Saturday, February 1, 2014

{January in the books}

I read 12 books in January.  I've found that my local library has a great collection of the "Time Out Classics" series and have really enjoyed reading through them on Sunday's this month.  They are short books and make great mini devotionals.

After looking back at my book list from this month, I picked my top six books:

As You Are, Sarah M. Eden
Sarah is my new favorite author and I have loved reading her books.  This  is the fourth book about the Joquil brothers.  I enjoy how they are connected, but not necessarily a series.  I hope there are more to come!

Longing for Home, Sarah M. Eden
I was saving this book to read this month because the second book would be coming up shortly after I read it.  I really enjoyed this book!  It is much longer than Sarah's other books and not regency, but I did find it kept my interest the whole time.  I couldn't wait for the second book as soon as I finished it!

Longing for Home, Hope Springs, Sarah M. Eden
I don't think this book has been released yet, but I was able to attend a book signing that Sarah did and got a copy to take home!  I was so excited!  I think I loved this book more than the first, which I think is a hard thing to do in a series.  I was very happy with the ending, but I do hope that Sarah writes some more books with some of the characters!

I have now read every book by Sarah M. Eden, with the exception of some of the Romance Anthology collections.  (Although I did read the Regency one and enjoyed it).  Those are fun books and I might have to read all of those sometime this year too.

Here we are at the book signing.  Wade had some work to do that night with his Dad and brother, so in a moment of weakness, I lost my mind and thought taking 5 kids would be easy.  Lucy was a compete mess. She is staring Sarah down in this picture.  She was ready for bed and couldn't figure out the hype. She wanted me to let her down so she could crawl all over the store and make a mess.  It was worth it to get a copy of the book though.  But next time I am going to leave the kids at home!

Head Mistress of Rosemere, Sarah E. Ladd
I read the first book by Sarah Ladd late last year and was very excited when I found out that she was releasing another one at the beginning of this year.  This book was a good clean romance.  I think they are interesting and not completely fluff like some regency romance.  I hope that she continues writing, I would love to read more books by her!

The Early to Rise Experience, Andy Traub
So I totally know and believe that my days are better when I get up early, but I really struggle. I saw this book on Money Saving Mom blog and she recommended it. I thought I would give it a try.  I have enjoyed reading the small entries every day.  I have not been successful at getting up every day on time, but I think there is some wisdom behind this book.  (But there is also wisdom behind getting some sleep when you are up half the night with a teething baby too!)

Believe, Hilary Weeks
This was one of the Time Out Classic books I found at the library.  It's very short and can easily be read in one sitting.  It felt down to earth and really inspired me, it just left me feeling good.  Each chapter could easily be a short devotional of it's own.  And while I got it at the library, I really want to add it to my own collection someday.

Two other that I enjoyed reading this month - but not my absolute favorites were:
Mrs. Mike, by Benedict Freeman
If you like Bess Streeter Aldrich books then I think you will enjoy Mrs. Mike.

Into the Whirlwind, by Elizabeth Camden
This is the second book I've read by Camden. She has a couple other books out and I look forward to reading them too.  The book was good.  I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book I read by her, but it was far from bad.  I learned a lot about the Chicago fire when reading this book.

I am almost finished with Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew.  It is not a book that I can just sit down and read in one setting.  It is something to read and think about and ponder.  I am enjoying it so far.

February is a short (and busy for us) month, I don't know if I will be able to read as many books as I did in January, but we'll see.

What have you read lately that you enjoyed?

2013 in the books

We read a lot in 2013.  Not just me, but we...our whole family.  Wade has really loved reading outloud to the boys at bedtime and this year has been no different.  I am amazed at how many books they have got through this year.  Hopefully I remember them all!

In no certain order:

The Hobbit, J.R. R. Tolkien
The Candy Shop Wars, Brandon Mull
Fablehaven, Brandon Mull
Fablehaven, Rise of the Evening Star, Brandon Mull
Fablehaven, Grip of the Shadow Plaque, Brandon Mull
Fablehaven, Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, Brandon Mull
Fablehaven, Keys to the Demon Prison, Brandon Mull
Percy Jackson, The Lighting Thief, Rick Riordan
The Magians Newphew, C.S. Lewis

Hands down their favorite has been the Fablehaven series.  Noah already wants to read it again.  We just started the Spirit Animals series, since Brandon Mull was part of it.  So far they are really enjoying it too! Wade and I read the Beyonders series too.  I am sure it's just a matter of time before he reads those out loud to the kids too.  I think it's safe to say we are Brandon Mull fans.


