Last week was crazy with it being Homecoming week. But it was so much fun! Our son Patrick was crowned Homecoming King which has been so wonderful. We are so proud of him.

I’m in my second of a thirteen-week long-term sub. I’m still getting into my groove of this new routine and struggling with finding time to read when our nights and weekends are also so busy. I do have a few good books to share this month that I am really anxious to read.

Today is also my 45th birthday and one of the books I’m sharing below was my gift to myself. I’m so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. My husband and children, my parents and extended family, and my closest friends make life absolutely wonderful. I am thankful for all of you as well that allow me to share my love of reading with you. Books truly bring me joy and I hope that I have shared a bit of that joy with each of you.

Currently Reading: OEDIPUS REX (with students), OF MICE AND MEN (with students), BENEATH A SCARLET SKY
Currently Listening: A MAN CALLED OVE
Up Next: I can’t even say because these are going to take me awhile to get through now.

If you would like to purchase any of the books in this post, clicking the photo or title of the book will take you directly to Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting me.

By: Kaira Rouda
Published: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Graydon House
Format: Paperback

I previously read and reviewed Rouda’s book IN THE MIRROR back in 2014. Her newest is a completely different type of book and it is already getting a lot of buzz. It reminds me of the book BEHIND CLOSED DOORS which I read almost straight through.

I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really? 

By: Michael Okon
Published: October 13, 2017
Publisher: WordFire Press
Format: Paperback

Not my kind of read. I haven’t ever read about monsters or zombies. But, maybe one of you would be interested. If you’d like my comment, leave me a comment and I’ll send it to you!

Welcome to Monsterland, the scariest place on earth.

When world markets are decimated by a crippling plague, philanthropist, and billionaire businessman, Vincent Konrad decides to place monsters in a theme park setting to promote education and tolerance. Copper Valley is chosen as the primary site for the park in the United States. 

Wyatt Baldwin, a high school senior is dying to go to the opening and when he lands special passes to the park, he and his friends are expecting the experience of a lifetime. 
After all, in a theme park where real zombies, werewolves, and vampires are the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

Discover How to Pray God’s Purpose for Their Lives
By: Jodie Berndt
Published: August 12, 2007
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: Paperback

I purchased this book to help guide some of my prayers for our kids. With Patrick just being months away from leaving for college, I’m struggling with my emotions and fears for him. The best play to go to help with that….God.

It’s never been tougher to be a teenager—or the parent of one. Thankfully, from your teen’s first date to the next time he or she borrows the car keys, you can take your concerns to God through prayer.Drawing on God’s Word, Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenager offers palpable help to pray about the stormy issues your teen faces:Relationships Depression Rejection Sexuality Eating disorders … and much more.This book also guides you in praying about everything from your teen’s character and safety to the purposes and plans that God has for his or her life. Filled with historical, biblical, and contemporary illustrations, Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenager shows how to make the Bible your source for prayers that can powerfully influence your teen’s life.With humor and a warm, personal style, author Jodie Berndt encourages you that, in this sometimes daunting new world, “when you pray the Scriptures, you tap into the same power that has kept teenagers safe for generations.”

By: Jenna Blum
Published: May 2, 2005
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: eBook

This has been on my list for a long time and when it came up as a Kindle Deal, I snagged it. I fell in love with Blum’s writing in GRAND CENTRAL.

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy’s sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother’s life.

A Five-Year Record
By: Gretchen Rubin
Published: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Potter Style
Format: Hardcover

I’ve been wanting this journal for awhile and I decided it would be my birthday present to myself. I am letting go of my “Type A” tendency and starting it on the day I received it. This journal will take me through the rest of my 40’s and I am hoping for 5 solid years of happiness to read through. It’s a way to chronicle all those happy moments I have with our kids. In five years, Reagan will be a senior and the boys will be done with college. I can’t even fathom that. I can find time to write one sentence and remember one moment of happiness from my day. I’m super excited to keep this going.

365 days. 5 years. 1,825 happy moments. The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal for Mothers is the ideal project for moms who want to capture the everyday moments of their child’s growth but are naturally short on time.

Based on the book, Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, this five-year journal will help you make a time capsule of your family’s growth in the simplest way possible. You can start at any point in the year. Simply turn to today’s date, and take a few moments to think about the quote or question on the top of the page. Jot down your thoughts and perhaps a note or reflection about your child. As the years go by you’ll notice how your children evolve and discover the aspects about your family that lead to lasting happiness. The quotes are interesting, funny, and always thought-provoking. The diary can be started on any day of the year but makes a terrific gift for the New Year or Mother’s Day. 

A Novel
By: Sharyn McCrumb
Published: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Hardcover

This was part of my Page Habit subscription this month. Along with the book came a collection of short stories, a coaster, a Time Traveler patch, and a bookmark with the quote, “The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defense.” J.R. Langford

When I first looked at the book that was sent, I thought maybe I had gotten sent the mystery shipment and not historical fiction. But then reading the synopsis, I noticed it’s a bit of both mystery and history and it’s based on a true story, which is even better!

From New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb comes a finely wrought novel set in nineteenth-century West Virginia, based on the true story of one of the strangest murder trials in American history—the case of the Greenbrier Ghost.

