Tag Archives: book recommendations

Read. Reading. To Be Read.


I love sharing what we’ve been reading and getting good book recommendations from YOU, so here’s some of what we’ve read, what we’re reading, and what’s up next on our reading lists.

Personally What I’ve Read so Far in 2016:

  • Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova – I really enjoyed this author’s book Still Alice, so I decided to give this one a try. It was a tough read, but one I’m glad I finished. Lots of perspective for family + health!
  • A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner – Loved the parallels in this story and how it all came together.
  • You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan – One of the THE BEST marriage books I’ve read. Really want to go back through this one again and soak up even more.


What We’ve {Re}Read with the Boys: 

They read so many chapter books on their own these days, but we still love reading books aloud at the end of the day.

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe  by C.S. Lewis – The boys and Brad finished this one for the second time. This time was even better, as the boys were a little older and able to grasp more of the story.
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Loyd-Jones – I think this is our 4th total time through this book. It’s always fresh and such a cherished read.

What I’m Currently Reading: 

  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger – I’m about halfway through this one and still not able to anticipate where it’s going. It had a bit of a slow start, but now I’m really into the characters and anticipating the ending.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – This one has been on my list for some time after so many friends have loved it. I figured it’s the perfect time to dig in as we’re already in the mode of updating and organizing before the baby comes.


What We’re Currently Reading with the Boys:

Here’s what we’ve been reading for nightly devotions… (Here’s more of our devotional favorites.)


And Here’s What’s On My Personal To-Read List: 

I’m fortunate to have friends who are authors. I’ve known them from back when they were “just bloggers” and I’m so incredibly proud of their efforts that have poured onto these pages. Get your hands on these! They can be found at Target, Amazon, your local Christian bookstores, and on best seller’s lists!!!!

  • My Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner – I’ve always admired how Jess balances her roles in life with self-care and creativity – something I definitely want to grow in.
  • Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World By Kristen Welch –  I’m anxious to gain more perspective on raising our kids to be thankful and have a greater perspective for what they’ve been given – something we’re constantly working on in our home.
  • Choose Joy by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver – So many lives were touched by Sara’s life, and I’m so thankful that my dear friend Mary could continue to share her story and the beauty of choosing joy regardless of circumstances.
  • Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington – This is an area I’ve really been intentional in growing in, and I’m looking forward to gaining more wisdom from someone whom I admire so much.

What’s On the Boys’ To-Read List:

  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis – The boys are looking forward to the next book in the Chronicles of Narnia series.
  • Unbroken (Young Adult Adaptation) by Laura Hildenbrand – Brad and I both were greatly impacted by reading Unbroken and consider it one of our top 3 books we’ve ever read.  The boys have heard us talk about it over the past couple of years, and when Brooks and I found the adapted version at the library, we had to check it out. We’ll definitely preview this one before reading it aloud, but I look forward to the boys getting to hear the astounding story of Louis Zamperini.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madelene L’Engle – I cannot wait to dive into this classic with my dudes!

Now for my favorite part….YOUR turn! What are you reading for fun? What are your reading for personal growth? What are you reading with your kids? Can’t wait to add more books for my “To Be Read” list! 

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission (Diaper Money!!!) – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!
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Finding Beauty in the Brokenness: Books


There have been so many things pushing me through this loss and grief.  First and foremost is my hope in Christ. I honestly cannot imagine walking this road without His hand leading us, comforting us, caring for us, and faithfully providing for our needs. We would simply be left to wander aimlessly.

I’m all the more thankful for the lives we have been entrusted. Henry, Brooks, Clark, and Isaac have been reasons to get out of bed, and great sources of both joy and distraction.

Brad has been fiercely loyal.  We’ve hurt together, differently, but in unison. I know it’s times like these that either break you or make you, and we’re determined to let it grow us, even if it’s painful.


Additionally, there have been a few other helps along the way that I’d like to share with you.  I know that so many of you have or are facing different hardships and grief, and I hope these can be a source of encouragement to you.  If you are coasting right now, perhaps you can use these resources to be a source of comfort to those hurting in your circles.

