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.

What We’ve Been Reading – July 2020

What We’ve Been Reading – July 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

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Siri Mitchell, but OH MY WORD. This one…seriously the first book in ages that I literally couldn’t put down and read way too late into the night. Usually, even fantastic books don’t inspire me to miss my bedtime. (Because hello, when you’re as busy as I am, sleep is sacred! LOL) But I devoured this book in just a couple evenings. So, so good! It’s pure suspense and will keep you guessing throughout.

For Edits

I adore princess books!!!! And Hannah Currie is AMAZING. She took a character I was annoyed with in book 1 and made me totally fall in love with her as she delved deep into Princess Alina’s vulnerabilities. The spiritual growth is just breathtaking. By the end, I was sitting there with sticky notes, frantically writing down all the great lines so I could quote them, LOL. For instance, “In God I’d finally found the strength to stand, and all I wanted to do was kneel.” *Sniff, sniff

New-to-Me

I’ve been meaning to read something by Toni Shiloh for years–I know how awesome she is as a person, so I figured her books had to be fabulous too. I just hadn’t found the time to read one. But I adored the cover of The Trouble with Love so tossed it to the top of my TBR stack, and I’m so glad I did! This book was fun, insightful, had great characters, a fabulous faith journey, and overall left me eager for the sequel. My first Toni Shiloh, but it won’t be my last!

On Audio

I picked Black by Ted Dekker solely because I hadn’t read anything by him in ages and it was available, LOL. I have to say, this one was…strange. Interesting. Fascinating. I was alternately thrilled and frustrated with the dual timelines, but the sheer creativity of it kept me coming back morning after morning to listen to more. It ends on a TOTAL cliff-hanger, and my library didn’t have the second volume in the same format, so I started the sequel in an ebook instead and (I confess) haven’t yet finished. Definitely a fascinating idea for a series!

With the Kids

Or with my teen daughter, anyway. And by “with,” I mean we took turns with the book. 😉 Because, you know…princess books, LOL. So I had mixed feelings on The Betrothed. It was great–great writing, really nicely drawn characters, very well done. But it took me a while to be on board with where I saw she was taking it. And just when I finally got on board, she threw this ENORMOUS twist at me! The ending…well, let’s just say book 2 had better come soon, because I am NOT satisfied with how this one left me, LOL.

Also for Book Club

Jocelyn Green always writes amazing books, and Veiled in Smoke was no exception! I loved the journeys of each member of this family as they battled their own demons and were caught up in a mystery, all against the backdrop of the Great Chicago Fire. I learned so much about the event and the reconstruction afterward, and there were some amazing plot twists too! Hilariously, days after finishing this one, Jocelyn contacted me about endorsing the sequel, so I’ve also just finished that–it’s amazing too, but I’ll talk more about it closer to its release, LOL. GREAT SERIES!!

Rachel here! This summer, I haven’t done AS much reading as I’d like. Thankfully, the books I have read, have been really good! We’ve been in transition with selling our house and moving in with family until our new home is ready. <3 I've been on a pretty serious Young Adult kick right now![/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure="1_2,1_2" _builder_version="4.5.1" _module_preset="default"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="4.5.1" _module_preset="default"][et_pb_blurb title="For Book Club" image="https://www.roseannamwhite.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/The-Wind-in-the-Willows.jpg" _builder_version="4.5.1" _module_preset="default"]

We’ve picked up Book Club this month after a few months off. While we may be meeting virtually…We are just happy to be reading together again!

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For Fun

It’s amazing how your view of books and characters change. I’ve always adored this book…and the last time I read it I was still in High School. This time around…I actually liked Amy *gasp* I know…Revolutionary! But I saw her through different eyes this time. And she definitely grew on me. There are other aspects of Little Women that stood out to me this time around too.

For Review

Oh.My.Word! I had the privilege of reading Dust for review. Such an amazing Peter Pan retelling!

With the Kids

I love.Love.LOVE our curriculum. We read so many books together! Next year, I’ll be homeschooling 2 kiddos. Kindergarten and third grade. I’m a little nervous…but super excited! Since my Kinder already sat through most of the read-alouds when his brother was in Kindergarten, I might be changing up the reading list this year.This story was an interesting look into the culture of the Florida backwoods.

