Category Archives: Books

Reading List- August 2014

It’s a busy week at our house. Been a busy couple of weeks actually. Two garage sales, a trip, Oliver preparing for his Canine Good Citizen exam. I really don’t have the time to sit down and write this post, but my Type A personality couldn’t let me not do it. So, the books I read in August!

[5] Fearless by Eric Blehm (2013, Nonfiction): LOVED this book. Amazing portrait of SEAL Team Six member Adam Brown.

[3] Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand (2002, Fiction)

[4] Family Pictures by Jane Green (2013, Fiction): This is such a good book. Very different story. Engrossing. Captivation. I would have rated it a 5, but there were several inconsistencies (maybe editing mistakes?) that really bothered me. It also portrayed a very negative view of marriage, which is annoying. But the story is wonderful.

[4] Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer (2007, Nonfiction): This book is long and detailed, but is the most extensive, emotional, and real account of polygamy I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot on the subject!).

What have you been reading? What was your favorite summer 2014 read?

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Reading List- June 2014

Summer just brings on the need to read. Probably because it’s SO HOT and nothing else sounds as appealing as getting lost in great book. At the beginning of the month I put holds on a lot of new books at the library, and as luck would have it, they all came in at the same time. I would go pick up a book, get home, and get an email that another was waiting for me. No joke. That happened multiple times this month. So, I had, and still have, quite a pile of books I’m working through!

[3] All Lined Up by Cora Carmack (2014, Fiction): Carmack is a great writer in the new genre “New Adult”. Her books are fun, easy to read, and easy to connect with. I wrote about her first three books in November and March. In this first book of her new series it’s obvious she has grown as a writer in telling the story and building the characters. Looking forward to her next book.

[4] The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers (1997, Fiction): Why did I wait so long to read this book?? I think I was scared it was going to be “overly Christian”, but it’s not. Such a GOOD book on the very timely issue of abortion.

[2] Catching Air by Sarah Pekkanen (2014, Fiction): This book just rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t know why I didn’t like it, but I just didn’t. You may love it. It sounds like she’s a great author and I will probably read another of her books before I totally give up on her.

[3] The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison (2013, Fiction): This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. An interesting style of writing. Incredibly intellectual and psychological (in fact, I was wondering the whole time how I would understand parts of it without a Master’s in Counseling). It wasn’t as thrilling as I thought it would be, but it does keep you reading. I think maybe I’m not smart enough to understand the true depth of the story….

[3] Lost Boy by Brent Jeffs (2009, Non-fiction): Another book about the FLDS church and Warren Jeffs. I am so interested in this topic! I read other books about this in November and January. Brent was Warren’s nephew, so he had a very personal experience with Warren’s rise to power and the horrific transformation of the group.

[4] The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand (2014, Fiction): An incredibly emotional book. Definitely not my favorite Hilderbrand book, but it’s always a nice getaway to be taken to the town of Nantucket for a while!

What have you been reading? What is your all-time favorite book?

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Reading List- May 2014

I’m gonna change up my reading posts a bit. I’m a little bored with the way I’ve been doing them. And, even though I have a journalism degree and one of my favorite things to write in school were book and movie reviews, I get tired of writing about every book I read.

I’m going to rate the books on a scale of 1-5 (I know, so original). [1] means “don’t waste your time”, [5] means “must read. right now.” I’ll probably also still say a little something about the book, but not a full summary or anything.

[4] Growing Up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar (2014, Non-fiction): As I mentioned in my laundry soap post,  I LOVE THE DUGGARS. There are a few things they do that I don’t totally agree with (like skirt wearing), but overall I think they are just a genuine, loving family seeking to truly love God and love others live life to the fullest. Just looking at their older kids, it’s obvious they are doing something right. This book is obviously targeted at teen girls, but if you love the Duggars as much as me, or are just intrigued by their family, it’s a good, easy read. They share some insights into their family that I hadn’t heard before from the show or their previous books.