I saw this (click to follow the link) post the other day about reading goals on a page I follow on Facebook.  I thought it was great. I haven't made a reading goal in a few years as to how many books I want to read in a year.  But this year I believe I think I should!  I read 57 books last year.  (I remembered two more book last night after I posted 55 on facebook yesterday!)

I have two reading goals for 2014:

1.  I would like to read 65 books in 2014.  I really enjoy reading early in the morning before the kids wake up and I have drastically reduced how much tv I watch at night.  I know that is why I have read so many more books this year, but now that Downton and Sherlock are starting again I might have a rough start.  I think I can reach 65 books though.  I have already finished 2....63 to go!

2.  I also want to start updating My Reading Spot book blog.  It's sadly been neglected for a few years. (I had 3 more babies during those years it's been neglected.  Coincidence?)  I made it private because it was getting spam comments and honestly I was embarrassed at my lack of posting. Recently I have  tried to keep track of the books I read on GoodReads, but I would love to sometime during this year, re-open my book blog.


My top ten 11 (because I wrote them all out and realized there were 11 instead of 10 and I couldn't cut one book from the list) books from 2013.

In no certain order:

Blackmoore, Julianne Donaldson
I loved Edenbrooke.  I was so excited when another book by Julianne Donaldson came out.  This one was excellent too.

Friends and Foes, Sarah M. Eden
I had a hard time picking which one of Sarah Eden's books I wanted to put down for my top 10.  I have enjoyed every one I have read.  This one is the first book about a family of brothers and I have enjoyed the characters.  I love how her books are not series, but the characters mix.  I have read 8 of Sarah's 10 books.

Covenant Motherhood, Stephanie Dibb Sorensen
One of my sisters sent me this book and I really enjoyed it.  I loved that it didn't make me feel guilty for things I do or don't do.  It offered good ideas and made me feel good about the things that I do, do.

Pollyanna, Eleanor H. (Eleanor Hodgman) Porter
This book make me smile and laugh.  And look for the good in each day. I want to read it out loud to my kids.

What Would a Holy Woman Do, Wendy Watson Nelson
This book made me change how I think.  I got it at the library and I would love to add it to my own collection someday. In fact, if I could I would send it to my mom, my sisters, and my girlfriends.  How would you act differently, what would you change if you thought every day - What would a holy woman do?

Caroline Bingley, Jennifer Becton
One of my best friends sent me this book.  Most Pride and Prejudice fans don't like Caroline, but this book was fun and I ended up loving Caroline in the end.

My Own Mr. Darcy, Karey White
A modern day story of Pride and Prejudice.  This was a fun, quick, clean love story that made me laugh and smile.  I read a couple other books by Karey White and this one was by far my favorite.

5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges, Richard and Linda Eyre
I love every book I have read by the Eyre family. They are realistic.  This book was helpful to me.

Divergent, Veronica Roth
I jumped on the bandwagon and read the first two Divergent books earlier this year.  I just finished the 3rd (a little dissapointed!) but the first one I really enjoyed.  It's sitting on Wade's nightstand, he is going to read it next.

In Trying Times, Just Keep Trying, Merrilee Boyack
We've had a doozy of a year this year.  And then I saw this book at the library and had to read it!  Boyack survived breast cancer and a lot of chaos in her life.  She offered inspiring scriptures and quotes.  It was an uplifting read.

Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul  Curtis
I read this book because I am currently reading it at school with a group of 5th graders.  I brought it home the first day we handed it out and read the whole thing.  It is so fun!  I want to read it out loud to my kids.  The kids at school laugh and giggle at parts and really enjoy it too.  It has some teaching moments in there as well.  I look forward to reading some more books by Christopher Paul Curtis this year.


There are my top books from 2013.  Have you read any of these books?  What books did you read in 2013 and enjoy? I've got 63 more books to read this year and I am always looking for suggestions. :)