January Reading


January was a great month for reading. I really enjoyed reading most of these books. It was hard to pick a favorite because there were a lot of different genres. Did you read any favorites this month?

The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman was a heartbreaking story told in Canada in the 1950’s.  A mother and daughter are separated because the mother was an unmarried teenager and her parents forced her to give the baby up for adoption. It was very well told and a great historical fiction book. Several parts made me cry and if you enjoyed this then I would highly recommend reading Before We Were Yours and Sold On A Monday.

10 Choices Successful Couples Make by Dr. Ron Welch is a book for married couples to read at any stage of marriage. Each chapter offered real life experiences and challenges for you to work through. He shared from his own marriage and from his experience working with other couples during counseling.  I enjoy reading marriage books occasionally and seek ways to improve myself and my marriage after twelve years. This book had some points on communication that I hope to apply to my own marriage. Thank you to Revell for this review copy.

The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles is a popular book that I did not love. The writing was enjoyable, but the story was drawn out in parts. This is the story of two young girls from different economic statuses in Brazil. They follow their dreams to become singers.  If you enjoyed this, then you may enjoy The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Fruit Of The Drunken Tree.

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield was slow paced and had some mystery. This book had great reviews on Instagram. I enjoyed it, but did not love it. A little girl is believed to be dead and then comes back to life’s. No one knows who she is or where she came from. People claim she is their lost girl, but no one is certain where she belongs.

Sisters First by Barbara  Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager was great on audio read by the authors. I learned more about their lives with the secret service and about the Bush family. I was not too familiar with either woman and so it was interesting.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a new thriller. This is the first book which I have read from either author. This was an okay thriller. It was unrealistic at times. A young woman joins a psychology study to make some quick money and ends up involved in a twisty mess between a married couple.

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hildebrand is set in Nantucket for a wedding until a murder happens. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed it. It had mystery and was told from different time periods and perspectives.

Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen  releases May 7, 2019. In a small town a woman goes missing a few days before her wedding. Mysteries are uncovered from the past when her mother was killed and the wrong person was sentenced to prison.  This book is listed as a mystery and thriller and I would not consider it a thriller since it was not fast paced. Thank you to Netgalley for an early copy of this book.  I enjoyed her other books more: When We Were Worthy and The Things We Wish Were True.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker is set in Alaska. This romance was predictable, but it was enjoyable. A young woman travels to Alaska to visit her estranged father after he is diagnosed with cancer. He owns an airplane company which made the story interesting and it was all very well done. I hope to one day travel to Alaska and would recommend also reading The Great Alone and The Snow Child.

Verity by Colleen Hoover is one of the best thrillers that I have read. This story is a romantic psychological thriller. It was very unique and the story was very twisty and I do not want to give away any spoilers. Fair warning, it is very steamy and descriptive in the romance scenes.  I read it using a trial of Kindle Unlimited. You can sign up here for a free trial. I have also enjoyed All Your Perfects which is a romance about a couple going through infertility.

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls was wonderful. This book is the story of the author’s grandmother. The story is told in first person and was fascinating and very well told.  Jeannette is such a talented author and I highly recommend The Glass Castle about her family growing up.

It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lyse TerKeurst was an encouraging book that I listened to on audio. Lyse shares from her personal experiences of infidelity in her marriage and her diagnosis of cancer. Life is hard and she shares ways that God teaches us during those hard times. This will be a book that I will probably listen to again.

The Glass Ocean by Lauren Willig, Karen White, and Beatriz Williams. The story is told from three perspectives. Two are told from the time of the sailing of the Lusitania. The other is present day. The story was interesting and was about a historical event that I did not know very much about. If you enjoy historical fiction, I would highly recommend this book. I have also read and enjoyed The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams.

Kingdom Of The Blind by Louise Penny is the fourteenth book in the Inspector Gamache series. I had the privilege to meet Louise Penny on her book tour and get my book autographed. She was a wonderful speaker and it was one of my favorite author events. In this book, Inspector Gamache is investigating a murder near Three Pines. I love these books because there are usually several storylines going on at once. Now to wait patiently for her next book in this series. You do need to read this series in order beginning with Still Life. The first few books are slower than the rest, but all have great mysteries.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey was my first book in 2019 and the descriptions of winter in Alaska was a great read for January. This book has some fantasy as well as historical fiction and was written very well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. An older childless couple moved to Alaska and after building a snow girl one night they find a young girl running wild in the area. They wonder if she is their snow child. The girl grows up and they become like family.

Books Mentioned In This Post:

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Alma and How She Got Her Name


Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal is a Caldecott Honor book for 2019. We love this sweet book at our house about a little girl that asks her dad why she has so many names. Her father explains which each name means and who she is named after. This book is beautifully done and shows a little girl with a rich heritage from her family. Do you have any favorites that won an award?

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True You


True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created by Michelle DeRusha is a book I received from Baker Books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book about discovering the person God designed us to be. The author used analogies from pruning trees to show how we can change as people. I personally could relate to the feeling of always being busy, never taking the time to just stop and be still. She uses personal experiences to share how she started this journey of pruning up to enjoy life more thoroughly. I would highly recommend this book especially as we begin a new year and seek ways to better our lives.

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We Hope For Better Things


We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels is a historical fiction book that I received from Revell Books. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about three different periods of time all woven around one farm near Detroit. Race is a strong issue in this book and how it has shaped America since the Civil War with slavery being abolished, civil rights riots in the 1960’s and during the present. I would highly recommend this book.

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Brick: Who Found Herself in Architecture by Joshua David Stein (Author) and Julia Rothman (Artist) is a fun picture book. A small brick travels around the world to discover where she belongs. The illustrations are wonderful as you get to see illustrations from all around the world including The Great Wall of China. Books like this are great for making learning enjoyable.


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Super Manny


This adorable series about Manny who plays superheroes at home and then discovers that some of his powers can be used to help others. The illustrations are beautiful and spark imagination.

Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio and Stephanie Graegin is the first book in this adorable series about Manny who pretends to be a super hero at home. He stands up to a bully at school to defend a classmate who becomes his friend.

Super Manny Cleans Up! by Kelly DiPucchio and Stephanie Graegin is the newest and hopefully not the last of this series. Manny and his friend are playing superheroes outside and realize that there is litter all over the park. They decide to clean up the park and use their superpowers to do good.


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Favorite Illustrator


edd2f353-32ab-424f-93ae-b0f975e0ac2cOur family really loves illustrations done by Teagan White. Here are two of her books themed around the winter season. Does your family have any favorite illustrators?

Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro and Teagan White is a book by a favorite author and a favorite illustrator that we enjoy. In this adorable book, a mouse goes outside and enjoys the magic of the winter season. Her mice friends do not want to go out until she makes them hats and they go out together and discover how much fun they have together skating.

Snow Sisters! by Kerri Kokias and Teagan White is beautifully illustrated and shares all of the fun things that you can do on a snow day. Two sisters experience the snow in different ways.

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Winter Books


We have had a stretch of warm days that feel more like Spring. Now the weather has turned cold and snow is in the forecast so we are ready to read some books about winter.

Winter Is Here by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek is part of a series of different seasons. It is a great way to show the changes that accompany the changing seasons. The dog is adorable in this book.

The Snow Globe Family by Jane O’Connor and S.D. Schindler is a favorite winter book. The story is imaginative of a family that lives in a snow globe and are waiting for a blizzard. This is a great book about snow and the magic of the season.


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