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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - July & August

Last month I was up in the air on a plane when I realized that I didn't write my What's On Your Nightstand post for July. Since I was heading on a short visit with my parents and then taking my kids to a big Youth Convention I decided to just wait until August and post it all at once. So here is my big reading list for July and August and my goals for the upcoming month.

In September I want to read:


July's Reading
From June's Nightstand I read:
I also read:
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - I finally got around to reading this book (A big thank-you to my book club.) I have read a lot of rave reviews, but I have to admit that I didn't love this book. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe I read too many rave reviews? Who knows!
  • The Butler Did It by P.G. Wodehouse - A fun read. I was getting close to the end of the book when I had this strong feeling that I "knew" one of the characters of the book. I googled it and found that this story is slightly tied to Money in the Bank--a personal favorite of mine.
  • Fire and Ice by Mary Connealy - I stop every now and then and catch up on one of Mary Connealy's books. Pure fluff.
  • To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston - This was a read-aloud book for my older kids, but with baseball and grandparents visiting it was pushed aside. We finally picked it up in July and finished it up. I really, really liked this story since it was very suspenseful and plus I learned a lot about the Jamestown settlement. Highly recommended!
  • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin - Habits! I found this an intriguing read and it gave me a lot to ponder on. 
I listened to:
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh - I read this along with the Close Reads podcast. I would have never made it through this book without the podcast. I can't say I liked this book, but overall I'm glad I read it. (A funny note: Jeremy Irons is the narrator and it took me it bit before I could get the image of Scar [The Lion King] reading aloud this story.)
  • All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot - I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoy James Herriot's books. He is such a delightful storyteller. The audio's are fabulous.
August's Reading
I read:
  • The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey - Another book club book, though we never discussed it which was really too bad since I love this story. I think this is my third time through it and it is still as good as the first read.
  • The Lady of the Lakes: The True Love Story of Sir Walter Scott by Josi S. Kilpack - I'll have to admit I wasn't very excited by my reading so I just went in and browsed the new books at the library and came across this book. I enjoyed this story a lot more than I thought I would. Plus the author does a great job at the end of telling the real story and what was truth and what she added.
  • The Prince and Betty by P.G. Wodehouse - I read this on my trip. I don't think I got too much read since I was tired every night. Not the best Wodehouse, but Wodehouse makes me laugh no matter what.
  • Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke - Here is another story that pleasantly surprised me. The story goes back and forth between the daughter's life in present day and the mother's life from the past. If you like World War II fiction this may interest you. (This is Christian fiction, but I still found it a good read.)
  • A Viscount's Proposal by Melanie Dickerson - Another book I picked off of the library shelf. An okay read.
  • Different by Sally & Nathan Clarkson - Sally & Nathan Clarkson tell Nathan's story of his struggle with OCD and a few other diagnosis. They share the struggles and pain that they dealt through the years.  This is an uplifting read for mom's who are dealing with children who just don't fit in a normal box.
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman - A book about books. There are some great essays in here. 
I listened to:
  • The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot - The last of the James Herriot series. He even makes his trip to Russia during the 60's interesting. I was quite sad when the book ended.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - June

What's On Your Nightstand 

As I predicted in my last post June was a very busy month for us. We had a month full of baseball, my parents and in-laws were here visiting, my husband and I had to attend a retreat for a couple of days, my son, Chantry, turned 15, plus our local homeschool convention happened this month. Needless to say I didn't get a lot of reading done, but that is okay. July should be a little lighter, but I'm not picking a huge reading list since my summer seems to passing by way too fast. I do have a pile of books to read and am hoping to get a lot read.  I know most people read more in summer, but for some reason that just doesn't seem to work for me.

For July:
 

From May's Nightstand I read:


I also read:

  • The Pilgrim of Hate by Ellis Peters - Another Brother Cadfael.
  • It Started with Goodbye by Christina June - A modern twist on the Cinderella story. I can't remember how I came across this book, but I found it a decent read for YA.
  • Ring for Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - A Bertie & Jeeves story without Bertie and while a decent story, I did miss Bertie.


