Booking It in November (& A Giveaway)

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Amazing to say that it’s NOVEMBER. Hello, Time? Where did you go?

If you’re just tuning in, a group of us are “booking it” this year, sharing what we’ve read so that we can inspire each other toward good reads.

I have gotten some great recommendations this year and am looking forward to tracking down six new books, thanks to what YOU all read and shared last month.

    Adding to my list:

  • Farewell to Manzanar – thanks, Nikki
  • The Golden Key – thanks, Alicia
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death – thanks, Carrie
  • This Fine Life – thanks, Shonda
  • The Mesh – thanks, Jacky
  • Raising Able – thanks, Kelly
  • Have you read any of those? Let me know.

My reading

Over the past month, I’ve honestly been doing more writing than reading. Now, I’m making up for lost time.

After I finished the Bible reading schedule that I started in the summer, JessieLeigh suggested that I treat myself to a new devotional. And since I had Swagbucks-generated Amazon cards, I did just that.

Finding Your Purpose

I first discovered Donna Otto when I randomly picked up her book, Get More Done in Less Time, when I was a newlywed. She was an immense help to me in getting order established in our “honeymoon cottage.”

I’m not sure how I missed her latest book, Finding Your Purpose as a Mom: How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground, but I’m so glad I did. I seriously needed this book back in 2004, but maybe I didn’t have “ears to hear.”

This book is a gem of information in growing as a mom, being intentional in your homemaking, and full of practical as well as inspirational ideas for improving the atmosphere of your home.

The chapters are meaty, so you could definitely take a slow approach to reading it. And each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions as well as practical ways to apply some of the principles she’s been talking about. I think I may need to read it again!

Reevaluating Literature

Years ago I picked up a copy of The Indian in the Cupboard at the library and put it back, thinking it was too weird to read to my kids. Now that FishBoy6 and I are reading a chapter a day, I can’t for the life of me figure out why I vetoed it so many years ago.

We’re enjoying it quite a bit. It reminds me a lot of the Night at the Museum films. My big boys often stop what they’re doing to listen to me read to their brother. And it gives me and my littlest guy a chance to have a shared experience in the midst of a busy day.

Read any good books lately?

Tell us about your favorite reads in the comments or post your link below. And don’t forget to pop around and visit the book reviews from others in the group.

This week one participant (via link or comment) will be awarded a $20 Amazon gift certificate. It’s my way of saying thanks for reading with me and keeping me accountable to reading more intentionally this year.

Congratulations to [email protected] for winning this giveaway!

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  1. “The Golden Key” is in my cart at Amazon and certainly on my wish list! I love “The Light Princess” by MacDonald, so I’m pretty sure I will like “The Golden Key” when I finally pick up a copy. You can read my review of “Amusing” today – it’s what I linked up. Thanks so much for hosting this year – although I have always been a reader (the kind that carries a book in her coat pocket in case of down-time while out somewhere), this has pushed me to read some of those dust covered ones on my shelves and gives me a good “excuse” to read! YAY! Thanks and blessings!

  2. OH! I never personally read Amusing Ourselves to Death, but my husband read every few paragraphs out loud to me when he did and wow! I thought it was a terrific book.

    Right now I am suffering through Romancing America series (some are better than others but I dont like all of them. And once I start a series I HAVE to finish them)

    I am re-reading The Danger of Raising Nice Children- Tim Kimmel (SO GOOD!)

    And Then Sings My Soul Special Edition (review forthcoming)

  3. I just finished reading A Dogs’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron and I LOVED IT. If you have ever loved a dog then you will LOVE this book. If you laughed and bawled your eyes out over Marley & Me , you will definitely feel this story in your soul and it will touch your heart. I picked this book up and could not put it down.

  4. I definitely need to read Donna Otto’s book!

    I recently finished reading Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place to my daughters as a read-aloud; I had never read this book in its entirety and it was truly a blessing! I’m trying to make my way through Stop Acting Rich by Thomas Stanley, but don’t know if I’ll finish before it’s due back at the library!

  5. I’m currently finishing re-reading Dracula in English this time, and I love reading it in the language it was written in.
    Translations just make us lose the magic of a book in my opinion.

  6. The mom book you highlighted looks great. I am reading my way through the Anne of Green Gables series and loving it!

  7. I love reading with my kiddos. I need to read out loud to them more. I keep focusing on getting them to read, but I need to just read to them sometimes too!