I’ll start with books. Words have been a powerful tool in helping me walk through the pain.  I’ve been listening to others who have walked through pain, uncertainty, loss, difficulties, and have come out shining. They’ve found beauty in the broken road – a journey I’m determined to endure.

Here are 3 Books God Has Used to Show Me Beauty in the Brokenness:

1. You’re Going to Be Okay by Holley Gerth

The timing of this book was impeccable. It arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep as an early release the day before my D&C.  You think that was simply accidental? I was a little afraid of working through this book, because I knew it would force me to swallow the hard things, and see God’s goodness through it. And it did.  This book was the warm hug and reassuring pat on the back that I needed in some of my darkest hours. It forced me to see so many truths, and embrace the hope that I can cling to in the joy and in the sorrow.


2. Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman

I read this book in a little over 24 hour hours in some of those first hard days, because I simply could not stop reading it.  Although the Chapman’s weight of grief in loosing their daughter Maria, must be so much heavier than my own load, I could relate so much to her words, “All stories of hard are different, but pain and suffering are the common ground.” I found so much comfort through her writing and honesty in the struggle of choosing to SEE.


3. I Will Carry You by Angie Smith

I read this book back in 2010, and it greatly changed the way I’ve responded to friends and family’s pain and losses. Brad and I have referenced it frequently over the last few weeks, and know that we both read it for a purpose. It’s a beautiful depiction of the sacred dance of grief and joy.



What books have been a treasure to YOU in finding beauty in the brokenness?

{Original Photo by RonWLS}


Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!

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Library Book Haul: Favorite Check-Outs from October

I’m a little late in sharing our Library Book Haul, our favorite library check-outs of October with all the Halloween festivities.  However, it’s not a reflection of our enthusiasm for this month’s reads.

Out of Our 43 Books That We Read from the Library This Past Month, Here Are Our Top 10 Favorites:




1. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen We read this one twice in a row, a sign of a instant favorite. It’s one we definitely need to add to our personal library, about a family’s camping adventure. We loved the fun illustrations as well!

2. Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett I love how Jan Brett uses foreshadowing in her books to help kids predict what comes next. This was definitely one of our favorite’s by Brett, a close second to The Mitten.

3. Inch by Inch by Eric Carle This Caldecott Winner is another great classic from Eric Carle. It’s also a great tie in to measurements and comparing lengths for math enrichment.

4. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell The boys have been fascinated with owls, and we’ve been reading lots of non-fiction and fiction books on these birds. Even though this was a simple plot, the boys really enjoyed the family relationship between the owletts and the return of their mother.

5. Robin Hood by Neil Philip Hands-down the favorite read of the month! The boys were so into this classic tale, and couldn’t wait to read each chapter.  The illustrations and historical explanations in this version are fantastic.  The boys learned so much and so did I!

6. Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel This book has a great collection of bedtime stories that the father mouse tells to his son. All around delightful stories! Another one I would like to own to read time and time again (and simple enough for them to read to me soon)!

7. Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo We can’t get enough of books by Kate DiCamillo books. This one was a humorous adventure of a chicken, which reinforced being content in your own circumstances.

8. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharat This book has been on our list for quite some time, and I’m glad we checked it off this month. The boys enjoyed the mystery element and of course all the pancake references.  We can’t wait to check out more from this series!

9. If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty We’ve been studying astronomy for science this year, and the boys are hooked. This book explains the perspective and aspects of the moon better than any other book we have read. It’s visually amazing as well!

10. The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman You recommend this, and now so are we! We read this book at the beginning of the month, and the boys are still talking about it. They enjoyed reading about these seven siblings and their picky eating habits, and seeing how something good came from their mess.

So that concludes our Top 10 Library Check-Outs from October, but I can’t wait to hear what YOU recommend for us to check-out next!

Want more great Library Haul suggestions? Check out these:

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!
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