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Tag Archive: Good Reads

3 Books I’m Reading This Week + 1 Book I Read Last Week

3 Books I'm Reading This Week

Many of you have requested that I share more book posts — what I’m reading, what I’m reading with my kids, and reviews of books that I’ve read. I can’t promise to do a post every week on this, but I’m going to try to do a better job of more consistently sharing what I’m reading — since I really enjoy getting great book recommendations from others!

3 Books I’m Reading This Week

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis — I’m about 75% through this one and am not sure whether it’s beautiful or weird…. The jury’s still out on that!

Rest Assured by Vicki Courtney — I just started this book and I think I’m going to really enjoy it and it’s going to be perfect for my Year of Rest!

All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin — I have really enjoyed many other books by Lynn Austen, but I’ve not read one of her books for awhile, so I’m excited to dig into another good fiction book.

What I'm Reading This Week

What We’re Reading Aloud

Johnny Tremain — This is our read aloud for our homeschool curriculum (Sonlight) and while it took us awhile to get into it (it starts out slow and takes its time developing the story plot and characters) and there’s a bit of coarse language in it, we’re really enjoying it.

What I Read Last Week

It’s Not What You Think — This book was deep and made me really think and reconsider many different things from a new perspective. I didn’t agree with all of it, but I found so many thought-provoking nuggets throughout it.

What are YOU reading right now? What have you read recently? Any great recommendations?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Good Reads: Character Trails by Marilyn Boyer

If you’re a mom of young ones and you’ve been over to my house in the past few months, you’ve probably heard me talk about Marilyn Boyer’s Character books. I can’t help myself; I love them.

And it’s just not me who loves them. My children adore these books.

We read Crossroads of Character last year and Silas (only two and a half at the time) begged for me to keep reading another story and another story. I’ve never had the children all be so engaged in our morning devotional as they were with Crossroads of Character.

What they loved was that Crossroads of Character taught character lessons with stories and full color pictures. All of the children in the stories are Marilyn Boyer’s grandchildren. My children loved following along with the antics of each of the children in the book. Since there were children each of their ages, they especially got excited about the stories.

We were all so sad when we finished Crossroads of Character, so I was thrilled to discover that there was another book in the “series”. Character Trails is similar to Crossroads of Character, but it’s geared for a little bit older age level (I’d say 5-10 year olds).

There are 12 different character qualities covered. For each character quality, there is a Bible story, a story from history, and a story from Marilyn’s grandchildren that exemplifies that character quality.

Once again, my children were completely engaged. Some of the Bible stories and stories from history were ones they were very familiar with. But there were others that were new to them.

Character Trails provided a springboard for many great discussions. And, once again, we were sad when we were finished with the book. I think my children are very hopeful that Marilyn continues to release these books so that they can follow along as her grandchildren grow up!

If you’re looking for a quality book on character for younger children, I’d definitely recommend Crossroads of Character and Character Trails. We read one story every day at breakfast and it was the perfect length for the current ages of my children.

Good Reads: Early to Rise by Andy Traub (and a 30-Day Challenge coming in March!)

Andy Traub and I connected on Twitter a few weeks ago and he asked if he could send me his new ebook, Early to Rise. Actually, I’d been meaning to buy a copy since I’d seen it recommended by so many different people I respect.

So, I jumped at the chance. And I wasn’t disappointed. Andy and I think a lot on the same wavelength when it comes to personal responsibility and discipline.

Andy’s ebook is not for someone who isn’t willing to endure some discomfort and put forth some effort. If you’re happy with how your life is and you’re satisfied with your mornings and your productivity, then you probably don’t need Early to Rise. Or, if you’re a mom who has young ones and you’re thankful for every second of sleep you can get, you also probably don’t need to read this ebook. {The last thing you need is to feel guilty for getting sleep that your body desperately needs!}

However, if you struggle to get up in the morning and you struggle to be productive during the day wish you could regularly get up earlier and get more done in the mornings, Early to Rise will challenge and motivate you. It’s broken down into easy, manageable steps to get you started on the path to consistent lifelong early rising. Even though I typically get up fairly early, I was re-inspired by it to make early rising even more of a priority in my life.

One thing I loved about Early to Rise is that it’s a longer ebook and there are some nice perks when you purchase it: you get the entire audiobook download plus the opportunity to sign up for daily email reminders. I love how Andy provides so many options so that you’re able to get the material in the format that best helps you.

Coming in March: The Early to Rise Challenge

I was so inspired by Andy’s ebook that I thought it would be fun to do an Early to Rise Challenge in March. I’ll be sharing more specific details about how the challenge will work. But basically, we’re going to be reading through the ebook together and I’m going to be encouraging everyone to choose a time they are committing to get up at every weekday morning during March. And then, I’ll have a daily check-in to share how I did and to open the floor for you to tell us how you did that morning.

Best of all, you get to choose what time you are committing to wake up at — be it 4 a.m. or 9 a.m. There’s no set time that constitutes “early”; it’s whatever works best for you and whatever will help you to have a productive day.

More details coming on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. In the mean time, who’s with me?

Good Reads: Platform by Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt is a man who has inspired many — including my husband and me. His posts have provided a lot of fodder for discussions between the two of us, and it’s not unusual for my husband to email me a link to one of Michael Hyatt’s post — even though he knows I already subscribe to his blog! (One of our favorite posts is A Tale of Two Leaders. It’s a must-read.)

