Oh, my! Time is flying! I can’t believe Christmas is 14 days away and I have just 10 days left in the classroom. It will be a whirlwind the next few weeks with concerts, basketball games and trying to squeeze in Christmas shopping. I’m sure reading will be limited as I seem to have all kinds of grading to do right now, but  I’m at least done reading books with my classes, so maybe that will mean I can read a bit at home! I was able to read over Thanksgiving which was wonderful and I’ll share about those books in my Quick Lit post in a couple weeks. I just don’t have time to do full reviews right now. I have a HUGE stack of books to share this month and I can’t wait to get to them all!

There are plenty of great book ideas for gifts in this post as well. I try to always give a few books as gifts each year and this year is no different. Books always make the best gifts!

Currently Reading: GRANTED
Currently Listening: MY LIFE WITH BOB

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: Arthur Miller
Published: 1949
Format: eBook

I read this with my Freshman Honors class to compare with OEDIPUS REX. Not a happy story and one I had never read before. I’ve read THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller and this one was just as tragic, just in a different way. 

Willy Loman has been a salesman for 34 years. At 60, he is cast aside, his usefulness exhausted. With no future to dream about he must face the crushing disappointments of his past. He takes one final brave action, but is he heroic at last or a self-deluding fool?

The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life
By: Hal Elrod
Published: December 7, 2012
Publisher: Hal Elrod
Format: eBook

This was a Kindle Daily Deal and it’s been on my list for awhile. I think Sheila at The Deliberate Reader wrote about it and piqued my interest, but I could be wrong. I’ve been on the library wait list forever. Now someone else can have my spot!

What if you could miraculously wake up tomorrow and any—or every area of your life was transformed? What would be different? Would you be happier? Healthier? More successful? In better shape? Would you have more energy? Less Stress? More Money? Better relationships? Which of your problems would be solved?

What if I told you that there is a “not-so-obvious” secret that is guaranteed to transform any—or literally every area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible? What if I told you it would only take 6 minutes a day?

Enter The Miracle Morning. What’s now being practiced by thousands of people around the world could perhaps be the simplest approach to creating the life you’ve always wanted. It’s been right there in front of us, but this book has finally brought it to life.

Are you ready? The next chapter of your life—the most extraordinary life you’ve ever imagined—is about to begin.


83 1/4 Years Old
By: Hendrik Groen
Published: Grand Central Publishing
Publisher: July 11, 2017
Format: eBook

This was a Kindle Daily Deal and I snagged it because I loved A MAN CALLED OVE and this one sounds similar.

Technically speaking, Hendrik Groen is….elderly. But at age 83 1/4, this feisty, indomitable curmudgeon has no plans to go out quietly. Bored of weak tea and potted geraniums, exasperated by the indignities of aging, Hendrik has decided to rebel–on his own terms. He begins writing an exposé: secretly recording the antics of day-to-day life in his retirement home, where he refuses to take himself, or his fellow “inmates,” too seriously.

With an eccentric group of friends he founds the wickedly anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club–“Rule #3: No Whining Allowed”–and he and his best friend, Evert, gleefully stir up trouble, enraging the home’s humorless director and turning themselves into unlikely heroes. And when a sweet and sassy widow moves in next door, he polishes his shoes, grooms what’s left of his hair, and determines to savor every ounce of joy in the time he has left, with hilarious and tender consequences.

Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life
By: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
Published: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Audiobook

I borrowed this from our library on audio and really loved it. It is read by each of the twins. You don’t have to be a Republican or even like politics to be enamored with these sisters. 

Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father’s side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years being trailed by the Secret Service and chased by the paparazzi, with every teenage mistake making national headlines. But the tabloids didn’t tell the whole story of these two young women forging their own identities under extraordinary circumstances. In this book, they take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, with never-before-told stories about their family, their adventures, their loves and losses, and the special sisterly bond that fulfills them. 

By: Annie Hartnett
Published: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Tin House Books
Format: eBook

I snagged this Kindle Daily Deal since it has been on my must-read list.

Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know—like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss. 

A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Lore, and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books
By: Harold Rabinowitz, Rob Kaplan, Ray Bradbury
Published: December 18, 2007
Publisher: Crown
Format: eBook

I don’t remember exactly where I heard about this book…maybe the Kindle Deals? I got it for just $1.99, which I am sure will be worth it! A book about a love of books? Yep, I’m in!

“When I have a little money, I buy books. And if any is left, I buy food and clothing.” — –Desiderius Erasmus — Those who share Erasmus’s love of those curious bundles of paper bound together between hard or soft covers know exactly how he felt. These are the people who can spend hours browsing through a bookstore, completely oblivious not only to the passage of time but to everything else around them, the people for whom buying books is a necessity, not a luxury. A Passion for Books is a celebration of that love, a collection of sixty classic and contemporary essays, stories, lists, poems, quotations, and cartoons on the joys of reading, appreciating, and collecting books.

Let Your Brokenness Be Turned into Abundance
By: Ann Voskamp
Published: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: Hardcover

This was a gift for myself. I’m hoping to make this my daily devotional of  2018.

The idea that even in the depths of our own brokenness God can use each of us to be a gift to someone else is powerful—that He makes each of us enough to give to someone else. Just as powerful is the realization that in becoming God’s gifts to others, our lives become more abundant: “Maybe the only abundant way forward is always to give forward.” Ideas this powerful need to be put into action.

