Books I Read in March

Books I Read in March

Books I Read in March

I’m still on a roll with my New Year’s resolution to read more. And this month I loved loved loved what I read. Seriously… why do I ever fall off the reading wagon? It relaxes me so much!

The Anteloupe in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle

This is such a great book of essays by the writer of the hilarious Big Mama Blog. If you’re not reading Melanie’s blog you absolutely should start now. The stories are so relatable and I found myself laughing out loud every five minutes and then reading entire chapters aloud to Todd. This is an easy, quick read full of real stories of marriage. I highly recommend it!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Oh my word. I read this entire book on my flight to California a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t put it down. It was a fast read because the characters were written so brilliantly. I could hear them and see them and wanted to know them more. It’s such a sweet story full of passion and it honestly made me think very differently about life. Hurry up and read this one before you see the movie!

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

I am so happy to say that I loved all the books I read this month, which means it will be easy to continue this reading habit into April. The Husband’s Secret is so well-written and has the slightest bit of suspense and drama, and it connects these three incredible female characters together in a dark way. I can’t say much more without giving big things away. So just read it! I loved this one.

In April, I’m planning to re-read A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. We’ll see if I don’t change my mind and switch to something else.

What have you been reading?

Books I Read in February

Books I Read in February

Books I Read in February

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more. Fiction, non-fiction, reading through the Bible in a year. I just wanted to start reading again.

I write more when I’m reading more. I rest better when I’m reading more. And I just enjoy it. I feel connected to something and committed to finishing.

I read three books in February, and would like to share them with you. I hope that I can do this each month along the way, rather than doing a long post at the end of the year. (The books I read in 2010, 2011 and 2012)


Allegiant by Veronica Roth

This book is the third and final book in the Divergent series. I read Divergent and Insurgent way back in 2012 and have been impatiently waiting for Allegiant since then. It had been so long since i’d read the first two books that I had kind of forgotten what happened, but it wasn’t long before it all came back to me.

I enjoyed the book. It was easy to read, fast-paced, and I loved getting to know Tris and Four even better. I highly recommend this series to anyone who is looking for an easy, entertaining read. I didn’t love it as much as The Hunger Games, but I liked it a lot.

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks books are my go-to when I need a kick start to start reading again. His books are such easy reads and I’ve read every one of them. I really liked this one.

The book tells two simultaneous love stories, the story of an elderly man and his wife and the story of a college girl and a rodeo cowboy she meets. It kind of reminds me of The Notebook with the dueling love stories and the young characters with the older characters. I appreciated that this book didn’t follow his typical formula. I liked it a lot.

Love Does by Bob Goff

Love Does is the only non-fiction book I read this month, and I will say that this book is one that I will want to read again and again and again. Bob Goff wrote a book all about living a life full of intention and whimsy, and says that if we’re paying attention, God will use ordinary people to make a difference and “do.” The book is full of entertaining stories about how Bob Goff said “yes” and the incredible opportunities that have come out of that decision to say yes. And he issues a challenge to the reader…. Every morning we get to wake up and we have the opportunity to live a life of complete engagement….a life where “love does.”

This book was just such a great reminder. Call the people you love. Don’t just offer to help someone. Show up on their doorstep with a meal and surprise them. Don’t wait for them to say yes. When you see someone that looks like they need your help or your love or to see Christ in you, don’t waste your time wondering what to say. Just love them.

Love Does gives such a beautiful, real-life picture of how we can be more like Christ. How we can show people who Jesus is.

What did you read last month? 

I’m excited about the stack of books I have sitting around here, and feeling challenged to try to read four books in March.

2013 Reading List

I didn’t set any specific goals for reading this year like I usually do, but reading is still one of my favorite things to do. I usually find that I’m either watching a lot of television (or television on DVD) or reading a lot of books. But I’m never doing both. I’m an “all or nothing” kind of gal.