 See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - May

What's On Your Nightstand 
What a month! The day after I published my April Nightstand my oldest son was in a serious car accident that totaled our car and he was rushed off in an ambulance to OHSU in Portland. The Lord was watching out for him and he was able to go home that night with only a broken bone in his toe, a bruised abdomen, and a bad (read very nasty) cut on his arm which couldn't be stitched and had to heal on its own. Let's just say that this mama's heart was quite physically and spiritually weak for awhile. Jesus and reading is what helped this mama through this situation.

So that brings me to June. We are still trying to finish up school work and we also are looking forward to my parents coming for a long visit and my in-laws are also going to be visiting. I'm sure we will be pretty busy, since life never lets up even when you have visitors! I'm keeping my list short since I may not have much time for reading.

For June:


From April's Nightstand I read:



I also read:


I listened to:



 See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesdays with Words (The Virgin in the Ice)




My quote comes from The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters, the sixth book in the Brother Cadfael Series. I found this quote to be a beautiful reminder of the ebb and flow of life that continues on no matter how good or bad our world/life seems to be--just as God intended until His return.
England was already frozen into a winter years long, and he knew it. King Stephen was crowned, and held, however slackly, most of England. The Empress Maud, his rival for the throne, held the west, and came with a claim the equal of Stephen's. Cousin, most uncousinly, they tore each other and tore England between them, and yet life must go on, faith must go on, the stubborn defiance of fortune must go on in the husbandry of the year, season after season, plough and harrow and seed, tillage and harvest. And here in the cloister and the church, the sowing and tillage and harvest of souls. Brother Cadfael had no fear for mankind, whatever became of mere men. Hugh's* child would be a new generation, a new beginning, a new affirmation, spring in midwinter. p.10
(*Hugh is the deputy sheriff and a personal friend. A key character in many of the Brother Cadfael books.)

See more at ladydusk

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - April

What's On Your Nightstand 

I have survived April (well, most of it) and my kids have completed their competition and now life goes back to normal. Even in all the busyness I was able through 6 books, thanks to one book having three combined in it. It still may take me a week or two to get my act together when it comes to reading since the house must be put back in order and school work becomes a top priority!

For May:
 
 

From March's Nightstand I read:

  • What He Must Be:...If He Wants to Marry my Daughter by Voddie Bauchman - A great read on preparing young men (and young women) for marriage with a lot of focus on character and their spiritual lives.
  • Just Enough Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - This book included Right Ho, Jeeves, Joy in the Morning, and Very Good, Jeeves. I got this book from the library so I could read "Joy in the Morning" but I ended up reading the other two also. Of course, you can never go wrong with Wodehouse.
  • The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters - Another Bro. Cadfael book. I am really enjoying this series.

I listened to:

  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot - In the midst of getting my kids prepared for competition I decided I needed an escape so I checked what I had in my Audible list and picked this one. I read this years ago, but it was just as good the second time around and was just what I needed.


And if your interested in seeing what my kids did you can head on over to my Facebook page and I have their performances and some of their entries posted.

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - March

What's On Your Nightstand 
I had a great month of reading in March, but we won't talk about my lack of sleep. April is a big month for us--baseball starts, my youngest will turn 9,  and my older kids will be competing in a competition doing poetry, expressive readings, preaching, playing chess, entering sewing and photography projects, plus a few more things--so much of my time will be spent helping them prepare. I'm not sure how much reading I will get done, so I'm keeping my Nightstand on the lighter side and who know maybe I'll get some sleep.

