Reading in 2013 (Jan.–July)


I made a goal to read 20 books in 2013, and I’m there!  My Kindle Paperwhite has really made it a lot easier to read because of the built-in light.  I gained some hours of reading that previously were lost – waiting for Little Bird to fall asleep or long nighttime drives.  The e-reader is such an awesome invention.  I held off on getting one for a long time, considering myself a book purist, but once I did get one I was hooked.  Carrying a lot of different books, being able to categorize them, ease of page-turning, auto-bookmarking…it’s all great.  {I even prefer it to books in most cases…Sitting by the pool with my kids is not one of them.}

I thought I would share what I’ve been reading this year.  I’m going to split my list into things that I’ve re-read this year, novels, and non-fiction/e-books.

What I’ve been re-reading (because some books you just need to read more than once):

  • Harry Potter 4, 5, 6, and 7 – When Amazon announced that the Harry Potter series would be available as part of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, I was so thrilled.  Each month I would download the next Harry Potter and read it in a few days at the beginning and then wait all month to be able to read the next one.  This is a really fantastic series (if, for some reason, you haven’t read it), and I loved it all over again.


  • A Study in Scarlett, The Sign of the Four, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I love the new BBC adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, so I thought the best way to wait out the break between seasons was to read the original stories.
  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – A young couple moves out to a lighthouse 1000 miles off the Australian coast, hoping to start a family.  Tragedy strikes, and decisions are made and regretted.  Absolutely heartbreaking.  Beautifully written.
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett – A group of distinguished guests, including a family opera singer, are taken hostage by a militant group in a developing nation.  Lovely story about the power of music and shared trials.  Loved it until the very end.  I’m talking the epilogue.  Too weird of a twist for me.
  • Serendipity by Louise Schaffer – A generational story about the dissonance that often occurs between mothers and daughters and the pain that happens in the absence of communication.
  • Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult – This Picoult novel explores the controversy surrounding ending life support when the victim has virtually no chance of recovery.  Interesting side notes into understanding wolf relationships.  A definitely page-turner.
  • The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen – Historical fiction exploring the life of Mary Bowswer, a real Civil War Union spy who voluntarily gave up her freedom to spy on Jefferson Davis as a slave in his house.  Very interesting read.
  • The Sisterhood by Helen Bryant – Weaves together history surrounding an ancient convent in Spain, another convent in South America, and the present day.  Loved the premise and most of the story, but there were too many gaps in the storyline for me to really like it after I was finished.  I was disappointed because some important things weren’t resolved.  It is available through the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.


  • It Takes a Parent to Raise a Child: 9 Principles for Families to Love and Live By by Glen C. Griffin – I really liked this parenting book.  It’s pretty basic stuff, but reading the basic stuff always helps me regain a big picture on the whole family and parenting thing.
  • Embracing Beauty by Trina Holden – I liked the biblical perspectives on making ourselves beautiful, and there was a great piece of advice on finding personal neutrals, which was helpful to me now that I am re-doing my whole wardrobe.
  • The No-Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley Morgan – Another good book for someone trying to streamline their closet.  Goes into detail for the specific pieces you should own as well as what works for different body types.
  • 5 Minute Reading Tricks: for raising rockstar readers by Amy Mascott – Great short tips on increasing literacy.  This is one that I want to print out and be able to flip through to apply to my littles and our home culture of literacy.
  • Honoring the Rhythm of Rest by Daniele Evans – A short e-book about the importance of finding down time.  Quick and inspirational.
  • Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae – Most applicable to those who struggle with making getting dressed in real clothes part of their routine, which I don’t have a problem with personally.
  • The Homemaker’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule by Amy Roberts – This e-book has good information on developing a family routine or rhythm (and the difference between the two), which is something I always feel like is lacking in my home, so I am working on following the advice on starting where we are and not necessarily trying to impose some schedule ex nihilo.
  • The Playful Family by Shawn Ledington Fink – Great ideas emphasizing the importance of loosening up your mood as a parent and, consequently, the atmosphere in your home.  It connects well with It Takes a Parent because one of those principles is making your home a happy place to be.  I really liked the part on saying “yes” more often.
  • The Family Camping Handbook by Katie Kimball – Inspiring a love of nature in my kids is very important to me, and so we hope to spend more time camping as a family in the future.  I read this right before our recent campout and there is some information in here that makes camping-specifically camping preparation-a lot more organized and less stressful.  It also has a lot of good information on making healthier versions of classic camping food.

What have you read this year?  Do you like to read e-books?