Saturday, December 31, 2016

Books Read in 2016


Reading Stats for 2016 - The total amount of books I read was 104. 66 were fiction and 38 were non-fiction. Out of these books 17 were audio books. Bible reading is also a part of every day reading and I read through the book of Proverbs quite a few times this year along with a chapter of the Old Testament with my kids each school day. I finished the year with an Advent Reading plan that I found on my OliveTree Bible App.


  • Across the River - Alice Taylor
  • The Bachelor's Girl Guide to Murder - Rachel McMillan
  • Be Still My Soul - Joanne Bischof
  • The Bronte Plot - Katherine Reay
  • The Complete Father Brown - G.K. Chesterton
  • Curricle and Chase - Lizzy Church
  • A Damsel in Distress - P.G. Wodehouse
  • The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey*
  • Dear Mr. Knightly - Katherine Reay
  • The Demon in the House - Angela Thirkill
  • Emma: A Modern Retelling - Alexander McCall Smith
  • Frederica - Georgette Heyer*
  • Friendly Gables - Hilda van Stockum
  • Gerald and Elizabeth - D.L. Stevenson
  • The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer*
  • High Rising - Angela Thirkell*
  • Hero on a Bicycle - Shirley Hughes
  • The House of the Deer - D.L. Stevenson*
  • The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien*
  • The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis*
  • How to Catch a Prince - Rachel Hauck
  • Inklings - Melanie M. Jeschke
  • Irish Meadows - Susan Anne Mason
  • Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott*
  • Journey Into Christmas and Other Stories - Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • Laddie: A True Blue Story - Gene Stratton Porter
  • A Lantern in Her Hand - Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis*
  • Lizzie and Jane - Katherine Reay
  • Love's Faithful Promise - Susan Anne Mason
  • Middlemarch - George Eliot*
  • Miss Dimple Disappears - Mignon F. Ballard
  • Miss Dimple Picks a Peck of Trouble - Mignon F. Ballard
  • Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause - Mignon F. Ballard
  • Miss Dimple Suspects - Mignon F. Ballard
  • Miss Julia Inherits a Mess - Ann B. Ross
  • Miss Julia Lays Down the Law - Ann B. Ross
  • The Most of P.G. Wodehouse - P. G. Wodehouse
  • Mrs. Time Carries On - D.L. Stevenson
  • Mrs. Tim Flies Home - D.L. Stevenson
  • Mrs. Tim Gets a Job - D.L. Stevenson
  • North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell*
  • Once Upon a Prince - Rachel Hauck
  • Penrod Jashber - Booth Tarkington
  • The Precious One - Marisa de los Santos
  • Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*
  • Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis*
  • Princess Ever After - Rachel Hauck
  • The Rim of the Prairie - Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • The Rosemary Tree - Elizabeth Goudge
  • Sarah's Cottage - D.E. Stevenson
  • Secret's of a Charmed Life - Susan Meissner
  • Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death - James Runcie
  • Sidney Chambers and the Peril's of the Night - James Runcie
  • Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil - James Runcie
  • The Secret Keepers - Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis*
  • The Silver Chalice - Thomas B. Costain
  • The Story Girl - L.M. Montgomery
  • Trent's Last Case - E.C. Bentley*
  • Venetia - Georgette Heyer*
  • Vinegar Girl - Anne Tyler
  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis*
  • Wild Strawberries - Angela Thirkill
  • The Woman of the House - Alice Taylor
  • A Worthy Heart - Susan Anne Mason