[5] Coming Clean by Kimberly Miller (2013, Non-fiction): This book was recommended to me by a friend who is also studying counseling. And for those of us who are interested in psychological disorders, it is a fascinating look into the lives, motives, and struggles of true hoarders. Miller grew up in a home where both parents were hoarders and she describes how that impacted her growing up and how her parents tried, and repeatedly failed, to get their lives and homes cleaned up. It is anecdotal, but also includes research about hoarding.

[2] Dune Road by Jane Green (2009, Fiction)

[4] Wild by Cheryl Strayed (2012, Nonfiction): If you read Wild just through the lens of wanting to read about Strayed’s solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, you will enjoy it. It’s when you really start to think about her as a person, and some of the improbabilities in the book that you maybe stop enjoying it a bit. Overall, it’s fascinating as Strayed hikes alone on the trail to try to “find herself” and start fresh as she has lost her family and husband and most friends. I found out there is a movie coming out, and that will be great. But as I finished, I wondered why did she deserve a book? Did she really go through everything she says she did on the trail, because I would think she would be dead.

[3] Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (2000, Fiction): I went into this book (the first in a series of many), with pretty high expectations. It seemed to have the same “feel” as the Evanovich Stephanie Plum books and I was excited. But, Evanovich is a much more talented writer than Fluke. I almost quit reading this book, which is something I NEVER do. The dialogue is so poorly written and it was just boring and dry. But, as happens often, by the end the story had gripped me. I plan on reading at least one more in the series, maybe it gets better?

What have you been reading lately?



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Reading List- April 2014

Into the Abyss (Shaben, 2012) – This book is about a plane crash that occurred in the Canadian wilderness in 1984. 10 people were on board, 4 survived. The author is the daughter of one of the survivors. Shaben explores the life of each survivor before, during, and following the crash, essentially telling their whole life story intertwined with the story about the crash. She leads up to the crash, the factors playing into that fateful night, and then follows the investigation after the crash. It’s a very moving and emotional story and makes the reader ponder things such as living life, purpose, your personal journey. It shows how the survivors were impacted and how the each endeavored to make life count after surviving.

A Summer Affair (Hilderbrand, 2008) – With each book of Hilderbrand’s I read, I fall more in love with her as an author. Her books are so real and she makes it easy to connect with the characters and get emotionally involved and invested in the events of the story. In A Summer Affair, Hilderbrand takes us on a journey with Claire as she loses herself, her morality, and almost her life, and then finds it again. It’s an investigation of morals and discovery of true family and love.

The Blue Bistro (Hilderbrand, 2005)- I’ve had a hard time finding words about this book. It’s the most emotional of Hilderbrand’s that I’ve read. Such a simple story of a popular restaurant in it’s last season, a young girl looking for work, love, friendship. It has a different tone and setting than Hilderbrand’s other books, which was a nice change of pace since I’ve been reading her books a lot lately.

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Reading List- March 2014

Three books this month, all fiction! Though I have been working my way through a non-fiction book… just not finished with it yet. Stay tuned for that. 🙂

Finding It (Carmack, 2013)- This is Carmack’s third book in her first series. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous two. As I first started I pondered just quitting because it was a little too much for me. This book follows a young adult on her journey through Europe trying to find herself, create a life apart from her family, and possibly find love. I found it frustrating as I followed her adventure and her dealings with her past, but in the end it came together and ended well.

Summerland (Hilderbrand, 2012)- Elin Hilderbrand is becoming one of my favorite authors. I enjoy her stories of life on the island of Nantucket and the way she writes telling the same story/events through the points of views of different characters. Summerland is a story about loss, tragedy, and change. It tells the story of the island reeling over the tragic death of two teenagers. As the parents and friends search for answers they each take their own journey of recovery and finding a way to live without those they lost. Overall, it was very good and the ending was really emotional but the “big secret” the book was leading up to didn’t seem that shocking, so it was kind of a let down.

The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane (Harms, 2013)- This is Harms first novel, and you can tell. The writing isn’t always very clear. But that can be overlooked as the rich story unfolds and the reader gets to know the depth of the characters. Three very different women find themselves unexpectedly sharing a life together. It is a simple and sweet novel about friendship, family, love, and living.


