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5 Books I Read Last Week + What I Hope to Read This Week

Books I'm Reading

We’re seven days into January and I’ve finished seven books so far. That’s a pretty good pace, eh? :)

I don’t think I’ll be able to keep reading at the pace of one book per day, but it’s been fun to have more time for reading these past two weeks!

Books Read This Week

Here’s what I read this past week:

What Alice Forgot — I really enjoyed this book. While it wasn’t written from a Christian perspective and had some swear words in it, the book was well-written and really caused me to step back and examine my own marriage and relationships to see if I’m making small choices that would, over time, have devastating consequences.

Steal Like An Artist — This is such a quick read, but it’s packed with inspirational ideas. I didn’t agree with all of the ideas and thought some of them could be overwhelming — especially if you felt like you needed to add a bunch of them to your life in order to be a better writer or more creative person — but overall, I thought it was solid and helpful advice.

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) — I’ve loved all three of Brene’s books. This one is her first book and, while it was very thought-provoking, I’d say it was my least favorite. If you only read one of hers, I would highly recommend Daring Greatly. Caveat: All of Brene’s books have some crass language in them and aren’t written to a Christian audience.

5-Minute Morning Boosters — This was another quick read, but it had some interesting ideas in it for starting your day well. Some of them were quite weird, but there were enough good ideas to outweigh the few weird ones. 🙂

Dashing Dish: 100 Simple & Delicious Recipes for Clean Eating — This book just showed up at my doorstep one day and it looked interesting, so I read through it last week. And to my surprise, I thought many of the recipes looked really good. In fact, I dog-eared so many pages that I feel like I practically dog-eared every other page! Many of the recipes were unique but still simple and delicious-looking. I passed the cookbook on to Jesse to look through since he’s been doing a lot of cooking these days, too.

Books I Plan to Read Next Week

James and the Giant Peach — This is our current read aloud. We’re enjoying it, though I have to say that some of the language and attitudes has surprised me for a children’s book. I’ve edited it a bit and used other parts as opportunities to have discussions on how our words can be hurtful and shameful to others.

The Anxiety Cure — As someone who struggles with anxiety during different seasons of life, I’m on a mission to learn more about it and what I can do to help prevent or minimize it. I read Sleep: It Does a Family Good by Archibald Hart two years ago and learned so much from it that I picked up this title to check it out, too.

Glimpses of Grace — So many people have told me I must read this book. I’m about a 1/2 of the way through it and am finding it thought-provoking it.

The One Thing — I keep seeing this one mentioned over and over again, so I thought it’d be a great read to start the year out with.

Long Walk to Freedom & Kaffir Boy — I’m reading these in preparation for my trip to South Africa next week.

Against All Grain — Multiple friends have mentioned this book to me and suggested I read it.

From This Day Forward — I saw an article about this book on Ann Voskamp’s site and was intrigued so I picked up a copy.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie — My friend, Ginger, recommended this book to me.

What did you read this week? Any must-read book recommendations?

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  • Serena says:

    Have you read the Betsy Tacy books? I am reading them for the first time, and they are delightful children’s literature so far! I Just started the third one. They would be great for a read aloud!

    • We got the first one from the library a few years back because so many here had recommended them. My girls (especially my oldest who likes action, adventure, and mystery) weren’t too excited about it and thought it was kind of bland and girly. Do they get more action-packed and adventure-filled as the series goes on?

    • Dianna says:

      Oh, I love those books! They do not get action-packed, but Betsy is quite spunky. They’re just simple, charming books about growing up based on the author’s life that take the characters from little girls to married.

  • Lora says:

    I’ve read 7 books so far in 2015 as well, and I’ve felt so blessed to be able to read so much in the last week (3 of those books were 1000 pages each. It’s been a REALLY nice week :-)).

    I didn’t enjoy James and the Giant Peach and opted not to read it to the children, but I love most of Roald Dahl’s other works, especially Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I feel that Dahl does a better job of pointing out the hurtfulness of the naughty behaviors in that book (and the poem about reading is just delightful!).

  • Ellen says:

    “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” is a unique book — an atypical heroine in an atypical mystery story. For someone who used to skip fiction, you’re branching out! 🙂

    • Are you proud of me?? 😉 Now I’m really curious about that book — hoping to read it this weekend. {I find I usually can only read fiction on the weekends since once I get started on the book, I don’t want to finish it — and that doesn’t work very well on a normal weekday!}

      • Megan says:

        I love The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and all of the Flavia books. She is such a precocious character. The writing describing her antics makes me laugh out loud.