Non-Fiction: 38

  • The 2 Degree Difference - John Trent
  • 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know - Annie Chapman
  • Applesauce Needs Sugar - Victoria Case
  • Batting Rocks Over the Barn - Lawn Griffiths
  • Boundaries with Teens - John Townsend
  • Call the Nurse - Mary J. Macleod
  • Caught Up in a Story - Sarah Clarkson
  • Chicken Every Sunday - Rosemary Taylor
  • Christians and Strongholds - Kim Haney
  • Country Days - Alice Taylor*
  • Design Your Day - Clare Diaz-Ortiz
  • Do More Better - Tim Challis
  • Finding Your Purpose As a Mom - Donna Otto
  • Fit to Burst - Rachel Jankovic
  • Gates & Fences - Lori Wagner
  • Glimpses of Grace - Gloria Furman
  • Hand Free Life - Rachel Macy Stafford
  • A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War - Joseph Laconte
  • Hoodwinked - Karen Ehman
  • Hope for the Heart of the Homeschool Mom - Jemerril Stewart
  • In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson
  • Letter to Our Next Generation - Lane Cohee
  • The Life-Giving Home by Sally Clarkson
  • The Life-Giving Home Experience - Sally Clarkson
  • The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap - Wendy Welch
  • The Magna Charta - James Daugherty
  • Mere Motherhood - Cindy Rollins
  • The Reader's Odyssey - Dena Luchsinger
  • Real Learning - Elizabeth Foss
  • The Renewing of the Mind Project - Barb Raveling
  • Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels - Richard Halliburton
  • The Royal Road to Romance - Richard Halliburton
  • Stories from Old Squires Farm - C.A. Stephens
  • Streams in the Desert - L.B. Cowman
  • Things We Couldn't Say - Diet Eman
  • To Love Honor and Vacuum - Sheila Wray Gregoire
  • Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions - George Barna
  • When Books Went to War - Molly Guptill Manning

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - December

What's On Your Nightstand

December was an okay reading month, though I don't think I read anything really deep. This year I didn't make a list of books I wanted to read and have felt quite lost. I plan to change that this year. For January I keeping my nightstand light since my parents are coming for a visit.

For January:

From November's Nightstand I read:

  • The 2 Degree Difference: How Little Things Can Change Everything by John Trent - The first part is told in a story form and then the last part goes through the changes the character in the story goes through and how we can apply small changes to things in our lives. An encouraging read.
  • Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner - I came across this book in the bookstore I manage and it looked interesting. This ended up being such a good story about a young woman who survives the Blitz in London. It was hard to put down. Highly recommended!
I chose not to read:
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte - This is the second month I didn't read this book. I bought the audio book of Villette and heard that a book club that I would love to attend is reading Middlemarch for the January meeting. So I veered off and have been listening to that instead hoping that I can finally make it to a book club meeting and if I don't--well, I won't be too sad since I really enjoy Middlemarch.
 I also read:
  • Emma: A Modern Tale by Alexander McCall Smith - Well, this book was a flop. This is my second modern retelling I've read and both were not worth it at all. Read the originals.
  • Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause by Mignon F. Ballard - Cozy mysteries--nothing profound but still enjoyable reads.
  • Miss Dimple Suspects by Mignon F. Ballard - Ditto above
  • Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle by Mary J. MacLeod - This memoir falls in the category of memoirs that I enjoy. Ones that tell stories of the people and the place where they live. Very enjoyable read.
  • Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman - I have been reading this devotional on and off (more off than on) for over a period of at least five years but had never completely finished it. Earlier this year I uncovered it in my closet and determined to get it all read. This is an excellent devotional and probably on that I'll keep reading on and off for years.
 See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Monday, November 28, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - November

What's On Your Nightstand

One more month and it will be time to say good bye to 2016 and my weird year of reading. I didn't set any goals and honestly I feel quite unaccomplished. For December, I am keeping it small since it is December and it fills up a lot quicker with activities than I like. I'm sure I'll get more read but I will also be spending time getting some goals down for 2017.

For December:

From October's Nightstand I read:
  • Applesauce Needs Sugar by Victoria Case - This was a fun memoir that was a little reminiscent of Cheaper by the Dozen except during a different period of time and Mama is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Christians and Strongholds by Kim Haney - The importance of not letting bitterness take root in you life.

I forgot to read:
  • Vilette - Charlotte Bronte - Whoops! I totally forgot this was on my list this month which is too bad since it probably is better than what I read.

