On My Bookshelf {August 2013}

Last week I announced that we’ll be changing the format of our online book club from a weekly post to a monthly post and going back to our old series name, “On My Bookshelf”.

There are a few reasons for this:

1. While I started off the year reading 2-3, sometimes even 4, books per week, that number has dropped significantly because of the exhaustion of pregnancy and the number of projects I have on my to-do list before our baby is born. Looking at past years, though, that looks like a fairly consistent pattern for me, and it would seem that I just do more reading in the winter months than I do later in the year.

2. Because I’m not reading a ton, sometimes not even finishing one book per week, I just feel silly posting! We started adding questions to the weekly posts, which was fun and made the posts feel like they were a little bit more worth your time, but honestly? Coming up with those topics on a weekly basis is getting tough too!

3. While I love the rhythm that a weekly post gives the blog, I don’t want to post just for the sake of posting. I think moving back to a monthly post is a great way to be able to continue sharing our reading lists without just creating filler posts three weeks out of four!

I’d love to know what you’re reading as well! My hope is that the monthly format will also make it easier for you to participate. I’ll post my list and a linky on the first Monday of each month (I know today is Tuesday, but in the future…). You can post your list(s) at any time before that and then add the link to the linky once it’s live!

Books I Finished

On that note, I’m sorry happy to report that I finished just one book over the past few weeks. I think that when it takes me too long to get through a book, I start to lose my motivation, and Mansfield Park has become the book I don’t want to read…even though I’m enjoying it. But I wasn’t feeling well last week and decided to pick up an easy read for while I rested, so I grabbed Rise, the third book in the Eve series, which I’d started in the fall, and read it in a couple of days. This isn’t exactly great literature, but I enjoyed zoning out with a book nonetheless!

Books the Girls Finished

We still have not gotten into a consistent read-aloud routine, but I’m giving myself until we start the new school year to figure that out. In the meantime, our two oldest take turns reading out loud to each other and their little sisters (something I encourage but don’t require because I don’t want it to turn into a chore), which I absolutely love to listen to.

Our two big girls are quickly moving through the Nancy Drew Notebooks series. I bought a lot of 26 of the books off eBay, and I think they’ve probably each finished half of them already. It has led to hours and hours of play — pretending they’re Nancy Drew and solving cases, writing their own Nancy Drew stories, recreating the stories from the book and even writing a play — and at this point our little girls know as much about the characters and cases as the big girls do!

It’s been fun to see how they interact with a series, as opposed to a single book, and I’ve become more convinced of the value of series as I’ve watched them.

I’m hoping they’ll finish the rest of the books we have before we start the new school year because they’ll have a little more required reading then and I don’t want to have to compete with the series they love.

On My Reading List for August

I’m still reading both Last Child in the Woods and Mansfield Park, but I’m adding a few more “lighter” books to my list as well for this month. My biggest problem with Last Child in the Woods is I have to read it during the day and with a pen handy because I make so many notes in it as I go. Unfortunately, most of my reading time has been before falling asleep at night, when I just want to read on my Kindle!

To see if I can rediscover my reading mojo, I went through my very long Amazon wishlist and looked for any books that were on sale for less than $5 and decided to start with those, which gave me this list for August:

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Ender’s Game: 1 by Orson Scott Card
  • Defiance (Courier’s Daughter) by C. J. Redwine
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (not to be confused with Fifty Shades of Grey, which I won’t be reading)

We have a 10-day trip to Florida scheduled this month, which may or may not help me get through the list faster; we’ll see!

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Mandi Ehman is the founder and publisher behind Life Your Way and the co-author of All in Good Time, as well as a wife and the homeschooling mom to four beautiful girls. She lives with her family on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia and loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.