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My top read this year was Elisabeth Elliot. A Life, by Lucy Austen. It helped me process so much of my formative experiences when I became a Christian. I love EE and deeply appreciated this very human and nuanced biography. https://paolabarrera.substack.com/p/my-top-read-this-year

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I've heard so much about this book. I need to add it to my TBR. Thanks for sharing.

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Dec 27, 2023Liked by Abigail Murrish

This was also my favorite book this year for similar reasons you mention. So well done!

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Beth Moore's memoir will remain close to my heart ...

https://lindastoll.substack.com/p/my-4-favorite-2023-books-porch-122

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such a good book. I can see why it will remain close to your heart. Looking forward to reading your list.

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Dec 28, 2023Liked by Abigail Murrish

Small Things Like These, How to Stay Married, and Address Unknown are excellent reads. I appreciated them, too. My favorite fiction read this year was Shark Heart by Emily Habeck.

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ooh, I've heard about Shark Heart, and your recommendation has me intrigued!

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Thanks for this! There are some books that I too loved, and some that I want to read now!

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so many good books, too little time!

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Dec 27, 2023Liked by Abigail Murrish

I also loved several of these you mention! In addition, I loved the audiobook of Beth Moore’s memoir, and my favorite book of the year was Elisabeth Elliot: A Life by Lucy S. R. Austen -- it was a nostalgic read (because I soaked up Elisabeth Elliot’s writings as a young adult) but also a very nuanced examination of an earnest woman. It struck all the right notes for me, looking clearly at a woman that many have tended to put on a pedestal and yet at the same time not throwing her under the bus. It was more absorbing than any novel I read this year!

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I've heard so much about Austen's bio of Elliot, and your comment (plus Paola's) is piquing my interest again. I read The Five Wives (which I don't recommend, but also was interesting food for thought) about the wives of the Auca 5 and it gave me a new perspective (though one I don't entirely buy) on that time, and that gave me a renewed interest in Elisabeth Elliot (interestingly, I felt The Five Wives was very respectful of E. Elliot, which was not the case for some of the other folks the book focused on).

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Jan 1Liked by Abigail Murrish

Reading While Black was very, very insightful for me. I'm currently reading Promised Land (very slowly).

Also (slowly) making my way through Everything Sad is Untrue. It keeps making me TOO sad so I have to take a respite and then pick it back up a week later. It's very, very good.

People Love Dead Jews and How to Stay married are on my to-read list for this year. :)

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I missed this comment back when you left it! Yes, ESIU is very sad. But the ending is stunning! You will be rewarded!

And you'll have to come back and tell me what you think of People Love Dead Jews and How To Stay Married.

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I love book lists. A few of these are on my TBR, thanks for the encouragement to move them up :) On my favourites list this year I enjoyed The Wager by David Grann and Women & Work edited by Courtney Moore.

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thank you for sharing!!! Going to look into The Wager and Women & Work.

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So many great ones here! And others I haven't read. Claire Keegan is such a wonderful writer I (re)discovered this year, too. Reading While Black entirely blew me away - it ends up painting a much more expansive and rich picture of scripture than I was already anticipating.

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yes! Glad to be alive when Keegan and McCaulley are writing!

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