I was excited to read his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, as I’d heard great things about it. It’s packed with a lot of fantastic information for anyone who is interested in setting up a blog and it totally lived up to my expectations of it.

In Platform, Michael Hyatt doesn’t just give you the nuts and bolts on how to start a blog, he also shares how blogging can help you build a platform to launch a book, product, or business. I’ve truly seen this to be true in my own life. I would never have been approached with book deals or speaking engagements and other opportunities were it not for the platform that blogging has given me.

And as I’ve seen in my own life, while blogging requires a lot of work and dedication, it’s also much, much easier to build a platform in the age of social technology than it ever would have been before the internet existed.

I appreciated Michael Hyatt’s careful attention to detail and all of the well-thought-out and proven advice he shares. He truly strives for excellence in everything — and I’ve learned a lot from his example.

Now, while I thought the book was well-written, I will say that I would have loved for the book to be less of a collection of blog posts and more of Michael Hyatt’s story. He talked some about his story, but the book is mainly comprised of short, bullet-point chapters — many of which read more like blog posts than in-depth book chapters.

In addition, he has some great information on how to effectively use Twitter, but I think he under-estimated the value of Facebook. I’ve made some good relationships on Twitter and I get some traffic from Twitter, but I get a much more significant amount of traffic from Facebook. So I personally think that Facebook deserved more attention in Platform than it received. However, since Michael blogs for a different audience than I do, it’s very possible that he may get a lot more traffic from Twitter than I do.

Despite these critiques, I enjoyed Platform, have tremendous respect for Michael Hyatt, and would highly recommend everyone who is considering starting a blog or currently blogging read his book. No matter your level of experience as a blogger, I think you’ll glean some invaluable insights from Platform.

Have you read any good reads in the past few weeks? Tell us about them in the comments!

See the full list of books I’ve read so far in 2013 here. See my list of 48 Books I Plan to Read in 2013 here.

Good Reads: The Good Life for Less by Amy Allen Clark

For years, Amy from has inspired with her knitting and baking and no-spend challenges. A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet her in real-life. She’s fun, bubbly, energetic. and just plain cute!

When I heard she had a book coming out, I knew I had to get a copy. If anything, I wanted to support a first-time author. But I also was sure that if it was coming from Amy, it would be very inspiring.

And I was right. Her book, The Good Life for Less, is so practical, down-to-earth, and motivational. If you’ve struggled with job loss, credit card debt, or feeling like you’re completely green when it comes to cooking, you’ll be motivated by her story of how they’ve struggled to make ends meet, crawl out from under a mountain of credit card debt, and how she’s learned that stew can actually come from somewhere other than a can!

I loved the unique and creative ideas she gave for cutting your budget. And if you don’t have a budget in the first place, you’ll find the percentages she gives for each category to be a helpful guide.

Chapter 3 is packed with make-it-yourself recipes. You’ll find recipes for homemade salad dressings, mixes, soups, crockpot meals, Starbucks knock-off drinks, and much more.

One of my favorite quotes in the book was in chapter 4. She said: “Make it your goal to leave your family with a legacy of happy memories, not expensive gifts, and you’ll be well on your way to creating the kinds of special times they’ll always hold in their hearts.” Love that!

The Good Life for Less is a quick read (I read it in about two hours!). It will leave you feeling inspired to beautify your home, bless others, and make food from scratch. Many of the tips and ideas in this book are things I’ve heard before or currently do, but it’s always good to have a frugal living refresher at least a few times a year. Plus, there were some new perspectives I’d not thought of and Amy brought her own unique angle to everything — which I loved.

My only two complaints? I wish this book were a little longer and I would have loved to hear more of their story. She told it in snippets, but maybe in her next book, she can delve more into all the details of their frugal journey. I know that it’s a story that would be inspirational to so many!

Have you read any good reads in the past few weeks? Tell us about them in the comments!

See the full list of books I’ve read so far in 2013 here. See my list of 48 Books I Plan to Read in 2013 here.

Good Reads: Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

I’m pretty sure I’ve been living under a rock for years because Unglued is the first book by Lysa TerKeurst that I’ve read. And now I know why everyone loves her so much and what I’ve been missing out on for so long!

Lysa is real, she’s Southern (bless her heart!), and she calls it like she sees it. After you read her book, you just want to invite her over for a big glass of sweet tea and some girl talk. Because Lysa gets you. She doesn’t pretend to have her act together (I almost laughed aloud while reading about the missing toilet seat!) and her authenticity gives you hope and inspiration.

It just so happens that I read Unglued during a month where there were many extra burdens heaped on my shoulders — things I didn’t have control over and couldn’t just run away from, even though there were times when I really wanted to!

It’s easy to be all calm and smiles when life is going smoothly. But how do you respond when your boat is rocked and life is in upheaval? I got a whiff of just how much I need to work on patience as a result of some of that this month. It was humbling to have to go back and ask forgiveness from my husband and children time and again as I lost my temper or reacted out of frustration.

So Lysa’s words and encouragement couldn’t have come at a better time. I found it so beneficial to think through how I respond in different situations (Do I react? Or do I stuff? Or do I explode? Or somewhere in between?) and to seek the Lord to help me become more and more the woman who doesn’t come unglued in the midst of tumultuous times. I’m far from there, but it’s something that I’m working on — thanks to Lysa’s encouragement.

See more book recommendations I’ve posted this year here. You can also see all books I’ve read so far in 2012 here.

Have you read any good books recently?