Looking back at 2020 (favourites)

Hello readers! It’s the end of the year already! This year has definetly been a different one to usual. When I think of the length of the year, I really don’t know. Was it long? Was it short? Everything was in such a jumble this year. I stopped keeping track of the months somewhere between March-April and started remembering which month it was in July. Or was it October? I honestly have got no clue. Anyway, God has still been good to me in this confusing year, so I’ll be listing some of the ways I’ve been blessed by him in the form of two top five lists.

Let’s start with the probably most common amongst the blogging community

Top 5 books I’ve read this year (of course bible excepted)

#5: East Of Eden, by John Steinbeck

Set primarily in Salinas, California, this is a tale of the Hamiltons and Trasks living life there. This is unlike many other fiction books I’ve read before, as instead of being centred around a plot, it is centred around different characters and seeing how life affects them. For a bit of a slower book with lovely characterisation and occasional pages, where Steinbeck moves away from the characters to talk philosophically, I’d have to reccomend this book

#4: What if? By Randall Munroe

This is a deeply scientific book, so if you don’t have a degree, I reccomend you skip this and go straight to #3. Just joking! Munroe is an internet cartoonist, with a deep passion for maths and science. This book is a collection of questions he received, such as “what would happen if you put a cordless, infinite battery hairdryer in a box?”, where Munroe explores the answer with humour and science. A really entertaining book to read if you want to giggle and have your mind blown simultaneously.

#3: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Although this was the book we had to read in English, I loved it! The more we delved deeper into it, the more exciting it got! Written in the 1920s, set in the 1920s, this book is a retelling by the fictional character Nick Carraway about his experices living in New York, during the roaring 20s and of people which shaped his life there. A story of love, the American dream and above all (in my opinion) discontent, this book will keep you at the edge of your seats and talking from experience be a complete excitement to read over and over in a single month

#2: This Changes Everything, by Jaquelle Crowe Ferris

Yes, I did receive this book 2 years ago, but I did reread this book this year, too, so it can be on the list. Written by the young author Jaquelle, mainly directed towards teens, this book covers in depth the gospel and how it shapes the lives of those who believe it. This book explores how the gospel transforms different aspects of a teen’s life, such as our time, our relationships, and the sin in us. Engagingly written, but not watering down, this has a deeply enriching book to me.

#1: Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughin

This book has blessed me heaps! It confronts Christianity with 12 questions, such as “Doesn’t the bible condone slavery?”, “Aren’t we better off without religion?” and “How can a loving God send people to hell?”. McLaughin doesn’t fear to dive into the difficult and deep topics, making a case for christianity and answering all these questions thoroughly, but the book is written with great empathy and love at all times for everyone in a very understandable manner. I love this book (thanks Batarus for gifting it!) and hope that you all also read it!

Top 5 bands (with some of my favourite songs of theirs listed)

Geez, it’s hard to explain why you prefer one band to another, as that’s just the way God made us, but I still want to do this list. This year was the first of its kind: The first year where bluegrass music has been my favourite genre for all of it (musicwise, I’d say this has been the most enjoyed year of my life)! I discovered bluegrass in July or August last year, it was this year that I discovered most of the bands I listen to, so here are five of my favourites. (by the way, I’ll just be listing their main instruments)

#5: Chelsea Moon & Uncle Daddy/The Franz brothers

Chelsea sings such lovely hymns (and sometimes plays the piano), accompanied by the ever so talented Franz brothers: Emmett on the dobro and Caleb on the guitar. There are also others who play, such as a talented fiddler, however I don’t know their name…

Fun Fact: This band was introduced to me by my philosophy teacher, Dr. Hall! So apparently, the smartest man at the school also has a good taste in music!

Anyway, some of the songs I’ve been loving are ‘Satisfied’, ‘Come thou fount’, ‘When I survey’, ‘Before the throne’, ‘In the secret of his prescence’ and ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’

#4: The Lindsey family

This band is very special to me, as it got me loving bluegrass first with their song ‘Every Saint’, but also now, I looooovvveee listening to them perform (I hate putting them as number 4… please keep in mind that numbers 2-4 are very close!).

This is a big family, but I’ll do my best to remember their names… nevermind. I can’t remember the instruments for some of them. Most of them (or maybe all) have joined in with vocals, so I won’t list it: Alan (Guitar), Tammy, with their kids Jared (Banjo), Elizabeth (Bass), Ben (Fiddle), Caleb (Mandolin), Rebekah (Guitar), Naomi (Pennywistle), Susanna (Piano), Timothy (Banjo), Liberty, Michael (sadly deceased) (Mandolin) and Olivia (Fiddle).

My favourite songs of theirs are ‘Every Saint’, ‘They’re gone’, ‘Muel Skinner Blues’, ‘Thank God I’m a country boy’, ‘Some things never change’ and ‘America Bless God’

#3: The Petersens

This world famous family band has to be on the list! Starring Karen Petersen (Bass), Katie Petersen (Fiddle), Ellen Petersen Haygood (Banjo), Matt Petersen (Guitar), Julianne Petersen (Mandolin) and Emmett Franz (Dobro), they make a mark in my heart with their singing especially, but they also really aren’t bad on their instruments! Some songs I’ve loved are ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’, ‘Santa train/Sleigh Ride’, ‘Come thou long expected Jesus’, ‘Daddy’s got a gun’ and ‘Southern nights’

#2: Snyder Family Band

In this band are Bud (Bass), Zeb (Guitar) and Samantha (fiddle) Snyder. This alternative bluegrass band bursts with creativity and harmony! Some original, some covers, they play ‘New River Rapids’, ‘After you’re gone’, ‘Wherever I wander’, ‘Blue Ridge Mountain Sky’, ‘Open up this heart of mine’ and many others

#1: Sleepy Man

Comprised of the three brothers (if you couldn’t tell, yes, I like family bands) Tommy (guitar), Robbie (fiddle) and Jonny (banjo) Mizzone, and the friend Josh Thomas (bass), these musical geniuses are the best I know of in their respective instruments! Each one individually has got so much talent. but together, I’d go so far to day that they invented a new, fantastic kind of bluegrass. Each of them has both learnt to support, but also to solo! I just love this band. So, it would be of no surprise to you, that my favourite song, Same Same Stars, is by them. I love all of the songs they write/cover, but other ones I especially love are ‘By my side’, ‘Wildflower’, ‘Rockwood Deer Chase’ and ‘Time Lapse’

Happy new year!

Whoever you are, I hope you just have a fantastic new year and enjoy God more and more!

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