Tag Archives: What I’ve Been Reading

What I’ve Been Reading – August 2017

What I've Been Reading August 2017

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I’ve been on a roll again the past few months. Our book club took a break for the summer, as did the mom group that I lead, which freed up quite a bit of time in the evenings. I had several books that I received last year for my birthday that I still hadn’t read, so I made it a point to finish some of them.

I’m actually going to pass my Reading Challenge on GoodReads this year! I figured picking 35 was crazy-sauce, but as of right now I’m at 31! I even managed to read a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction.What I've Been Reading August 2017

Favorite Fiction Book

I want to say The Nightingale, but I’m not sure if that’s because I just finished it. And yes, I read a lot of WW2 fiction. I have to say though, that The Nightingale was the one that moved me the most emotionally. The Secret Keeper was very good, but it didn’t have me crying at the end.

I had also never read anything before about France during WW2, which was eye opening, even if it was fiction. I’ve had Suite Francaise on my list for a while, and just watched it on Amazon a few weeks ago. I think that will be getting bumped to my list soon.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book

Again, so hard to choose! All of the non-fiction that I read were ones that have been sitting in my pile for a while. They were all pertinent to some area of my life. I’d have to say it was a tie between Different and Life Creative. Different was so fantastic for this momma’s heart.

I loved reading about Sally Clarkson and her son, Nathan’s struggle with his being an out of the box child. While I’m not dealing with anything as extreme as they do, it was such a hope-filled book about being the mom that YOUR child needs, regardless of what other’s think your child needs.

Life Creative was another side of my momma-heart, with being creative. So often people will make disparaging comments about how moms’ should put aside themselves and their creative BECAUSE they’re a mom. Kelli and Wendy show you why it’s important that you don’t do that, but also that you invite your children INTO your creative.

The Book I Didn’t like

I’m going to say Give Your Child the World, and not because it wasn’t a good book. It was a good book, but I think I was looking for something more than a reference book with lists of suggestions. It’s a fantastic resource, but I was hoping it was going to go more into how to use the books to explore the world with your children. Granted, I think I can figure that out on my own, but still it would’ve been nice to have some suggestions.  I will say, that we’ve gotten a slew of books from the library that were suggested in this one and they were all top notch!

What have you been reading?

(I’m trying something new: I’ve notated books I’ve read for my book club * and F or NF for Fiction and Non-Fiction).

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.


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What I’ve Been Reading – November 2016

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



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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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?


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