April's Nightstand:

From February's Nightstand I read:
  • Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope - The premise of this book is giving kids a classical education who are special needs or struggling students. I found the beginning of this book to be an encouraging read, but when it came down to getting actual ideas I felt that most ideas seemed to weigh more on the special needs side rather than a struggling student. Overall, it was an encouraging read.
  • The Leper of Saint Giles by Ellis Peters - Another Bro. Cadfael mystery which I found quite interesting.
I didn't read:
  • The Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren - I read quite a bit of this book before it had to go back to the library. I realized I wasn't getting much out of it so I'm going to forgo reading the rest.
I also read:
  • The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill - A favorite Grace Livingston Hill book.
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel - I read this for book club--this is not a book I would pick up to read voluntarily. I was going to pass on reading this one but decided to power read it instead.  It was weird. 
  • The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill - On the other hand this was a fascinating read. I'm not sure whose recommendation I read, but I'm glad I checked it out. 
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsill - After Life of Pi I didn't have much to read and I was still waiting on my Wodehouse book to come in at the library so I decided to raid my kid lit shelves at home. The Penderwicks were a perfect pick. I still like them as much as I did the first time I read them.
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow by Ellis Peters - Another Bro. Cadfael mystery.
  • Killing Patton by Bill O'Reilly - Oh my, what an interesting read. O'Reilly does a great job of writing this in "this is the facts" manner yet it still flows like a story.
  • The Power of a Praying Church by Stormie Omartian - Read this for ministry purposes. 
I listened to:
  • Fervent by Priscilla Shirer - I started reading the book and then switched to audio since I wanted to use some information in it for our church's ladies meeting. I will definitely be re-reading this title.
See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - February

What's On Your Nightstand 
Oh, February where did you go? Into March I go hoping to to get a little more non-fiction going and figuring out what I want to read for fiction. I am feeling very stymied. Hmmm, that may be sign to put a little P.G. Wodehouse on the list. He is always my go-to when I can't figure out what to read. As of right now I'm going to leave my Nightstand a little sparse and see what happens!

For March:

From January's Nightstand I read:
  • How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White - What a practical book! I have quite a few routines down pat in my house, but there are a few areas that just never get done as often as I like. This was just a nice healthy dose of reality along with the reassurance that you may never get it perfect but just doing something will make a difference. Brilliant, right?
  • Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers - I read this along with the Close Reads podcast. An enjoyable read, though I was surprised to find Sayer's allowing Lord Peter to be "judge and jury" concerning the murderer as a resolution of this story. I'm not sure if this was done with a lot of thought or just an easy way to end the book.
  • Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery - On a home school list I'm on this particular book came up as the subject of having 4% of the text edited in the Bantam edition. Since I owned the re-issued, unedited version I decided to re-read it and see if I could tell a difference. I have read and listened to this book numerous times and honestly, without reading each page side by side I only found one part that stood out to me and it had been edited out of the Bantam edition. That being said I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and I don't think it was the extra 3,000+ words that did it.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson - I have some friends that have been doing a book club for years and I have always wanted to go. This year I'm attempting it and this was this month's choice. I realized that I have had three of my kids read this and yet I had never read it. Well, that is now rectified. A fun, adventurous read.
I also read:
  • Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose - This was a family read-aloud and I won't admit how long it has taken us to get through this, but I finally determined to get this one done. The subtitle is 'A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II' and this is an amazing story that I wanted to share with my kids. If you need your faith raised this is a good place to start. (Our inability to get get this book read wasn't because of the content, but rather on our inability to get our act together!)
  • One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters - Last month I read the first in the Bro. Cadfael series and this month I delved in a little deeper. I am really enjoy this series so far. 
  • Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters - another Bro. Cadfael
  • St. Peter's Fair by Ellis Peters - and yet another Bro. Cadfael
I listened to:
  • Ember Falls by S.D. Smith - All my kids listened to this a few months ago and then wanted to discuss it with me. Unfortunately, I hadn't listened to it yet which brought howls. My daughter has pestered me and I finally finished it today. This is a great adventure story and I can see why my kids love it. Unfortunately, I was getting lost which they did their best to help their mother out. I think I need to just order the books and read them.
 See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

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