I recently read 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chloe, and I really enjoyed it.
This book is split up into 40 chapters, one for each day of Lent leading up to Easter, with a fast for each day in order to prepare us to be awed by Christ's resurrection. For each day, Chloe gives a narrative of what Jesus was doing in the days leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection, reflection material and questions, the day's fast (usually a concept, such as regret, collecting praise, avoidance, isolation...), information on Lent origin and theories, and finally a short related Bible reading. At the end of each chapter, there is space to take notes. I am not very familiar with Lent or the Biblical narratives given about Jesus, so I really learned a lot from this book. I also thought the fasts were really helpful, and definitely manageable. Though this book is designed to be read to lead up to Easter, it can be read and be helpful at any time.
I read this as an eBook, which I actually preferred for this book, which is unlike me. Having the eBook version was really nice because I could take notes without cramming writing into the margins, and I could highlight things that I thought would be important and helpful. I personally don't like to write or highlight things in physical copies of books, so this format was perfect for me.
I sat down and read this cover to cover over a couple of days, but if you can, I recommend reading one chapter each day, and simply focusing on one fast each day. I didn't do this because I wanted to finish it to get my review done, so I couldn't take forty days to read the book. I would however like to reread the book, next time only reading it one day at a time.
Chloe used works from both Biblical scholars and the Bible, as well as her own experiences to teach about Jesus' sacrifice and Lent. Through these, she definitely expresses Biblical truth, as well as making the lessons very personal.
I definitely recommend this book, particularly those who are unfamiliar with Easter of the stories of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion. This book was really eye opening for me, and gave me a whole new perspective on what Jesus went through to save us all. I gave this book 3.5-4/5 stars (somewhere in there...3.5 seems too low and 4 seems a bit high).
Have you read this?
What did you think?
*I received this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.