Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - October & November

I ran out of time last month to get my Nightstand posted so you get a two for one this month.
I did quite a bit of reading in October and a fair share in November. I did put four books on my Nightstand for December, whether I read them all or not will remain to be seen. Nevertheless, something will be read!

For December:

From September's Nightstand I read:

  • Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson - This was a great read and one that I probably need to re-read in a few months just to take everything in.
  • Reading People by Anne Bogel - I love to read about personalities and at first I thought this book was going to be redundant from things I knew, but she went into quite a few different personality finders and really piqued my curiosity to look into them more. 

Still reading:

  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - I am reading this with an online book club and they are reading it slower than I had anticipated so thus I'm still reading it.

I also read:

  • Audacity Jones to the Rescue by Kirby Larson - I dived into a little bit of kid's fiction this month. This was a cute read.
  • Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer - When I get into a reading slump I read a Heyer or Wodehouse. This time it was Heyer. This isn't probably one of her best books, but still enjoyable.
  • A Dangerous Engagement by Melanie Dickerson - Well, I found I was having a hard time believing in this story. I found myself laughing and it wasn't at the characters in the book, but rather the book itself.
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - I read this along with the Close-Reads podcast. I read Robinson's Housekeeping years ago and HATED it, so I was quite hesitant to read Gilead. Thankfully, this was a very thought provoking read and a story I could like.
  • Jasper and the Riddle of Riley's Mine by Caroline Starr Rose - I'm always on the look out for a good adventure story for my son. Unfortunately, I didn't pass this on. It was an okay read and that was about it.
  • The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer - Another Heyer book. Any story that she puts siblings is always a fun book. 
  • The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer  - Somehow I have never read this book and my daughter recommended it. This was an excellent read. It's like reading a comedy instead of watching it.

I listened to:

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson - My co-op class is doing Reader's Theater this year and we are working on this story. Of course, that required some research. Such a fun Christmas story.
  • Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan - If you haven't read this book I highly recommend you add it to your list. It is kid's fiction, but such a great read. I do highly recommend the audio since it adds a lot to the story. 
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - Another Close Reads book. I listened to the audio with David Suchet as the narrator. (He is Poirot, right?) Murder isn't one of my favorite Christie stories so I'm not sure if I'll watch the new film or not.

For November I read:

  • A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch - Do you need a vacation but don't have time or money? I highly recommend you search out this book. It is a vacation in a book! Not only is the book beautiful on the inside and out, but I felt like I was traveling with the author and taking in the all sights and experiences. Highly recommended!
  • A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay - I have really enjoyed Katherine Reay books. I did find the end of this story left me hanging a bit. 
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - I have been reading this book with my kids over the last 12 weeks. It is my first time through and oh my, what a story! Dickens is a master story teller. (Yes, my kids had to hand me Kleenex as we finished the book.)
  • To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon - Karon is another master story teller. I was not disappointed in the latest Mitford book.
  • Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher - Another book that I read aloud with my youngest daughter for school. Such a great little story.
  • Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven - Can I just rave about this book? I absolutely loved it! Such great advice and given in short little blurbs with some great stories interspersed throughout. I may or may not have a couple of kids getting copies for Christmas.
  • Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church by Keith & Kristyn Getty - Such a great reminder about the importance of singing. As a song leader and a musician I found it a great reminder of why I do what I do.

Monday, September 25, 2017

What's On Your Nightstand - September

Well, I had to laugh when I saw my pitiful number of books I read this month. You can tell I was focused on other things like school planning, which I always put off to the last minute, and then getting our homeschool year off to a good start. So hopefully, this next month I will be able to find more time for more reading.

For October:

I also read:

  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - I read this for book club. I was aware of the movie but have never watched that or read the book before. I was pleasantly surprised by this story and ended up really enjoying it.
  • A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson - I read the second book in this series last month and finally got the first book from the library. This was a fluffy read which is sometimes necessary.

I listened to:

  • A Basic History of the United States, Vol 1: The Colonial Experience 1607-1774 by Clarence B. Carson - I listened to this while preparing for our school year. My highschoolers are delving into a year long study of American History which is quite thorough. I really, really enjoyed this book though it did have some dry moments. Now if I can find a way to squeeze it into our schedule--every homeschool mom's dilemma!

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.


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