Saturday, May 2, 2020

Reading Journal: April

Reading Journal January - March 

I really struggled in March to get any reading finished, but once I had adjusted myself to the fact that I was going to be stuck at home I finally found a reading groove. Honestly, my list looks long which surprises me because I don't feel like I have spent too much extra time reading. I think most of my reading came from read-alouds that I did with my kids. With everything dropped from our school schedule the read-alouds didn't get bypasses as easily. A good month overall!
Books read in April


  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (audio) - This was the pick for The Close Reads podcast which was so exciting for me since this is probably one of my favorite books. I decided to listen to the Rachel McAdam's narration that Audible put out a few years ago and which everyone raves about. So I am going to go out on a limb and say that while I really liked Rachel McAdam's as a narrator, but I think the Barbara Caruso version is better. Of course, that is probably because that is the version I first listened to. Anyhow, Anne was a great pick especially since we are in quarantine and I it helped me get the reading juices going. 
  • The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay (audio) - I have enjoyed quite a few of Katherine Reay's books and decided to download this one from the library. I think I may have enjoyed this more in book form than audio. This was an okay read, but I can't say it was a favorite.
  • Blandings Castle by P.G. Wodehouse (audio) - I always enjoy P.G. Wodehouse when life gets weird and have wanted to go through the Blandings books in order. This was book 2 and I didn't realize that it was more short stories than one story. The first part dealt with Blandings and then the rest were other stories most of them Mulliner stories. Again, not one of my favorite listens.
  • The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse (read-aloud) - When we went under the stay-home order I picked this up and started reading aloud to my older kids. This is one of the best Jeeves and Wooster books and even though we all have read it we enjoyed it again. (My kids probably would have preferred the audio version since my French pronunciation is really, really bad!)
  • Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon - Continuing on with the Mitford series. When I first read this book years ago I was hesitant to pick up the next book in the series since I didn't particularly enjoy it. I am glad to say I did like it better this time around and I think it helped that I have been reading through the books though I feel the following books are better.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (audio) - I listened to this along with The Literary Life Podcast. A funny read.
  • In the Company of Others by Jan Karon - Another Mitford book and totally enjoyable. It happens in Ireland so you can't go wrong.
  • The Reb and the Redcoats by Constance Savery - (read-aloud) This was a read-aloud with my youngest daughter. I read this aloud years ago to my older kids. This is such a great book about the Revolutionary War and takes place in England. I great twist on the Revolutionary War. Highly recommended!
  • Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - A few years ago I read A Gentleman in Moscow and really enjoyed it. This is the author's first book and most everyone gives it rave reviews so I decided to give it a try. Honestly, I'm glad I read this after A Gentleman in Moscow because I don't think it even compared and I would have never read A Gentleman in Moscow based off of this book.
  • Scout: The Secret of the Swamp by Piet Prins (read-aloud) - While reading The Code of the Woosters to my big kids my youngest, Delani, wanted to read about Scout. Again, this was another book I read to my oldest kids and Delani really enjoyed it.
  • The Steel Wave (World War II: 1939-1945, #2) by Jeff Shaara (read-aloud) - From my last Reading Journal I had listed the first book that I read aloud to my son while he is studying World War II. Again, we are really enjoying this series. (A side note: There is some language which is one reason I'm reading it aloud.)


  • Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson - This is a little book that packs a powerful punch. This is addressed to homeschool moms but there is so much truth in the fact that all moms can easily be drawn into lies about parenting, housework, childbearing, homeschooling, etc. that quickly control our thoughts and soon we believe some very wrong thoughts. Some may think that Todd Wilson is over the top in some of his suggestions, but I think it is a necessary since we mom's are so bad at listening. Great read. 
  • Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World by Shelly Miller - I listened to a podcast that Shelly Miller was featured on and then a few weeks later I walked into the Christian bookstore and found the book on clearance for $4. I really enjoyed this book. The way she talks about doing Sabbath is very doable and she didn't beat the reader over the head about how getting off our phones will bring peace to our lives. Her scope for having Sabbath goes way beyond phones which I think is very overlooked in self-help books that are being published today. A great read and one I hope to implement in some way shape or form in my life. Probably not perfectly, but she assures her readers that that is okay. Highly recommended!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Reading Journal 2020: January - March

Reading Journal January - March 
Warning: This is a very long post. I have been very remiss in getting my reading journals this year so while I'm in quarantine I thought I would try to get caught up. January and February were very good months for reading while my reading life took a drastic drop in March. I think some of this was at first due to struggling to find something that was catching my interest and then at the end of the month I just had trouble focusing on anything including reading. Thankfully, I have been able to get past that. So here goes:

  • Magical Melons by Carol Ryrie Brink (read-aloud) - I read Caddie Woodlawn to my youngest in December and she wanted to read the sequel so I obliged. She really enjoyed this book. I don't think it's as outstanding as Caddie, but still a worthwhile read.
  • Death Has Deep Roots by Michael Gilbert - This was a mystery set in World War II. I reminded me a little bit of Rumpole of the Bailey. It was a good read.
  • Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb - I'm still at a loss at why I even bothered to finish this book.
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (audio) - I read this along with The Literary Life Podcast.
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger - I read this along with the Circe Close Reads Podcast. I have read Leif Enger's other two books, but had never read the first one. I have enjoyed everything I read by him, but I think this is his best.
  • Venetia by Georgette Heyer (audio) - An old reliable read.
  • Find Your Weigh by Shellie Bowdoin (audio) - Some great points in this book. I listened to it, but I need to actually read the book and jot down a few things.
  • House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg - I saw this recommended in a group I'm in and thought I'd give it a go. I know that Montgomery's life was nothing like her books and was pretty sad and could never muster up the courage to attempt to read about her. I thought maybe a book aimed for younger readers may make it an easier read. So here are a few thoughts--This is a lovely book. The artwork is very sweet and I think Rosenberg does a great job at presenting the material of Montgomery's sad life. That being said I wouldn't hand this book to my 12 year old or even to my 20 year old. They would be depressed and honestly I think this could turn younger readers off from reading Montgomery's books and that would be a tra gedy. I am truly of the opinion that beautifully written books don't require an extensive knowledge of an author's life to truly enjoy a story. Many author's had horrible lives yet in the midst of their pain they still produced something that was beautiful and lovely.
  • M.O.M.--Master Organizer of Mayhem: Simple Solutions to Organize Chaos and Bring More Joy to Into Your Home by Kristi Clover (audio) - For me I didn't find much in this book that I haven't heard before. It does have rave reviews though so you may want to check it out.
  • Mother Culture by Karen Andreola - This is a beautiful book for the homeschool mama even if she doesn't ascribe to the Charlotte Mason method.
  • The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster by Winston Churchill (audio) - My son wanted to study World War II history so we are using his last two years of school being immersed in it. He read the book and I cheated and listened to the audio book. (This audio book goes along with the  Churchill's abridged edition of Churchill's six volume Second World War series which my son is reading since we didn't have enough time for six volumes.)
  • Whatever Happened to Justice - Richard Maybury (read-aloud) - This is part of our government study that is pretty much an ongoing subject in our house. Honestly, this has been my favorite of all the Maybury books. He says to start with Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, but if you aren't used to his style he can be a little offsetting and Whatever Happened to Justice just seems a better starting point to me and helps you to understand his other books.
  • When Less Becomes More:Making Space for Slow, Simple, and Good by Emily Ley (audio) - Okay, I get that social media is a problem. I think most of us would admit it, but does every book about simplicity and slow have to be about taking it out of your life (not permanently, but way less of it). Honestly, I'm not faulting the author because it obviously worked for her, but it seems like every book that has come out in the last 2-3 years had been the same message--"less technology, more _______" I think we all know we could use less technology and since everyone's message is the same obviously things aren't changing so it may be time to find a new message. The funny thing is as I write this review while I'm in quarantine due to COVID-19 there may be a new market for all these books since I'm most attempts at cutting back went out the window!
  • The Gown: A Novel of Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson - I really enjoyed this read about the Queen's wedding dress and a story of friendship. One caveat: I didn't enjoy the page of a rape scene (which was probably comparatively mild) which only needed a paragraph. Why do authors think this is necessary. What if that scene was triggering to someone reading it? Head up authors, reader's do have imaginations we don't need everything in detail. I'm off my soap box.
  • Laeticia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders - A cozy mystery that I enjoyed.
  • The Rising Tide (World War II 1939-1945 #1) by Jeff Shaara (read-aloud) - I'm reading through this series with my son for part of his World War II study. Shaara does such a great job with these books. It's probably the favorite part of our day.
  • Shepherd Abiding by Jan Karon - I'm still working my way through the Mitford series. I did enjoy this book better this time around that my first read through.
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - This was an odd book with a sad ending. I don't like sad endings.
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare - The kids and I listened to this (with our books) for our Shakespeare study. I also picked it since The Play's the Thing podcast was doing it also.
  • Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (read-aloud) - I read this aloud to my youngest daughter.
  • The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare - Another Shakespeare play.
  • Finish: Give Yourself a Gift by Jon Acuff (audio) - I've seen several recommendations for this book so I gave it a go. I will definitely need a re-read since I spent the first listen through dying laughing at Jon Acuff's stories and illustrations.
  • Handbook of the Gospels by Jeffrey Brickle - My husband started a Biblical Training program and a couple of my kids are doing it. This is one of the books required and I recorded it for them to listen to since they have been busy working. (Even now two of them are still busy working.)
  • Love That Laughs: Lighten Up, Cut Loose, and Enjoy Life Together by Ted Cunningham - I saw a little clip online of Ted Cunningham which I enjoyed so I went looking for his books. I found this one on Cloud Library, This is probably a good read for someone who need to learn to laugh. If you're an old married couple like us you are probably doing pretty well in that department.
  • Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave by David Breece (read-aloud) - I started reading this aloud to my two middle kids and then my daughter graduated so I read the rest to my son. This book is on the AmblesideOnline list and it is highly recommended in Truthquest History. This was really a thought provoking book that I really enjoyed. I don't know if my kids got much out of it, but I did.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Books read in 2019

Books Read in 2019

I am ridiculously late in posting this, but here it is in all it's glory! I read a total of 120 books--74 fiction and 46 non-fiction. Of those books 37 were audio books. 

Fiction (74):
  • After the Armistice - Catronia McPherson
  • Bookends - Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Bookshop - Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink
  • The Chestry Oak - Kate Seredy
  • The Chilbury Ladies Choir - Jennifer Ryan
  • The Children of the New Forest - Frederick Marryat*
  • The Christmas Hirelings - Mary Elizabeth Braddon*
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
  • Dorothy Sayers: The Complete Stories - Dorothy Sayers
  • A Few Quick Ones - P. G. Wodehouse*
  • Gaudy Night - Dorothy Sayers
  • A Gentleman's Murder - Christopher Huang
  • Henry V - William Shakespeare
  • The Inimitable Jeeves - P. G. Wodehouse*
  • Jeeves and the King of Clubs - Ben Schott
  • Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare
  • The Kaiser's Last Kiss - Alan Judd
  • Little Britches - Ralph Moody
  • Little Women - Louisa May Alcott*
  • Macbeth - William Shakespeare
  • The Magician's Nephew - C. S. Lewis*
  • Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen*
  • The Odyssey - Homer
  • Othello - William Shakespeare
  • Pay Attention Carter Jones - Gary D. Schmidt
  • Persuasion - Jane Austen
  • The Printed Letter Bookshop - Katherine Reay*
  • The Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton
  • The Rector of Justin - Louis Auchincloss
  • The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishigaro 
  • The Road to Paradise - Karen Barnett*
  • The Secret of the King's Tomb - Garrett Drake*
  • Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen*
  • Something Fresh - P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Spies of Shilling Lane - Jennifer Ryan
  • To Kill a Mockinbird - Harper Lee
  • The Vanderbeeker's and the Hidden Garden - Karina Yan Glaser
  • The Vanderbeeker's to the Rescue - Karina Yan Glaser
  • The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Christopher Paul Curtis*
  • Way of the Warrior Kid - Jocko Willink
  • Whose Waves These Are - Amanda Dykes
  • Wicked Autumn - G. M. Malliet

Amory Ames Series - Ashley Weaver
  • Murder at the Brightwell
  • Death Wears a Mask
  • A Most Novel Revenge
  • The Essence of Malice
  • The Act of Villiany 
Anne of Green Gables Series - L. M. Montgomery
  • Anne's House of Dreams
  • Anne of Ingleside*
  • Rainbow Valley
  • Rilla of Ingleside
Chronicles of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peter
  • An Excellent Mystery*
  • The Raven in the Foregate*
  • The Rose Rent*
  • The Hermit of Eyton Forest*
  • The Heretic's Apprentice
  • The Confession of Brother Haluin
Mitford Series - Jan Karon
  • A New Song
  • A Common Life
  • In This Mountain 
Miss Marple Series - Agatha Christie
  • Murder in the Vicarage*
  • The Thirteen Murders
  • The Body in the Library*
  • The Moving Finger*
  • A Murder is Announced*
  • They Do It with Mirrors*
  • A Pocket Full of Rye*
  • The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side*
  • 4:50 from Paddington*
  • A Carribean Mystery*
  • At Bertram's Hotel*
  • Nemesis*
  • Sleeping Murder*
Non-Fiction (46):
  • 3 Seconds - Les Parrott*
  • The 4:8 Principle - Tommy Newberry
  • About My Mother - Peggy Rowe*
  • Adorned - Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
  • Are Women Human? - Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Atomic Habits - James Clear
  • Becoming a Welcoming Church - Thom Rainer
  • Bookgirl - Sarah Clarkson
  • The Brave Learner - Julie Bogart
  • Building Her House - Nancy Wilson*
  • Burnt Toast Makes You Sing - Kathleen Flinn
  • The Call of the Wild and Free - Ainsley Arment*
  • Checklist for Life for Leaders - Checklist for Life
  • Chasing the Horizon - Thomas & Patrick Kinkade
  • The Conversation - Leigh Bortins
  • Cozy Minimalist Home - Mcquillyn Smith
  • Darkest Hour - Anthony McCarten
  • Decluttering at the Speed of Life - Dana White
  • Doctrines of the Bible - J. L. Hall
  • Help, I'm Homeschooling - Tricia Hodges
  • Education - Israel Wayne
  • The Enchanted Hour - Meghan Cox Gurdon
  • An Enemy Called Average - John Mason*
  • An Experiment in Criticism - C. S. Lewis
  • The Fairy Tale Girl - Susan Branch
  • The Gospel-Centered Mom - Brooke McGlothlin
  • The Homebody - Joanna Gaines
  • Introverted Mom - Jamie C. Martin*
  • Homeschool Bravely - Jamie Erickson
  • Hope for the Weary Mom - Brooke McGlothin, Stacey Thacker
  • Just Do Something - Kevin DeYoung
  • Know and Tell  - Karen Glass
  • The Library Book - Susan Orlean
  • Make it Happen - Lara Casey*
  • Make Time - Jake Knapp
  • The Next Right Thing - Emily Freeman
  • The Path Between Us - Suzanne Stabile
  • Placemaker - Christie Purefoy*
  • Roots and Sky - Christie Purefoy
  • Rythms of Renewal - Rebekah Lyons
  • Sold on Monday - Kristina McMorris
  • Switch on Your Brain - Caroline Leaf
  • To-Do List Formula - Damon Zahariades
  • Three Days in Moscow - Bret Baier*
  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop - Lewis Buzbee
  • You Who - Rachel Jankovic

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Reading Journal: October - December 2019

