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What I’m Reading: January 2017

To read more. Seems to be an ongoing pursuit, usually just out of reach, for everyone. Maybe for moms most of all. At least that’s my experience in this phase of life! I have high hopes that it’ll get better as we get out of the baby/toddler stage with the kids. If I’m wrong, don’t tell me! I’d like to remain in my ignorance, at least for a little while.

All that said, I still try to fit in reading whenever possible and my growing list of books to read isn’t getting any shorter. I’m forever putting books on hold at the library, checking them out, and then having to return them before I get to them (tell me I’m not the only one!). I tend to have several books going at a time, all different genres, to read depending on my mood and my level of focus. You know, basically how many kids are pulling on me at the time and whether I have more than two minutes in a row to read.


I’m currently making my way through five different books, all quite different from each other. I love love love reading other people’s book suggestions online, so thought I’d throw these out there for anyone interested. I’m not in a phase of life where lots of classics and deep literature can happen, so if that’s your thing, sorry. Most of these are pretty manageable in small spurts (story of my life!) but I still feel like reading them is a good investment of my time and focus. Win, win!


I have to say I haven’t finished any of these books completely. Since I’m reading so many at once it takes me so. long.  But I’ve read enough of each to feel like I’d offer them up as a suggestion to a friend without reservation.

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning(TM)  by Karen Andreola

We’re just on the very beginning of our homeschooling journey (like, the research options phase) and I’m really interested in using the Charlotte Mason philosophy for the first few years of schooling. While lots and lots of blog posts have been written about implementing this philosophy (this one and this one  are a couple that have been helpful to me!), I felt like I needed something a little more comprehensive to really decide if it’s for us.

I’m enjoying this book so much. It’s fairly easy reading broken up into manageable sections about the history of Charlotte Mason, her beliefs, her philosophy, and then implementing her philosophy in your home. It’s very easy to tell that Andreola is passionate about this topics and it makes reading the book such a delight.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Alex got me this book for Christmas and I’m enjoying it so much. The Gaines couple’s personalities remind me slightly of us, which is fun. The book does such a great job of telling their story in an amusing way, and also pointing out how their faith impacted their decisions and situations along the way.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to make some hard steps or take some risks, this book is also pretty motivating. In their humble way, they make it seem like anything is possible! I’m a big fan of their show, Fixer Upper, but I think even if you weren’t you’d enjoy their story of hard work and big dreams.

A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World by Paul Miller

We’d been going through this book in a class at church so I asked for this one for Christmas, too. Miller has a way of being really honest about the struggles we tend to have with prayer and how they hinder us. He provides really great examples from his own life and family. The book and his teaching feel really relatable and practical and manageable. So helpful in my own prayer life!

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

My husband and I just started reading this together. We’re pretty familiar with the principles in the book already, but something about reading the people’s stories and reading Dave Ramsey talking right to you about what you need to change… It sure is motivating! We’ve been in a slow but consistent process of paying off debt and we’re at a point where we need to take another step to tackle it! This info in this book seems like just the kick we need to keep at it and accelerate our pace a little bit and meet some of our other goals as well. If any of our story sounds like yours, I bet this book would be so helpful to you!

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic

My mother-in-law gave me this little book before I even had kids. I think I had started a few chapters then but only recently picked it up and restarted it. I think I’ve laughed and nodded and said, “Oh good, not just me!” in almost every chapter. If you’re a momma of kids in the little years, I highly recommend this one. Each chapter is so short and manageable, her stories are hilarious, and I feel like she gives so many words of hope and perspective for those of us in the midst of it.

Have you read any of these ones? Loved or hated them? I’ll have to come back and do an update once I’ve actually finished a whole book. Leave me a comment if you have any other recommendations. I love to discover new books even if I may not get to them for a while!


*Amazon links used are affiliate links. 


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