Good Monday morning! I’m happy to say I met my two reading goals for 2021. I completed my #MustReadin2021 list, finishing all 49 books that I considered mandatory. And I also met my yearly goal of reading 365+ books. Whew! I’ve let my Goodreads account go in recent months, so there was a lot lot of catch-up over the last two weeks.
If we’re not yet connected on Goodreads, please feel free to friend me. I love the connection and accountability over there. I really believe it helps me keep better organized knowing my reading buddies are often popping on and off all week on that platform.
Oh yeah. I thought I’d mention that one of the libraries I frequent does this little tally notification, letting patrons know how much they’ve saved by using the library that year. How fun is that?! Now I kinda wish all my libraries offered this information (this is probably my least used library).
I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! We stayed home this year as we nursed ourselves back to health, so we did a lot of lounging on the couches. We also ended the year COVERED in snow and with -4° temperature. Eeek! I’ll share just a few photos from this last month, including one of my favorite gifts (excuse me while I test out the slideshow option for the first time…):
The next couple weeks I’ll be gathering up my book lists for the #MustReadin2022 challenge. The annual “Must Read” group is now hosted by Cheriee Weichel of Library Matters and Leigh Anne Eck of A Day in the Life. If you’d like to participate this year, please link up HERE before January 31st. I often don’t complete my list until the end of January because I like to see all the Youth Media Award winners (which will be announced this year on January 24th at 8 a.m. CT).
If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! Today is Monday, and I regularly participate in a weekly #IMWAYR meme. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!
All that blather at the start of my post and yet I actually have only one short “review” to share, this week. (And it’s not even KidLit!) I was happy to finish Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Otherwise, I finished some great picture books and better organized a few ARCs that I’m diving into this month. Perhaps you’ll find something to add to your list, below.
Who Wrote the Bible?
Richard Elliott Friedman
Originally published 1987
Latest edition is 2019
Simon & Schuster
I’ve had this one on my #MustRead list for a long time, but I was admittedly intimidated by the topic. My husband, who finished an undergrad in Bible (specifically in Biblical Greek), finished a MDiv/seminary, and completed a PhD in Rhetoric with emphasis in religious rhetoric, asked me if I would add it to my list back in 2019. He said it was the “clearest and most accessible introduction to the Documentary Hypothesis and related issues in Pentateuchal scholarship that I’ve read.” Still, I avoided it the first time around, afraid that it would go way over my head. But this year, I re-added it to my “must read” list, took a deep breath, and dove right in. And honestly… I’m glad I waited until 2021. Now that I’ve finished it, I can confidently say that I don’t think I was ready for it before this year.
First off, Friedman knows his stuff. He’s one of the premier Bible scholars in the country (check out his shortened bio HERE or his Wikipedia page HERE). He’s not doing this as some little side project or a fun research paper while teaching a Sunday School Bible class at a church. Nope. When it comes to Near Eastern Studies or Ancient Civilizations, experts know this is Friedman’s life-long work (from his expertise in ancient languages to actual archaeological excavations).
The primary focus of this book, Documentary Hypothesis, may seem complicated to the layperson, at first glance. But Friedman breaks it down into bite-sized pieces, answering hundreds of questions along the way. Not all scholars 100% agree on the finer points of it, but there is a very strong consensus on the major points. Having even a general understanding of it provides an interesting re-reading and understanding of the Old Testament (more specifically, the Torah). Documentary Hypothesis includes an in-depth study of the history of languages, of ancient politics, Hebrew writing styles, and even cultural and religious practices of Biblical times. And despite my lacking 50+ years of in-depth research in this area, I stayed right with Friedman most of the way. It was fascinating and made me want to stay up all night reading. He made very convincing arguments and humanized the history-writing experience from thousands of years ago. Yes, I had to stop to look up vocabulary a few times, but it only aided in my understanding of the topic.
I’m not even going to attempt to share a detailed summary or include my jumbled thoughts on this one right now as I definitely need time to digest all that I’ve learned and sort through my notes before saying ALL. THE. THINGS. But I’m quite pleased that I placed this book on my #MustReadin2021 list! This experience was very encouraging, despite my initial hesitation. Definitely well worth the read (and is something I will very likely re-read at some point).
Picture Books I finished:
To Be Read: