really good. She says things in this book that really got me to thinking and praying about the power of our words. I highly recommend this book. My next book that I already have lined up to read is entitled, You Were Made For More by Jim Cymbala. I have read several of his books and I find them to be encouraging and really thought provoking. He is a very talented writer and I really learn a lot from his books. I also just finished reading (have several books going at one time sometines) Karen Kingsbury's book, Love Story and I have all her books and love to read them especially those with the Baxter Family because they go through things in life that we too face and to see how their faith and love for God plays into their everyday life is just so encouraging and uplifting. Those books made me stop and think about my life and if I was showing people my faith by how I live my life. Am I making God a priority in my life? I love books that make you think and that things happen in them that happen in your life and how they faced each trial, trouble and difficult circumstance in their lives. I thank God for the Christian authors we have that aren't afraid to write that God is real, He is able and He can and will do what He says in His Word.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing books to read. I loved the Anne of Green Gables series from my childhood and agree, I could watch A of GG and Little House on the Prairie - that kind of Telly anytime - way better than the rubbish on there these days! I will be picking myself up a copy of Evidence Not Seen as soon as I can get hold of one.
    I love some of the older books that seem to have gone out of fashion.
    I finished A Shepherd Looks at The Good Shepherd and His Sheep by Phillip Keller. This is a man who started out as a shepherd (because he had money for land but not cattle so bought sheep instead) and after many years became a pastor. He looks at it from both aspects and it is so insightful. Second time I've read it and yep - I too read it in a day - out loud so my unsaved daughter could hear it!!! Right now I'm reading A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm by Phillip Keller for about the third time. Each chapter is on 1 verse of the well known psalm and if you think you already got as much as you can out of it you will see so much more after this read. There's a reason we are referred to as sheep so often on God's word! It's an oldie but has gone into reprint again and you can still get older copies. I was tuned into his books by Kay Arthur from Precept Ministries during an inductive Bible study series and an excerpt she quoted about the nose fly burrowing into the minds of the sheep until some are so distracted by it they have been known to kill themselves. She was making the link regarding depression/suicidal thoughts. 'Thou annointest my head with oil' turns out to be sooooooo much more than we could've thought.
    In between I am working my way through another oldie but goodie by Jill Briscoe, a fellow English gal who happens to be wife of a pastor in USA and is an amazing speaker if you've had the privilege of hearing her. The book's called Running on Empty and highlights several 'greats' of the Bible who felt, depressed, frustrated, sad, unloved, guilty or just plain tired - yet God brought each of them refreshment and renewal. How awesome.
    And for anyone struggling with depression or to get control of their mind away from the enemy try her book There's a Snake in my Garden'. I've loaned it to several people especially non-believers and it really makes them think. And for anyone who might wonder. No, I'm not depressed. Just aware there's a very real enemy that seeks to take hold of our minds if we are unaware how he works. good to know in a fallen world that can be filled with let downs and disappointments.

  3. Thank you for your book suggestions. I'm always looking for another good book. From you suggestion I read "Whistling Past the Graveyard" and enjoyed it, encouraging a friend to read it, too. May I suggest a book entitled "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer. "I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends--and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island--boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

  4. Thanks for the book reviews, Kari! I've requested "The Plain Choice" from my library and am looking forward to reading it.

    Have you read "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23" by Phillip Keller? It's one of my favorite books to reread. Right now I'm reading his second book, "A Layman Looks at the Lord's Prayer." "Pollyanna" by Eleanor Porter is another must-read classic children's book, especially if you only know the sappy Disneyfied movie version of the story.

  5. I've just finished reading "The Lightkeepers Daughter" by Colleen Coble. This is my first read of this author and I was pleasantly surprised to find this a mystery/romance/suspense with a surprise ending@


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