I read about 16 books in 2012, and a good chunk of that was the Twilight saga. (Sorry, not sorry.) If you’re not on Goodreads, you should jump on board and you can follow me there. I love finding book recommendations from friends via Goodreads. And it’s a great way for me to look back and remember what I read.

This week, I’ll post the books I read in 2012 with some small reviews, but I’d like to regularly post reviews of the books I read in 2013. I think it will help hold me accountable for reading the books I’ve purchased.

For 2013, I plan to read the books I’ve purchased but haven’t read yet, and add others to the list as I hear about them and as friends recommend them.

So far on my list, I have the following books:

The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

The Good House by Ann Leary

Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington

Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (This book has been on my “to read” list for the past three years. Eep! Maybe I’ll get it done in 2013)

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

I also plan to read Sophie Hudson’s new book, the Paris Wife, the new installment in the Divergent trilogy, and Nora Roberts’ Inn Boonsboro series.

As you can see, my taste in books is a little eclectic. I like some teen fiction, I like plain old fiction, I like great non-fiction and biographies – as long as I’m already interested in the subject.

What books do you plan to read in 2013? I’d love for you to leave suggestions for me and for others, too.


what's been missing

On January 1, 2012, I committed to read the entire Bible in a year. Our church gives us a reading plan every year in October so we can pray and prepare to commit to this year-long process.

I rarely use the word proud to describe how I feel about anything I’ve done, but I am proud to say that I am still sticking with it. I’m right on track. It’s a great plan that has me reading two Old Testament chapters and two New Testament chapters at a time. Sometimes I don’t want to put it down.

In addition to this reading plan, I also do a daily devotion out of the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Whenever anyone asks for a devotion recommendation, this is it. The sense of peace that I feel every day just from this devotion is indescribable. It somehow always manages to have a short message that is exactly what I need to hear for the day, and gives some recommended scripture reading.

On Monday, June 18, we had a house showing. I’ve stopped really getting my hopes up, and have really started to feel a little bit like, “what’s the point?” But when we have a showing scheduled, we clean and pick up and mow the yard and do our best to make the house smell great. We give it our best shot.

And then after every showing, I dwell. And I worry. And I start going through the “what ifs” and it’s just a ridiculous cycle. I am rolling my eyes at myself, believe me.

So I called my mom on Monday and I was talking through all of this with her and I’m sure she was rolling her eyes at me. And she said, “Have you read your Jesus Calling today?”

“No,” I said.

“Hang up and go read it. Then you can call me back if you want to.” My mom always has an answer for everything. Usually a right answer for everything.

So we hung up and I ran upstairs to grab my copy of Jesus Calling. And the words on the page for June 18 left me breathless.

via Sarah Young

“Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you. If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment.”


My hope and my future are rooted in heaven. In heaven. Not here. Not in this house and not in our future house. In heaven.

And. AND! What am I doing trying to predict the future? Why do I continue to waste time wondering who is going to buy this house and who will put a house on the market that will one day become ours?

Why do I spend time anticipating the future for anything at all?

So what’s been missing?

Despite spending time every single day in God’s word, and feeling Him with me as I go through my day, and being committed to my faith…

My prayer life is seriously lacking.

I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to keep myself from getting distracted and I don’t know how to quiet my mind. This is why I removed Twitter and Facebook from my phone. I don’t need anymore distractions.

And while I love Jesus Calling, I want to feel that peace all throughout the day in my conversations with Him that aren’t read in my favorite devotional book.

I used to pray in the car while I was driving. With my eyes open, of course. But my car time was my quiet time. This was three years ago when my car was a quiet place.

I spend a good bit of time praying for other people and other families. But not enough time praying about the every day stuff and praying about the things I can’t see. Certainly not enough time praying about this move and the preparations being made for our ultimate landing spot in this process.

How about you? Do you ever feel like you have almost all of the pieces coming together?

What’s missing? What is your best advice for carving out time for prayer and quieting your mind for that time?


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