        I recommend the Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck. Very clean and entertaining.

      • Jen says:

        I loooove Flavia!!!! Such GREAT writing. Some of the best I’ve read, honestly. I’m a mystery lover anyway, but these books are so unique and characters so interesting. Definitely not Christian worldview, but “clean” as far as murder mysteries go.

      • Ginger says:

        Yay for Flavia!!! Ellen is right – it is different as far as fiction/mysteries go – but it’s a fun departure! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

        • Jerri says:

          Count me as a Flavia lover as well, and if you like her voice, you’ll like “Sweetness.” Every once in a while, a catchphrase of hers comes to mind, and I just have to stop and smile. I hope you like it!

          I’m looking forward to “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.” It’s a great series.

  • I really enjoyed reading “Not Without My Daughter.” Most people know the movie version with Sally Field, but the book is much more in depth. It’s so scary what happens in extremist muslim countries like Iran!

  • Victoria says:

    I finished Slaying The Debt Dragon by Cherie Lowe. I really enjoyed it such an inspiring story of a family working together to pay off 127,000 in debt. Well written, funny and informative. I felt like I was having a conversation over coffee with Cherie the whole time. Now I am reading a Susan Warren book. Tyndale Rewards got me hooked on Susan Warren fiction books. Such good fiction that is often thought provoking and always warms the heart.

  • Lisa Guyer says:

    Since you are looking to read more fiction this year, check out Francine Rivers. Hers books are not just another fiction book. She makes you think and delves into really deep issues of faith. The Mark of the Lion series is absolutely excellent. I love how it ties into Bible times. So much so that one of the characters gets on the same boat as the messenger who is taking one of Paul’s letters to a church. The believers in the boat are reading the letter together. She brings common Bible stories to life in an amazing way. My favorite work of hers by far is Redeeming Love (based on the book of Hosea).

  • MiaTheReader says:

    I highly, highly recommend The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. And diddo on the Betsy Tacy books being great read alouds! My then four-year-old really enjoyed the first two. I’m compiling a winter reading list for my blog today and will definitely be including What Alice Forgot. Thank you for your book recommendations!

  • Amy says:

    Thank you for mentioning James and the Giant Preach. I wanted to start reading it with my kids, but maybe we’ll choose something else for now.

  • Diane says:

    I noticed the same thing with James and the Giant Peach. I really edited a lot of the words out (as a read aloud) and am not sure I’d want my child reading it when she is an independent reader. The story held her attention well but it really wasn’t my favorite.

  • Diane says:

    Crystal, have you read any of Marguerite Henry’s books? (Misty, Sea Star, Stormy, Brighty)? We’ve enjoyed them.

  • Delores says:

    Oh, I really like all the Flavia De Luce books! I am excited about the next one coming out! They are interesting, clean, and light reading. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Nicole says:

    I love to read!!! But with three under 4 and another on the way.. it doesnt happen very often 🙂 I was wondering if you had any bible study book suggestions? Something I can buy used on amazon would be great 🙂 thanks so much!!
    I cant believe its 4 degrees right now in nashville!

    • I’m doing the She Reads Truth Bible Studies and loving them. You can access the verses and devotionals for free on their site and use your own notebook to take notes. I love how they have their journals divided up daily into She Studies, She Prays, She Lives — you could do the same on your own notebook just writing down what you learned, a prayer based upon that, and how you want to live that out today. Or, something else that works for you! I’m a big fan of doing what works for you!

  • Joyce says:

    I am reading The Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta. It is the 3rd book in The Price of Privilege trilogy. They are all excellent! It is also fiction with an atypical heroine.

  • Marisa says:

    I am reading the My Father’s Dragon series to my kids right now and they love them. We’ve also read the Little House on the Prairie series. Another we love is Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Also, love The Chronicles of Narnia.

  • Tracy says:

    So far this month I have read 2 books. I am so thrilled lately my reading was not happening.

    Right now I am reading IceFire by Chris D’lacey to my son he loves stories dealing with dragons.

  • Marte says:

    I’m sure you have shared this before, but how do you make
    time to read?

  • Kaylee says:

    I have read Tell Your Time (thanks to your recommendation!) and For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn so far this year.