What have you been reading lately? I always love new books suggestions!

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Reading List- February 2014

I only read ONE book this month. One. And it took me the entire month, every day, to finish it. Well, to be honest, I may not have read as much as I normally do because the hubby and I have started binge-watching “24”. I watched it all last summer, but he’s never seen it and we’re trying to watch all eight seasons before the new ones starts in May. So we watch one, two, five episodes a day… It’s so addicting!

So the one book I read… One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick. It is an excruciatingly detailed account of Fick’s training to become an officer in the Marines, his deployment, and his time in Iraq right after 9/11. Every. Single. Detail. He also expresses much distrust in the combat leaders and provides some eye-opening glimpses into how combat decisions are made and what life is really like out there. For someone who is very interested in war stories, it’s spectacular. If you’re not, it’s not a fun read. I fall somewhere in between, so I pressed forward in it, even though it was hard sometimes. I am glad I did because the last few chapters, which he titles “aftermath”, is an inspiring and emotional account of his feelings and experience once returning home.

See Related Posts:

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

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2011 & 2012 Book Lists

Since I have only been writing about books as I currently read them, I thought I would go back and create lists from what I read in 2011 and 2012. August of 2011 is when I graduated with my master’s degree and was finally able to read for fun again, so I started keeping a record of every book I read. These lists are alphabetized by author and include title, author, date published, fiction/non-fiction, and, if applicable, the series. I have also made note of the books that I especially liked.

(Also, this is my first time attempting PDFs and I am not sure why they are such poor quality. If anyone has any tips I would gladly accept some advice!)

2011 Book List

2012 Book List

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What I’ve Been Reading- December 2013

This month I read five books, mainly because I subbed for three days. Substitute teaching at a high school lends itself to having lots of time to read!

Looking for Me– Hoffman (2013, Fiction): Looking for Me follows main character Teddi Overman as she tries to make a new life for herself in Charleston, away from the family farm where she grew up and the tragedies that befell her there. It’s a story of love, loss, hope, and restoration as Teddi deals with her past and moves forward to the future. I found it hard to follow sometimes as it jumped around from past to present, but it is a great story. Just be prepared for some sad parts!

Beautiful Day– Hilderbrand (2013, Fiction): Hilderbrand’s newest novel reminded me of a book I read back in October, Seating Arrangements. Both are told in a span of a few days and are about a daighter’s wedding, told from various perspectives. But Beautiful Day is by far the better of the two. There are many characters, which makes it sometimes hard to keep everyone straight, but Hilderbrand does a good job and occasionally summarizing what the characters are feeling. So much is happening and you get various point of views on each event. It was a very fun book with lots of stories and lots of drama!

Escape– Jessop (2006, Non-fiction): After reading Prophet’s Prey in November, I wanted to read even more about Jeffs and the FLDS. Escape is the story of Carolyn Jessop, who at age 18 was given in marriage to 50-year-old Meril Jessop, one of the more powerful men in the FLDS community. She gave birth to eight children while married to him, and eventually was able to escape the abusive and freedom-less marriage and community. Her story is both gripping and heartbreaking and sheds light on the FLDS and abusive religion as a whole. As a warning, there are some very graphic parts about human and animal abuse, don’t read if you don’t feel you can handle those. But it is worth those hard parts to be part of the story of this very strong and courageous woman who overcame so much to make a better life for her and her children.

Takedown Twenty– Evanovich (2013, Fiction): This is the 20th book is the Stephanie Plum saga. I always enjoy these books about bounty hunter Stephanie and her sidekick Lula as they solve mysteries in their New Jersey town and attempt to takedown the bad guys, while Stephanie tries to decide between the two men in her life- Ranger and Morelli. These books are light and fun and sometimes suspenseful. I look forward to 21!

The Husband’s Secret– Moriarty (2013, Fiction): I had heard so many great things about this book, so going in my expectations were really high, and it didn’t quite meet them. But, it was still a really good, intriguing story about three families as their lives collide through tragedy. It is suspenseful, emotional, and intense as the three journeys unfold.

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