What We’ve Been Reading – April 2021

What We’ve Been Reading – April 2021

April showers bring May flowers…And a whole lot of good books! What are you reading this Spring? Don’t forget that The Nature of a Lady releases on Tuesday!

Roseanna’s Reads

With the Kids

The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum

This middle grade set in Holland during the closing days of World War II is one of my favorites from the school year! I love the view of the war from a young boy’s eyes, the adventure, the danger, and all I learned about Holland through this great novel.

On Audio

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Okay, I totally borrowed this one from my library solely because it was available, I’d heard people talking about it forever, and thought, “Sure, why not?” And I found it totally charming. I loved the brightness and innocence of the main character–and the audio narrator was FANTASTIC. I hear the other books in the series aren’t so bright-and-innocent so I’ll probably stop here, but I’m glad I listened!

For the Edit

The Rock by Cara Grandle
WhiteFire’s May release made it into my work schedule in April too! The Rock takes readers from Missouri to Oregon, though the Trail portion is skipped over…which is great, because we all REALLY just want to see heroine Rebecca actually meet hero Clark. 😉 This is a totally charming historical romance, reminiscent of the “sweet spot” Christian historicals I grew up on. So glad there are more in the series!

For Book Club

Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright
I’ve been wanting to read this one so finally plugged it into my book club’s lineup. 😉 And I’m glad I did! As usual, Jaime proves herself a master of the timeslip novel. In this one it’s a family mystery the heroine is trying to solve, and gracious, there were some twists I didn’t see coming!

For Fun

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
I’ve been slowly working my way through the Harry Potter series and finally broke down and bought the paperbacks after listening to several and then getting one from the library on Kindle. And good grief, this thing’s so big it hurts my wrist if I try to hold it one-handed! LOL. But I’m definitely loving the series more and more as I go along!

Rachel’s Reads

As the school year starts to wind down, I’m finding more time to read again, and I’m so excited! I have been all over the board this month from Magical Realism to Contemporary Romance to some Classics!

For Fun

A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy
Escape to India in this lovely adventure! Although I’m not a huge fan of insects and other crawlers…I did find this story very interesting and engaging. I loved learning about India and entomology (specifically the butterflies). A new-to-me author who I can’t wait to read more from and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting.

Buddy Read

Seasons of the Storm by Elle Cosimano
While I’m not currently in an active Book Club, my bestie and I decided to read this one together. We both got it from The Bookish Box last year and finally got around to reading it. This is a General Market Young Adult (some language and kissing) book that combines elemental magic with a little sci-fi. Very intriguing and I read it in 3 days….that doesn’t usually happen to me anymore.

On Audio

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
I absolutely LOVE Jane Austen’s books. And it has been quite a while since I’ve read any of them, that I decided to listen to a couple this year as I drive back and forth from workout classes. I love Elinor Dashwood. She is definitely one of my favorites of Austen.

With the Kids

Om-Kas-Toe by Kenneth Thomasma
We read this book as part of school and I really enjoyed the (fictional) glimpse into the Blackeet experience with horses (Elkdogs) being introduced to their people.

What We’ve Been Reading – March 2021

What We’ve Been Reading – March 2021

Where has February gone? In my opinion, it’s just too short. 😉 Although I didn’t get very much reading done this month, there are some really good books I recommend on this list. 🙂 Happy Reading!

Roseanna’s Reads

With the Kids

A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt by C. Coco De Young
A Depression-era set small novel, this one is set close to home in Johnstown, PA, and is based on the author’s family’s experience of nearly losing their family home in the 1920s…until a brave letter to the president’s wife changes everything.

For Bookclub

Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell
SO GOOD. This one was packed with tension, little-known facts, danger, and just enough romance. I’m really loving Siri Mitchell’s contemporary suspense!

With the Kids

The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden
This is a story with a really unique telling…that I really love. It’s about two siblings in London who go way out of their way to give their cook what she most desires: a small picture of Madonna and Child for the kitchen. So sweet and touching!