Reading Journal 


  • Building Her House: Commonsensical Wisdom for Christian Women by Nancy Wilson (audio) - Uplifting essays encouraging women as they build their house. I definitely want to re-read this but in book form.
  • Doctrines of the Bible edited by J.M. Hall - I read aloud and recorded it to help my kids with a Bible class they are taking.
  • An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis - I read this along with The Literary Life Podcast. Lewis can really leave me groping for meaning. I'm thankful for the podcast to help my poor little brain.
  • Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with Confidence by Jamie Erickson - THIS BOOK!!! If you are a homeschool mom, drop what you're doing and go and buy this book. Such an encouraging read. This book isn't about a certain method of homeschooling but speaks more to doubts that every homeschool mom fights as she teaches her kids. Highly recommended!!
  • Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess by Stacey Thacker & Brooke McGlothlin - I had this book in my Kindle and since I enjoyed another book by Brooke McGlothlin I thought I would check it out. An average read.
  • Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace by Christie Purifoy (audio) - This was an okay read--for me. I think this book will speak to other personalities differently so don't resist reading it if it is speaking to you. Emily P. Freeman recommended it so there is that!
  • In this Mountain by Jan Karon - Mitford series--what more do I need to say! 
  • The Odyssey by Homer, Emily Wilson translator - I read this along with the Close Reads Podcast. This was my first dive into The Odyssey. Since I have never read any other translations I can't really compare the translators, but there were parts that just felt odd or maybe too modern. I read the KJV Bible most of the time so on times that I read another translations I sometimes come across a passage that doesn't seem right and that makes me go look it up in the KJV. This is how this felt in this book. I will probably attempt another translator to see what I think, but it will be someday in the future.
  • The Vanderbeeker's and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser - The second book in the Vanderbeeker's Series. I know many people rave over them. I think they are good, but not great.
  • Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy Warrior the Navy Seal Way by Jocko Willink - The only way I know how to describe this book is a kids self-help book in story form. An interesting read.
  • Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet - I'm always on the lookout for a new series, but this won't be it. 


  • Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose by Rebekah Lyons - There were a few good thoughts in this book. Another book I would like to revisit one day.
  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald - Don't bother picking this book up. The most disappointing ending that leaves me wondering why the author even wrote the book. Pitiful. (Once I got a drift of where the story was going I skimmed to the end.)
  • The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters - Another Brother Cadfael story. I picked this story up and started reading and thought I didn't know if I could handle what was going to happen to the main character. After returning the book to the library and rechecking it out I finally dived it only to find out it was a pretty good read.
  • The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser - The last book in the Vandebeeker's series. Good not great.
  • The Watson's Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis (audio) - I've had this on my radar for awhile and finally got around to it. A good little read.


  • Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy by Jamie C. Martin (audio) - This book has high recommendations even by people who aren't introverted so I decided to give it a listen. I have a big opinion about introverts and extroverts that I'll spare you from, but I do think there are some things (especially as a mom) that are very much the same no matter which one you identify with. I do thing the biggest difference is how introverts and extroverts recharge which this book reminded me that daughter does not recharge like I do. In case you're wondering I do not recharge like an introvert!!
  • Bookends - Lizz Curtis Higgs - An okay read. I know I read this years and years ago.
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink - I read this aloud to my 11 year old daughter and even though I listened to it years ago I realized I didn't remember everything about the story and there was one point I started crying. If you have kids read it aloud to them if you don't then just read it to yourself. You won't be disappointed.
  • The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Brandon (audio) - This was a free book I got on Audible. Even though the story was predictable I thought it was a sweet little story.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (audio) - I hadn't read an Alcott book in a while and decided with the new film coming out I would revisit it. This book gets better every time I read it. Five stars!
  • The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (audio) - I listened to the series a few years ago, but for some reason  I never got to this book. Probably not my favorite, but the ending makes it better.
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin (audio) - A re-read from years ago and also it was the book for The Literary Life podcast. An enjoyable read.
  • The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss - I read this along with the Close Reads Podcast. An interesting read with an odd ending. I hate odd endings. I want nice, tidy, happy endings.


Related Posts with Thumbnails