From My Bookshelf to Yours: What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I challenged myself to read 40 books by the end of this year. This goal includes not only the books I read myself but the chapter books I read-aloud with the children. I thought this goal was quite lofty when I set out to begin my new reading year, but I’ve already surpassed this goal by nearly ten books!

I am keeping up with my progress on Goodreads, which is my favorite way to keep a record of what I’m reading! By the way, if you’re on Goodreads, I’d love to be friends with you! I love hearing what others are reading and adding books to my “to read” shelf that have been recommended by others. Click here and add me as a friend!

I worked my way rather diligently through my Summer Reading List, and I’ve enjoyed several other books not on the list. Today I’m going to share some of my favorites from the summer reading binge I went on. To see everything I’ve read this year, you’ll have to check out my Goodreads account. I don’t always post a full review, but I do usually rate the book on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the absolute best book I’ve ever read.

Oh, and since I’m ALWAYS asked how I get so much reading done, you can check out this post that gives you 15 of my best tips for making time to read. Okay, now for my favorite reads from the last couple of months!



What I’ve Been Reading Lately:

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst – This book carries a lot of wisdom and even a bit of humor. Learning to make wise decisions in the midst of endless demands is not easy. I really enjoyed this thought-provoking book during a time when I needed to learn to say, “No!” … a lot!


Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie – We officially began our homeschool journey this year, and this book has been a great reminder to prioritize what matters most to me as a homeschool mom. Much of what Sarah writes I instinctively envelope. However, doubts have their way of creeping in here and there until you forget the principals by which you built your homeschool. This is a great book for all homeschool moms.


Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic – Oh how I needed to read this book! I read this book when my first child was born, but adding a third child completely rocked my world. I didn’t expect the transition to be so difficult for me, and I spent many days pouring over the pages of this book just begging for perspective on my circumstances. This book is gospel-motivated and filled with much needed truth for the weary mom with littles underfoot. I also read her follow up book Fit to Burst, but Loving the Little Years stands as my favorite of the two.


Harry Potter Series – I read the entire Harry Potter series (Books 1-7) over the summer, and I loved them as much this time as the first five or six times I read them. I realize the controversial nature of the stories in Christian spheres, but I truly love these books. The formula by which J.K. Rowling places good and evil is impeccable, and I found it a beautiful, enthralling, and sometimes appalling way to delve the depths of Christ’s sacrifice of himself on my behalf as I entered the fictional world of Harry Potter. The last book, especially, helped me wrap my mind around some of the more difficult questions I have about good and evil, love and power, and the true sacrifice of self. Reading these books didn’t make me want to have magical powers, but instead it rallied me into greater acts of love, courage, and truth. I look forward to sharing these books with my children in a few years.

What I Read-Aloud with the Children:


We read several books together over the summer, but by far our favorite book we read was Frindle by Andrew Clements! I picked this book up after watching an Author Access at Read Aloud Revival. I fell in love with the author. Well, not him per se, but his perspective on language and reading. I immediately checked out some of the books he has written and decided to read Frindle with the boys, and boy did my kids love this book! It’s a completely delightful tale of a boy who isn’t afraid to take risks and push the limits while simultaneously enjoying a tale of a teacher who helped push him even further because of her sheer love of language. This book is short and completely addicting. So good!

What have you been reading lately? What about your favorite read-alouds with your children?

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  1. I read “Teaching From Rest” and “Loving the Little Years.” I learned so much from both of those books.
    Right now I am reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller. And as a read aloud with the kids, we are reading “Almost Home” by Wendy Lawton. A book that follows a girl named Mary who traveled on the Mayflower.The girls are really enjoying it. And my soon and I are really enjoying “Three pebbles and a song” by Eileen Spinelli. And “The Scarecrow’s Dance” by Jane Yolen.

  2. I just finished the last HP this morning after rereading the entire series again too. Are you planning to read The Cursed Child? I want to read it, but probably not right away. The HP books (any fiction, really) have a way of sucking me in and I think I need a short break.

    I think I’ve told you this before, but Andrew Clements was one of my favorite authors to read to my 4th and 5th grade students when I taught school. He is a great writer and his books are so much fun!

    I’m still working through Teaching From Rest. It’s so good and I’m trying to take my time and soak it all up.

    Jeff is reading The Hobbit to us all in the evenings, so I’m counting that one too. I’ve never read the books before, but we are all really loving the story. I wasn’t sure how much my boys would be able to follow, but they are remembering so much and loving it. They always want to keep reading, and I’m all like, “BEDTIME!”. Haha. Exhausted mom probs.

