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Mom’s Reading Pile for June 2015 (and What I Read the Last 2 Months)

The last two months my reading didn’t go quite as planned. I thought I’d have SO much time to squeeze reading in, and then life hit a major snag – and well, happened. My reading pile for April was fairly ambitious, and one would think in two months I might have read more…but not so much. And that’s ok. Because my main focus was family and spending focused time with my mom. I definitely don’t regret that!

Our recent car trip was when I planned to cram in a bunch of reading, but there is an audio series the kids and I have been listening to that kept me hooked for almost TEN HOURS in the car. No book reading for me, just listening.

Usually bedtime reading is where I start logging lots of hours, but most nights the past few months I only get a few pages of reading done on my Kindle and I am OUT. It doesn’t matter how much I like the book! I’ve woken up so many times sleeping on my Kindle or still holding it in my hand. Have to love it!

What I Read (and Finished) in April and May.

  • The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst – highly recommend this one!! If you are a ‘yes girl’ and need to learn boundaries, this is a great start!!
  • An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus – love her historical fiction and this one was about the Great Exhibition. Fun read
  • Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz (finishing up another trilogy thanks to the library!) – Loved this one again…and finally finished the trilogy!
  • Jennifer by Dee Henderson (a prequel to the O’Malley series) – short and sweet. Makes me want to read the rest of the series all over again!
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (read-aloud) – the kids loved it and are very much looking forward to our trip to Universal in September so they can see much of it brought to life.
  • Forgotten God by Francis Chan – been reading this to go along with our homegroup study. Really enjoyed this one on how we neglect the Holy Spirit.
  • One Perfect Spring by Irene Hannon – a Kindle bedtime read
  • Fair Play by Deeanne Gist – a Kindle bedtime read
  • With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin – Kindle bedtime read (a little cheesy)
  • a GAGILLION Lemony Snicket audiobooks (seven to be exact) with the kids.
  • The Bible – My goal for April was to hit 55% – I didn’t yet.

Books in My June Reading Pile

Moms reading pile June 2015

  • Flash by Rachel Ridge – I just need to finish up a few chapters in this, but later this month I’ll be flying to Texas and will get to put my arms around Flash’s (the donkey) neck. I’ll also get to hug the neck of Rachel – which will be wonderful!!
  • The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury (started, but didn’t finish)
  • Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
  • Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky (comes highly recommended – and I have a few that can use motivation at times…)
  • Common Sense by Glenn Beck – almost done with this one. Still in my ‘to finish’ pile
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (read-aloud with the kids)
  • finish the other five books in the Lemony Snicket series via audiobook
  • and of course The Bible – our church is reading it in 90 days, but I’m not even going to attempt that!

SO – what are YOU reading for you this month? And what books do you have to recommend and totally distract me from my pile?

My Reading Pile for April 2015 (and What I Actually Read in March)

Ahhh, March. How you blessed me with two lovely, long flights on my way to Teach Them Diligently  where I could sit and read without interruption. Is it sad to know that I packed lots of books in my suitcase to read? (say no). And woo hoo – another flight in April! It’s going to be a lovely month!!

Some of the books really gave me some food for thought and others made me literally laugh out loud – apparently I had a great group of books on hand! Here’s a look at what I finished (or almost did!) along with my goals for the month of April 2015. You can see all the books that I’ve read so far in 2015 on my Pinterest board. So far I’m making GREAT progress on my 20 Books to Read in 2015 list.

What I Read (and Finish) in March (and my thoughts)

caught up in a story by sarah clarkson

  • Home is Where My People Are by Sophie Hudson – Oh my goodness. I literally laughed out loud on the plane and immediately wanted to try Popeye’s Chicken all at the same time. Sophie is just absolutely hilarious and writes the way that my brain thinks – just cracks me up!
  • Caught Up in a Story by Sarah Clarkson – cannot tell you how much I loved this book. Sarah touched the English geek in me and tied in a child’s imagination with the rising/falling action in a story, gave some great book recommendations, and gave my hubby and I some fodder for talking about a book series that we’d been holding off letting the kids read (but decided to read a few out loud to them now). Love her insight and her heart in this book!
  • Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms by Mary Jo Tate – if you are looking for a great book on balancing life, grab a copy of this. One of my talks at Teach Them Diligently is on this very topic and I was nodding my head in agreement all the way through. She especially has some great tips for single and work-at-home moms too.
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom – cannot even begin to tell you how much we all enjoyed this one. It tied in nicely with the time period we are learning about in history and was even more interesting because my mom worked for her as a secretary many years ago.
  • After a Fashion by Jen Turano – another cute book that tied in with several of her prior books. A great quick read and just fun – grab it for summer reading!
  • When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad (via Kindle) – another light read at bedtime
  • The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander (via Kindle) – a bedtime read
  • Glittering Promises by Lisa Bergren (via Kindle) – the last of three books in a series. I’d already read the first two and wanted to find out the ending!
  • The Saturdays (audiobook) – the kids and I found this one at the library and absolutely loved it. We recently grabbed two more books in the series to listen to this month!
  • The Bible – My goal for March was to hit 40% read – and I hit 37% (via the app).

