Today’s post is dedicated to one of my favorite things: books! I’m that person you don’t want to go to a bookstore or library with because I take *forever* to look at and pick out books and leave with a stack that’s absurd in size. My “to be read” lists are categorized by fiction and nonfiction and are even topical within those categories.
Reading is my most favorite hobby and I adore the smell of libraries. My dream home would have a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and one of those cool rolling ladders. Swoon. Okay, you get the point, I like books. Let’s get down to all the ones I’ve been enjoying lately! There’s a lot of variety in this post, so hopefully you can find a new read that sounds interesting to you!
Memoir and Biography
The author grew up in a very religious Catholic family who attended church every Sunday and confession on Saturday. His parents were devastated when he stole $15,000 from them to fuel his drug addiction. Two years earlier, he was rear-ended on his way home from work by an 18-wheeler. Injuries from the accident forced him to rely on pharmaceutical drugs to cope with the pain.
Within three months, he transitioned to street drugs, heroine, and cocaine. Shortly thereafter, Robby hit rock bottom. But God wasn’t done with him. After he surrendered his life to Christ, nothing was ever the same.
Like most Amish children, Eirene had a carefree childhood in a tight-knit family life in the Old Order Amish community where she grew up Indiana. Though she had no indoor plumbing, no electricity, and no modern conveniences, her young life was full of joy. When Eirene became pregnant and married at the tender age of 17, the harsh reality of her new life set in.
Though she loved being a mother, Eirene knew there was more to life than just being a housewife confined to her home with no money, no phone, and no transportation. When Eirene made a Christian friend, she was hungry to learn more about a God so unlike the one she’d learned about growing up Amish. Eirene knew God was calling her to leave the Amish so she could serve Him. But that meant leaving her family, her community, and everything she had ever known.
Not many people know that the Wright brothers had a sister, Katharine. She supported her high-flying, inventor brothers through their aviation triumphs and struggles. Smart and well-educated, Katherine was both confidant and caregiver to her bachelor brothers, managing many of their affairs, traveling with them on frequent trips to demonstrate and promote their invention, and caring for them when they were sick from disease and injury. In doing so, she gave up her ambitions as a teacher and her early hopes of marriage.
Only in middle age, when the Wrights’ fame and fortune were secure, did she find personal happiness. Katharine’s portrayal of family life in the Wright household, her descriptions of the early days of flight, and her recollection of her reclusive, publicity-shy brothers cast a unique and fascinating light on one of the twentieth century’s great technical achievements and two of its most famous men.
Strong, Brave, Loved offers 60 short devotions to empower you to be the kind of woman who looks life in the face and says, “You can’t beat me.” One who fights to believe she is who God says she is and helps others do the same.
It’s simple, personal, and practical, with room for you to journal your own responses and reflections. With these concise and compassionate devotions, Holley leads you on a journey of discovery as you learn to live in freedom, hope, and holy courage.
Does this sound like you or someone in your life? You enjoy time on your own but you care about people too. You’ve been told you’re a good listener. You think before you speak. You often notice what others miss. You do your best work when you can fully focus. You value quality over quantity in relationships. Your active mind is always thinking.
Yet in spite of these strengths, you compare yourself to others. Fear sometimes still gets the best of you. Holley Gerth has been there, because she’s an introvert too. Research shows what introverts may see as struggles can be their greatest strengths!
Instead of wondering if you need to change, what if you could fully be yourself with nothing holding you back? The Powerful Purpose of Introverts show you that you’re exactly who God created you to be. The author shares everything you need to know, from brain science to the psychological, relational, and spiritual aspects of being an introvert. She also reveals exactly what will help you beat your struggles and maximize your strengths so you can live with clarity, courage, and confidence in a world that needs what only you can give!
What would happen if a shy introvert lived like a gregarious extrovert for one year? If she knowingly and willingly put herself in perilous social situations that she’d normally avoid at all costs? Writer Jessica Pan intends to find out.
