introducing sarah anne reads.
for all the bookish fun.
If you’ve been around my corner of the internet for a while, you may remember a day back in the late summer of 2015 when I joined a little sub-community of YouTube called booktube.
For nearly two years, sometimes consistently and sometimes not, I shared my thoughts about all kinds of bookish things on a semi-weekly basis—reviews, general topics, wrap ups, rounds up, discussions—and I absolutely loved it.
As a bibliophile without a massive community of fellow bibliophiles in my everyday life, it was an absolute delight to read, film, and edit each week and share the bookish love with people all over the internet.
Unfortunately, as with many things, my season of life changed, and in mid-2017, my video making ceased.
In the four and a half years since, I’ve longed for another way to still connect with people over the written word. Admittedly, there’s a large part of me that would love to return to booktube. But, alas, life and, you know, a kid, and other such things prevent me from having the bandwidth to take on the filming and editing in addition to just, well, reading the books.
So, as we step into 2023, I’ve decided to (re)start something (kind of) new and bring Sarah Anne Reads here to Substack!
The first Saturday of every month, you can expect a wrap up of what I read the month before, including a few thoughts, star ratings, who I’d recommend the book for, and maybe a highlight of my favorite read of the month (I’m still figuring it all out). I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and maybe a few other tidbits.
In between those monthly wrap ups, I may share some other bookish things as I feel so inspired, such as how I now track my reading, how I organize my books, etc. (because I’m always curious about those things for other people). I may even bring back some series I used to do on the booktube channel or maybe we’ll start a book club. Who knows?
And with that introduction… let’s get to the books!
📚 December 2022 Reads
🐺 Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This one’s been on my radar since the booktube days, and I stumbled across a pristine condition copy of it at the secondhand bookstore a couple months ago. It was fast-paced and engaging, with an interesting protagonist, and engaging side characters. I felt the ending was a little abrupt… then I learned there was a sequel, and the ending made a bit more sense. 😂
✨ Shadow & Light by Tsh Oxernreider | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This Advent book was a reread for my husband and I in 2022, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite. I love Tsh’s simple approach to the season, the beautiful words she shares, the passages of Scripture she provides to read, and the questions she encourages you to ask. As someone fairly new to the liturgical calendar, I also appreciate the additional info she gives regarding some of the feast days throughout both Advent and Christmastide.
🔪 The Lazy Genius Kitchen by Kendra Adachi | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
I read Kendra’s first book in 2020 and loved it, and this one was a pretty solid hit as well. The middle section can feel a bit repetitive as she takes you through the five steps over and over for multiple areas of your kitchen, but that also makes it super practical. I read through most of this in one sitting, but fully intend to go back through and “lazy genius” our kitchen in 2023.
🪄 The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Since my husband gifted me a beautiful, unnumbered, hardcover set of The Chronicles of Narnia for our wedding, we’ve slowly been reading through them together (with other books interspersed in there). There is so much about this book, which tells the story of how Narnia came to be, that is just exquisite. It’s clever, beautiful, and so, so wonderful.
❔ The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was my second read of Emily’s lovely book and it is just a wonderful companion for the flurry that is the end of a calendar year. It has a soulful, simple energy to it that beautifully contrasts the end of year madness. Together, the book is a wonderful guide to making decisions in a less frenetic way, but each individual concept can be applied at will, as necessary, making it a wonderful resource for anyone in our often decision-fatigued world.
👶🏼 Raising Tiny Disciples by Phylicia Masonheimer | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A couple close friends who also became moms in 2022 and I are reading through this one together (I finished it early and will go back through chapter by chapter with them), and while I can’t speak to comparisons between it and other parenting books (since I haven’t read any), this short read was jam packed with practical tips for how to actively build discipline into the rhythm of your family life.
📱 How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price | ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I discovered this one on a list I’d apparently made in my library account, and there were no holds. 😂 If I’d read it at a different time, I might’ve given it a higher rating, but having read books like Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism and others in the last couple of years, there wasn’t anything I didn’t already know. Her day-by-day plan may be helpful for some, but overall I find Newport’s approach, while a bit more extreme, a better way to change your overall habits with respect to your phone use and technology.
📖 Currently Reading
A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman — I’ve been rereading this one very slowly over the last several months. It’s still beautifully written, but so far isn’t packing quite the punch it did the first time I read it.
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin — The sequel to Wolf by Wolf I didn’t originally know existed. 😂 A little less than halfway through and really enjoying it so far!
That’s all for this month! I’d love to hear what you’re reading in the comments below, and any bookish things you’d like to see in the future!
Happy reading, everyone!
I’m reading “True Community” by Jerry Bridges and “Growing Together” by Melissa Kruger!