From the Family Bookshelf – October



It’s hard to believe another month has come and gone. Here in New England, the weather started to cool off a bit earlier than usual. We still have some nice days, but it’s chilly in the mornings. I fear winter will come early this year.

As for reading, I’ve been getting a lot done, just haven’t had time to write reviews. On the positive side, I love my new job. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  • The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick,
  • The Hybrid Author by Dianne Sagan,
  • A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer, which I read for the Amazon VINE program,
  • Real Skills, Real Income by Diana Schneidman,
  • Copycat Bear! by Ellie Sandall,
  • Harry and the Monster by Sue Mongredien, and
  • No! by Tracey Corderoy.

I am currently reading Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life by Pamela Smith Hill. I’m taking an online course on Laura Ingalls Wilder given by this author.

Dad is still making his way through The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. I’ll be amazed if he finishes it off before Christmas.

The Lil’ Princess is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl for a book report project at school. The Lil’ Diva has curbed some of her reading–not her book buying habits, but her actual reading–in favor of a young man she is talking to online. I’ve talked with him a few times. He’s a good kid. Thankfully, he lives far away, so she can only be so distracted by him. She recently finished The Lost Hero, part of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

That’s it for this month’s issue. Hope you’re getting to read some great books. Feel free to share.

From the Family Bookshelf – September



Hard to believe summer is nearly gone. It was a busy time for me, but an enjoyable one. The family traveled to North Carolina at the beginning of July, and then I went on an all girls trip to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. For the Lil’ Diva’s 13th birthday, we took the girls on a surprise trip to Disney. What a blast we had, but it was so HOT! The thermometer didn’t get below 95 degrees during the day while we there. I’m sure you’re all feeling sorry for me right now, huh?

I managed to get some reading done in between jaunts. I’m glad to be home with the girls back in school. Though with my new job I don’t have much free time, at least we’re on a schedule. In July I read, Renewal “Anytime” 10 Day Detox by Lisa Consiglio Ryan, When SHMACK Happens, an inspirational sports biography by international cycling champion Amber Neben, and A Grand Design by Amber Stockton and Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas–both Christian romances. On vacation I finished The Truth: Diary of a Gutsy Teen by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein. Right now, I’m reading The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick and The Hybrid Author by Dianne Sagan.

Poor Dad is still working on The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. He works too much, so he’s tired a lot of the time. He rarely gets an entire chapter done before falling asleep.

The Lil’ Diva received two $25 gift cards to Barnes and Noble for her birthday, so she splurged on books. In addition, I bought her America: Imagine the World without Her by Dinesh D’Souza, The Sound by Sara Alderson, and Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson. Then she won Fangirl and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell from the summer reading program. Also as part of the program, she got to order a free paperback. She chose If I Stay by Gayle Forman. She’s working her way through her new books right now.

The Lil’ Princess managed to read enough to complete her goal for the summer reading program, but then called it quits for the summer. She’ll have a busy fall, so I guess it’s okay that she slacked off. She also won a raffle during the library’s summer reading program. We definitely had a great summer. I hope you did too.

That’s it for this edition of From the Family Bookshelf. Hope you’ll share some of what you’ve been reading. Have a great day and keep reading!

From the Family Bookshelf – July



We’re still on vacation right now, but that means we’ve had a chance to get some reading done. Both girls signed up for the library’s summer reading program. The Lil’ Diva has already surpassed her goal. The Lil’ Princess is making her way to her goal.

Since our arrival, the Lil’ Diva has read Love? Maybe by Heather Hepler, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, and Draw the Dark by Ilsa J. Bick. The Lil’ Princess brought Half Upon a Time by James Riley with her from home, but she’s been tied up reading the recently released Dork Diaries 7: Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star by Rachel Renee Russell. We bought it this week at Downtown Books in Manteo.

Dad has actually gotten some reading in too. He’s still slowly reading Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King. He’s also reading The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman.

As for me, I’ve been trying to catch up on my massive TBR pile. Before we left, I had read Four Corners or A Book That Will Tickle Your Intellectual Nipple by Cary Smith and Breath of Spring by Charlotte Hubbard. Since we got here, I’ve managed to read A Nation Under Judgment by Richard Capriola and Corrie ten Boom by Kaylena Radcliff, part of the Torchlighters Series. I’m in the middle of Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey by Valerie Estelle Frankel.

That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. Hope you’re enjoying your week.

