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What We’re Reading February 2019

January felt like such a fresh slate in so many areas for me, especially reading. No matter if I felt behind on my reading pile in December, the new year offered a chance to catch up and jump right back in. Last month I attacked my reading pile with a vengeance. Maybe it’s the fresh stack of books – who knows!

And February – well, I’m feeling like I’m on a roll and need to keep the momentum going. I’ve already started on several books and am hoping to take another big chunk out of my 2019 Reading List. Already I am hearing of more and more new books releasing that I had no idea about, so I’m just going to have to squeeze them in somewhere!

If you have any suggestions to add to my list for this year, I’d love to hear! (or maybe I shouldn’t listen…)

Feed readers can click here to see my books for February

*all links are referral links


What the Kids are Reading


Kaleb has been continuing his reading of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He took a brief pause to read Who Is Bill Gates and will be working on another Who Was book this month as well. Zachary has been reading through the Harry Potter series (and says they are the best books ever), sometimes staying up late into the night to read (and I won’t complain about that!). 

What I Read Last Month (and Quick Thoughts)

One thing that seems to be happening lately – there’s a lot of WW2 fiction floating around and somehow it’s all getting thrown into my reading pile. It isn’t necessarily a problem, unless I really love one book and then another has trouble measuring up. Late at night too it does get a little hard to remember which book I’m reading (because I like to read multiple books at once!). 

Here are the books I read in January along with a more detailed look at two of them – one that I loved and one that I wanted to love, but really struggled.

Grace is Greaterby Kyle Idleman – one of my favorite things about Idleman is the natural humor he interjects into his writing via little footnotes throughout the book and just telling it like it is. He has such a practical way of explaining principles that help the reader better understand. This book definitely offered some great food for thought, review, and application. (5/5 rating)

Lilac Girls by Martha Kelly – I truly wanted to give this book a higher rating and will try to explain a bit more as to why I couldn’t. Overall, I loved the story since it gave me some great insight into various aspects of WW2 I hadn’t fully been aware of and made me dig deeper (the experiments on some prisoners at Ravensbruk, etc).  Here’s where I struggled. Two of the characters in the story are REAL people and yet both characters didn’t line up with the person in real life (Caroline had a married boyfriend?) and then the characters essentially fell flat. So much more could have been developed in each of them. At times you catch the start of some growth…and then nothing. This could have been a PHENOMENAL book, and yet it just barely skimmed the surface and in the process, failed greatly. (3/5 rating)

 

You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month? 

 

My 2019 Reading List

Each year I like to make a list of books that will not only be fun reading, but also focus on a few areas: personal growth, spiritual growth, family, and marriage. The bulk of my choices this year have come from either personal recommendations of friends or Good Reads finds when following others (I’m LOVING using the app to track my reading and see what friends are up to as well). 

Because non-fiction books are a little more difficult for me to get through (at times), I try to limit my “to read” pile to around twelve – and then feel wonderful if/when I finish more than that. It’s the little things that keep me motivated. 

Also – I know that inevitably more books will pop up over the year that I’ll want to grab and read as well. New books are published and I have a hard time waiting to read 

Fiction is never a problem. I read it quickly and typically fall asleep each night reading with my Kindle in hand. I am ever so thankful for the book light cover that shuts off when I fall asleep and often wake up still holding my Kindle hours later. 

I also happen to know that my eyes (and desire) are bigger than my actual time to read. But they still let me check out books from the library, and for that I am thankful. 

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to track my reading over the last few years has been via the GoodReads app.   Following friends, seeing what others are reading, and being able to quickly rate a book I’m reading – love that (because my memory isn’t what it used to be!). Join me there and let’s read along together!

All that said, here’s a peek at what books are in each of my piles for the upcoming year. 

My Main Reading Pile

 

Fiction Books & Series to Read


 

“If There’s Time” Pile


 

If you’re interested, here are my 10 favorite books I read last year (a mix of fiction and non-fiction). I’d love to hear what books you have on your shelf for the 2019 year and and recommendations for me to add to my list! 

Don’t forget to join me on Good Reads so we can keep up on each other’s reviews! 

What We’re Reading December 2018

I’ll admit that I’ve gotten a little distracted from my reading pile the last bit – ever since all the new Hallmark movies started airing. (cough) And this month with baking and getting ready for Christmas, it’s definitely easier to have a movie playing in the background than to sit down and read (and rest). 