For Bookclub Too

To Dwell Among Cedars by Connilyn Cossette
I love all of Conni’s books, and this one was no exception! And intriguing view of what might have happened when the Ark was sent back into Hebrew territory by the plague-struck Philistines, this novel is thrilling, romantic, and deep.

Rachel’s Reads

For Fun

Beauty Among Ruins by J’nell Ciesielski
My turn to list this one. WOW! I loved this story. A brooding Scottish Laird, the middle of WWI, mysterious “accidents”…Oh and a Scottish war cry preceeding a kiss….Most definitely recommend!

Tackling the TBR

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Do you have any movies that you refuse to watch until you’ve read the book? This is one for me. I’m happy to say that I’m half way through this book and absolutely loving it! I was a bit hesitant on the format (all in letters), but it is really well done!

Also for Fun

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen
Stories by Julie Klassen are my cozy go-to reads. Opening one of her books is like drinking a soothing cup of tea while wrapped in a cozy blanket. Don’t get me wrong…There is plenty of action and bad guys, as well as sweet romance. But I think because Julie’s books are what got me back into reading 7 years ago…They are comforting.

With the Kids

Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw (A Sam London Adventure)
I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while and we decided to give it a go. It is a fun adventure with magical creatures. We aren’t very far into it yet. I’d be grateful for book recommendations to read-aloud with my 7 and 8 year old boys.

What We’ve Been Reading – February 2021

What We’ve Been Reading – February 2021

Where has February gone? In my opinion, it’s just too short. 😉 Although I didn’t get very much reading done this month, there are some really good books I recommend on this list. 🙂 Happy Reading!

Roseanna’s Reads

For the Edit

The Secret Place by Camille Eide
Really enjoyed this deep contemporary. Though dealing with crucial topics like motherhood, sisterhood, honesty, and selfless love, it also has a narrator with a witty voice and some hilarious moments with a 4-year-old boy, for a total win.

With the Kids

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
I loved this book the first time I read it to the kids a few years ago, and I’m loving it even more this time after having done some independent research on the history of racism, especially in the 20th century. This book definitely deserves all its acclaim!

With the Kids

Little Britches by Ralph Moody
This autobiographical tale about a young boy who lived a few years as a rancher in Colorado with his family is an amazing slice-of-life story from the turn of the last century. Definitely a great read with the kids to show them how hard a homesteading life was…but also how worth it.

For Fun

Beauty Among Ruins by J’Nell Ciesielski
Okay, so I’ve only just started this one, but I couldn’t resist when the press release said it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling! And hello, Scottish castle! And the Great War, so of course right up my alley! I’ll have to let you know next month my final thoughts beyond “Oo, fun concept and setting!” You know, when I’m further than chapter three. 😉

Rachel’s Reads

For Fun

Veilded in Smoke by Jocelyn Green
I know book 2 JUST came out…but that’s how behind I am on my reading. Eeeep! But this story is absolutely FANTASTIC! Genuiniely in love with this story.

On Audio

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
It’s been quite some time since I’ve read The Lord of the Rings. And as I’ve made a decision to read/reread as many classics as I can this year, I decided to put this one on audio. I’m about 25% of the way through now. I only listen in the car as I go to and from my workout classes…But I do enjoy filling the drive with this story.

With the Kids

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
We read this one as part of school and my 3rd grader really enjoyed it. The cadence, the suspense, the adventure…he was enthralled.

Also for Fun

Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White
I mentioned being behind on reading right? I am only know finishing this remarkable story by our very own Roseanna White. I LOVE everything about this story! The characters have taken up residence in my heart and I just admire them and love them! Except the antagonist….ooooh he burns my biscuits.

With the Kids

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Continuing with our nightly reading as a family through this month has been so rewarding. It’s an excellent time for us to all come together and unwind for the evening.

