Review-Shepherds Abiding/ Amazon Audible

It’s finally December and while no snow has flown in Northern Arizona yet, temperatures have definitely fallen. The end of this week will bring another Three Ladies reunion, some pre-Christmas festivities and a reason for the very warm coat I just scored at Eddie Bauer. 

I often think I don’t enjoy the build up to the holiday as much as I should. We have a few birthdays we won’t celebrate since those we love went to be with the Lord, and time hasn’t lessened that loss yet. It’s busy, sometimes frantically so, and while some people thrive on that, this eldest lady doesn’t. With the coming of December, I decided on a purposeful advent practice. As part of that, though not the traditional calendar or devotional, is something I think deserves a place on our list of…

“Things People Wish You Would Buy Them for Christmas!”

We tend to review non-fiction here, and that’s because the majority of requests for recommendations we get are for books dealing with the fundamentals of the faith and spiritual growth.  See our Meet the Ladies section if you’d like to know why that occurs with such regularity. But we love books of every genre, well, maybe not creepy books. I don’t like those. But we all regularly read fiction, and one of our very favorite series comes from Jan Karon. The Mitford series, set in the village of Mitford, North Carolina have been read and re-read by the ladies, and they never grow old. 

With a main character of a 60 something bachelor Episcopalian priest and the day to day life in a small town as a frame work for its themes, Mitford won’t have you on the edge of your seat with suspense, or your emotions in a blender because of the drama. Instead, gentle reader, you will walk down Main Street and meet characters you wish lived next door, some you’re glad that don’t, and people like us- who struggle, who hurt, who help, who heal and people who make you laugh. 

One of the best things about the series is that that Father Tim, the priest with “a dog the size of a Buick”, shares the gospel with someone in every book, and someone comes to faith. It was in the reading of the first novel that my late sister came to saving faith, a thought that consoles me when I miss her. 

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This year, I became a huge fan of Amazon Audible, the subscription service for audio books. For a tactile reader like myself I never thought I would enjoy audio books, but it has become unusual for a day to go by without my listening to part of a book. If you sign up for Audible, your first book is free, and there are tons of sales and for Prime members, lots of free books available. An Audible subscription just might be one of the…

“Things People Wish You Would Buy Them for Christmas!”

As much as I love reading the Mitford series, I’ve been enjoying the books even more as I’ve listened to them. This week, in preparation for Christmas I’ve been listening to Shepherds Abiding. 

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This story can be enjoyed even if you’ve never read any of the series. In the weeks leading up to Christmas Father Tim embarks on a secret project, discovering talents he didn’t know he had. Meanwhile, the manager of the town bookstore faces a challenge to her new faith as she seeks to decide about her future, and the future of Happy Endings Bookstore. Okay, I was a little on the edge of my seat over that plot line. A beautiful contemplation of Jesus’ birth was a favorite theme of this story. One of the things I love about these books is the vignettes tucked in the chapters that are both character sketches and plot lines that will intersect with the larger story.  This is where Jan Karon’s talent for developing characters shines. 

She has said of this book, “This Mitford story presented itself to me, quite unexpectedly, and asked to be told. I hope readers will find it a perfect refuge from the holiday frenzy.”  This is exactly what listening to this audio book has been for me in this busy time. This holiday season, try Audible if you haven’t already, and take a trip to Mitford

Read (and listen) well, friends! 

 

 

***This post contains affiliate links, which means purchase made from said links provides a tiny remuneration to the ladies.***