November Reading List

You guys! I have 5 books to review this month…and four of them are just meh. I wasn’t feeling it. Now that I’m sitting down to write this review, I wonder if I was just grumpy for the whole month, or if I just didn’t hit the jackpot in books this month? Not sure.

As always, this is my honest review. We could have completely different tastes and styles, so what I say is just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own, especially when reading books. I also know and understand that every author puts a lot of work into their books. I hate writing negative reviews because I know someone worked hard to write the book and I hope that they never read my review. LOL. So this is just one person’s opinion, and it can be taken or left behind. Completely up to you.

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October Reading List

I kicked off my reading for this month with a book that I absolutely LOVED, then read three more that were enjoyable but not my favorite.

As the year winds down, I’m starting to think more and more about what is on my reading list and what I really want to spend my time reading next year. I want to be more intentional about the books that I fill my head with, and I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of reading challenge or even a book club. We shall see.

 

 

More Than Happy

The first book I read this month was More Than Happy and it will 100% be in my top five books. I randomly grabbed this book off the shelf in the library but it was perfect for me. It was written by a pastors wife who was tasked with writing some novels based in an Amish setting. During her research, she began to notice that the Amish children were different in so many ways from how she had raised her own children. She decided to compile many hours of interviews and conversations with her Amish friends about why their children seem more content, more intelligent and are harder workers. This book was parenting GOLD. I think that lately I have finally stumbled upon what I am in life. I am not a minimalist, it seems rather cold and uninviting to me. But I think that I am a simplest. I love life simple. I could not recommend this book more!!!

I’ve Got Your Number

The next book I picked up with this fluffy novel. It was predictable from the beginning and could be pretty boring throughout. The writing was a bit choppy for me and seemed more juvenile and well, fluffy. However, I did still enjoy it and it gave my mind something to do. The novel was very clean and I always love it when fiction authors can keep it clean while still writing a good story. If you are looking for a read that you don’t have to do much brain work, this would be it.

The Magnolia Story  

It was finally my turn in line at the library for the Magnolia story…like, one year later. Lol. I read this book from front to back in two days and I really enjoyed it. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love Chip and Jo as people, and it was so fun to have a glimpse into their humble beginnings. There were so many little tidbits of knowledge and information throughout the book that I actually pulled out my journal and pen and started writing some of them down! The only thing that I was a bit disappointed about was how little they mentioned their faith. They mentioned God a lot and how he provided several miracles for them, but I didn’t get the impression that their faith was the core of the family. Maybe I just completely misinterpreted it, and it’s very possible an editor took out bits and pieces so that it came across that way. I did love this book and recommend that you pick it up and read it! It’s amazing how one of America’s most beloved couples had such humble beginnings and such crazy adventures!

A Wrinkle In Time

I have actually never read A Wrinkle in Time! Strange, I know. So I have been putting some of the classics on my reading list so I can actually say I’ve read them. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it! What is wrong with me? I don’t know…but it was soooo boring to me. I think I have a really hard time with science fiction because my brain always thinks inside the box. I have a hard time picturing science fiction creatures because I have to work so hard to think outside the box. For those of you who haven’t read it, it is a about three children who are working to fight evil. They space travel and meet many types of creatures along the way as they rescue their father and return to earth. I’m glad I read it, but it sure won’t be getting any top 10 ratings from me.

Have you ever read any of these books? What did you think?

What are you reading now?

Top Ten: My Favorite Books that I Read in 2016

WOAH!!!

This year, I read 62 books. Yes, SIXTY-TWO.

I honestly don’t know how I did that. Some of them were easy reads, but I guess I must be more of a speed reader than I thought? Or maybe I need to have a few more kids because obviously I have too much time on my hands. No, but seriously…62 books is a lot!

I wanted to compile my top ten from the year, but you can head to each of the blog posts and read my monthly reviews!

January//February//March//April//May//June//July//August//September//October//November//December

My TOP TEN are……

10. Anchored

9. Falling Free

8. Firefly Lane

7. The Meaning of Marriage

6. The Husband’s Secret

5. The Language of Flowers

4. Hope

3. Baby Catcher

2. Faith to Foster

 

  1. The Nesting Place

I would highly recommend that you get your hands on each of these books if you have not already! Obviously, some of them have very specific audiences, but I think that anyone would enjoy them!

I will continue to do my book reviews in 2017, so stay tuned for January! I have a long list of books that I would like to read, but I’m always open for suggestions! Please send them my way!

 

 

And in case you were wondering, here is a list of all of the books I read:

Hope

Wild

The Lipstick Gospel

From This Day Forward

Make It Happen

Anchored

The Fireman’s Wife

What Led Me To You

Grief Light

The Husband’s Secret

Breaking Busy

For the Love

To the End of June

I’ll Stand By You

Anne’s House of Dreams

And Then There Were None

The Bridesmaid’s Manual

However Long the Night

However Tall the Mountain

Big Little Lies

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

No Biking in the House without a Helmet

One Hundred Names

The Fault in Our Stars

Anne of Ingleside

Orphan Train

The Beach Club

Blue Shoes and Happiness

Lessons in Heartbreak

Living Well, Spending Less

The Language of Flowers

A Girl Like You

Yes, Please

Forgotten God

Year of Yes

Funny Little Pregnant Things

Firefly Lane

Two Sisters

Cutting for Stone

Faith to Foster

Me Before You

The Nesting Place

For the Right Reasons

The Things We Keep

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth

Baby Catcher

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

A Midwife’s Story

My Notorious Life

Quiet

Heaven is Here

The Book Thief

The Happiness Project

The Royal We

Essentialism

The Pilot’s Wife

The Meaning of Marriage

 

 

 

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July Reading List

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Oh, July! I rocked your reading socks right off!

