Tag Archives: What I’ve Been Reading

What I’ve Been Reading – May 2017

I’m rather impressed with myself for the quantity of books that I’ve been reading! I’m at 20 books for the year, which is more than halfway toward my goal for the year. I’m not sure WHY I’ve managed to read as much as I have. I’ve been in two book clubs for the last 9 months that have kind of forced me to read at least two books, and one of those is usually an audiobook. That said, I am not someone who can read multiple books at a time…read one and listen to one, that I can do.

Favorite Fiction Book

I’m going for the cheese factor on this one. I absolutely LOVED As Old As Time, Braswell’s retelling of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Honestly, I think it’s my favorite version of Beauty and the Beast. I felt like the story was fantastically woven, that open plot lines were well concluded, and overall I really loved HOW she rewrote the story.

With all of the Beauty and the Beast hype of the past few months, I felt that this book did a better job of explaining the history of the characters. Far better than even the movie did. The movie was good, don’t get me wrong, but I think this story is much more in-line with the entire Beauty and the Beast premise, particularly regarding enchantment. If you do read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book

This is a tough one! I so liked all of the non-fiction that I read. My top three would have to be Metzler, Swindell, and Baker. But even of those I’d have to see it was Counting Grains of Sand that touched me the most. I’ve “known” Natasha through social media and different groups for several years, and hearing her stories again, in her voice was profound. Throw into that my own struggles with infertility, or anyone’s struggles with prayers not answered as we’d choose and this book will rock you.

This book was so good that I bought it and had it overnighted to a friend who was going through hardships before I had even finished it. THAT is how much this book was grabbing me. Natasha has so many delicious words and good truths that we all seem to not be able to remember.

The Book I hated

My least favorite book was that of The Zookeeper’s Wife. I struggled through this one; and I struggled with the fact that I didn’t love it! I had very high hopes for it, but the writing was less than intriguing. The story of the Antonina Zabinski was one that really struck my interests; keepers of the Warsaw Zoo in Poland during World War II, who were hiding and transporting Jews.

It was a tough one. While the subject matter was very interesting and the story of this family enthralling, I felt like the author couldn’t decide how she wanted to write this, whether a novel or a textbook. There were parts that sucked you in and told you a story, and then abruptly there were parts that were so detailed about things that had no bearing on anything that I skipped over them (i.e. in depth discussion regarding random plants).

Get through it I did though, and I’m glad for it…because it really was interesting, despite the drudgery.

What have you been reading?

What I’ve Been Reading – February 2017

Visit HERE to find out more about What I’ve Been Reading.

What I've been Reading February 2017

I surprisingly managed to read quite a bit these past few months: It helps that most Christmas books are rather short. I didn’t read nearly as many non-fiction books as I would like, but I did manage to read some variety over the last month. I had a few books that I got from the library that I’d heard mentioned on the What Should I Read Next podcast.

Favorite Fiction Book

This is a tough one! As you can see from my list, I read a TON of fiction in the past few months. Christmas books are one of my favorite things to read, and I read quite a few of them. While I thoroughly enjoy them, and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus was my favorite of those, I have to say something else for my favorite book.

After I finished At the Edge of Summer by Jessica Brockmole I knew I’d enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t have said it was my favorite. But the story has stuck with me so much over the past few weeks when I finished it. Some books just do that. You read them, they’re good, you liked them, but you wouldn’t say you LOVED them. It’s months later when you realize how much little bits and pieces are tucked away in your mind.

I had read Jessica Brockmole’s first book, Letters from Skye, and loved it. I have to say, her second novel does not disappoint. My close second favorite, if only because it was just a fluff, easy read was, Crossing on the Paris. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but it was fun.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book

Since I only read one non-fiction book in the past few months, it has to be Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. It’s a good thing it really was a good book, that I can gladly claim as a favorite. My only qualm with the book, and with most books on friendship, is that they’re addressing the reader as the hurt party and how to not feel hurt. I have yet to find a book on friendship that really address how to find true friends, who are just as intentional about friendship as you. I’m hoping Lisa-Jo Baker’s new book Never Unfriended is that book, because THAT is my struggle.

I did feel that Lysa’s book spoke a lot about your own value and how we need to pour out from a place of being filled by the holy spirit, not relying on everyone else to help us feel loved and welcomed. There were so many good thoughts and words to mull over while, and after, reading her book.

The Book I Hated

This was not a hard one to figure out. I HATED Dear Mr. You by Mary Louise Parker…hated it…like I didn’t finish reading it, because it was a waste of my time. The whole book is a collection of letters that Parker has written to the men in her life. It started out good, with letters to her grandfather and father during and after WW2. I had high hopes for the book. Then it quickly devolved into crushes on college professors, one night stands, and a varied assortment of guys that somehow impacted Parker’s life.

