Even though we’re wrapping up the Five Fall Favorites blog party today, I didn’t want to miss or delay #SpelltheMonthinBooks! This month’s theme is more niche and therefore challenging than most, so I’m excited to see how everyone’s stacks turn out (including my own 😅).
Spell the Month in Books is a linkup hosted here on Reviews From the Stacks on the second Saturday of each month. The goal, inspired by a hashtag I first encountered on Instagram, is to spell the current month with the first letter of book titles, excluding articles such as ‘the’ and ‘a’ as needed. That’s all there is to it! Some months there are theme challenges, such as “books with an orange cover” or books of a particular genre, but for the most part, any book you want to use is fair game! To participate, simply make a post, comment, or picture of the books you choose. They can be books you physically own or simply titles you have come across. Most of the time I create a virtual bookstack from titles on my Goodreads shelves. If you make a list, please share a link to your post in the comments so that I and other participants can see! There is also a Spell the Month in Books button which you can use in your posts. To use it, copy the code from the box below my list and paste it into your blog editor in HTML mode (for WordPress users, insert a “Custom HTML” block and paste the code there).
Theme: Celebrating Reformation Day (October 31); books that changed or solidified how you thought about something (anything) or that reflect your theology. Or, books about second chances, rebuilding, reconciliation, anything of that nature.
O – Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan
Megs Devonshire is brilliant with numbers and equations, on a scholarship at Oxford, and dreams of solving the greatest mysteries of physics. She prefers the dependability of facts—except for one: the younger brother she loves with all her heart doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a copy of a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, there’s no way she can refuse.
Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don and his own brother, imploring them for answers. What she receives instead are more stories . . . stories of Jack Lewis’s life, which she takes home to George.
Historical Fiction; Published 2021
Comments: Okay, starting this month’s list off with a book that does not really fit the theme. I know of so few books that start with the letter O! This book is truly amazing though. I loved reading it. You can read my full review here.
C – Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
In this intensely personal narrative, Augustine tells the story of his sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. He describes his ascent from a humble farm in North Africa to a prestigious post in the Roman Imperial capital of Milan, his struggle against his own overpowering sexuality, his renunciation of secular ambition and marriage, and the recovery of the faith his mother had taught him during his earliest years. Augustine’s concerns are often strikingly contemporary, and the confessional mode he invented can be seen everywhere in writing today.
Nonfiction; First Published 400, This Edition Published 2017
Comments: Yes, St. Augustine wrote this book long before the Reformation. This book is both intensely personal and widely applicable in its exploration of theology. Someday, I would like to reread it while reading a biography or commentary on his life.
T – Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.
Nonfiction; Published 2007
Comments: I have to acknowledge that I am aware of the controversy surrounding the truthfulness of this account. However, it opened my eyes to think about people and situations that had never crossed my mind before. Even if Mortenson isn’t the humanitarian this book portrays him as, the book itself brought led me an probably a lot of other people to think in more big-picture terms than before.
O – The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen–and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.
YA Dystopian Romance; Published 2014
Comments: America has to rebuild her life in ways that she never expected and learn to run a country. It may not have anything to do with my actual world, but I think it still fits the theme!
B – Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings
In many ways, Natalie O’Reilly is a typical fourteen-year-old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months.
Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she’s told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness. But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person’s dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight?
Contemporary YA/Middle Grade Fiction; Published 2010
Comments: This book fits the “second chances” aspect of the theme.
E – Elevated by Elana Johnson
The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she’s been avoiding for five months.
Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.
But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.
YA Contemporary Novel-in-Verse; Published 2014
Comments: This is a second chance YA romance. While I honestly don’t remember much specific about it, I vaguely remember enjoying it and I rated it 4 stars on Goodreads.
R – Road Trip (Diary of a Teenage Girl: Chloe #3) by Melody Carlson
After signing a contract with a major recording company, Redemption’s dreams are coming true. Chloe, Allie, and Laura begin their concert tour with the good-looking guys in the popular band Iron Cross. Allie’s mom and her brother with Down’s syndrome add a little variety to their entourage. But as soon as the glitz and glamour wear off, the girls find life on the road a little overwhelming. Even solid, well-balanced Laura appears to be feeling the stress – and Chloe isn’t quite sure how to confront her about the growing signs of drug addiction…
we want it all, or so we say / but what gets lost along the way? / along the road to riches, fame / we know we’ll never be the same
The guys in Iron Cross occupy Chloe’s thoughts a little more than she cares to admit. Still, life on the road gets less and less glamorous and more and more overwhelming–especially when solid, well-balanced Laura begins acting strange. Her hostility toward Chloe’s concern makes the girls wonder how much longer they can keep their act together…
YA Contemporary Fiction; Published 2003
Comments: I didn’t expect the letter ‘R’ to be my biggest challenge this time around, but it is! This book deals with some difficult topics, but the characters eventually are able to reconcile and deal with everything they face. As a teen I loved this series. It’s one of very few that present Christianity in a way that is respectful and honest while still writing really good, enjoyable stories about realistic characters (aside from the fact that this teenage band gets a major contract so fast!).
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Whew, I barely made it this time! What about you? Can you spell the month in books?
November 12: Nonfiction; books that are true
December 10: Books about Christmas, winter, or general coziness
January 14, 2023: TBR or books to read while snowed/iced in
Don’t forget to leave a comment with a link to your post if you participate so that we can see what books you came up with!
Until the next chapter,
What a great theme. This month, I’ve still done it the old way, just found books that start with the letters but I will keep to the theme in future because I love the idea.
I loved that you inlcuded Three Cups of Tea and I totally agree with you there. At the beginning, there was a huge uproar but in the meantime, I think he has been “pardoned” (for want of a better word). He is a humanitarian and if people have taken advantage of him because he is not the big book-keeper, that’s really a pity. I still think he has done a great job and nobody even asked him to do that. How many people climb one of those mountains and don’t even think about the people living there?
Anyway, here’s my Spell the Month in Books in October.
Have a happy month.
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I’m not good with the themes if I am trying to only use books I have read but here is my October entry:
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