Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Favorites (summer reading edition)


Happy Friday, Friends!  I am linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals, and her friends, for this blog post.

Missy, I'm going to talk about you here! 

My friend came in yesterday and was shocked to discover a couple of books I had on my counter.  They're by Danielle Steel.  I used to read her books all the time a long time ago, and occasionally, I still pick one up.  I read one recently by her, and it was one of the best books I've read by anyone in a long time.  They're not all trashy, though some can be that way, like all of her earlier books.  Her later ones are way different, and she is an incredible story teller.  Anyway, I always read the back and try them, and sometimes I put them down, and other times, I keep reading. 

Here's the thing.  I love Christian fiction books.  But those are hard to come by, and I kid you not when I say that short of just re-reading the ones I have over and over and over again (which you all know I do every year or at least every other year), I think I have read so many of them that they're all becoming redundant.  I like to vary things up in the books I read, and when you read as much as I do, only one genre can very quickly get really boring.

So I read.  I read books that made my best friend gasp when she saw it yesterday.  I'm laughing as I write this. 

I love you, Missy, and you know I love messing around with you even more.  (Big personality and control freak and all.)

Here are some of the ones I've read recently (some I loved, some I did not), or that are in my "to be read" pile and stacks around my house. 

(This first picture was one I posted on Instagram last weekend.)


I've been reading on the Kindle app lately, at least for part of the time.  I recently read The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin, and while I loved the vivid scenery she depicted in Paris, I did not love the book.  I kept reading it, though, but probably will not read anything by her again.  (It was a recommendation from a book blogger.) 

Yes, I read blogs about books.  My favorite one is Modern Mrs. Darcy, or Anne Bogel in real life.  I was on her launch team last year for her book, Reading People. 


I am almost finished with Everybody Always by Bob Goff.  He also wrote Love Does, and I cannot recommend his books strongly enough.  These are nonfiction, memoir type books, which I love.  He gives you practical ways to love people near you in this hard and not-so-loving world that we live in.  Love Lives Here is one I haven't read yet, by his wife, Maria Goff, or Sweet Maria, as he so lovingly calls her.  I know it's good, though, because of all those book blogs I'm current on.

Adorned is also one of the best books I have ever read, but I'm not finished with it yet.  I'm taking it slow, because I want to think about it carefully, and because I'm reading it book club style with two sweet friends of mine, Abbey and Kristy.  And we can't seem to meet often enough. 

I am looking forward to reading the book by Lisa Harper, as well, The Sacrament of Happy.  I follow her on Instagram, and she's one of my favorite people on there.  I love her writing style, and I look forward to reading more about her daughter Missy that she adopted when she was over the age of fifty. 

(Yes, we keep Cheese Its close by.)

These pictures have zero filter and were not at all posed.  I went around my house and took the pictures as I saw them.


I've never read a book by Dorothea Benton Frank, but I loved her and will read something by her again.  This is not Christian, just plain old fiction, and it wasn't too bad.  (That is code for the fact that it does contain some language I don't use, which I can skim right over.  I know, not everyone can do that, but if I see a word, I replace it with another one and keep going.)

(This picture was from last Saturday.)


This one is promising!  I have read two by her before that I loved.  Her stories are always wrought with family ins and outs and sometimes tragedy, and the dynamics that happen in both situations.  The other ones I read by her are The Secrets of Midwives, and The Things We Keep.


Another Lisa Harper one I just found yesterday that I haven't read yet, and the book I read everyday. 


More books, waiting to be read.  These don't all belong to me, either.  One is my stepdad's and one is a friend's.  I have read about half of the book Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, but I honestly forgot I was reading it, and it eventually made it's way over to this collection.  It's another memoir type book (spiritual) about life around the table.  It's a collection of stories and recipes.  A couple of these I have tried and didn't like, so I put them down.  (Who has time to read something they don't love?!)