I also read:
  • Miss Dimple Disappears by Mignon F. Ballard - A cozy, fluffy mystery. I will be checking out more in the series.
  • The Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie:
  • Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkill - A few months ago I listened to the first book this series, High Rising which I found an enjoyable fluffy read. This book was only an okay story. The copy I had from the library had tons of layout and spelling errors in it. I honestly don't think anyone proof-read it. Oh well. This is a story that could be forgotten and life would easily go on, but if you want to look at a beautiful cover just gaze at this.

I listened to:
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - I was listening (a re-read) to this and following along with the Close Reads podcast put out by Circe Institute. They haven't finished the book yet, but I finally couldn't wait and just finished the book. On a side note: I wasn't a fan of the narrator Rosamond Pike, though I couldn't tell you why. I'm sure I have listened to this on audio before with a different narrator, but it must have been recorded in my records that were lost. Oh well!
See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - October

What's On Your Nightstand

October seemed to go by at a leisurely pace, until I realized way too late last night that it was time for a What's On Your Nightstand post. I guess I was in la-la land. November doesn't seem too busy, but I'm divided on what to read so I am keeping my nightstand open for possibilities.

For November:

From September's Nightstand I read:

I also read:

  • Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler - This is supposed to be a modern re-telling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Unfortunately there was no shrew, but only a very nondescript, boring female character. The more I think about it I'm not sure how funny a shrew would be in our day and time which could explain why the character was boring. Anyhow, skip this and just read the original. 
  • Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason - This book was first in The Courage to Dream Series. I haven't read much Christian fiction lately and I liked these well enough. I have found I'm not reading CF quite the same since hopeinbrazil at her Worthwhile Books Facebook page has been posting silly sentences from Christian Fiction. These sentences now jump off the page at me. :)
  • A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason - ditto above
  • Love's Faithful Promise by Susan Anne Mason - ditto above
  • The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart - The Mysterious Benedict Society books have been a big hit with my kids. When this came out we quickly ordered it from the library and my daughter read it. She was a little unsure on what to think about it so she insisted that I read it. So I did and we have had several discussions about the characters and the dilemmas they face. Honestly, I can't ask for more than that. Carrie at Reading to Know reviewed it so check her review out. 
  • To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Gregoire - This is a great title, but I can't say anything in it is profound or life-changing. Maybe if I was at a different stage in life. 

I listened to:

  • Frederica by Georgette Heyer - This is my favorite Georgette Heyer book! Back in 2013 I noted that that this book was "filled with rambunctious children, a ravishing beauty, a sensible sister, and a bachelor--fun, fun, fun!!" and I think that still stands.

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wednesdays with Words (Stories from Old Squire's Farm)

I just finished reading Stories from the Old Squire's Farm by C.A. Stephens which was recommended by Brandy from Afterthoughts. I am sharing a portion from the chapter entitled "Addison Wins the Debate". I did borrow this from the library but will soon be adding it to our book collection.

The author talks about a big debate that they had concerning the weekly debates that he termed " of the best features of our school days...". This chapter was very interesting since their debate centered around Andrew Johnson being impeached. I may have to go re-read about his period of history again.

The regularity with which these debates were maintained was due largely to the enthusiasm of our preceptor, Mr. George F. Kennard, who was wont to call on the students early every term to organize a debating society. Throughout four years--allowing for unavoidable postponements--ninety-two debates were held and a wide range of questions discussed. Current political questions were sometimes excluded, as likely to stir hard feelings. In strict point of fact, however, no great harm ever came from debating political questions; rather it trained us to habits of self-restraint, taught us to respect the opinions of opponents, and to be tolerant and good-natured toward them. In truth it should be put down as a rule, that a student, young or old, who cannot control his temper in a debate, keep good-humored, and be courteous to those who differ from him, is just the person who needs to take part in one--till he can. If a debater loses his temper, there is but one good medicine for him--to laugh him out of his weak egotism. p. 284 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - August & September

What's On Your Nightstand

What a crazy two months! Last month my computer died on the day that I was going to work on my September Nightstand. I was also sitting down to do my big homeschool planning for the year. When I finally got a new computer homeschool planning took precedence. I decided to just wait until this month to put up my post. Thankfully, homeschooling is going well even though my reading life feels kind of lost. Right now I'm just picking up books that look interesting that are sitting around my room. It is not very purposeful, but I am reading!

