My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a great book that gives the history of hymns, who wrote them, what inspired that person to write them, and other information surrounding the hymns selected in this book.
This would be great for a variety of uses: to use in personal or family devotions, for a music minister to talk about a hymn each week and then the congregation sing it, use within a Christian school, especially in music class.
This book was a hard read for me because it's more devotional length stories, and I'm one who usually prefers to sit down and read one long story rather than little bits. That's just my reading style. However, I didn't know many of the hymns in this volume. They were very obscure. I went to three years of Christian schools (including a Christian college in Nashville.) I was in my 20s before I started attending a church that sang more contemporary songs, so the fact I knew so few of these was a surprise since I have spent many hours singing hymns.
Also, I am not sure why "Up on the House Top" was mentioned. I've never sang that in church. (Perhaps because I don't think anyone considers it a hymn?) I have, however, sung that in first grade at our Christmas program since it is about Santa and not a religious song. That was one of only about the dozen or so songs I knew.
This is a great book, very interesting, however because of the selection of songs, I am only giving it three stars since they seem so obscure. My advice to the author would have been include the more well known ones in previous volumes and make them a little longer and skip this one all together. I believe it's the last in the series, and I think by the time the author got to this one, he'd covered most of the hymns everyone knows and went looking for ones to help complete this book. Even if they aren't as well known, it's still worth a read, but just not as enjoyable as if they were ones that were sung more often.
FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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