Holiday Book Buying Guide – Non-Fiction

Holiday Book Buying Guide – Non-Fiction

Time to wrap up this series! I’m not traditionally a big non-fiction reader, but thanks to listening to a lot of audiobooks as I exercise, I’ve broadened my horizons quite a bit in the last year. 😀 And since we all know those people who only read non-fiction–or just those who enjoy it in addition to fiction–of course we need some ideas on books to buy for them too!

Love Does and Everybody Always
by Bob Goff
and
Love Lives Here
by Maria Goff

I’m listing all three of these together because I love the full picture they give you together. I read the first two of these last year, but I didn’t get around to listening to Love Lives Here until this year. All three are high on my list of recommended reading! The Goffs have done some amazing work, and more, they have an amazing outlook on what it really means to walk in Christ’s love. I’d call them life-changing for sure. They’re all written with wit and humor, but they convey some of the most series messages we’ll ever hear–that loving others as Christ loves us isn’t optional, and when we do it, we change the world…one life at a time. READ THESE BOOKS. And they make fabulous gifts!
Love Does
Everybody Always
 Big Magic
by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is not a Christian book. Just stating that upfront. There’s some language in it, and some of the ideas are decided not Christian. That said–it’s an amazing look at creativity, and one I’d recommend for artists of any sort. The title comes from the idea that there’s something she calls literally-magical about ideas–the way they move from person to person, insisting on finding an outlet at a given time. Ever notice how people have similar book ideas, even though they’ve never talked? Or movies? Yeah, that’s the “big magic” she’s talking about. I left this book with some new takes on the creative process and its place in the world that I know are going to stick with me. Really great read (or listen).

All these^ non-fiction books by C. S. Lewis

How’s that for a title? LOL. Seriously, we bought this box set of C. S. Lewis’s non-fiction that includes The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, A Grief Observed, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, Abolition of Man, and The Four Loves. I’ve read about half of them thus far and am fully convinced that Lewis was one of the most brilliant thinkers of the last century (not that this is news to anyone, of course…). This box set, available from various retailers in the $25-40 range, would make a fabulous gift for anyone who enjoys theology/philosophy books in general, but they’re also super approachable for people like me who usually prefer fiction! Lewis has a very accessible writing style and is clearly talking to everyday people, not seminary students. Highly, highly, highly recommended.


A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War
by Joseph Loconte

Fans of J. R. R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, and history in general will enjoy this look at how these two men were not only shaped by their experiences in World War One, but how they, unlike most of their contemporaries, took those experiences and let God use them to draw them closer to Him and end up shaping generations of people through their books. I loved learning more about how these two became friends and encouraged one another, and also to see how faith played a role in their lives. I’d never really examined the backdrop of their writing–a world that had gone cold to religion after the horrors of the Great War–but this book painted it for me in vivid light. I read it primarily as research for the world in which my books are set, and also because I admire both men as writers. It was a fascinating read.

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science 
of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
by Rory Sutherland 


My husband had heard about this book as a great one for studying marketing, and he enjoyed it so much that I listened to our audio version too–and loved it. If you’re involved in any sort of business, this is a fantastic read about thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing and promotion. It’s full of practical advice and tons of real-world examples and, best of all, filled me with ideas as I was listening to it. And that’s the sure sign of a good book on this subject! I really enjoyed listening to the audio version, read by the author, as his personality and dry English humor come shining through. I am SO a fan of that, LOL. Definitely a fun one for anyone looking for some fresh ways to bridge the gap between consumer and seller!


