Mailbox Monday // December 28, 2020

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and weekend, Readers! It certainly was an abnormal Christmas, but I still made memories that I will cherish forever, and I hope you did, too. From a virtual Secret Santa party with friends from college to a socially-distanced Christmas Eve service to relaxing on my own birthday, it’s been a full and meaningful season to me, regardless of the craziness. 

I received a few new books this Christmas and birthday, so it seems like a good time to join in with a Mailbox Monday! 

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

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Mailbox Monday Bookstack December 28 2020

From top to bottom:

The Travelling Cat ChroniclesThe Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Contemporary Fiction

Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he’s going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru’s old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There’s even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won’t say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break…

I received this book in a Christmas swap through my school! It’s been on the back burner of my TBR list for a while, so I’m excited to have it. I’ll make reading this a priority in 2021.


The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of DistractionThe Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction by Justin Whitmel Earley

Nonfiction: Christian Living

The modern world is a machine of a thousand invisible habits, forming us into anxious, busy, and depressed people. We yearn for the freedom and peace of the gospel, but remain addicted to our technology, shackled by our screens, and exhausted by our routines. But because our habits are the water we swim in, they are almost invisible to us. What can we do about it?

The answer to our contemporary chaos is to practice a rule of life that aligns our habits to our beliefs. The Common Rule offers four daily and four weekly habits, designed to help us create new routines and transform frazzled days into lives of love for God and neighbor. Justin Earley provides concrete, doable practices, such as a daily hour of phoneless presence or a weekly conversation with a friend.

I also received this book in the same Christmas book swap mentioned before! I’m very excited to read this, perhaps alongside a reread of Disruptive Witness by Alan Noble, which addresses some of the same topics from a theological viewpoint. 


Treat!Treat! by Christian Vieler


Photographer Christian Vieler caught dozens of eager dogs at one of their favorite moments — treat time.

From a tenacious terrier to a goofy golden retriever, these often hilarious and surprisingly beautiful photographs capture each dog’s unique personality in a way any dog owner will recognize and that all dog lovers will enjoy!

My sister gifted me this coffee table book. It’s so much fun, and definitely going to continue to be a bright spot in my personal library!


The Book of North American BirdsThe Book of North American Birds by Reader’s Digest Association

Nonfiction: Bird Identification

This attractive and informative book of 600 species includes a “special collection” of more than 100 species that are rare. Each portrait includes full-color original artwork; details on identification, habitat, nesting, and food; and a color-coded range map.

This book is a birthday gift from my Grandma. I love being outdoors and learning about the nature around me, so I love that I will have it on hand now! While I may not have much opportunity to birdwatch in this season of life, this is a valuable resource and reference that I am thrilled to keep on hand.

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There seems to be a theme of animals in the books I received this year. I can’t wait to read these! 

Did you receive books as gifts recently, or purchase any for yourself? Are there any last-minute reads that you are hoping to finish before the end of the year? I can’t believe it’s time to write my yearly wrap-up post and announce next year’s reading goals! 

Until the next chapter,


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