Lakin, West Virginia, 1930
Following a suicide attempt and consigned to a segregated insane asylum, attorney James P. D. Gardner finds himself under the care of Dr. James Boozer. Fresh out of medical school, Dr. Boozer is eager to try the new talking cure for insanity, and encourages his elderly patient to reminisce about his experiences as the first black attorney to practice law in nineteenth-century West Virginia. Gardner’s most memorable case was the one in which he helped to defend a white man on trial for the murder of his young bride—a case that the prosecution based on the testimony of a ghost.

Greenbrier, West Virginia, 1897
Beautiful, willful Zona Heaster has always lived in the mountains of West Virginia. Despite her mother’s misgivings, Zona marries Erasmus Trout Shue, the handsome blacksmith who has recently come to Greenbrier County. After weeks of silence from the newlyweds, riders come to the Heasters’ place to tell them that Zona has died from a fall, attributed to a recent illness. Mary Jane is determined to get justice for her daughter. A month after the funeral, she informs the county prosecutor that Zona’s ghost appeared to her, saying that she had been murdered. An autopsy, ordered by the reluctant prosecutor, confirms her claim.

Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
By: Pamela Paul
Published: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Audiobook 

I have been wanting to read this and saw a few positive reviews for the audio version, read by the author, so I decided to use one of my credits for it. I can’t resist a book about books.

Imagine keeping a record of every book you’ve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.

Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk – reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.

Bob is Paul’s Book of Books, a journal that records every book she’s ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life – her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.But My Life with Bob isn’t really about those books. It’s about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It’s about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It’s about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It’s about how we make our own stories.  

Ellis the Elephant
By: Callista Gingrich
Illustrated by: Susan Arciero
Published: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Regnery Kids
Format: Hardcover/Picture Book

This is the 7th book in the Ellis the Elephant series and I wish I had known about it sooner. I love the idea of this elephant learning and sharing about our great country with young children. Look for me to review this soon!

Ellis the Elephant is headed back to the White House! In Remember the Ladies, the seventh in Callista Gingrich’s New York Times bestselling series, Ellis meets some of America’s greatest first ladies and discovers their many contributions to American history.

In preceding books, including Sweet Land of Liberty, Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride, Yankee Doodle Dandy, From Sea to Shining Sea, Christmas in America, and Hail to the Chief, Ellis learns about the pivotal moments that have shaped our nation. Now, in Remember the Ladies, this adorable pachyderm explores the fascinating lives of our first ladies.

Authored by Callista Gingrich and illustrated by Susan Arciero, Remember the Ladies will delight young and old alike with a look at the first ladies who helped make America an exceptional nation.

Staying True to Yourself in Changing Times
By: Nancy Holyoke
Illustrated by: Brigette Barrager
Published: February 28, 2015
Publisher: American Girl
Format: Paperback

I purchased this for our daughter who is in middle school and already coming home with stories of drama and spats between friends. I expect this, especially in middle school. Ugh, I remember those days. I’m hoping this book will give her tools (me too) for how to respond to harsh words, how to support friends, and remove herself from the drama. I’ve purchased other books in this American Girl series and have been quite pleased.

Watch out for the drama trap! This book offers expert insight into drama, from jealousy to gossip to cyber-bullying, and how to deal with it. You’ll learn why drama exists, how it starts, what keeps it going, and how to cool it down. You’ll find quotes and advice from real girls like you, plus tips and quizzes to help you rise above the drama game and keep yourself safe.

By: Dian Curtis Regan
Illustrated by: Robert Neubecker
Published: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Format: Hardcover/Picture Book

I’m not ready to think about snow or Christmas yet, but those books are starting to roll in. I previously reviewed SPACE BOY AND HIS DOG a couple years ago. This is another addition to that series.

In this third book in the Space Boy trilogy, Niko and his trusty dog, Tag, blast off on another outer-space adventure, when suddenly Niko’s robot copilot is captured by a snow monster (who looks an awful lot like Niko’s annoying sister, Posh). When they reach Planet Ice, Tag is captured by the snow monster as well, leaving Niko to save them both. After defeating a killer bunny and the snow monster’s army of snowmen, Niko and his crew race back to Planet Home, just in time for cocoa.

Illustrated in comic-book style and featuring easy-to-read text packed with humor, Space Boy and the Snow Monster is both a thrilling adventure and a celebration of the power of pretend play.

The Reindeer Flying Academy
By: Maxine Sylvester
Illustrated by: Maxine Sylvester
Published: December 16, 2015
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: eBook

At just under 100 pages, this chapter book is the first in a series of adventures for Ronaldo the Reindeer with an additional two books in the series.

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen. In this first exciting chapter in the ‘Ronaldo’ series, our hero is faced with his toughest flying test ever – The Endurance Challenge!  Can Ronaldo triumph over mean bully, Dasher, and win the ‘Golden Wings’ medal? Spurred on by Rudi, his quirky, loyal best friend and with a belly full of his favorite carrot pancakes, Ronaldo takes on the challenge of his life! 

I’m linking up with THE DELIBERATE READER for her monthly feature NEW ON THE STACK. To see other bloggers new books from September, click HERE.

If you have read any of these books or read them after seeing them listed here, be sure to let me know your thoughts! Happy October reading!

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  1. hillary roberts on October 4, 2017 at 4:21 am

    i have that how to manage your home book! Right now I hire help but I do want to get better at managing my apartment.

  2. Arwen McGilvra on October 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Happy Birthday! And wow you got a lot of great sounding books. MY LIFE WITH BOB, sound particularly interesting. I've been keeping a list of all my book read since 2006.

    My Sept Pick Ups:

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