  8. I am putting Donna Otto’s book on my must read list. Thank you so much for hosting this linky party. I love finding out what everyone is reading.

  9. I’m reading Jan Karron’s new book “In the Company of Others” and it is wonderful! I’m hoping to tackle “The Swiss Family Robinson” during the winter months.

  10. Thanks for hosting this year. It’s encouraged me to read with a purpose (and I’ve read plenty of fluff/brain candy too!).

    I just finished re-reading a biography of Marie Curie, which I loved. I’m starting now on my annual Christmas reading — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Little Women.

  11. I haven’t done much reading lately, but would love to read “Finding your purpose as a mom”.
    Thanks for your blog.

  12. I think I will be definitely looking for “Finding your Purpose as Mom” on my next book shopping trip. I currently am reading through Debbie Macomber books (Just finished “Hannah’s List” last night!). I tend to read through authors….read all of Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sparks, so far.

  13. You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy it!

    The mom book does look good; it might just make a good Christmas present. Thanks for the recommendation.

  14. I’m just finishing up reading an old sci-fi book, The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula LeGuin. Amazing little book about a man whose dreams can alter reality and the megalomaniac psychiatrist who forces him to try and dream a better world.

  15. I’ve enjoyed reading Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher. It highlights some of the principles of Amish living and shows how we can relate it to our world.

  16. That book by Donna Otto sounds very insightful, I’ll have to check it out. I’ve been reading the Little House on the Prairie series to my girls and we look forward to it every day! They are such great books.

  17. My daughter and I are currently reading “The Water-Horse.” It’s been enjoyable, but she just told me her favorites are still the “Mercy Watson” books.

  18. I just started Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad. It’s fashion advice, from a Christian perspective.

  19. I haven’t linked up in the last couple of months because I have been following the Bible in 90 Days schedule on my own. I began it after you mentioned it on your site. It’s turned into a Bible only reading fast since I found that if I have anything else to read I will put it ahead of my daily Bible reading. I have about 20 days to go. It has been an amazing journey through the Bible. I now really want to read my Bible chronologically to better understand how the prophets fit into the kings historically.

  20. have you seen the indian in the cupboard movie? highly recommend it. a fun activity to enjoy together after the book.

  21. Right now I am enjoying reading Chralotte’s Web with my daughters. We love to read good books and I think my son would The Indian in the Cupboard!

  22. I recently read One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber. I don’t read her fiction, but this is a worthwhile book about gratitude, sharing, encouragement, forgiveness, hospitality, prayer, service, and so forth.

    I also finished On Folly Beach by Karen White. This mystery moves back and forth between the present day and WWII, and it reminded me a little bit of The Guernsey Literary … Society. But I liked it even better.

    Love reading all of the recommendations here!

  23. Thanks for hosting this fun Booking It every month! Enjoy finding new books! I want to check out that “Mom” book too!

  24. I am currently reading “Stones in Schools” and I highly recommend it! If you haven’t read “Three Cups of Tea”, read it first. After a couple of very hard years, I’ve several times reached a point where I threw myself a pity party but reading this book reminded me how blessed I am- I have so much to be thankful for!3
    P.S. Adding Indian in the Cupboard to my sons reading list- forgot about that book- loved it as a kid!

  25. Finding Your Purpose as a Mom was just added to my Amazon wish list – thanks for the recommendation! 🙂
    I’m currently reading Homeschooling for Dummies. 🙂

  26. I loved The Indian in the Cupboard when I was a kid. Such a great story!

    I just finished reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova. It is the story of a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She’s barely 50 when diagnosed, I think. The whole story is told from the point of view of the woman and it is very powerfully written. I loved it. The author has a PhD in Neuroscience from Harvard so even though it is a novel it is very factual. I highly recommend it.

  27. I am reading Organized Simplicity, but I keep finding things to get rid of as I am reading….. and then Counsel from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I have read Amusing Ourselves to Death, it is good.

  28. Oh, I should also mention that I recently finished Ape House by Sara Gruen. She wrote Water for Elephants, which everyone was reading a few years ago. Anyway, Ape House was good, it was about a primate language scientist, animal rights activists, etc. It was a little too “we’re related to apes” for me but I thought the story arc was interesting.

  29. Thanks for sharing these for the great reviews! Donna’s book sounds like a really good book and as a mom I would love to read what she has to say, especially about the spiritual atmosphere of your home. You might also enjoy another inspirational read called, The Three Insights by Tim Pond. This book has really made a difference in my family life and also has helped me get a new perspective on my purpose.