These are our school bookshelves, and in cleaning them out and organizing them for August, I came across some of these classics that I haven't read, with the exception of The Hiding Place and Silas Marner. 


My haul from my happy place on Wednesday.  I'm unsure about all of these, because I only had a few minutes to skim the aisles, but I'll give them a try and if I don't like it, I'll just put it back down.  I've read one other book by Nancy Thayer that I loved, but I've tried reading two other ones by her, and they didn't hold my interest at all.  Who knows if I'll like this one.  That top one is by an author who has another book that I want to read out right now that I keep reading about, but the library didn't have it, so when I saw the same author, I thought I'd give this one a shot.

Other authors I've read before and mostly liked are Emily Giffin, Colleen Hoover (she would be what you consider rated R in her writing, but the book I read that was so good was told from the perspective of a woman who had been physically, verbally, and emotionally abused, and it was RIVETING and therefore, I could not put it down, though it was hard to read most of the time), Denise Hunter, Kristin Hannah (who has been around FOREVER but only recently has been talked about because of the book The Nightingale), Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, Sophie Hudson, Melanie Shankle, Neta Jackson, Robin Jones Gunn, Karen Kingsbury, Elizabeth Elliot, Priscilla Shirer...I could literally go on and on, but you get the picture.

Between books, I watch Netflix series.  If the tv is on, it is usually turned on to Gilmore Girls, but not too long ago, I watched all the seasons of The Good Witch, and When Calls the Heart.  I say this, because sometimes I get tired of reading, or I'm not in the mood.  I'll turn on a movie occasionally too, but I honestly prefer tv shows.  I have several on my queue on Netflix, waiting to be started.  Fuller House (I'm rolling my eyes at myself) and Heart of Dixie are the two I can recall off the top of my head. 

I am sure plenty of you will read this and roll your eyes.  And that's okay.  But I do not work.  I stay home most of the time, because my kids are growing up on me and always have their own plans each day.  They don't even swim with me and my mom-in-love anymore.  When they are gone, I read, or I watch Netflix.  I don't just sit around my house all day, either, I am usually cleaning, grocery shopping, getting things ready for dinner, cleaning out the pantry shelves and refrigerator shelves, doing laundry, cleaning my bedroom, vacuuming, studying something in the bible, listening to podcasts, reading up on things like books and fun events hosted by favorite authors, or staying on top of the commitments that the other people in this family have made.  (I have a huge planner for all such things.)  I love every single second of my life, and am thankful that I have been able to stay home all these years.  (Honestly, I only started staying home full time when we started homeschooling.  Before that, I have always worked part time or kept kids in the mornings or afternoons.)

I do leave home occasionally, to do things with my mom, or to meet someone for coffee or lunch (and the occasional dinner), but I don't usually do a lot of things that require me spending money.  Because I do not work, I try to be a good steward of what the Lord has provided for us.  He has given me the love of reading to help me be content.  So I read.  A lot, and a lot of different styles. 

I have set things every week that happen, like swimming in the summer, and church on Wednesday night, which I recently started attending again, after a break since about October.  Other ways I fill the time are by praying continually and off and on throughout my day, doing bible study homework, browsing through Instagram (my favorite), listening to K-Love or other worship music (and sometimes fun summer playlists like my sister and I listened to on the way to the pool on Tuesday), and getting ready for Sunday if I sing on the praise team.  I keep pretty busy, trust me.  And as boring as this sounds when I read all of this again to spellcheck, it is really a fulfilling life.  It's not for everyone, I know, but thank the Lord that He made us all so differently!  How boring would it be if we were all exactly the same?! 

Well.  That went on way longer than I thought it would, but I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it all out for you (which is another thing I do almost everyday...I write).  If you know me, and most of you do, you know that books are my favorite.  I'm actually planning on trying to sell a bunch of them that I know I won't read again.  I'm working on those details, though, and planning a day for people to come over and browse. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 


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