I had no idea what the purpose of the book was. I was reading, hoping that there was a common theme or something to the letters, that somehow they were all going to come together, but they didn’t. They were all over the place, with no rhyme or reason. I thumbed through the rest of the book after page 50, and it didn’t appear that it got any better.

~*~*~*~*~*~

I have so many books to read right now on my desk. There are a couple for different book clubs, then I have a whole bunch of non-fiction that I’ve been wanting to work through.  I’ve also taken up with being a bit more active on GoodReads. I still have no idea how to use it, but I’m using it as a way to track what I’m reading toward my yearly challenge.

I think I read over 30 books in 2016, I’m at 7 for 2017. I set myself a goal of reading 35 books, but we will see what I manage to accomplish. It’s more of a goal than something I’m feeling like I HAVE to reach. If I get there great, if not…that’s ok. I’d rather read to enjoy, rather than just to consume.

 

This post does contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small commission on any purchases made through the links, at no additional cost to you. Read my disclosure policy here.

What I’ve Been Reading – November 2016

Visit HERE to find out more about what I’ve been reading.

wibr-november-2016

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK

My favorite fiction from the past 3 months would have to be Together at the Table (you can read my full review here). I just loved the story and the food, especially the food. It was one of those books that’s perfect to curl up with on a crummy fall day and disappear for a few hours. Since I’ve already waxed poetic in my review of Together at the Table, I’ll be picking a second favorite.

My second favorite would have to be Finding Fraser. It was nothing spectacular, but it was a quick, fun read. If you’re looking for more a beach-book, this is it. I managed to read it in less than 24 hours, because it was just that enjoyable.

FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

Obviously, this is going to be a limited category this month, as I’ve only read one non-fiction: Teaching from Rest. It was great though! I still need to go through and transfer my notes and favorite things to my notebook. It had a lot of solid advice and really interesting thoughts on how to make homeschooling less of a chore and more of a blessing.

THE BOOK I HATED

King Solomon’s Mines. A friend and I started a back to the classics book club in which we focus specifically on the “literary classics”. There were parts I really liked about the book, but generally speaking this book just left me flat (even more so than Frankenstein).  I think maybe if I was actually reading the book rather than an audiobook maybe it would be different. The only way I can get through most of the classics though is through an audio book (on 1.25x speed). It allows me to do something while listening.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What have you been reading?

I’m trying in the next 3 months to get more of the non-fictions, that I have piling up on my desk, read. There are so many good ones! I just started Lysa Terkeurst’s Uninvited, which when I was reading it I couldn’t put it down.

What I’ve Been Reading – August 2016

What I've been Reading August 2016

I’ve been trying so hard to be super intentional about reading! If you’re not sure about what this post is, you can read my post from May explaining it all. General idea: Every few months, I’m going to share what I’ve been reading, a fiction and non-fiction book that I’ve loved, and one book that was less than stellar (taking my inspiration from the What Should I Read Next Podcast).

Here’s what I’ve read the past 3 months, a lot more fiction than usual. I feel like it’s summer and reading was becoming a must do, so I decided on having a bit of fun with what I was reading.

What I've been Reading August 2016

*The Light Between Oceans by M.J. Stedman
*Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
*Girl Meets Change by Kristin Strong
*The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
*The Longing in Me by Sheila Walsh
*Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Shop by Robin Sloan
*A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock
*Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
*Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
*The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK

This is a tough one! I honestly enjoyed all of the fictions that I read, each for a different reason. I’m going to have to say that Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Shop by Robin Sloan was my favorite though. It just catered to so much of my geekiness! I’m in a facebook group (SortaLiterary) and we’re doing a traveling book club (great idea and something I may do here in the future), Penumbra’s was the first book I’ve received through that.

I love geeky computer things, new technology and gadgets, but I also love old things, especially books, especially fonts. This book was the perfect marriage of the two; thrown together with a bit of mystery and it was awesome.

FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

I didn’t read a lot of non-fiction these past few months, but my favorite had to be The Longing in Me, by Sheila Walsh. I reviewed the book here, but just generally felt that it was such a good book. I think it just hit me a lot more than either Girl Meets Change or Love Languages.

The subject matter and her discussion of David, as well as her own story was just very compelling to me. All wrapped together it was enjoyable, while also really giving me some things to think on and work through.

THE BOOK I HATED

I didn’t really HATE any of the books that I read this go around. I did feel that Love Languages left me a little flat. I read, and loved, the original Love Languages book and expected this to be along the same lines, but different enough to not feel like a repeat, and it wasn’t. I ended up skimming vast portions of the book, because it was just reiterating each of the love languages, how they present, and how to provide them.

