What I’ve been Reading {A Big Book Updated}

Book Review, Books / Monday, July 6th, 2015

One of my favorite memories of summer break as a child was all the time I had to read! Some days, I’d wake up, start reading a new book, and finish it by the time my mom called us for dinner. Best. Day. Ever.

Now, I’m lucky if I can get through one page (or even a sentence) without an interruption. Still, I decided that I would dedicate this summer to more reading time – not just for the kids but me as well!

I also decided to take a break from any Book Review Hang Outs or Podcasts while the kids are all home this summer.

In the mean time, here’s a review of what I’ve read and am reading and even some books the older two are reading.

1. Love the Home You Have: Simple Ways to…Embrace Your Style *Get Organized *Delight in Where You Are by Melissa Michaels

I read this one back in May, coincidentally at the same time I decided to start a family room/kitchen room update (which I’m excited to share about soon!) so it came at just the right time. Again, I will save a full review for a its own post but I also liked this one a lot, it gave me a lot of fun and practical ideas for how I can update what I already have instead of wishing I had a different house.

2. Unleashed: How to Receive Everything the Holy Spirit Wants to Give You  by Sonja Corbitt

I received this book as part of the CatholicMom.com Unleashed Book Club and am so glad I had the chance to read it. I’m only half-way through and have already gleaned a lot of wisdom. I lead the reflection on chapter Two about trying to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me more instead of just running with my own ambition and hoping He’ll catch up. It’s something I’m constantly working on. Even if you haven’t read the book, I invite you to join the reading club if only for the great reflections and following conversations.

3. What a Girl Needs From Her Mom  by Cheri Fuller

This is another book I received via NetGalley (a book reviewer’s dream) in exchange for a review. I’m still only in the first part of the book and am really enjoying it. As my daughter gets older and enters into the scary “pre-teen” age of life, I’ve found that she actually needs me more even as she grows more independent.

What my daughter needs from her mom – is me, her mama. With 3 younger brothers who are much louder and more obnoxious, it’s hard to find time for just her and me. This summer, I’ve tried giving her more time to just be with me and to listen to her. I can tell she loves when I do this so I hope I can continue working on carving those special times out for just us.

4. Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday by Pope Francis

This is another book I just received from Image Catholic Books. They said the only downside is they probably will not be able to arrange a Hang Out interview with this one’s author, bummer. I joked back that you never know, Pope Francis has been known to surprise people! I’m excited to open it up and dig into this soon.

5. I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison  by Kay Wills Wyma

I’ve mentioned this book in the Be Happy for Me post and the Comparison Parenting Trap one and, though I haven’t written a full review yet but I can say that I did like this book and think others would like it too, if only for the chance for a healthy self-evaluation of how you do or do not have an unhealthy comparison issue.

6. Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart  by Gregory K. Popcak

I shared my review about Broken Gods here on the blog, along with the Hang Out video and Podcast but I wanted to mention it again because it was such a great book that I’ll refer to often.

Since reading Popcack’s book, I see how much his message plays a role in the global current events and also here in our own home. I see what others are doing and then try and look for what it is they are really longing for. It has helped me in many ways to take a step back from a situation and think about what is really going happening on a deeper level.

I really hope everybody can read this book and use it as an aid not just to better understand themselves, but to to better empathize with others’ behaviors and offer merciful compassion instead of reactive judgement.

7. So B. It Sarah Weeks

After all that great non-fiction, I decided it was high time for a Fiction break! Last year my daughter participated in her school’s Battle of the Books program and read a lot of cool-sounding books. I fully intended on reading along with her but I can’t keep up with her.  So B. It was the first one she read, one day I came in to check on her and she was balling while reading it – it was that good. So far, I can tell I’ll probably have my own eyes to wipe by the end of it.

8. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

This book is on her Battle of the Books list this year and it looked interesting to me so I’ll jump into that after  So B. It.

9. The Macallan Story: Sarah’s Story.

I can’t link to this post because it hasn’t actually been published yet! I recently discovered that a good friend of mine had written a novel and so I asked if I could read it. I LOVED it. It’s a romance novel, on the same spectrum as something like The Notebook  but maybe not quite as gushy or sexual. I hope one day I can come back here and link to her book so everyone gets a chance to enjoy it.

What my 11-year-old daughter is reading:

If you’re curios, she’s also been reading the whole  Ranger’s Apprentice Series  and recently finished all the  The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings  books! My little girl is growing up! Up next for her are the Harry Potter books . I never read the books but enjoyed the movies but maybe I’ll read this series with her just to see if they really are as good as everyone claims.

She’s also reading  Twice Upon a Marigold , the sequel to  Once Upon a Marigold  by Jean Ferris . This one also sounds good so I might check it out also.

What my 8-year-old son is reading:

1. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Yes, my son is reading! It’s been excruciatingly difficult to get him interested in reading on his own so I’ve been looking for books that might be interesting enough for him. He recently watched the How to Train Your Dragon  movies and really liked that so when we found the original How to Train Your Dragon books I hoped it might be enough to get him interested.

He knows how to read but I don’t think he really knows yet how to read and enjoy reading. So I decided to make this a read-aloud with him and his five-year-old brother so that he could read along with me while listening to how I read it out loud. So far so good.

2. The Notebook of Doom #1: Rise of the Balloon Goons by Troy Cummings

I also found this series  at the library and left them in our library basket, we’ll see if he take the bait or not. I haven’t read these or know much about them but it seemed like a subject he might be more interested in reading. It’s on my friend Joel’s Top Ten Children’s Chapter Books so I figure it has to be at least decent. πŸ˜‰

3. Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel

His favorite books to read continue to be super hero books. I can tell he is definitely ready to venture past the preschool level I Can Read Super Hero books  but we have had a hard time finding age-appropriate super hero books. We ventured to our downtown library last week and discovered they’d been hoarding all the cool Super hero books in their children’s section, my boys were in heaven.

One thing that’s been helping him like reading more is letting him have the privilege of staying up later and having “reading time” before bed. His friends we stayed with in Colorado get to do this and I asked if he’d like to do that. I think giving him that extra privilege really made him feel “older”. It makes my heart swell to see him actually sitting down and reading on his own before bed!

Whew, that’s a lot of books! We’ve got two whole baskets full of other library books the kids have been devouring and leaving all over the floor (driving me ca-wazy!). I’m so thankful for books. I don’t know what type of world it would be without them. Not a good one.

Up next, a long overdue movie watching update! (Per Joel’s request.)

What books have you read or are reading?

4 Replies to “What I’ve been Reading {A Big Book Updated}”

  1. You are into some really good books now, as is my godson. I’ve read some of Notebook of Doom, so I’ll have to ask him about it. I loved the uninterrupted summer reading as a child too, that was the best!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jackie. πŸ™‚ Yeah I don’t know if he’s actually read any of them yet, I’ll ask him and maybe he’ll tell you more about it than me. πŸ˜‰
      I think all moms should get at least ONE day of uninterrupted reading.

  2. Aw, Erika! You put my book on your blog! You’re the best! Thanks for pumping me up and reading the whole book. Your other books look very good – uninterrupted reading time is still on MY summer bucket list!

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