July was a month that we have kind of sat back and taken some time off from the craziness of life. After Little Miss left, I found that I did have a few more hours in the day for more leisurely things, and reading was one of them!

I included a few magazines in this picture, because I also love checking them out of the library and browsing through them while we are watching TV or while we are driving somewhere in the car.

Food, Inc.

Wow, where to even begin with this book? First off, this book is a companion to the Food, Inc. documentary, which can be found on Netflix. The documentary and the book are both put together to expose how the United States has turned food into a corporation, and how making money off of it is the #1 purpose and intent. It revealed a lot to me about the food that I am buying and where it might be coming from, and it really spurred in me a desire to do more research and understand what I am feeding my family, especially my kids.

I will leave you with just a little fact gleaned from the book: In our nation, there are chicken farms, where the chickens are raised for meat. The meat that we buy at the store and put into our bodies. Because of the incredibly high demand of large chicken breasts, the chickens are given growth hormones. The growth hormones help the chickens grow big…and fast, so that they can be slaughtered quicker and then sold. Sounds fine, right? Well, get this…because of how quickly and largely the chicken breasts grow, the chicken legs are unable to hold up the chickens! So they sit in their farms on their bellies and just grow…and then die. And then we eat.

Now, I’m in NO way an animal rights activist. I truly believe that God gave us animals as food. I’m not against chickens being slaughtered or raised for meat. But because of how we act as consumers, our food is being injected with hormones that make the chickens dysfunctional.

Anyways, I learned a lot from this book. I highly, highly recommend it. It reads like a documentary and does have some reallllly boring chapters, but it was worth the read. I also really appreciated how the author compiles a lot of advice for how to avoid this food and help our society become less driven by the food market.

Potty Training in Less than a Day and The No-Cry Potty Training Solution

Oh, did I mention that we started potty training? Well, we did! And I had no clue how to even go about knowing if she was ready, so I grabbed a couple potty training books from the library shelves. I skimmed them and gleaned the information I needed to get a good understanding of what I was doing. I wouldn’t recommend or not recommend either book, they were just information for me to put into my potty training toolbelt. How’s it going, you ask? It’s going pretty well! We seem to have peeing down at home. We cleaned a large turd off the floor yesterday. But, hey, that’s life. The next step is potty training in public. I’m trying to determine if I can get away with carrying her little toilet seat everywhere.

Yes, Please

This book was on a recommended list as one of those “books every woman in her 20s must read”. Meh. I don’t really watch comedy and I didn’t really know who Amy Poehler was, so I didn’t connect with this book at all. I didn’t get her sense of humor and her references, and this was almost a book that I quit on. I never quit on books. Anyways, I made it through and won’t ever read that again. I guess the whole reason it’s such a big deal is because she has completely revolutionized women in comedy. So, I really applaud her for that…but I just didn’t connect.

Forgotten God.

This was SUCH a great book! It was a short, “easy” read, but one of those books that requires me to have my journal handy close by. It’s all about the Holy Spirit and how the American church today seems to have forgotten His place in the trinity, and therefore in the church at large. It wasn’t so theologically deep that I couldn’t understand, but it was also so deep that I had to keep re-reading paragraphs. This is one of those books that I will probably be buying a copy for myself so I can read it over and over. I highly recommend this one to any American Christian.

Year of Yes.

I don’t know how I got two biographies that both have the word Yes in them this time around, but I did. This book is a autobiography by Shonda Rhimes. For those of you who don’t know who that is…don’t feel bad. I didn’t either until I picked up the book. Shonda is the writer of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Days of Our Lives. Basically, she’s the behind the scenes Hollywood Star. This autobiography was really, really enjoyable. Shonda explained herself as living behind the TV screen, and she finally decided she would say yes and step out of her hiding and be ON the TV. She went through lots of different things that she says Yes to, things that terrify her and things that give her great confidence. I didn’t agree with everything in the book (she kind of bashes stay at home Moms for a page or two…sad face), but I did really enjoy having a peek into a famous person’s life, and left feeling encouraged that famous people also struggle with things, just like I do! How freeing to know!

Funny Little Pregnant Things

I picked this one off the shelf as I was browsing. The catch-line is all about how we only hear the facts of pregnancy and not the realities. This was a quick little read for me and it did bring a smile to my face once or twice. I highly recommend this to any first time Moms, because she really tells it like it is!

Firefly Lane

This is such a beautifully realistic story about friendship. I felt that I could relate so well with the characters, and that the whole plot was real life. Two girls become fast friends as young children, and grow up inseperable. Life takes them totally different directions, leading Tully to be a big, famous TV star, while Kate ends up being a stay at home Mom, just wishing she could find some fulfillment in more than just her children. Can anybody tell why I can relate so well? Haha!

It’s a fun, easy novel and was a good “beach read”. It was mostly clean and the plot took me in all kinds of different directions! I really enjoyed it, personally.

Elin Hilderbrand

I read another Elin Hilderbrand book this month because I have heard so many people recommend her novels as a good “beach read”. Well, so far I’m not impressed…at all. The two I have read have interesting plots and great character development, but there is just too much raunch thrown in. The one I read this month was ok, and it was really interesting, but I was disappointed by the cover (it made it look like a trashy romance novel). I have told myself I will give one more of her books a try, and if it’s as R rated as the other two I’ve read, I’m crossing her off my book reading list once and for all!

 

 

You can see my past month reads by clicking here.