Books in My April 2015 Pile

April 2015 reading pile

Now don’t think I’m crazy, but I do have some travel time that should give me a bunch of reading pockets this month too. The hardest thing for me are the non-fiction books, but these are all ones that I’m reading along with a friend this month.

That’s my ambitious pile for this month – what are YOU hoping to read?

My Reading Pile for March 2015 (and What I Actually Read in February)

My reading goals for the month of February may have been a wee bit ambitious based on what was going on in life. Many evenings were full and reading from an actual book vs. my Kindle ended up being a non-event. That said, the books on my February pile that weren’t finished because there is quite a bit of flight time coming up in March as I head to Nashville to speak at Teach Them Diligently – and I plan to pack and conquer several books while sitting in waiting areas. I know that while I am there, I’ll likely get little reading done since I’ll be speaking, wandering, chatting, and having fun with my friend Carisa from 1+1+1=1.

What I (Did) Read in February (and my thoughts)

Hands Free Mama-1

  • Hands Free Mama by Rachel Stafford – a great book for moms to read, especially in this digital age when it is so easy to get sidetracked by the inconsequential rather than focusing on what is right in front of us. (via Kindle)
  • Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey – a great wrap-up to the Alaskan Courage series and book from a fellow homeschool mom. This was one that was sent to me to review. Dani Pettrey reminds me much of Dee Henderson and I have loved the other four books in her series – and look forward to her next series.
  • Austenland by Shannon Hale – just a fun read at bedtime (borrowed on Kindle via library)
  • Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale – another fun read at bedtime (borrowed on Kindle via library)
  • The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg and Sky Jumpers: Forbidden Flats(with the kids)
  • The Bible – My goal for February was to hit 35% read – and I hit 32% (via the app). So close. But I am not through the book of Deuteronomy and on to Joshua and other books in the New Testament. While I check off my reading on the app, I’ve started reading in my Bible instead because it somehow seems so much easier and I can underline things when I want to – and take notes
  • and about 1/2 way through Caught Up in a Story by Sarah Clarkson and Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms by Mary Jo Tate

Books in My March 2015 Pile

Books to read in March 2015

That’s what I’m hoping to squeeze in this month – what are you planning to read?

Books I Read in January – and Reading Plans for February

Yes. It’s almost the middle of February. I know. January seems to have gone by in much of a sleep-deprived blur. For the most part, reading was in teeny-tiny snatches, and it was a miracle if I didn’t fall asleep reading. Apparently a new puppy will do that to you. Between potty training and making sure that the puppy isn’t chewing, biting, or doing something else, my reading time was in minute increments. (I know. It will pass!) Besides that, there was a lot of hands-free time – playing games, reading out loud – and that is great too!

Somehow I did manage to get a little reading time in, but compared to how much I normally read in a month, it was almost discouraging to me. But – reading is reading and rather than getting in as much fiction, progress was made on my 20 books to read in 2015 list (yay).

What I Read in January (and my thoughts)

Own Your Life quote on perfection

  • Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson – you all, I cannot recommend this book enough. If you haven’t taken the plunge and ordered it, just do it today. It will challenge you, encourage you, and was a great way to start of my year. There are dog-eared pages, underlined passages, and lots of notes. This is a book that I’ll keep and re-read in years to come. Or refer to in the meantime!
  • The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith – Why I didn’t read this sooner is beyond me. I have this as a Kindle version and really wish I had the full-sized color version because the pictures of Myquillin’s home just can’t be done justice on a black and white Kindle screen. I am one of those that feels decorating-challenged and this book really encouraged me to just DO something and not worry about the nail holes or perfection. Nail holes can be filled (or covered). I’m happy to say I pulled the hammer out and hung a few things up! Baby steps!
  • The Bible (reading via the She Reads Truth app) – Although I’m on the year-long reading plan, I’m hoping to finish closer to six months. My goal for January was to hit 20% read – and I hit about 17% (via the app). Can I just say – the book of Leviticus makes me want to repeatedly shower. All the talk of infectious diseases (shudder).