What We’ve Been Reading – January 2021

What We’ve Been Reading – January 2021

Welcome to a New Year! We are kicking off this year with a book release! Dreams of Savannah released on January 5th and if you haven’t snagged a copy yet, you can order a SIGNED copy from my shop HERE! And…coming in May 2021 is the launch of a brand new series. You can preorder The Nature of a Lady HERE.

We’re sharing a few of our recent reads with you today, but we want to know…What books have you been reading as we kick off 2021?

Roseanna’s Reads

In the last few weeks, I’ve done plenty of reading…but none strictly for pleasure. Even so, I’ve added quite a few fabulous books to my list, including some of my favorites from this school year with the kids!

For the Edit

Delia and the Drifter by Melody Carlson
This one’s for an edit–book releases 2/15–and it’s very much a classic Western romance in some ways…and utterly surprising in others! I highly enjoyed my read!

On Audio

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
I listened to this one on audio, as I have the other 2, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, it took me until 3/4 of the way through to realize the narrator wasn’t saying “Serious Black” but rather “Sirius Black.” The quirks of audio, LOL. Looking forward to the next one!

With the Kids

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
I loved this pioneer story the first time we read it a few years ago, and I loved it just as much this time around. The titular character is adventurous, audacious, yet we see her grow from a wild tomboy to a loving sister and gracious young lady in the course of the year the book covers.

With the Kids

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty G. Birney
I absolutely love the premise of this book: a boy who thinks his town is so boring and wants to go see the world, and whose father promises him a trip to visit relatives if he can find seven Wonders of the World–er, town–in the next seven days. It’s full of delightful, homespun, miraculous stories, the likes of which are always surrounding us. Such a fun story!

For the Edit (too)

Heart of the Crown by Hannah Currie
The summation of the Daughters of Peverell princess books was soooooooo good! A satisfying end to the series and just a beautiful story in its own right!

Nonfiction

How to Fight Racism by Jemar Tisby
I’m not finished this one yet, but I’m excited to have a practical guide to understanding and fighting racism tendencies! I loved The Color of Compromise by the same author so snatched this helpful little book up as soon as I saw it.

With the Kids

The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson
This story of the original, massive Ferris Wheel for the Chicago World’s Fair is told from the point of view of an Irish lad who comes to America to seek his fortune and follow his aunt’s prophecy, that says he’ll follow a star westward and ride on the greatest wheel ever built. Such a fun slice of fictionalized history!

Rachel’s Reads

For Fun

I am a little obsessed with all things WWII right now. So when I received an ARC of Kristy Cambron’s new book, you’d better believe I tore into it immediately!

On Audio

My husband and I recently went on a road trip and decided to reread this one since the squeal just released. This is one of those books that is so drastically different from the movie that it feels like it’s a completely different story. (Some language)

With the Kids

We just finished this book as part of our school curriculum. My third grader read it all by himself, aloud to me…And he really loved learning about George Washington!

Because I'm Obsessed with WWII Reads...

I told you I was reading a lot of WWII right now….This story was INCREDIBLE!!! I highly recommend it. Takes place on US soil (mostly) during WWII and follows the incredible women who flew the planes all over the US for the military. (General Fiction)

With the Kids

Read-Aloud with the boys. My 8-year-old has discovered that he loves reading! We JUST started reading this one together as a family and will work on taking turns reading. We’ve read several books in the Narnia series to the boys when they were so young, they don’t rememeber them…Hence…starting over from the beginning.

Holiday Book Buying Guide 2020

Holiday Book Buying Guide 2020

This has been a pretty crazy year. As the holidays are upon us, you may be looking for a book for a friend, child, family member, or yourself…My assistant Rachel and I are here are some of our favorites this year!

This year I was struck with the call to be more purposeful in my love for people of color, so I’ve read a few books with that aim. Be the Bridge was the first, and it really helped open my eyes to the truth about diversity. It’s really approachable and easy to read, and it encourages what I think is the absolute most important step: to open a dialogue with people who don’t look like you and just be honest and open and loving.