From the Family Bookshelf – June




Crazy life means not as much reading. I can’t stand it. Actually, my girls are reading, I’m not–at least, not as much as I would like. Since my last update I’ve read:

Where Do Belly Buttons Come From? by Jeffery Warren Scott
I Am Abraham by Jerome Charyn
Sleep Tight, Anna Banana! by Dominique Roques
Self-Publishing a Book by Hank Quense
Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
The Coziest Place by Jamie Michalak
The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E. Andreu
A Rainbow of Birds by Janet Halfmann
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Steam & Strategem by Chris Hoare
Do’s and Don’ts by Hayley Rose
Murder in the Worst Degree by F.M. Meredith
A Comedy of Erin by Celia Bonaduce
The Author’s Training Manual by Nina Amir
Eat Like A Woman by Staness Jonekos
Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic
Man’s Rejection of God by RL Keller
The Education of George Washington by Austin Washington
Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Dad finished off The Candy Bomber: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlight and America’s Finest Hour by Andrei Cherny, which led to us learning some interesting local history. We didn’t know our hometown of Chicopee, MA was so instrumental in this mission The residents of the city–even school children–got involved in receiving candy shipments and attaching the candy to parachutes for them to be flown out to where they needed to go. He’s now reading Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King his favorite author.

The Lil’ Diva has discovered that reading is a great way to pass the time, so she’s devouring books lately. After polishing off the Matched series, she moved on to The Mortal Instruments series. She also read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and saw the movie this weekend. Other books she has read lately: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. She’s currently reading, Looking for Alaska by John Green.

I’ve lost track of all that the Lil’ Princess is reading. She has no less than six books in her backpack right now. At home, we’ve read The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes by Marlane Kennedy and last night finished Pie by Sarah Weeks.

That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. Hope you’ll share some of your most recent reads.

From the Family Bookshelf – February


Oh, my goodness. I was looking how long it has been since I posted one of these columns and I am shocked. The last one was posted in September. Where did the time go?

Okay, I actually have an answer for that. This fall was super crazy around here–crazier than normal if you can believe it. I had two writers conferences, plus the Lil’ Princess had soccer from the end of August until the beginning of November. Oh, I was looking for work at the same time, too. Then there were chorus and violin concerts and…

You get my drift. Motherhood and family time must take precedence over blogging. Luckily, things have calmed down since after Christmas and I’ve started writing again. The other reason that I haven’t been blogging about everyone’s reading is that the Lil’ Diva and Lil’ Princess have decided they are old enough to read on their own now, so family reading time each night before bed is pretty much no more. I miss it, but I can’t keep them babies forever. And poor Dad, his work schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of down time.

That said, the Lil’ Diva has been busy reading for school and pleasure. She just finished off Divergent by Veronica Roth. The next two books arrived today. Before that, she read The Diary of Anne Frank and Rebel Spirits by Lois Ruby. She also just picked up the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie.

It’s harder to share what the Lil’ Princess is reading because she honestly has so many books going at once, I don’t know how she does it. Between her Nook, the school library, our local library, and books we buy, she is never reading less than five books at a time. I can only manage two at a time and they have to be totally different genres for me to keep them straight. She borrowed three books out of the Cupcake Diaries series by Coco Simon from the local library recently. She read The Lost Children by Carolyn Cohagan for school. Right now, she’s also reading Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker by Rachel Renee Russell. She’s also reading a non-fiction title on polar bears for her latest book project at school.

Dad is trying to make time to read The Candy Bomber: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlight and America’s Finest Hour by Andrei Cherny. I think I bought that one for him. He enjoys fiction and nonfiction about World War II.

As for me, I’m always reading something. I made a decision at the end of last year not to participate in so many virtual book tours. This should help me get through some of the books in my TBR pile. At this point, I receive almost more unsolicited books for this blog than ones I request. While I don’t feel compelled to review the unsolicited ones, I often mention them. In addition, I have so many other blogs that I simply can’t keep up with all the requests. I’m really liking having more unscheduled reading time–not reading a particular book in a certain time frame.

So far this year I’ve read,

Bedtime Prayers That End with a Hug! by Stephen Elkins
Recipe by Angela & Michael Petrella
Crabtree by Jon & Tucker Nichols
One Special Christmas by M. Christina Butler
Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home by Jo Linsdell
Pop! Pop! Bam! Bam! by Sally O. Lee
The Thackery Journal by John Holt
Elephantantrum! by Gillian Shields
Abigail by Catherine Rayner
Pi-Rat! by Maxine Lee
Storytelling by Rudy Mazzocchi
I Don’t Want to go to Bed! by Julie Sykes
The Maisy Files by Elizabeth Woodrum
The Box of Holes by Carmen Gil
The Things in the Air by Carmen Gil

I’m also almost done with I Am Abraham by Jerome Charyn. I’m scheduled to review this one on the 18th at The Book Connection. Next up will be Steam and Stratagem by Christopher Hoare.

That’s it for this edition of From the Family Bookshelf. Hope you’ll share with us some of what you’ve been reading lately.