With the help of various extrovert mentors, Jessica sets up a series of personal challenges (talk to strangers, perform stand-up comedy, host a dinner party, travel alone, make friends on the road, and much, much worse) to explore whether living like an extrovert can teach her lessons that might improve the quality of her life. This book explores what happens when one introvert fights her natural tendencies, takes the plunge, and tries (and sometimes fails) to be a little bit braver.
Madison Huntington is determined to live her dreams. That means getting out from under her family’s wealth and influence by saying no to the family business, her allowance, and her home. But on a teacher’s salary, the real world comes as a rude awakening. To get a place of her own (without cockroaches, mold, or crime scene tape), Madison accepts a position as a roommaid. In exchange for free room and board, all she needs to do is keep her busy roommate’s penthouse clean and his dog company. So what if she’s never washed a dish in her life. She can figure this out, right?
Madison is pretty confident she can fake it well enough that Tyler Roth will never know the difference. The finance whiz is rich and privileged and navigates the same social circles as her parents―but to him she’s just a teacher in need of an apartment. He’s everything Madison has run from, but his kindhearted nature, stomach-fluttering smile, and unexpected insecurities only make her want to get closer. Rewarding job. Perfect guy. Great future. With everything so right, what could go wrong? Madison is about to find out.
Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way. Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn’t always that way.
And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before―at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him―but she was invisible. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school―and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.
As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love―which is the riskiest move of all.
How I Find Time to Read
So far this year, I’ve read 32 books. I typically make it my goal to read 50 books per year. I have a job in the real estate industry, homeschool my daughter, and run an Etsy shop. So, how do I fit reading into my schedule?
–> First and foremost: I enjoy it. I love to learn and get lost in a story. Someone else may make it their goal to watch 50 movies in a year. I could never do that because I just don’t care about watching movies. If reading is something you like, you’ll find creative ways to do it as much as possible.
–> I know what I like. I have genres that appeal to more than others. A thriller isn’t something I will pick up. A memoir, though? I can blow through one in days. Same with a happy romance novel or a book about midwifery. Find what you love and reading won’t feel like work!
–> I read multiple books at a time. I read at least one fiction and one nonfiction book at a time, but usually more. That way, if I’m in the mood to read a novel, I have one. If I’m leaning more towards a memoir, I’m usually in the middle of one. Variety is the spice of life!
–> The kindle app and paper books are my jam. I prefer holding a book in my hand, but I will read books on my kindle or even on the kindle app on my phone. Before I had a child, I listened to audiobooks a lot, but that doesn’t mesh well with parenting because there’s a lot of noise around me nowadays and it’s hard to really listen to a book and be present with my child.
–> I use little blocks of time. I’ll read on the kindle app on my phone in line at the grocery store or even in the shower. I bring a book with me to doctor’s appointments, I always read if Jimmy is driving us somewhere, and I’ll even have a book sitting on the counter while I prep dinner.
–> I use big blocks of time. If Sadie is still sleeping in the morning, you’ll usually find me on the couch with my Bible and devotional until she wakes up. If I wake up at 6:00 am and she wakes up at 7:00 am, that gives me about an hour in God’s Word. After Jimmy and I put Sadie to bed, he usually makes a beeline for the couch to watch tv or play video games. I spend my evening alone time in bed with a book. We try to put Sadie to bed around 8:30 pm and I usually go to sleep at 9:30 pm. That gives me another hour to read 😬
–> I don’t force myself to read a book I don’t like. If I start a book and feel meh about it, I don’t finish it. I’ve gotten 3/4 of the way through some books and lost interest. I just move on to the next one. Life is too short to read books you don’t love!
These are the ways I personally find time to read. I would love to hear what works for you! I’m always open to new tricks and tips for finding extra time to get lost in a book 😊
I was thinking of sharing a few books on my to be read list, but I think this post is long enough! If anyone is interested, I can share a few of the many, many on my TBR list 😉