For October:

From July's Nightstand I read:
  • Boundaries with Teens by John Townsend - This was a good read. It really is loaded with how to deal with a lot of different scenarios and if I read again I would probably just pick the parts that I felt I needed help with. Definitely a resource book.
I also read:
I listened to:

  • The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer - I decided to listen to this after listening to way too many podcasts and I just needed a break. Many people claim The Grand Sophy to be one of Heyer's best books, but while I find it enjoyable I believe there are others that are better. 
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - This story really reminded me of Pride and Prejudice in many ways though it dealt with way deeper issues. I'm glad I read it, but I have to admit I find Wives and Daughters by Gaskell more to my liking.

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - July

What's On Your Nightstand

Another month is almost gone, but I had a great month of reading so I'm happy. Not only did I get quite a few books read, but I was able to listen to a pile of them. I found some time to catch up on my ironing (yes, I'm one of those) and I also did quite a bit of sewing which gives me a lot of time to listen. Plus I did quite a bit of traveling back and forth to work and two days of homeschool convention so I had some quality listening time. 

I didn't get one July's Nightstand's books finished, so I'm bringing it over to August. It is my only pick for August due to my family and I heading out to visit my parents. I'm only taking my Kindle and I'm pretty sure I won't get much read and that's okay!

For August:

From June's Nightstand I read:

I also read:

  • The Woman of the House by Alice Taylor - After reading Country Life by Alice Taylor last month I looked to see what else she had written. This is a first in a fiction series. Some language but I still found the story compelling.
  • Across the River by Alice Taylor - The second in the series. A story about family, the land, and revenge. I'm still undecided about this book, but I find Mrs. Taylor can weave a good story.
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay - I believe everybody has read this. I ordered it from the library and it took me two months to get it, but I have to admit it was a fun read. A twist on Daddy Long Legs with a lot of Jane Austen thrown in.
  • Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton Porter - Even though this book is about Laddie and how he wins the love of the neighbor girl, I think my favorite character was "Little Sister". She really was the heart of the story. If you enjoy Grace Livingston Hill you will definitely enjoy Gene Stratton Porter.

I listened to:

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott - My kids listened to Ivanhoe last school year and I started to listen to it (my second time through), but I stopped since I didn't want to lose their spot. When I started up all my sewing I decided to find my spot and start it back up again. When I read this a few years ago I was disappointed that Ivanhoe doesn't end up with Rebecca, the Jewess, but this time through I realized that Scott doesn't even really allude to that in the story. This makes me wonder why I felt that way the the first time I listened to it. Maybe since I knew it wasn't going to happen I could be more subjective about it. Anyhow, I'm not sure, but this still is a fine read (or listen).
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis - It took me awhile to warm up to this story. One thing about The Chronicles of Narnia is the little truths that are mixed right into the story. Sometimes I can't even go find them to jot them down, but I find myself dwelling on the idea of them.
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis - When this story started off with an ape and I knew I was in trouble. This is a hard story to take. What I found really profound is how much this story describes the worldview of today. 
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - So I bit the bullet and listened to The Hobbit. I can't say I was very crazy about it though. Maybe if I had read the book I would like it more or may not. Who knows.
  • Venetia by Georgette Heyer - This one was for pure pleasure. After finishing the The Last Battle I had to have something funny.

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - June

What's On Your Nightstand

June--really? Well, on to my reading. I had a pretty good month considering that I had guests. I did make it through quite a bit of reading though I didn't quite get every book on my Nightstand read. July is another busy month so I'm going to pick just a few for my Nightstand and pick and choose throughout the rest of the month what I want to read.

