Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What I'm Reading in January

I have often said that I would love to be a professional reader. I know there are people out there that read for a living. I'm never reminded of that desire more than the first day back to work for the semester.

My bedside table is still piled high with books. My Kindle is still fully loaded. I can never make a dent in my to read list, because authors keep doing their jobs. That's ok, though...

Because reading is a way for me to escape, even if it is only 15 minutes a day. Usually I end my day with my Kindle in hand, and wake up in the middle of the night frantically searching for it because I have dropped it on Wallace's head...

Granted, once school starts back, I don't have as much time to read as I would like. My goal of 125 books a year means that I need to read roughly 10-11 books a month. Growing up, I liked to try to finish the book I had started before starting another. Now, though, I read several books at once. I have one in each bathroom, one in the living room, one in my car, my Kindle loaded... you get the drift.

Here's what I'm reading this month...

(Note: I'm including Amazon links or Lifeway links to these books, just so if you're like me, you can add them to your wishlist.  I received no compensation for these links nor do I receive compensation if you use them to purchase a book; just thought it'd be helpful.)

The Martian is one of those books that when I first started reading it I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish it. There are lots of technical, scientific terms (because the narrator is a ROCKET SCIENTIST) but once I figured out what was going on I've enjoyed it. It's suspenseful enough to keep your attention. I'm looking forward to finishing it in time to watch the movie next week.

In the leadership academy I've been attending, we've been challenged to read a leadership book a month.  The first actual leadership book I selected was based on the recommendation of one of our guest speakers in November, about convictional leadership. It has a Christian background and is an easy read. The Conviction to Lead has made me think about what conviction is.  In today's world, we must be aware of our own convictions. And I just finished a chapter last night about how leaders are also readers- Yes!!!

Because it's football season and I love Steelers football, I'm reading About Three Bricks Shy of a Load by Roy Blount, who followed the Steelers and got the inside story behind the 1973 season. I read about this book in Dan Rooney's autobiography. Just getting started on this one, but it's the Steelers so it has to be good... and this was the time of legends! 

Better Than Before:  I've read two books by Rubin and have enjoyed both of them. This one goes a step further than talking about just happiness and talks about how habits we establish can help us b be  happier. It's no secret that I struggle with self-discipline, and find instilling habits difficult, so this book should be good. I also got it FREE from blogging for books, so check back later this month for a review!

Spring Will Come is the third book in the Bregdan Chronicles. This series was recommended to me because I love Gone with the Wind, and thus far it has lived up to the recommendation. The characters are likeable, and the plot is easy to follow. There are eight books in the series, I believe, and they are all fairly long, so this series will probably be in my reading list all year.

When the Storm Passes is another fictional book. This one centers around a 13 year old survivor of the Joplin tornado. She's lost her house, can't find her Mama, her brother has died... but she resolves to make the most of it. Avalie is a precious little girl and  you find yourself rooting for her. I'm just about halfway done with this one but it's a winner so far.

The Charms of Miss O'Hara is the biography of Ann Rutherford, who played Carreen (Scarlett's baby sister) in Gone with the Wind. Author Philip Done tells stories as they were recounted to him by Rutherford about growing up in the film industry, and how Gone with the Wind changed her life. Y'all know I love my Gone with the Wind, and this book is an interesting look at the film industry during that time.

I've just started The Collectibles. This is a book I got free on my Kindle a couple of years ago. It's about a man facing bankruptcy and a lawyer who could help him. Can't really say much about this one yet, as I'm only a couple of chapters in.

I love Priscilla Shirer. I love Bible study. And I'm loving Armor of God. This study focuses on the armor of God discussed in Ephesians 6. A Facebook group of friends are working through this one together and we're on week 2.  Oh, my word. This is an awesome study!!! I'd highly recommend it and we're not even halfway through.

Jeremiah  by Melissa Spoestra- I've had this Bible study for over a year and am just now starting it. I know it can be difficult to do more than one study together, but a friend loaned me the DVD sessions for this one so I couldn't turn it down. I'm on week 1, so I'm just getting started. I love the parts of Jeremiah that I am familiar with... but it can be some  heavy reading, too, so I'm hoping this Bible study will help me understand and frame the content.

I also love romantic fiction. Sometimes a girl just needs an easy read, and Debbie Macomber is always a good bet for lighthearted reading. Her novels pull at the heartstring and give you characters you want to invite over for dinner (or out for a cup of coffee if you're like me and you can't cook). A Girl's Guide to Moving On is Macomber's new release that I received free from net galley. It actually releases in February. Check back later in the month for a full review!

Today is Day One is another book I received free from net galley. It's a devotional by Matthew West. I love West's music and the way he writes songs based on real life stories submitted to him by his listeners. Good stuff. I'll be reviewing this one later as well.

My sister Holly and some of her friends have been having a monthly book club for the last year or so and I decided that since I needed to cultivate friendship I'd invite myself along. This month they are reading The Night Circus. I've heard awesome things about this book and so far it is pretty good. I have to get it read by Saturday so I sense a late night Friday night =)

I'm also rotating between two devotions on my Kindle- One Year Alone with God and Love is A Verb.
It's always fun to look ahead and plan what I'm going to read next. There are so many good books out there with not enough time to read them.

A Book about Christian living: Fervent
A biography: Off Balance- Dominique Moceanu (this is actually an autobiography)
A classic novel: My Antonia
A book someone tells you changed their life: Sun Stand Still
A commentary on a book of the Bible: A Matthew Henry Commentary on Jeremiah
A book about theology: Probably Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
A book with "gospel" in the title
A book your pastor recommends: The Balanced Church
A book 100 years old: Uncle Tom's Cabin
A children's book: The Secret Garden
A mystery or detective novel: Sherlock Holmes
A book published in 2016: not sure yet
A book about a current issue- not sure yet

Happy Reading, Friends!


  1. Hi Lauren, I'm also in the #Write365 FB group (under the name Jet Gren) and I saw your comment with the link to your post. Your title, What I'm Reading in January, caught my attention and I enjoyed reading your post. One of my goals is to read more this year and I joined the 2016 Reading Challenge led by Anne Bogel at modernmrsdarcy.com. But I'm still developing my list. You have some good books on your list and I may include "Better than Before" on mine. I agree with you, "so many good books...not enough time." Reading is so exciting! Good luck with reaching your goals and Happy Reading.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!!!