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On My Bookshelf: What I’m Reading in September

source: Mo Riza

For many years, I was so busy with my littles and working from home that I rarely made time to read. Then, I got a Kindle and picked up where I had left off many years before, reading 2-3 books a week. There are still times when I have to read less to make time for family events or work projects, but reading is my #1 choice for relaxing & learning, and I make time for it as much as I can!

My favorite source for reading material is Amazon’s free Kindle books. I’ve gotten almost 400 books over the last 18 months, and I’ve discovered more than a few authors and series that I love. Although I prefer to read on my iPad, Amazon offers free Kindle apps for your PC, Mac, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android or Windows 7 phone as well!

Here are the books I’m currently reading or have recently finished as well as what’s in my to-be-read pile. I’d love to hear what’s on your lists as well!

Current Reads

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Whitsom:

As of right now, Sixteen Brides is still FREE for the Kindle, and I really enjoyed this story. It was a little tough to keep all of the characters straight at first, but once I had them figured out, I was caught up in their story in no time. Sixteen women head West to the frontier to begin a new life, tricked into the trip with the promise of free homesteads when really they’re being set up as eligible brides. With no interest in marrying, some of the women struggle to make it on their own, discovering their own strength, unexpected friendship, faith and, yes, true love along the way.

Elisha’s Bones by Don Hoesel:

After reading the entire Eden Thrillers series last month, I was excited to read this Elisha’s Bones this month. I don’t typically enjoy Indiana Jones-type movies, so I am still surprised that this has become one of my favorite genres, but I really enjoyed the action and intrigue in this fast-paced story as professor of antiquities Jack Hawthorne embarks on a dangerous search for Elisha’s bones, and I literally gasped out loud more than once while reading it!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett:

Although it’s generally considered a no-no, my husband and I saw The Help in theaters before I had a chance to read the book. I loved the movie so much that I immediately bought and read the book, and for the first few chapters I thought I actually preferred the movie. However, the deeper you get into the story, the more you realize how much content is missing from the screen version (and without making the movie 5 hours long, I’m not sure they had much choice but to leave some out), and I really enjoyed the more complete story of the book. I will say that the movie was much more emotionally charged for me, but that didn’t make me enjoy the book any less!

Clear Blue Sky by F.P. Lione:

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw a fiction story written around the events of September 11th; however, F.P. Lione is a former cop and loyal New Yorker, and I was anxious to see how he approached it. In the beginning I wasn’t sure I’d be able to read the whole thing because the writing style is kind of “gritty”, and not the style I typically read. At times it feels forced, and at other times I can’t put it down! It’s Christian fiction, so the topic of faith comes up a lot, but I really love that there’s no pie-in-the-sky sugar coating as the main character, Tony Cavalucci, wrestles with his new faith. It’s realistic and takes a look at some hard issues. I’m currently reading Clear Blue Sky and I haven’t yet gotten to that Tuesday morning, so I’m still anxious to see how the author handles 9/11, but as a survivor of those attacks himself, I have a feeling it will be somewhat autobiographical and worth the read!

The Food Cure for Kids: A Nutritional Approach to Your Child’s Wellness by Natalie Geary M.D. and Oz Garcia PhD:

I mentioned last month that The Food Cure for Kids was on my reading list, and when I started reading it last week, I knew I needed to include a review in this post. To put it simply, I love this book. I love the approach the authors take, which is not to discount the valuable role that pediatricians play or to automatically declare that all doctors have been bought by Big Pharma, but to simply provide more in-depth information about the role that nutrition plays in children’s health. I love their homeopathic remedies (like garlic oil for ear infections) as well as the links they show between diet choices and common childhood illnesses (like the one between head colds and allergies and too much dairy or wheat). As we continue exploring the issues our youngest is facing — and as we march toward another cold & flu season after being hit hard last year — I am absorbing everything I can from this book!

Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks:

This book is the basis for the 6-week drawing unit we do in Classical Conversations (our homeschooling program), and as a tutor this year, it was on my references list to buy. I am really fascinated by the method outlined in Drawing with Children because my dad is very artistic, but I got absolutely none of that natural talent. However, our 5-year-old seems to have gotten her artistic abilities from her Daddy and Gramps, and I am planning to use many of these methods with her (and our other girls) at home because they just seem to click and make sense for all of us.

On the Shelf

I don’t typically read fiction bestsellers or the books that everybody is talking about — with the exception of The Help! — so there’s no telling which fiction books I’ll read in the coming month. However, I usually have an ever-growing pile of non-fiction. This month, I’ve only added one new book to my wish list, and I will probably read it as soon as I finish Clear Blue Sky because it looks so good:

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman

Emily Freeman blogs at Chatting at the Sky, and I’ve been seeing mentions of Grace for the Good Girl for months now since she finished writing it. I don’t know if I’m more drawn by the topic of the book (Grace for the Good Girl is pretty self-explanatory) or by Emily’s writing style, which is kind of like Ann Voskamp’s, although not as flowery, and makes me just want to take a deep breath and soak it all in!
Amazon description: “Many of us believe that we are saved by grace–but for too many, that’s the last time grace defines our life. Instead of clinging to grace, we strive for good and believe that the Christian life means hard work and a sweet disposition. As good girls, we focus on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakable good moods. When we fail to measure up to our own impossible standards, we hide behind our good girl masks, determined to keep our weakness a secret. In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites women to let go of the try-hard life and realize that in Christ we are free to receive from him rather than constantly try to achieve for him. With an open hand and a whimsical style, Emily uncovers the truth about the hiding, encouraging women to move from hiding behind girl-made masks and do-good performances to a life hidden with Christ in God.”

What are you currently reading? What’s in your to-be-read pile?