    I also started listening to a couple of books for me on Audible (we usually just listen to the kids books). It’s been helpful to be able to listen and get more “reading” in that way. Still, I’m going to go read your tips on making more time for reading now, because I’m sure I need to stretch my tired brain a little more ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Ecclesiastes 12:12And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

    I love to read. I always have. My older sisters got the room with the television my younger sister and I got the room with the book shelf and books. But since I gave my heart to The Lord 5years ago I started off in the bible but many life groups and circles were sharing books they were reading and I jumped on board but now I was reading Christian books. Then one day The Lord had me stop and just focus on renew my mind by the washing of The Word. Romans 12:2
    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    I still read from time to time, mostly just blogs and news articles now because I sleep with my bible under my pillow and wake up at night to read when God leads. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read a passage of scripture The Lord gives me a new understanding I can apply each time. Plus I know it is fellowship with The Lord. And I usually just put the bible down and pray and ask The Lord, what does this look
    Like Lord? What does this mean? And then the days to come he tangibly shows me examples.
    I use to have a lot of books and this might upset some people, but I gave some away and threw the rest out. I was so proud of all he books I had and had read. Now I’m just so glad to share the Word of God above all else. Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    I read this and was thinking, I can’t answer this one, I don’t read hardly and books at all ever anymore. but not one a morning afternoon or night that goes by that I don’t smell the pages of my bible and ask The Lord lots of questions or just read and receive so much scripture to feed my spirit heart and mind. 1 Peter 2:2
    As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

    Sometimes I fall asleep with The Word of God on audio. But I cut cable out 4years ago for the kiddos. And for them I do read books with them but I never highly esteem them as much as some that we enjoy over Gods Word, when I read the bible to them, I get excited to teach them that these things a true and really happened and really
    Meaningful not just stories but still great stories to read. They ask a lot more questions about the bible then any book we have ever read. I love that. I hope this encourages someone to remember how much Gods Word is comfort and power and wisdom for us above all else in this world. So glad God left us the scriptures! And that Holy Spirit is with us when we read! 1 Corinthians 2:13-14
    Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Let’s let Jesus’ Words abide in us above all else! John 15:7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

    Sometimes when I hang out with some people
    I made a note to myself to read Timothy chapter 2 to avoid vain ba blinds or Godless chatter which formerly my old readings also had me
    Partaking in. 2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

    And that’s not to be self righteous or high minded but because I recognize my weakness to people
    Please in conversation even if my stomach is hurting knowing there conversation is not promoting The Lord but rather the world and I just partake. Like some books have us do ๐Ÿ™

    2 Timothy 2: 14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

    15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

    17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

    8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

    9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

    Hebrews 3:13
    But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
    Ephesians 5:19
    King James Bible
    Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

    I know Gods Word is true for everyone but formerly being heavily in the world and not raised chrisitan I know the importance of letting go of the world now. I was into occult things and was very carnal and I have spent the past 5 years in The Word of God night and day. I listen to sermons during the day while I cook
    Or clean. And worship music with my children. I notice days I go over to my moms to watch tv or start getting into reading things that are godless chatter I begin to behave more carnal. Maybe you all were raised Christian but I needed a deep foundation to be laid and time spent rendering my mind from my old life with Gods pure Word. Reading for me is a form of godless chatter if i wasn’t careful what I was fellow shipping with-Spending time with and enjoying. I know some people say they can find God in anything. But we must study to show our sleeves approved onto God. And the bible says to Reprove the unfruitful works of darkness and not to create a stumbling block for those weaker in the faith. If I approve books like Harry Potter and I know the satanic agenda to promote the occult in generations of youth to accept to desensitize them to it, I will be creating a stumbling block for those weaker in the faith and in Corinthians apostle Paul wrote instruction on this and that it is sinning against Christ when we do. Sometime I battle wanting to do something I like and want to do but then I think if it’s ok for me there’s no heed for the weaker brother and sister to becareful and they can be ensnared by it. Just because I am stronger in faith in this area doesn’t mean everyone is but people watch us as see what we approve. I was raised on mtv and tv and came from the most unchristian home you could ever imagine. That’s why I got into the occult at a very young age. I have been delivered from demons and I’m sorry that Christians think books like Harry Potter are okay. It’s innocent movies and books that got us embracing the occult that impressed us in our teen lives. It was really hard to come out of. And me and my friends who were in the occult won’t ever touch Harry Potter books or none the like. Yet we have even talked about how Christins that were raised Christians are usually the biggest promoters of the worldly things we are so glad to have been delivered out of, until you open bad spiritual doors where you can see and here demons and you know it’s because of cute little spells you cast for years since adolescence to teen age years all because it was cute and whiskey accepted in the movies our parents would rent for us as kids. And when you have had to fast for the specifically attacks to stop then you would know why some of us won’t even touch anymore books like Harry Potter or anything that is from our pasts. Some do. But not any who are saved and trying. So when it comes to raising my children, I’m saved, their father isn’t. I try not to freak out because I don’t want to guard them from everything, but anything having to do with casting spells and magic I am all no to because of what I went threw and I never ever want it in my life again nor my children’s life nor anyone’s life! And maybe your raising your children Christian and you don’t worry they will go astray to dabble in it when they are adolescent of older, but some unsaved friends of theres will and why is it wrong if even chrisitans accept These things. Just had to share. Found this blog bit too long ago. Check it it every so often. Read the exalting of Harry Potter and felt like crying. I hardly ever comment on blogs. I’m not so clever with my words and wording like most. But I knew I had to say something for someone out there that might read this comment. This ones for you. God bless you I pray this comment helps your discernment!