The week of Christmas I’m hoping to have some time to just sit, put my feet up, and do NOTHING at all – other than read. 

Right now my 2018 Reading List is close to wrapping up, which I’m excited about! I’m also getting a bit distracted and have far too many Amazon tabs open as I am looking forward to my 2019 list and keeping it diverse (personal growth, family, marriage, and other learning). 

If you have any suggestions to add to my list for next year, I’d love to hear! 

Feed readers can click here to see my books for December

*all links are referral links


What the Kids are Reading


One of the best things happened this past month: Kaleb saw the newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book at Costco, picked it up, immediately started reading it, and has been busy reading the rest of the series since then. Meanwhile, Zachary started reading one of the Harry Potter books and has been pulled into that series as well, reading well past his bedtime several nights now (WIN!). 

What I Read Last Month (and Quick Thoughts)

Overall I didn’t read too much last month (five books), managed to shelf a few (they just didn’t “click” with me and one was a little too much for me), but there was one that I did get to read and love. 

Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely by Holly Gerth (finishing up from October) – I’ll confess – when I started, it really took me about eight or nine chapters to get into the book. For a few weeks I had picked it up, read a chapter or two, and put it back down again. Then I picked it back up, flipped forward a few chapters, and decided to just get it over with. I later went back and read the chapters I skipped. Underlined and dog-eared pages. While it isn’t a sequential writing, per se, it’s written in short snippets with various life lessons focused on in each chapter. Gerth shares life stories and weaves in lessons of faith into each one, encouraging women to embrace who we are each created to be, as we already are. Hugely encouraging. (5/5 rating)

You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month? 

 

What We’re Reading November 2018

 

Is there a book you’ve read recently that you couldn’t put down and have been telling everyone about? I’ve had a few this past month that I absolutely loved – please leave a comment below and let me know your suggestions too!

When I flipped the calendar page this past week and realized we are so very close to the end of the year, it makes me wonder where all the time has gone this year. In some ways I am amazed at how quickly the time seems to have gone, but then another part of me wonders how wisely I’ve spent all those hours. I suppose that is a never ending cycle, isn’t it? I know there is always more I can do, but it’s finding that balance that is tricky!

There are only a few key books remaining on my 2018 Reading List  and I’m not sure that I will finish them all, but I am definitely going to try hard! Our boys have a swim meet coming up this next weekend and I’ll be the parent on deck, so that means I will definitely have a book in hand while watching between heats. Meanwhile I’m already working on my 2019 list. :) 

Feed readers can click here to see my books for November

*all links are referral links

While I had hoped to finish Fiercehearted last monthI honestly came to a bit of a standstill on that one. It’s had great reviews, but somehow hasn’t quite clicked at this point. I’m going to give it another go though before I decide to put it aside permanently. 

What the Kids are Reading

The boys and I are still working through The House With a Clock in Its Walls by Bellairs. While it’s one that we should have finished rather easily, we had quite a few afternoons that involved company, LEGO League, or games, and that’s okay too. So we continue and add on a new book as we do finish it. 


What I Read Last Month (and Quick Thoughts)

I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revival of Your Soul by Lisa Whittle – This is one book that I’m still mulling over. It’s a fairly short/sweet book, but has left me with some questions and thoughts that our small group has been discussing, which I love. (5/5 rating)

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – This is one that I borrowed randomly from the library via Kindle because it was available and I wanted something to read. It ended up being a fairly interesting read, following the life of a girl who grew up in the foster system and learned about the meaning behind various flowers. (4/5 rating)

Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah – After reading The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah I didn’t think I’d find another book by her that I liked (I’ve read several others as well). This one started off a bit slower and took me a bit to get into, but once the story began unfolding, I LOVED it. Anything that ties in history and has me look at an era in a different light is one I really enjoy.  (5/5 rating)

Below are a few others read: 

You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month? 

 

What We’re Reading October 2018

So what have you been reading lately that you can’t help but talk about and have been recommending to everyone? 

We’re back into a reading swing with each other and I love the feel of that. It isn’t perfect, but it’s something everyone has come to expect as a part of each day, and that’s fabulous. Yes, there are sighs some days, but by the time we are about five minutes into reading, the boys have settled down and are (secretly) enjoying the reading.

My 2018 Reading List  is slowly decreasing, and as is typical for me, my Amazon cart is filling with books to read in the future. I’m really trying not to get distracted, but it is SO VERY HARD. 