For July:
From last month's Nightstand post I read:
Currently reading:
I also read:
I listened to:
  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis - Continuing on with the Chronicles of Narnia which I am still enjoying.
  • Country Days by Alice Taylor - I came across this audio book as a discard from the library and thought I would try it out. Just a simple book of stories from the author that lives in Ireland which I found enjoyable. Honestly, just listening to the brogue of the narrator was pure heaven.

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What's On Your Nightstand - April & May

What's On Your Nightstand

Well, April's Nightstand came and went and I decided to just bypass it since life was extremely busy at the moment. Due to the busyness of life and some of the books I was reading I really was finding reading kind of dull. Thankfully, life has slowed down and I think my reading is picking up. My parents are coming for a visit in June so I'm not giving myself a big stack of books to read, but hoping to just enjoy the moments.

For June:

From March's nightstand:

  • The Renewing of the Mind Project by Barb Raveling - Excellent read. As a pastor's wife I see too many people walk away from God with claims such as, God doesn't love me, God doesn't know where I'm at, etc. It had me pondering on why some people live for God no matter what and others just throw in the towel way too quick. One day while praying I was reminded of the Romans 12:1 & 2 and realized that the victorious Christians are always renewing their mind. Not too long after I heard about this book and ordered it. The author shows how to take problem or areas you want to improve and work through them with what she calls Truth Journaling. The first part talks about how to truth journal and how to renew your mind using Biblical principles and the rest is a resource for all kinds of topics to reference. Highly recommended!
  • Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford - Last year I read Hand Free Mama and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would which inspired me to pick up this book and I have to say it is just as compelling. Rachel Macy Stafford is a beautiful writer with a message we all need to hear.
  • Sarah's Cottage by D.E. Stevenson - I figured out this is the sequel to Sarah Morris Remembers. While the story was okay I think I enjoyed the first one more.
  • The Complete Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton - I don't know if I dare say this, but Father Brown and I aren't on speaking terms right now. He about killed my love of reading. I know it is Chesterton we are talking about but still there is a limit to what a person can take. My first problem was I did not realize that these are short stories--I am not a fan of short stories. My second problem was that I picked the "complete" book of Father Brown stories--way too many at one time. If I ever read through these again it will be in the individual books. I do think I enjoyed the stories from the first and last books (not sure of the titles since I returned the book to the library) best.

Other books read:

  • The Magna Charta by James Daugherty - This was a read-aloud to my kids for school for history.
  • The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch - This was a fun read. As a bookstore manager for a Friend's organization there was so much I could relate to in this book. 
  • The Complete Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton - Our read-aloud for geography for the last two school years. This book is excellent and my kids absolutely loved it. Worth all $25 I paid for a used copy.
  • Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay - I was really wanting to read Dear Mr. Knightley by the same author but then so does everyone else. I settled for this book instead. It was a nice reprieve after Father Brown. :)
  • Design Your Day by Claire Diaz-Ortiz - Short, sweet, and to the point. Maybe one day I'll get organized enough to implement all these "help your day" books I've been reading.
  • When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning - This was a very interesting story about what it took to get books into the hands of the men in the military during World War II. I had never heard about this or seen anything about it. I find a couple of titles in there that  I never heard of, but it seems like those were out of print. 
  • The Rosemary Tree by Elizabeth Goudge - This was an enjoyable read and one of those books that the language just stays with you. I did have to laugh though--I don't know if Goudge believes in secondary characters. She seems to treat them all as main characters and then ties them all up in a nice tidy bow at the end. 

 Books I listened to:

  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis - I have The Chronicles of Narnia on my The Classics list and I have been avoiding them. I decided that audio would help and since I listened to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe several years ago I went with the next book. I have to admit that I liked this book way better than TLWW (don't throw tomatoes at me). 
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis - I'm continuing on. I liked it better than what I thought, though I don't think these are books I'll ever rave about.

Books I didn't read:

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


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