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and even the ones on Harry Potter. I can certainly see where you are coming from and it is a breath a fresh air to hear someone speaking the word of God. I also understand that Harry Potter will not be for everyone, but speaking from our viewpoint, having read the books, it is not a glorification of spells and magic. The books do not glorify evil or exhort people to desire magical powers. In a lot of ways, the magic is peripheral to the main thesis of the book(s). There is respect and honor shown to those of the non-magical world, and a call to protect those that don’t have “powers” such as those in the magical community. It’s about sacrifice, bravery, friendship, and love. Yes, magic is spoken of because the story is set in a magical world, but it abhors evil and shares of the snares of the pursuit of power and immortality.

      There is so much more that I can say about the books, but I don’t have time. Something about three little people needing dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I read the books, will read these books to my children when they are old enough to hear them, and recommend them to those who enjoy using fictional stories to delve into various character traits and life lessons. We never allow fictional stories to replace scripture, and we esteem scripture highly in our home and in our hearts. But we also enjoy reading other books for pleasure and entertainment, and Harry Potter is only one of many, many stories we have shared and will share together.

      It (both reading outside of scripture and reading Harry Potter) is not for everyone to be sure, and I have “approved your comment” (because I approve all comments before they go live to be sure they are edifying to those who read – we certainly get some crazy stuff around here!) to allow it to stand as another viewpoint for those who may read this post. I really do appreciate your respectful approach to sharing your thoughts. I’m also very grateful the Lord delivered you from the snares of your past. What a great God we serve!

  4. Ephesians 5:11
    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

    As long as everyone’s praying about what they are reading asking The Lord if he approves for them, and if it doesn’t create any stumbling blocks for those weaker in the faith, if it’s not from an evil place of the devil subtle cunning agenda to blur lines, that it doesn’t contradict Gods Word, that it’s not exalted above Gods Word, that earthly things and worldly writings aren’t treasured above the life giving Words of life, as long as you in meekness and fear bring everything you feed into your heart mind and spirit before The Lord and simply ask “is this one ok with you Lord, why or why not” then your good to go. When you follow your own heart that’s when problems and pride and knowledge puffeth up.

    Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23King James Version (KJV)

    23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

    Remember everything you read and take into your spirit heart and mind affects our hearts and say of thinking. Pray for discernment which comes from spending time seeking God will above our own likes and leaning and being in His Word.