~*~

That’s what I’ve been reading! Of course, my birthday was the end of July, which means I now have EVEN MORE books to read. I’m sitting at my desk just looking at a stack of about 20 books, wondering when I’m going to get around to reading them. Particularly, as I’m now in another book club (in addition to the Facebook one) that is focusing solely on reading “classics”. I’ve always wanted to be in a book club and now I’m in two of them! Craziness.

What have you been reading, and enjoying, this summer?

 

*The above links are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of your purchase, at no additional cost to you. You can find my disclosure policy here.

What I’ve Been Reading – May 2016

What I've Been Reading May 2016

A while ago I shared my recent discovery of Anne Bogel‘s What Should I Read Next podcast, which I have really been enjoying. I have been meaning to share more of what I’ve been reading and realized that the format that she follows for the show is absolutely perfect for my sharing (I’m stealing the idea from her, because it was original a series on her blog, before it was a podcast).

I’m going to be doing it a bit differently though. Weekly just isn’t going to happen, I don’t read that many books (unfortunately), but I figure I can probably do this four times a year, that’s my goal: May, August, November, and February. With that schedule I think I avoid most of the busy times of year and it gives me a bit of time to have more than one book read.

Right now I’m going to cover all the books I’ve read so far this year; if you follow me on instagram (@JessicaM.White) you can check out my tag #books2016LifeintheWhiteHouse. I’ve surprisingly managed to read 11 books this year, although one of them was more of a pamphlet than a book, but I’m still counting it!

What I've Been Reading May 2016

I read a variety of books, obviously. I used to read strictly fiction…you wouldn’t catch me DEAD reading non-fiction. Maybe it was blogs or parenting, but now I read a LOT of non-fiction. Partly because I feel like I have to; that I’m going to somehow fail at this mommy and/or marriage thing if I don’t read EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. on marriage, parenting, and now homeschooling. Don’t get me wrong…some of them are fantastic! Most of them are fantastic, but they take a lot out of me to read.

We’re going to go with these 9 for the books* I’ve read the past few months.

Favorite Fiction Book

My favorite fiction book would have to have been All the light We Cannot See. I really enjoyed the story, so much so that I really didn’t like how the author ended the book. You know you have become invested in a story, in the characters, when things happen that you are just pissed about. It was almost to the point that I hated the book because of it, but it really was just that good.

The book follows to parallel story lines during WWII, one of a German boy and one of a French girl. There is a lot of jumping from one to the other and back and forth in time, which was a bit hard to follow (I had to check back sometimes to see what year I was in), but it worked well for the store. It was definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone that enjoys WWII stories, which I do.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book

Hands-down my favorite non-fiction was Big Magic, although Madame Chic was a close second. I’m honestly going to have to get my own copy of the book and re-read it so that I can mark up all the pages (darn you library copy!). For a creative who has been struggling on all levels with being creative and creating anything, it was a fantastic read, with fantastic insight and fantastic advice on embracing the life of a creative and not being paralyzed with fear.

The only other book of Elizabeth Gilbert’s that I have read was Eat. Pray. Love. which I enjoyed, but now I’m going to have to look at more of her non-fiction books, because it was that enjoyable. I so appreciated getting her perspective on writing and hearing her story of successes and failures as a writer. She was REAL, which is something I think I struggle with when it comes to the advice of successful writers.

The Book I Hated

This one will come as no surprise to you: 1984. I’m sorry. I have a B.S. in English and had NEVER read this book. The only Orwell I read was Animal Farm, and I remember NOTHING of that book; I think I may seriously have SparkNotes’d it. As a student of literature I know I should probably be in awe of this book, but I couldn’t.

I loved the story line. I loved the premise of the entire thing…big brother is watching (I’m a huge conspiracy theorists, so that’s right up my alley), but it was so…drawn…out…that I just couldn’t. I tried….really I did. It was a struggle to pick it up, to the point that I was just wasting my reading time. I admit it…I gave up. I read up to page 100, and then I just couldn’t. I wanted it done. I speed read, scanning pages, and then googled for the synopsis.

~*~

That’s it. I still have a ton on my TBR shelf. Of course, I just keep adding to it with books I get for review and books I see that I just have to have. Unfortunately, our library is extremely limited on any sort of Christian non-fiction, so those I have to buy, but I wait until they’re on sale. Then listening to the What Should I Read Next and SortaAwesome podcasts doesn’t help, because they just give me more books to read!

What have you been reading? What is your favorite book of 2016?

*The above links are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of your purchase, at no additional cost to you. You can find my disclosure policy here.