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Daughters of Promise has a mission to equip women to lead healthy lives; develop their voices through creative outlets; and experience freedom as daughters of God and heirs through Christ. We do this through print and online media that is anchored in the Word of God and expressed in conservative Anabaptism.


Well Read: Four Books to Add to Your Autumn Reading List

Well Read: Four Books to Add to Your Autumn Reading List

Well Read: Four Books to Add to Your Autumn Reading List

compiled by Marlene Stoltzfus

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This compilation first appeared in the September/October 2016 print edition of Daughters of Promise. To see more content click here to purchase a digital copy.


Reading can be enjoyed regardless of the season, but there is something about the crisp, invigorating advent of Autumn that just begs for a cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other. Perhaps one of these titles will pique your interest; you’ll find something for both children and adults.

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

Adult Fiction

There really was a cellist during the siege of Sarajevo, though the book is fictional. In Galloway’s telling, the cellist watches while a mortar attack kills twenty-two civilians standing in a bread line. For the next 22 days, he plays in the marketplace at the time of the attack to honor the deceased. The novel follows four people during those three weeks: the cellist; Dragan, an isolated older man who sent his wife and son out of the city; Kenan, father of a young family and overwhelmed with fear; and Arrow, a female sniper who reckons with her hatred and control.

The book is slim, with purposeful, spare prose. Galloway deftly portrays the strain of war on one’s humanity, the role of art, and the power of choice.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gowande

Adult non-fiction

I would have never chosen this book to read on my own; my book club forced me to it. I was dubious about a book on aging and death and felt the whole gamut of negative emotions about facing the subject. Then I visited Amazon to order the book and was surprised to find it rated at five stars by over five thousand people, a bestseller, with a long list of editorial reviews. My interest was piqued.

So I read it, could hardly stop reading it, read passages aloud to others, and brought it up in conversation after I finished it. Atul Gawande clarifies the goal of the medical field (his own profession) for life, pushing back the power of death; and how that goal leaves professionals floundering when patients approach the end of their lives. Is there a better way than producing longevity of life? How should we think through the medical decisions that will face us in our last days? He plumbs the subject so sensitively yet forthrightly, weaving together stories and research to make a difficult subject accessible. I highly recommend it.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard

Easy Reader

The Mr. Putter series is one of those golden discoveries I made while perusing books for my children. If you haven’t read them, rush out and search the library to introduce the littles in your life to these endearing aging neighbors.

Mr. Putter (lover of tea and antiques, easy-going but boyish at heart) and his fine cat Tabby live next door to Mrs. Teaberry (lover of odd things, new adventures, and cooking) and her good dog Zeke. As you can imagine, their personalities plus friendship create many adventures.

In this particular book, the pears are ripening in Mr. Putter’s backyard and he is dreaming of pear jelly. But alas, his legs are too old and cranky to go up the ladder. He needs a different method---and a zingy idea from his boyhood, topped with friendship, helps him out.

A Visitor for Bear by Bonnie Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Easy reader

“NO visitors allowed” reads the sign on the home of gruff and reclusive Bear. Bear likes his well-mannered routine and quiet house, sans others. But it’s about to be disrupted, by a pert little mouse with ingenious ways of entering. The text and illustrations work together seamlessly to contrast the size and personality of the two animals.

Raise a cup of tea to friendship! And watch as Bear learns what he truly does want in this charming book.




Peanut Butter and Dragon Wings

Peanut Butter and Dragon Wings

Heaven, Our Home

Heaven, Our Home

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