Books in My February Pile

february book pile

    My Twenty Books to Read in 2015

    Books to Read in 2015

    Last year it was so much fun sharing the books that were on my ‘to read’ list and then ticking off the books one by one. Sharing my thoughts on the books via  a blog post is fun too as you all chime in with what you are reading or your take on the books.

    Reading has always been a love and time of relaxing for me – at least in the fiction department. Over the last two years I’ve slowly been upping the book count for non-fiction reading. In 2014 my goal was a stack of twelve books and only one of the books in my original pile went unread. Throughout the year though there were quite a few other books that came up and were added to the stack, so my overall total was nineteen non-fiction!

    (For some of you that love non-fiction, you may be snickering, but phew – that was stretching for me!)

    Many of the books I read in 2014 were encouraging, thought provoking, and ones that pushed me out of my comfort zone in different ways. As much as I dislike that, it’s something that is needed – and deep down – desired. You can see my full list of books, including fiction reading, on my Books Read in 2014 Pinterest board. My 2015 board is looking a little pitiful at the moment, but it will start filling up soon!

    My 20(ish) Books to Read in 2015

    Inevitably a few of these books may fall to the side, but this year I also have a friend as a reading and discussion partner. Many of these books were chosen together, and we tried to focus on books that fell into categories such as parenting/family, homeschooling, personal growth, encouragement, and even a little learning.

    So far on the list…

    To start the year off, I’m reading Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson (and the Bible too) – and cannot recommend it highly enough! (Seriously – grab a copy). My start has been a bit slower than I wanted, but as always, sometimes my eyes are bigger than what I can handle! Overall, I want it to be a learning year for me, stretching, but one also guilt-free if a book isn’t finished or just doesn’t ‘click’.


    What books are you planning to read this year, either as a family or on your own? Have you read an absolutely wonderful book this year that you would recommend to others? Leave a comment and let us know!

    The First Book You Should Read This Year

    In a few days I’m planning to share my book list for the upcoming year, but until then there is one book that you need to add to your reading pile as soon as possible. Own Your Life, a new book by Sally Clarkson, is releasing today and there is a webinar tonight you won’t want to miss.

    One of my favorite writers for encouragement and godly insight is Sally Clarkson. She is one of those women that you want to invite yourself over for tea, sit with her, laugh, and just SOAK in the years of wisdom she has to offer. Her honesty, transparency, and love for others shine through in all that she says and does.

    Own Your Life Book

    Over the last bit, I’ve been reading through Own Your Life, crying through bits, nodding in agreement, and underlining the heck out of my copy.

    This book has spoken to my heart on so many levels and is prompting me to make intentional changes in my life and renew my personal vision in several areas of life. It isn’t a book that will leave you feeling ‘not good enough’ or guilty by any measure. Rather it is full of encouragement, refreshment, and challenges for your heart.

    It’s something that I needed at this moment and this time. I’d say Sally wrote it just for me, but I’m certain Own Your Life will resonate and speak to you as well. It’s really that good.

    From the Author…


    Do you ever long for days full of joy and energy –

    days that bring out the best version of you?

    In a world that’s moving fast, it’s easy to lose your sense of purpose. Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life offers a breath of fresh air into the life and soul of busy women. Like a faithful friend, Sally journeys with you to explore what it means to live meaningfully, follow God truly, and bring much-needed order to your chaos. Each page offers deeply personal, authentic, and practical guidance to help you build an intentional life. Discover what it means to own your life. And dare to trust God’s hands as He richly shapes your character, family, work, and soul.

    Join Sally in a Webcast – ANYTIME!

    Own Your Life free webcast with Sally Clarkson

    Sally Clarkson, along with a few other fun ladies – Sara Mae, Crystal Paine, and Angela Perritt, put together a FREE one hour webcast where you can hear personal stories on overcoming daily struggles. I know this will be a huge encouragement to many – view it anytime here. (Just ignore the original date above – I promise, you can view it now!)


    How will you live with intention in 2015?

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