One of the most fabulous suspense novels I’ve read in a long, long time! It was unique, SO well written, and is seriously one of the only books this year that lured me into reading past my bedtime.

If you have a teen girl in your life–or just a lover of princess stories–then Heart of a Royal and Heart of a Princess are a MUST! Hannah Currie writes with a wonderful voice, and the stories are the sort to take you by the heart as well as the imagination. And book 3 will be out in the new year!

Maybe you’re not one to usually read fantasy–I know I don’t very often–but oh my gracious. This trilogy is SO GOOD! Start with the first and, now that they’re all out, read them all together! The premise is that our heroine is from a family who can walk in other people’s dreams. The imagery used for the faith in this fantasy world…the themes explored…the adventure…the love. So good!

Both Benjy books (the first is Benjy and the Belsnickel) are wonderful reads for the middle schoolers in your life, especially the boys! My son absolutely loved these fun-filled stories of Benjy, a boy in the 1930s who wants to be good but just keeps falling into mischief. Highly recommended!

I’ve loved all of Bob Goff’s books, but this one is special; it gives actionable ideas and steps for turning our lives into bold, daring witnesses for the Lord. For searching for and finding the big dreams He instills in us and then running after them. I’m recommending this book for absolutely everyone! But don’t just read it. Do the work he challenges you to do. Make lists. Write down your actual thoughts and dreams. And then go out and chase them.

I’ve decided that I want to be Lisa Wingate when I grow up. 😉 Seriously, her books are all amazing. My fangirling really started with Before We Were Yours, which millions of other people have read and agree with me on how flawless it is. I found The Book of Lost Friends to be just as compelling and beautifully written, and so very timely. I listened to it in audio, but I’m going to be asking for a paperback for my keeper shelf for Christmas!

Any romantic comedy fans out there?? If so, you’d adore the three wedding-themed books by V. Joy Palmer. The series just came to a hilarious conclusion with this one, and it will so have you laughing and flying through even the pages, even while she deals with serious topics like forgiveness and overcoming some mental/emotional addictions. I loved all three of these books!

I read the first book in this series soon after it released and then had the honor of reading book 2 for endorsement. Can’t wait for the final installment! Jocelyn Green is one of my favorite authors, and these two books set in Chicago–first one during and after the Great Fire and the second during the World’s Fair–are just stunningly written, fully-engrossing stories. Veiled in Smoke and Shadows of the White City definitely need to go on your list!

If anyone on your list is a fan of snark and sarcasm, then this young-adult book will be right up their alley. The voice is hilariously filled with it, and the story itself is one of stretching ourselves and discovering that building relationships is worth more than anything else in life.

Rachel Dixon here…You might know me as Bookworm Mama…I am also Roseanna’s Virtual Assistant. I am so excited for Christmas this year! Our family has decided to start a new tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve! Our boys are 8 and 6 this year and they both love books as much as my husband and I do…So with our help, we all drew names and picked out a book for that person. 🙂 Here are some of my favorite books this year.

One of the best Young Adult books I have read. This novel blew me away! Clean fantasy, this story was a finalist for the Christy Award! The Winter King is a great story that had me on the edge of my seat till the final page.

Do you (or the person you are shopping for) enjoy a good suspense novel? The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus was a FABULOUS read! I adore everything that Jaime Jo Wright has published. And this newest book of hers really kept me guessing. Creepy and full of mystery!

If you have a child in your life that still likes picture books…You need this book! It is so.much.fun! You have to “rock” the dragon at one point, “knock on the door” to ask the neighbors to be quiet. OH it is so much fun!!!

This book made my soul and heart happy! A split-time romance with adventure and mystery. So good! And I highly recommend it! Amanda’s first novel won TWO Christy Awards this year too! Yay!!!

