What I read in 2020

Photo by Ergita Sela on Unsplash

If you walked into my bedroom, you would immediately realise that I love books. I have two bookcases and they are both full of books that I have collected from various sources over the years. You would think that I had also read many books, but unfortunately I have only read a smallish portion of the ones on my shelves. That needs to change and I hope to share more about that in another post.

Today I want to look back at what I have read this year:

Remembered Mercies Recorded – The Life of Mr George Rose

At the beginning of the year, I was still reading Remembered Mercies from 2019. Mr George Rose was a Strict Baptist minister during the 1900’s and his autobiography forms the first part of this book. This was published when he was 79 years old. After his death, Mr Graham Chewter added a record of his life after his own writings finished.

Mr Rose was brought up in the Midlands, where he was converted as a young man and became a minister. He moved around the country several times during his life, becoming pastor at chapels in Cranbrook (Kent), Croydon (Surrey) and Nateby (Lancashire). He married twice and ended his days in West Sussex. This moving account of his life details many of the Lord’s dealings with him both spiritually and providentially. I found it inspiring and fascinating and would definitely recommend it. There are also a number of his sermons at the end, although I haven’t read these yet.

It is published by it and can be bought from Gospel Standard Publications.

The Ten Commandments – by Thomas Watson

The second book I read this year was The Ten Commandments by the puritan Thomas Watson. This is the second book in the series of three containing Watson’s exposition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism which he gave to the Westminster Assembly. It is in question and answer format, like a catechism. After an excellent introduction, each commandment is addressed, followed by two sections on The Law and Sin and The Way of Salvation. I would like to go back and read those sections though. I was impressed by the simplicity of Watson’s writing, the lessons he drew out of Scripture and the analogies he employed from everyday life to illustrate Scriptural principles. I have to confess, I haven’t read the last two sections. I read this book over a long period of time and so I was ready to move on to another book by the time I had finished it. I would like to go back and complete it one day though.

The Ten Commandments is published in hardback by Banner of Truth.

Devoted to God – Blueprints for Sanctification by Sinclair Ferguson

I had seen this book either talked about or advertised in several places last year, so I decided to take the plunge and get myself a copy. I am only halfway through it, but I’m enjoying it so far. Ferguson goes through ten different passages in the Bible and writes about different aspects of sanctification. Although this is not a practical book, reading it will shape our Christian walk by helping us understand the theology of holiness. I remember being a little disappointed when I found out that it wasn’t a practical book, but in today’s age of self-help guides, even in the Christian world, I think this is actually what we need – a look at the what and why of the doctrine of holiness, rather than a look at how.

Devoted to God is published by Banner of Truth.

All three of these books can be bought from Christian Bookshop Ossett, a small bookshop in Yorkshire devoted to selling free grace books. (I do not receive anything by mentioning this bookshop!).

As per usual, I have dabbled in many books this year, as my mood directs me. (You might have already guessed that I’m not very good at finishing books :D). I have enjoyed a few helpful excerpts from Elisabeth Elliot in her book Keep a Quite Heart. I’m also currently reading This Life I Live by Rory Feek. I was cautious about reading this one, but have been pleasantly surprised – he has certainly packed a punch on various topics he has covered and lessons he has learned in his life. Books I’ve dipped into about other interests include Home Management – Plain and Simple by Kim Brenneman and Self Sufficiency by John Seymour. Perhaps I will write more about these interests in the coming months.

I was going to include the books I want to read in 2021 here, but I think I’ll save that for another post. Please do let me know what books you’ve enjoyed this year in the comments section and feel free to ask questions about what I’ve read – I’d love to hear from you!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year and the Lord’s blessing in 2021.

With love,

Hannah

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