How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie

This is my most recent read (or listen, as the case may be) in non-fiction, and I find myself thinking of its precepts ALL THE TIME. The idea of this book is to revolutionize the way we interact–specifically in the workplace, but it applies to family life, church life, and pretty much every other place we find ourselves dealing with other people too. This is an old book, originally published in the 1920s, but it’s been updated a bit here and there with some added modern examples. I absolutely loved every minute of it and plan to read it out loud to my kids in the next year, because it’s full of life-lessons that just can’t be beat. I find myself thinking constantly now about how I can change my approach to people to better communicate with them. This is really a must-read for everyone!
Amazon


Rachel’s Picks


The Brave Art of Motherhood: Fight Fear, Gain Confidence, and Find Yourself Again

by Rachel Marie Martin


I am not a huge fan of nonfiction typically. But this book really got me. SO many important and incredible insights, encouragement, and truths. Definitely recommend it to all moms!


Memory Making Mom
by Jessica Smartt
This book is INCREDIBLE! I love LOVE traditions and making my home and family come together and make memories together. And I really appreciate that Jessica emphasizes that we don’t need to do EVERYTHING suggested…but to try 1 or 2 things and go from there. check it out! Because it’s incredible!
Holiday Book Buying Guide – Contemporary Fiction

Holiday Book Buying Guide – Contemporary Fiction

Time to get back to book recommendations! This week I want to focus on contemporary fiction, and then I’ll wrap up the series on Friday with non-fiction.

Contemporary Fiction

Hold the Light and Shine the Light
by April McGowan

The second of these books released last spring, and while you could read them independently, they’re related, with best friends for heroines. Each book tackles hard subjects, but in a way that shows how God really shines through them. In Hold the Light, Amber is an artist who learns she’s losing her eyesight. What do we do when everything we thought was important is stripped away? Paired with a beautiful love story, this one was one of my favorites–so when April said she was writing best-friend Shannon’s story too, I couldn’t wait! And was totally blown away. Shine the Light highlights the homeless problem that Portland faces in a way that shows love along with reality, and also touches on PTSD and mental health issues. Most of all, though, they’re just fabulous stories with characters so real you’ll think of them at odd times forever after!
Hold the Light
Shine the Light
Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations
by V. Joy Palmer

Oh. My. Gracious. If you need a good laugh, look no further than these books! Gilmore Girls meets Say Yes to the Dress in these wedding-themed, snarky-voiced contemporary romances full of coffee addicts and potato-chip-obsessed heroines, and the men lucky enough to snag their hearts. The heroines are all best friends and roommates, so it’s super fun to follow them into “their stories”–In book 1, Izzy is a bridal consultant in her aunt’s bridal salon; in book 2, we actually get two romances as twin sisters Apryl and Courtney (reluctantly) accept the challenge of reviving their beloved grandmother’s antique shop, giving it a wedding-venue focus. So. Much. Fun!

Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations
Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | READ

The If I Run series
by Terri Blackstock

This series actually finished up in 2018, but they remain some of my absolute favorite romantic suspense novels EVER, and the fact that you can buy the whole set makes them perfect for gifting. =) The storytelling is stunning, action-packed and thrilling, and the character development just left me thoroughly impressed. It’s hard to make the “romance” element as strong as I’d like it to be in romantic suspense novels because of how much action there is, but Terri Blackstock did a stellar job, building it over three books. Love these stories!!
Mind Games
by Nancy Mehl

This has to be one of the most unique reads of my 2019. The premise is that our heroine, a young FBI profiler, is the daughter a serial killer who was caught when she was a child. Needless to say, she has a few issues–and a burning need to catch others like her father. She’s legally changed her name, but her family’s past seems to be catching up to her when a new serial killer emerges and is pointed directly at her. A serial killer who clearly knows who her father was. Definitely a must-read!! The next book in the series just came out, and it’s my January book club read. I’m so looking forward to it!

A Secret to Die For
by Lisa Harris

This was another romantic suspense that left me thoroughly impressed. Lisa Harris writes a savvy heroine who holds her own against the bad guys she kind of inherits–she’s a psychologist, and one of her patients turns up dead…and has left her in possession of what the bad dudes are after. In addition to great characters, the plot of this one seriously makes you think.

Rachel’s Pick

Bradford Sisters Series
by Becky Wade

Sisters! Each with a challenge to overcome, a charming (and swoony) hero, hidden secrets, faith, redemption, and LOVE! Becky Wade’s series swept me off my feet and I am so in love with this family! There is even an accompanying Christmas story!