    Jeremiah 17:9
    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Just a loving warning because we are in the last days where around the world people would love even one page of a bible and able to meet and gather and talk about Scripture. But here in the west we confirm to the world like Oprah book clubs for suburban moms. It’s not a critique. I was formerly heavly in the world myself!!!! It influenced me to the core! The patterns of the world I didn’t conform to I was the worlds product already. I did everything as the world systems do and think and say. Here was no heeding of Gods ways, there was no line of right and wrong. I was following satanic ohilopshies and didn’t even know it. The satanic bible teaches we can define our own idea of what’s good and evil and we can approve whatever we feel is right to us. And the first commandment I think is follow your heart” the bible however teaches us opposite all of this. To study to rightly divide Gods Word, to crave His Word, to renew our mind by the waging of His Word, to not conform to the patterns of this world that we may approve and kjiwnhsu perfect will, to Reprove things of darkness and not partake in them, that we have a vey cunning and subtle enemy that’s trying to create a false peace and our own definitions of right and wrong. But Gods Word shows us what is right and wrong and pure and impure. at least even pray about it. I remember one friend warned me about one person and his ministry. I refused to speak against it or look into it because I was so new to church I thought these Christians know it all! If they accept him he must be ok. This person better be careful what they are talking about. Then I stook up for this person boldly. I said,”I don’t know him, I don’t know if anything you are saying is lies or true, but you better be careful who your critique” but all his warnings made me think and finally about a week later I got on my knees and cried and said, “I don’t want to err to follow this person if they are not in agreement with you Lord, please show me” and we’ll I wish I was a good writer and had more time too because all of a sudden when I wasn’t looking for anything I would open my bible up read and then something of this person that I never once researched would pop up like his book cover and it would be directly and I mean directly a scripture I had just wondered about but the opposite. Ex: “in this life you will have tribulatuon” John 16:33 and that’s the verse I would be thinking about all day, asking “okay Lord, what is it going to look like the tribulatuon you warn us about, yet your peace in you we will have amidst it” then he would show me a news article on fb of persecution to a brother or sister in Christ and a certian group. Then that same day a pop up of that persons book where it says the opposite this verse like “God wants to end all your troubles once and for all” and I would think we’ll that doesn’t sound right. And then I would be motivated to pray more about this person. And things would just pop up and pop up and pop up till finally I realized there are many wolfs in sheeps clothing. What does this have to do with Harry Potter? It’s just a loving warning that this was the first time I prayed about something. And I really wanted to go to his event cuz all my friends were going but I couldn’t afford it because it was expensive and all these were Christians and though I was new to church if they were doing it I figured it was acceptable unto The Lord. And not to judge but to heed God. And then. Realized if I had followed his teChings I would be in the prosperity gospel so bad reading chasing a career like all those woman at that church told me it was wrong to be a stay at home mom, which also doesn’t like up with scripture and that I was here to think about how to invest financially into Gods kingdom etc etc. and we’ll all I’m trying to point at is that in some way we can all mistakenly lead someone into wrong doctrines or materials that actually aren’t edifying but destructive to some weaker in the faith. Some fell into it I stil pray for I was hanging around in that church with back then. I know God will lead them out and I don’t stop praying for them. And this is exactly in different forms happens when we have influence over some. Our okays make someone else ensnared. That’s what apostle Paul wrote about to keep those hints we approve private lest it be a stumbling block for a bother or sister weaker in the faith. If you like Harry Potter and feel God lets you read it and to your children and it’s not even a pray about it and ask The Lord what he says thing, then great. But why use your place of influence to promote it where anyone new babe chrisitan can just go along with what you approve but to them be something that lets them approve magic arts in some form in their lives or later their children’s? It can happen. Trust me! My friend let her children have Justin beibers posters up, to her she felt it was okay, then a neighbor from the east moved in near her and said there use to be posters of idols all over her home growing up before she came to Christ that she said she would never put anything up in her home that wasn’t of The Lord. This woman wasn’t trying to be self righteous but when her own children wanted posters up of their teen idols the mother was grieved and worried her children were being influenced by the other woman’s choices in her liberty in Christ. Today they are not friends and both woman are battling children who are in heavy rebellion and gone astray. The eastern mom did let her put up the posters and go to those concerts by the way since her “Christian neighbor friend” allowed her children to. Now she regrets it. She says she would have rather exalted the things of The Lord instead of teaching her children a generational curse that lingered and passed down to her children to let the home be a place of exalting the wrong things and people. She believes her compromise caused her now late teen children to learn and accept compromise with what we see others accept. Ps: I texted her and she gave me permission to share this on here. We all have reasons to back up and justify out choices. I’m just trying to encourage everyone before you jump on. Bandwagon, ask Jesus what HE approves and tell him “your will not mine” as hard as it is to surrender something you have already deemed harmless. Cuz he knows best! Trust him! He loves you! He warns in love. And will give the hungry heart all they need to know. Let God fill you with his wisdom when you seek his righteousness above your own thoughts on righteousness. Accepting to his Word! Not ours. ๐Ÿ™‚ Matthew 5:6
    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

    Trust him he cares for us and wants to lead us into all truth

    John 16:13
    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

  5. The Lord wants me to share this link. Since
    Someone else shared a link. My understanding of His leading is that someone can compare and
    Pray about both sides of the veiw. The Lord has showed me that in direct proportion of someone’s hunger and thirst for truth he can fill them. So this link isn’t for the ones already in their mind set to deem it ok, this is for the one who reads comments blogs and wants to search it out fully to gain understanding and what it truly a weighty matter in this days and generation. And I want to say again I didn’t at all come to this blog to critique. I found this blog on a Google search about when to announce a
    Pregnancy scripturally so I could see if there were any scriptures on this and came across this site and the. Carys birth story. And I liked all I read I was pleasantly surprised God led me to it. So occasionally I was coming back on to see if anything was new. When I scrolled down I hit the read more on the blog on her bookshelf to yours. My spirit senses a lot of godless chatter but I was like okay Lord she’s just likes to read and talk about what she reads. Under the radar book club type of stuff, but then the Harry Potter one and I was like okay Lord, you brought me here knowing I can’t shut up about this I would be grieving my own spirit to know if this blog has any influence over anyone someone new of the faith can do what I first was doing “if a woman/man like this does it I can too. And oh no! Not everyone can! Thats the stumbling blocks warned about in Corinthians I know now! So here’s the link. http://jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Wicca%20&%20Witchcraft/harry_potter.htm