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Fall is finally here!

I don’t know about you but autumn is one of my favourite times to read. There’s nothing like the sound of rain hitting the windowpanes as you curl up with a good book and a knit blanket. And this September, “Raincouver” has lived up to its name.

So, without further ado, here are my rainy-day reads for the month!

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I am SO excited to give you all a sneak peek at the cover of my new book, Embrace: Clinging to Christ Through the Pain of Pregnancy Loss.

This book has been on my heart for so long now and it is an honour to share that with you.

It’s not a book I wanted to write.
It’s not a book that I want women to NEED to read.
And yet, I believe that this book is so very necessary.

Because 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. And yet, despite those staggering statistics, we still struggle to talk about grief. We still struggle to carry the weight of this pain.

Let me tell you friends, this may be a story of loss but it is also a story of love. Of redemption. Of hope.

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We’re over halfway through this year’s reading challenge and I think I can safely say that I’ve found my favourite book of the year.

But honestly? This was a good book month. Aviation history, time travel to one of my favourite eras, the story of an incredible life, and a fun alternate-reality style novel — I would happily recommend each of these reads.

So which one was the favourite? You’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

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I don’t know about you, but I usually have two or three different types of books on the go at the same time. I hop from one to the other as the mood strikes — flitting from biography to theology to general fiction. But when it comes to relaxation, there’s no genre I love more than a fast-paced suspense/mystery novel.

That’s why I was excited to review this new book: Justice Delivered by Patricia Bradley — and with its big plotlines, true-to-life characters and multiple twists and turns, this novel did not disappoint.
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Over the past two years, I’ve heard from many people who want to participate in the Reading Challenge but are scared that they won’t be able to finish a book a week. And I always give the same reply — “More important than 52 books, is setting a goal for yourself and just having fun.”

But this month, if I’m being 100% honest, the challenge has been a bit of a struggle. Less fun and more draining. Life has been busy and has thrown a few curveballs, and some days, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. If it wasn’t for the “buffer” I built up at the beginning of the year, there may not have been five books on this month’s review.

As much as goals motivate me, sometimes we just fall short no matter how hard we try. And that’s okay. This month I had to remind myself that it’s just about having fun — no pressure. And next month? Well, we’ll just have to see. Right now, we’re taking this one book at a time.

No matter how many books you’ve read so far this year, remember that next month is a new start! Read more

“The danger hasn’t passed — it’s just changed locations.”

This new novel from Davis Bunn, “Outbreak” promises page-turning adventure as characters seek to find answers to a deadly viral outbreak. As someone who enjoys a good action book every once in a while, I was immediately hooked by the plot and eager to dive in.

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Anyone else love the smell of a book?

There’s just something about the way ink meets paper that brings such extra depth to a book. Not all books have the right kind of smell, but when they do, it’s almost magical.

We’re a third of the way through the 2019 Reading Challenge, and I have to say, this year’s challenge is a fun one! Reading a book a week has been a bit of a stretch lately (this avid bookworm can’t even believe she’s saying that) but my motto for this year has been quality over quantity — and hopefully, I’m achieving that.

So while you peruse these reviews, I’m going to get a headstart on my May reads.

If you need me, I’ll just be over here inhaling books. Read more

So, BIG news this month.

**Drumroll….**

I have now learned that you can rent library books directly onto your e-reader!

(Haha, you should see the look of disappointment on your face right now. Like, Liz, come on! That is definitely NOT big news. Quite the opposite. We’ve been renting books for years!)

Fine. Not big news for you but it is HUGE for me. This discovery resulted in me finally tip-toeing out of the “paper books only” camp and casually crossing over into the “e-readers are okay too.” As a die-hard, “readers are for overseas travel only,” sort of person, this was a big deal.

And since it’s February and I didn’t feel like tramping through the snow to the library, I therefore promptly stole my husband’s Kobo and irritated the heck out of him by messing up his reader stats. (Honestly, he should just be grateful I improved his reading speed.)

Long story short, guess who ended up with a new Kobo reader for Valentine’s Day?

This girl.

So while I figure out my new device (and spend way too much money on “bargain books,”) here are four of my February reads. As always, this is part of my 2019 Reading Challenge: 52 Books in 52 Weeks. It’s not too late to join us, so check out the Facebook Group and get reading!

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“Once We Were Strangers” is a story about the blossoming friendship between two men: Shawn and Mohammad, a writer and a Syrian refugee. This book is a tangible response to the age-old question, “Who is my neighbour?” and “How do I love them?”

We live in a world where fear presides: where reports about shootings and bombings and murder and hurt dominate the news cycle. With such uncertainty and fear, it can be difficult to know how to respond to global issues like refugees and immigration. Instead of reacting with compassion, our gut response is often to turn away in fear or to simply ignore the problem, thinking that it’s too big for any one person to solve. That’s why stories and conversations like this are so important to share.

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The first month of 2019 is drawing to a close and I can’t help but wonder where it’s disappeared to in such a hurry. So far, January has been full of cozy blankets and the remnants of my Christmas candy — a month of sugary fingers and good books.

This year’s 2019 Reading Challenge has started off to great success (the Facebook group has more than doubled in size) and my to-be-read pile grows longer daily. It’s a happy problem to have more books on your wish-list than you could ever hope to read. This year, I’ve decided to log my 52 books here on MommyMannegren. In addition to my reviews, I hope to jot down a few other suggestions for each of the categories if you’re looking for ideas for yourself.

Here are my January choices:
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Ever since I was young, I’ve loved a good mystery. I still remember the feel of a new Nancy Drew book in my hand: soft and smooth with unbound excitement lying in wait. There was nothing like the familiar creak of those yellow-spined stories as I’d bury my nose into their fresh pages.

Mystery. Suspense. Thrillers.

These are still the genres I gravitate towards the most; the books I pluck from library and bookstore shelves most often. That’s what drew me to this new book, Mind Games by Nancy Mehl — the allure of a rollercoaster ride of mystery and suspense.

And I have to say, I was not disappointed.

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As we welcome the new year, it’s the perfect time to take a few moments to look back at our accomplishments over the past twelve months. What did we do? What did we see? And most importantly for us book-addicts, what did we read?

I, for one, set two goals for myself at the beginning of this year:

1. Have a baby. (CHECK.) 

and

2. Complete the 2018 Reading Challenge. (CHECK.) 

Over the past twelve months, I read my way through over 150 books and can happily say that I enjoyed a vast majority of them. The genres and authors were broader than usual, particularly since I participated in and completed my first reading challenge: 52 books in 52 weeks. (For a full list of said books, click here.)

And now, with January right around the corner, our 2019 Reading Challenge is set to begin in just a few days. For those planning on joining in, I am excited to share with you a few book recommendations to get you started!

In no particular order, here are FIFTEEN of my favourite reads from this past year:

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