  30. I’m currently reading “Orange is the New Black” about a woman’s experience in prison.

  31. I LOVED The Indian in the Cupboard when I was little. I think there is a sequel or two, which I remember liking as well. I can’t wait to cuddle up with my girl and read chapter books together!

  32. I just finished reading David Platt’s “Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream”. Definitely one of those books you can chew on for a while!

    1. @Katrina, Katrina: I just posted that I am currently reading that with my entire church! I am enjoying it so far, and I am glad to know that others have as well!

  33. Reading aloud to my boys is one of my very favorite things – and we’ve just started into chapter books – Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary was a hit and we are enjoying The Random House Book of Bible Stories each night before bed. The Indian in the Cupboard will have to go on the list of future read-alouds.

  34. WE recently read aloud Peter Pan. My 6 year old really enjoyed it, even though it was different from the cartoon version.

  35. I am reading _Radical_ by David Platt. It calls Christians to question and examine their motives while in search for the American Dream. My whole church is reading it, actually, so I am able to have a book club meeting of the week’s chapter while in Sunday School.

  36. I just had a baby and whenever I am pregnant or nursing, the only things I can read come from my kids’ shelves. I started off with the Mistmantle Chronicles book 5 (LOVE this series!) and then on to my daughter’s Misty of Chincoteague books (how did I miss these when I was growing up?). I was just trying to find something new and am thinking about going in for some Anne of Green Gables, which I can’t read too many times!

  37. “Same Kind of Different as Me” and “What Difference DO It Make?” both by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. LOVED these two- could not put them down! The stories of a white multimillionaire and a black homeless man who was a modern day slave and how they became best friends. Really challenges how you see people and yourself. I do suggest reading them in order.

  38. My kids and I just finished A Wrinkle in Time. My most recent read: In Faithfulness He Tested Me. I cried so much for this mom and her crosses. She also has a large family. I highly recommend this book.

  39. I’ve loved your Bookin’ It posts. I was inspired to make reading goals myself this year. It is so exciting to see how much I’ve read. My favorites were “Same Kind of Different as Me” – and “Choosing to See”.

  40. Right now I’m reading “Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do To Stop It”
    I’m about half way through and it definitely makes me think about how I teach my kids at home and at SS.

  41. I think I read the Bible in 90 Days at the same time you did, so now I am reading the NT chronologically, A Celebration of Discipline by Foster and The Mommy Manual.
    Plus lots of picture books.

  42. I’ve read quite a bit this year. Some of my favorites have been:

    Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

    Little Bee by Chris Cleave

    The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingbird by Suzanne Collins

    The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

    Speak by Laurie Anderson

    Birdsong by Sebastion Faulks (not read this year but it’s one of my all time favorites)

    The Physik Book of Dane Deliverance by Katherine Howe

    The Help by Katherine Stockett

    The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

  43. “Steady Mom”, by Jamie Martin, great book for Mom’s and being more “intentional” with their days!

  44. I have started East of Eden by John Steinbeck again. I love this book so much and usually read it about once a eyar.

  45. Just finished reading the Book Thief by Marcus Zusak for book club. I was surprised to hear this was a teen book, but was amazed at what a good book it was. Told from the perspective of the grim reaper, it tells of life in Nazi Germany during war time. A great book – looking forward to our book club discussion!

  46. read Hunger Games – very brutal but did like the book

    read Safe Haven and didn’t enjoy it.

    reading In the Company of Others by Jan Karon

    reading 123 magic to get my preschooler less tantum prone and hopefully help with sibling rivalry with the older ones

  47. I recently finished We Two by Gillian Gill. It is a biography of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It was a long book, but entirely too fascinating. I left a review of it on Goodreads:

    “This was an absolutely fascinating book! It was so wonderfully interesting to take an in-depth look at what went behind the scenes in the lives of both Victoria and Albert, as far as one can know despite the bias in the extant sources (which Gill interprets in a remarkable way).Not only is the material interesting as it pertains to V and A as people, but is relevant at a time where traditional roles are redefined and, though we can’t all be queens of a country, women are defining new roles for themselves (either by choice or necessity) while still trying to maintain the essence of their womanhood and femininity. It was a wonderful book, definitely book club material *hint,hint* ”

    I have The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin on my reading list, as well.

    Thanks for your recommendations!

