My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

Books to Start the New Year

It’s no secret around here that I love books. I share lessons from books I’ve read, lists of favorites, and even had the first BOOK WEEK where I told you about my favorite books to read and give in 5 categories.

At the end of each month I love to look back at what I’ve read to highlight a few of my recent discoveries for you.

Don't miss great fiction, inspiration and family books from My Ink Dance!

The Headmaster’s Wife is a beautifully woven New England tale. (I am always partial to stories in familiar places.) Greene explores relationships, loss, and the way memories can twist and tangle when a heart is broken. Part love story, part thoughtful mystery, you see how a prestigious headmaster copes with love, loss and pressure in surprising and sometimes predictable ways. I did enjoy the story, though not quite as much as his other title, If I Forget You. There are some instances of profanity and sexuality in both books (The Headmaster’s Wife more than If I Forget You) but I found it easy to skim past. I just like to give you the heads up!

I had heard about Goff’s book for quite some time, even seeing images and quotes that made me want to read it. I don’t know what took me so long to read Love Does, but I am so grateful I did. Beautiful stories, woven deep with lessons on living a life full of love make this book a joy to read. Some parts seem over the top, and slightly hard to believe, but I get the feeling that is part of Goff’s personality. You will not regret the stories, encouragement, and life lessons in this Biblically sound book.

Two Steps Forward is a sequel to Sensible Shoes, a favorite read from last year (read more about it here), and it continues the stories of four friends beautifully. Four women in very different life circumstances forge a friendship through all the twists and turns of life. And through it all they point one another back to God. Encouraging and real, Two Steps Forward is reminiscent of the Seasons Series by Beverly LaHaye and Terri Blackstock, which I highly recommend.

The Explorer is a thoughtful and fantastic family adventure! A middle grade novel about four kids who are the only survivors of a small place crash in the Amazon, you are immersed in a tale of survival, friendship and loyalty. Delightful read that kept my whole family engaged. It makes a perfect read aloud!


Somehow, despite my love for all things Narnia, I have yet to read all the books in the series. The Horse and His Boy is the third book in the series, according to the chronological story order. The beginning was slow for us, but the second half redeemed itself and brought some of the magic we love so much. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will likely always be my favorite and The Magician’s Nephew gave a fantastically exciting framework for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but my family did thoroughly enjoy The Horse and His Boy as well. Now on to Prince Caspian! (Side note: they have made some into fantastic movies. This one is my favorite!)

Sharing words with these great writers! Visit them to be encouraged today!


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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

26 Replies

  1. Dear Becky, thanks for offering up a couple more books for my bookshelf. Love the Narnia series! We gave the series to our granddaughter for her birthday. Good stories deserve to be passed down through generations. Blessings!

    1. Becky Hastings

      I would love to hear what you choose Alice!

  2. Love Does has been on my long to-read list for quite awhile also. Right now I’m reading Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman.

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s funny how I kept hearing about Love Does and reading quotes from it, but never read it! I wish it hadn’t taken me so long. It was great. Fatal Mistake sounds intense! What do you think of it?

  3. Christy Mobley

    Thanks for these reading tips. I’ve always wanted to read Love Does as well. Maybe that’s God’s prompting … ! Coming to you from RaRaLinkup.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Did you get a copy of Love Does yet? I grabbed mine at the library. You won’t regret it!

  4. Love Does was such a great read! I loved it! And I so appreciate the middle school recommendation!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yay! My kids loved The Explorer! Hope you enjoy it!

  5. So cool that you are getting to enjoy one of the Chronicles of Narnia for the first time! And I just got one of the Sensible Shoes series, and am really anticipating some good fiction. I’m also looking forward to Can You See Anything Now? by Kate James. I wanted to read more fiction in 2018, so am off to a great start!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yay! Let me know what you think of Sensible Shoes!

  6. Thanks for sharing your reading list with us, Becky! I LOVE The Horse and His Boy; it’s probably my favorite Narnia tail. And I’ve heard about Love Does for years. I really should read it.

    1. Becky Hastings

      So good to hear that you LOVE The Horse and His Boy! I am really enjoying getting lost in Narnia 🙂

  7. I always love the Narnia series, every time through. Somehow I was not aware of them growing up, so I have only been reading them as an adult.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yay! Another adult getting lost in Narnia!

  8. I was just listening to a podcast yesterday with Bob Goff and he talked about his new book that’s coming out later this year. Sounds like another good one. Thanks for sharing your book list at #PorchStories.

    1. Becky Hastings

      I haven’t heard about it! Tell me more!

  9. I think I’ll check out Goff’s Book. I’m at a vulnerable stage at the moment so it may be a good one to try as I’m unable to focus or concentrate on anything I pick up right now.
    Thanks for sharing, S

    1. Becky Hastings

      Sharon, I’m sorry for whatever you are going through, but I am praying that God meets you in that vulnerable place.

  10. Love book posts. Definitely pinned for future reference. Thanks Becky.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Book posts are so lovely, aren’t they?!

  11. Love Does is a book I’ve heard about for years. Perhaps I’ll pick it up this year to read. Thanks for the list.

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s a great read. So glad I read it!

  12. I love book recommendations! I read the Chronicles of Narnia for the first time in my life last summer and I absolutely loved the whole series. Love Does has been in my to-read pile for a long time now. I think it’s time I read it!

    1. Becky Hastings

      I’m glad I’m not the only adult reading the Narnia books! 🙂 You won’t regret reading Love Does! Let me know what you think!

  13. I love the Narnia series. Read it a number of times to my grade 4s. Full of faith, trust, truth and fantasy. Perfect.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Once upon a time I taught grade 4 and loved reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to them! It was always magical!

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