  • I love the children’s author, Sook Nyul Choi. Her books focus on the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1940’s, and then she and her sister and grandmother’s experiences upon immigrating to America, and their adventures of trying to assimilate in this country; all of the books are told from the perspective of 9-12 year old girls! No profanity, no extreme violence, but the message is told so well. These books are a must for young ladies learning about human rights and multiculturalism.

  • Dianna says:

    I recently read The China Study and it really challenged the way I think about health, nutrition, and food marketing—and I have drastically changed the way I eat since then too.

  • Anne says:

    I read and enjoyed In a PIt with a Lion on a Snowy Day based on your recommendation- thank you! Also read and HIGHLY RECOMMEND Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg.

  • Lisa says:

    I just finished “Almost Amish” and “Missing Jesus” and both were really thought provoking reads! 🙂 Next up, “More Than a Carpenter”.

  • The two books I just picked up from the library are from your 2014 favorites so I know I don’t need to recommend those. 🙂 I just finished Walk to Beautiful by country singer Jimmy Wayne–an autobiography about his really difficult childhood and how God redeemed it. It really helped me view foster kids (especially older ones) and foster care in a new light.

  • Pam says:

    I got a kick out of the Sweetness at the Bottom of Pie – although it wasn’t my typical fiction read. Have fun reading! My list for the month keeps growing!!!!

  • Aisha says:

    7 books?! How fast do you read? And for how many hours per day?

    Would love to read 1 per week!

    • I’m a fast reader — I usually read for 20-30 minutes/day on weekdays and then a few hours on the weekends. This past Sunday afternoon, I read for about 5-6 hours because I had a completely free afternoon/evening!

  • I haven’t finished any books yet this year, but I just wrote about the best book I read in 2014, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I think I originally heard about the book from you? Your recommendations always go on my reading list! 🙂

  • BUSY MOM IN AL says:

    I am reading Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson. You would love this book!! He is a God-fearing pediatric neurosurgeon who overcame tremendous odds. It is so inspiring and I plan to read it aloud to my kids. Your library probably has it. 🙂

  • Jennifer Tasker says:

    My kids aren’t fans of Roald Dahl at all – my daughter has tried (and stopped halfway through) Mathilda, James, Charlie, and Fantastic Mr Fox. We had the Audio CDs and tried them too, but we were all surprised at some of the content and wording.

    Have your girls read any Enid Blyton? I hadn’t heard of her growing up in the US, but we live in Australia now and she is the most-read author down here. My 8-year-old daughter read “The Wishing Chair” in two days and we’ve just taken out the next two Wishing Chair books from the library. She also wrote The Magic Faraway tree. Great for reading aloud or by themselves.

  • Jill says:

    I just finished clutter free with kids. It was a great read. The author spoke about controlling our stuff and not having our stuff control us. This is something I am constantly working on.

  • Charlene says:

    Just wondering what you thought of A Proper Pursuit? I saw in December that you had started it. Did you like it? I didn’t ever see a write up on it, and since it is one of my most favorite books… I wondered if you liked it too! 🙂

    • Yes, I FINALLY read it after it was on book stack for forever! 🙂

      Hmm, what to say about it? I enjoyed it fairly well. It wasn’t my favorite book of hers, but I (for the most part) enjoyed the story line. I thought the story line developed a little too slowly for my taste and it just didn’t have the depth that really made me think/examine my own life that I was hoping it would have. However, I did enjoy the bits of history that she wove into the story and I’m glad I finished it as I thought the ending was very gratifying and it wasn’t actually what I was expecting.

      • Charlene says:

        I loved the end too…. it was totally not what I expected either. I guess I didn’t notice it was slow, since I read it in a day or two. I also like the historical aspects Lynn Austin puts in her books. It is obvious to me that she has done her research. Thanks for the input! 🙂

  • Joyce Lundeen says:

    I can’t find where you listed your 10 favorite book you read this year. I am unfamiliar how to search for former posts. But I think you recommended “Dear Mr. Kightley” by Katherine Reay. I requested it using interlibrary loan and picked it up today about 11:30 am. I finished it about 10:00 pm. I highly recommend it. I liked the format and that it did not end as I expected. I also appreciated it was clean. I look forward to Mrs. Reay’s next book. I he requested several other of your recommended books and asked our library to purchase one that was not avail to loan. Thanks for your daily emails.

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