This was one of the first books I read this year…And WOW! This Austen inspired story has mystery, romance, and a healthy dose of Austen references and quotes. Young Adult genre.

My 8-year-old loves books! But trying to find books that he can read on his own easily, has not been easy. This book was in book box we received this summer and he has been devouring these books! This line of books (Harper Chapters) is a new type of book that is making our transition to chapter books easier for us all! The publisher recommends these books for ages 5-8.

What We’ve Been Reading – August 2020

What We’ve Been Reading – August 2020

It’s been a great summer for reading for me! This isn’t always the case, so that’s been a real treat. Of course, it means other things haven’t been getting done, but let’s not focus on that, LOL. For now, here are a few highlights, though not my exhaustive list!

For Book Club

Can you believe it…This was my first book by Karen Witemeyer that I’ve read! I know, I know…What took me so long? This will be my October book club selection, but I got a head start, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. =) I can definitely see why Karen Witemeyer is a reader favorite!

For Edits

A Voice Within the Flames by Henry O. Arnold

This biblical fiction from WhiteFire will release in December! It’s about the prophet Samuel and a bit about Saul, the first in a series that will take readers inside the prophets and kings. It’s a deep and compelling glimpse into these Old Testament stories!

Should Have Read it Long Ago

The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide

I know Camille is an AMAZING author, and I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages…finally picked it up this month and sailed through it in two breathtakingly-beautiful evenings. Such a deep, richly drawn story! This one’s highly deserving of all the acclaim it received with it released!!!

On Audio

Dream Big by Bob Goff

I knew I’d like this one simply because it’s by Bob Goff. What I didn’t realize was this would TOTALLY be talking my language! His focus in this book is all about our dreams and ambitions and how to know which ones to chase–and then chase them well. I’m so in love that I’ve already bought both audio and hardback and the journal and we’re hoping to do it with a group at church with the DVD sessions too!

For Fun

Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

Another author I can’t believe I hadn’t read! I needed to remedy that while I was on a reading-roll, so I grabbed the only book of hers I could put my hands on (I have others, but I must have loaned them out to my grandmother…I’ve been her library during quarantine, LOL). Though a few years old, Until the Dawn was a wonderful book! Thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to find some more Elizabeth Camden to read!

On Audio - NOT with the kids...

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

You’d think I’d be reading this with my kiddos…but nope, LOL. I put myself on the waiting list for this one months ago, and it finally came available, so I listened while I could! I think I enjoyed this one even more than the first, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. I think I might switch up and read book 3 in paper though…

Rachel Dixon here…You might know me as Bookworm Mama…I am also Roseanna’s Virtual Assistant. As the end of Summer draws near, I am looking forward to establishing a new routine with school and curling up with a cup of coffee, a blanket, and a cozy Fall read. Here is what I’ve been reading this month.

For Book Club

Heartless by Marissa Meyer is our book this month and this is my third time reading it. I ADORE this book so much! If you love a good retelling, you’ll be captivated by this re-imagining of the Queen of Hearts. It is brilliant! (SIDE NOTE: This is the UK version that I own.)

For Fun

It has been YEARS since I read The Secret Garden. And like with Little Women I was blown away by my perspective this time around. Mary Lennox isn’t the spoiled little child that annoyed me to pieces. My Mama’s heart had so much compassion for her. If you haven’t read it recently, I definitely recommend reading it. It is a quick read and would be perfect to read aloud with the family as well.

For Review

This book made my soul and heart happy! A split-time romance with adventure and mystery. So good! And I highly recommend it!

With the Kids

With Summer comes the discovery of new-to-us books. Our school curriculum is so packed with reading material that I have a hard time squeezing in extra “fun” reads. I’m going to try and amend that this year, and with us going fewer places during the week, I’m hoping that will help. Judah (3rd Grade this year) is reading really well, but we’ve been reading this one aloud because there are a few BIG words in there.