Feed readers can click here to see my books for October

*all links are referral links


While I had hoped to finish Love Unending – I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped. It’s laid out as more of a day-by-day book, but I’m going to read through instead so I don’t forget about it. There are also so many great non-fiction books to read right now – I really need to stop adding things to my pile (my Amazon cart is filling up as I am earmarking books to read next year). 

What the Kids are Reading

We wrapped up The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt with the boys – and I cannot tell you how much I personally enjoyed this book. I purchased another book by the author for Zachary to read later (focused on a different character in the story), but it had me both laughing and crying. Such a great read!

This month we’re moving on to a new read-aloud, The House With a Clock in Its Walls by Bellairs and considering seeing the movie when it hits the dollar theatre near us. I’ve been reading mixed reviews on the movie, so we’ll have to see. 


What I Read the Last Two Months (and Quick Thoughts)

Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You by Sharon Hodde Miller – Truly enjoyed this one which focuses more on letting go of a me-centered focus and understand how self-focus impacts other areas of our life. (5/5 rating)

The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel Rosenberg – I’ve enjoyed past series by Rosenberg and am interested to see where he takes this series. Several of his past political thrillers have centered around the Middle East, and this new series focuses on Russia and North Korea, so it definitely holds some intrigue. (4.5/5 rating)

An Hour Unspent by Roseanna White – Another book that swept me up last month – and I made myself hold off on reading it until I knew I could savor it! This was the last book in a 3 book series by White and wrapped things up rather wonderfully. Each of the books in the series can be read independently, although I definitely recommend reading all three. (5/5 rating)

Below are a few others read: 

You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month? 

 

What We’re Reading – September 2018

What’s one book you’ve read lately that you just couldn’t put down – or still has you mulling parts of it? 

It’s been about two months since I shared what I was reading and now that we’re back in the swing of school (sort of), sharing what the kids are reading as well is part of the list. 

One of my goals this school year is not only reading aloud with the boys at least 4 days a week, but making sure that I personally set aside 20 minutes of reading time for myself 4 days a week (no interruptions). This doesn’t include my “fall asleep holding the Kindle” reading time – this is reading something with a little more depth, or at least taking time to rest and regroup.

My 2018 Reading List  is slowly decreasing, just maybe not as fast as I’d like, since I keep finding great books to read and I have a hard time NOT adding a new book to my pile. I’m guessing I’m not the only one with this problem? 

Feed readers can click here to see my books for September

*all links are referral links


So far, I am LOVING Love Unending and the quick “talking points” each chapter provides.  There are also so many great fiction books to read right now – I really need to stop adding things to my pile!

What the Kids are Reading

I have to tell you all, our current read-aloud is cracking me up and also almost made me cry this week. IT’S FICTION YOU ALL! 

The boys are rolling their eyes, but I’m absolutely loving this author’s writing style and having so much fun reading it with the boys. 

 

What I Read the Last Two Months (and Quick Thoughts)

A Family Shaped by Grace by Gary Morland – This was one that came up on Amazon and grabbed my attention. I had no idea it was written by the dad of someone I know personally, which made it so much better once I realized that. 

The beginning years of this family’s life was truly rough. The dad grew up in a very dysfunctional family and their family legacy was only changed by the grace of God. This isn’t a step-by-step solution to a peaceful home, but gentle leading/nudging and encouragement that is well-worth re-reading and keeping on hand. (5/5 rating)

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – Oh my heart, you all. This book was both heartbreaking and engrossing. Having never heard of Georgia Tann and the scandal with the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, this was so saddening to read at times.

The overall story is fictional but based on real-life happening of children that are essentially stolen from their families and then adopted/sold to other families in the late 1930s-1940s. It is unbelievable to realize how many lives were impacted by one woman and her reach, and even more that it went undetected for so long. (5/5 rating)

Amy Snow by Tracy Rees – Another book that swept me up last month. A young baby is found in the snowy woods and brought home by a young girl. The family is very wealthy, but the girl is not embraced by the parents and has difficulty fitting in with the staff and other members of the household. Her only friend is the young heiress who rescued her.

Years later, when the heiress dies young, Amy is left out in the cold again, but sent on a treasure hunt with a single clue left to her by her recently deceased friend.  (5/5 rating)

Also read the following (July/August): 


You can follow along with me via the Goodreads app where I share my reviews and additional thoughts. What have YOU been reading this month?