    1. @LC, Ooooo….we recently watched the movie about V & A–I just might have to pick up that book. Thanks for posting about it!

  48. I haven’t been reading for quite some time, probably since college, but I set a New Year’s Resolution to read 12 books in 2010, so I’ve been picking up the pace quite a bit! The last three I just read, I am recommending to anyone and everyone! The Hunger Games trilogy (Catching Fire and Mockingjay are the sequels) by Suzanne Collins. It’s actually a young adults book, so easy to read, good for those of us who are distracted easily as it grabs your attention and doesn’t let go for 3 entire books! It is a little bit sci/fy – but not as I always think of sci/fy – no aliens here. But it follows a young girl, Katniss Everdeen and a futuristic ‘America’ known as Panem. The areas are divided into districts and each year the ruling Capitol requires one boy and one girl to be chosen at random to participate in The Hunger Games, where they will fight to the death until there is only one winner. Sounds gruesome, but I am not one for violence and I did just fine. Let me know if anyone has read them! They are wonderful!

  49. I just finished my 5th book this year, which was my goal, and am excited to say it was such a thought-provoking book. “A Return to Modesty” by Wendy Shalit…great read about how our society has embraced a “loose” stand on relationships. Thanks for hosting these.

  50. Favorite book? Far to many to list here LOL My earliest favorites were Heidi & The Little House Series. Now I read just about anything, with some favorites being anything by Beverly Lewis or Louisa May Alcott

  51. The last two books my church book group (it’s through my church, but we don’t only read “churchy” books) read were both very good: “Still Alice” (I see someone mentioned that above) – excellent book ab0ut a woman’s struggle with Alzheimer’s — and “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford: the story of a Chinese-American man and a Japanese-American woman who had courted during World War II — until her family was sent to the internment camps. Part of the book takes place in the 1940s, part in the 1980s.

  52. I’m currently still reading Teach them Diligently by Priolo and I have also picked up Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp (sequel to Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp).

    For lighter reading, I polished off 100 Cupboards by N D Wilson–It’s kind of a blend of Narnia and Indian in the Cupboard, but has enough original plot that it is definitely going to rank way up there for me in youth/children’s lit. My hubby also read 100 Cupboards and is on the sequel, Dandelion Fire. I am reading Artemis Fowl while he is using Dandelion Fire.:) Artemis Fowl is clever, though the author definitely has a not-so-subtle underlying agenda. Still, entertaining. I am thinking of re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series since I saw that someone else is doing that, too. Loved that series as a kid!

  53. I linked to a book review I posted awhile ago, but a current book I’m reading and loving is Boundaries with Kids by Cloud and Townsend. I think it’s one of my favorite parenting books so far. I added Finding Your Purpose as a Mom to my amazon wish list–thanks for the recommendation!

  54. working on In A Heartbeat, by LeighAnna and Sean Tuohy, the family that The Blindside movie was made about. Loved the movie and wanted to find out more about them. Also just finished Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury.

  55. I have LOVED reading the Zion Covenant series by Brock and Bodie Thoene. It’s historical fiction set in the years prior to World War Two… and it’s done really well. I’m going to be sad when it’s finished!

  56. I just wrote a review for Fish by L S Matthews on my goodreads account. We listened to it in the car as part of a road trip. Now I want to sit and read it again. Wonderfully done.

  57. The one book I’ve read over the course of the year (because it is meaty, not a page turner) is the Diary of St. Faustina. It is challenging to read, but it’s an interesting look at how one person deals with the ups and downs of a relationship with God.

  58. As a new mom, I am soaking in a bunch of literature on the many overwhelming aspects of being responsible for the life of a little one. Right now I am reading The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears (along with other vaccine resources) in order to round out my education on vaccines. On my wish list is the Baby Love Cookbook by Norah ODonnell and her chef husband as my baby approaches the exciting world of solid foods. Thank you for the chance to win the Amazon gift card – I would use it to buy this book.

  59. Ooohh…I want to read Donna Otto’s book! Right now I’m reading “Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives” by Wayne Muller. It’s a great book so far!!

  60. I am new to posting on this thread but loved reading though what everyone is reading.

    I just finished Her Mother’s Hope by francine rivers. It is a great historical fiction novel with a lot of mother/daughter relationship issues. Great book.

    My 12 year old son and I are reading Iron Thunder by Avi (one of my all time favorite young adult authors!) It is about the Merrimac and Monitor in the Civil War. Wonderful book so far.