Live out the messages in Ann’s bestselling books, The Broken Way and One Thousand Gifts, with Be the Gift, a practical guide that takes you through each day of the year with ways to bless those around you.

Featuring selections from The Broken Way and Ann’s blog, beautifully designed quotations, inspirational verses, and Ann’s signature photography, this gorgeous book will be an incredible gift to any loved one. It also includes pages of perforated gift tags in the back to include with a meal dropped off for an ailing friend or a pie baked for a friendly neighbor or even passed to a friend with a much-loved book.

Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.
By: Daniel Coyle
Published: April 16, 2009
Publisher: Bantam
Format: eBook

This one was also a Kindle Daily Deal and was highly recommended by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

A New York Times bestselling author explores cutting-edge brain science to learn where talent comes from, how it grows—and how we can make ourselves smarter.

How does a penniless Russian tennis club with one indoor court create more top 20 women players than the entire United States? How did a small town in rural Italy produce the dozens of painters and sculptors who ignited the Italian Renaissance? Why are so many great soccer players from Brazil?

Where does talent come from, and how does it grow?

New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition—in athletics, fine arts, languages, science or math—that can be successfully applied through a person’s entire lifespan. 

Love and Heartbreak in the Stages
A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life
By: Annie Spence
Published: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: Hardcover

I purchased this as a gift, but I’m torn because I want to read it. Maybe they will regift it back to me!

A Gen-X librarian’s snarky, laugh-out-loud funny, deeply moving collection of love letters and break-up notes to the books in her life.

Librarians spend their lives weeding–not weeds but books! Books that have reached the end of their shelf life, both literally and figuratively. They remove the books that patrons no longer check out. And they put back the books they treasure. Annie Spence, who has a decade of experience as a Midwestern librarian, does this not only at her Michigan library but also at home, for her neighbors, at cocktail parties—everywhere. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, she addresses those books directly. We read her love letters to The Goldfinch and Matilda, as well as her snarky break-ups with Fifty Shades of Grey and Dear John. Her notes to The Virgin Suicides and The Time Traveler’s Wife feel like classics, sure to strike a powerful chord with readers. Through the lens of the books in her life, Annie comments on everything from women’s psychology to gay culture to health to poverty to childhood aspirations. Hilarious, compassionate, and wise, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover’s birthday present, stocking stuffer, holiday gift, and all-purpose humor book.

A Novel
By: Dai Sijie
Published: October 29, 2002
Publisher: Anchor Books
Format: Paperback

We had a book swap at our family Christmas last month and this was one I took off the pile. The description sounds wonderful!

In this enchanting tale about the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening, two hapless city boys are exiled to a remote mountain village for reeducation during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There they meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, they find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.

May Hollow Trilogy #3
By: Angela Correll
Published: November 22, 2017
Publisher: Koehler
Format: Paperback

I read the first two books in Correll’s series which were wonderful and was thrilled to get to review her third. See them, HERE and HERE.

Former international flight attendant Annie Taylor is embracing her country roots and racing toward a future with her sustainable farmer fiance, but wedding plans are complicated by her new job, a mysterious ex-boyfriend, and a narcissistic father.

Meanwhile, Annie’s old-fashioned grandma, Beulah, is facing a shake-up in the last place she ever thought she would–home. A crisis on May Hollow Road follows a friend’s betrayal, challenging Beulah’s forgiving nature. An unwelcome diet, a new houseguest, and a possible overseas trip will all stretch her spirit–if she lets it.

Granted takes readers from the comforts of the Kentucky countryside to old-world Tuscany with a cast of memorable characters. Granted follows Grounded and Guarded in the May Hollow Trilogy.

A Novella
By: Fredrik Bachman
Published: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Hardcover

I am in love with Bachman’s writing and when I saw this I had to grab it. I love reading a Christmas story during the season and even though this may not be a traditional one, I’m sure I’m going to love it.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown delivers an insightful and poignant holiday novella about a man who sacrificed his family in the single-minded pursuit of success and the courageous little girl fighting for her life who crosses his path.

300 Festive Facts to Light Up the Holidays
Published: September 12, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Paperback

These are always favorite books with kids and I’m anxious to check out all the fun facts about Christmas! You can see my review, HERE.

Even Christmas can be weird — it’s true! Get ready to celebrate the holiday season with wacky facts, stats, tidbits, and traditions about the most wonderful time of the year. Did you know that Santa’s reindeer are probably all female? Or that artificial snow can be made from seaweed? Or that “Jingle Bells” was the first Christmas carol sung in space? Every kid will ho ho ho when they unwrap this fun and festive little gift book, perfect for stocking stuffers or under the tree. 

By: Don Lessem
Illustrated by: Franco Tempesta
Published: October 10, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Hardcover

If you know of a dinosaur fan, this is for them!

Dinosaurs continue to fascinate kids, and although these amazing creatures roamed the Earth ages ago, new dinosaur discoveries are still being made today! The new edition of the popular Nat Geo Kids Dinopedia includes all the latest species and is the most complete, up-to-date dinosaur reference available. Find favorites, like the fierce T-rex and the gentle Brontosaurus, plus audacious new finds, like the Anzu, Kosmoceratops, and Yi. Every dino profile is colorfully illustrated and features descriptions of when they roamed the Earth, how they lived, what they ate, and more. There are more than 600 dinos featured in all, including 10 profiles of recently discovered dinosaurs and new entries in the Dino Dictionary. Reports from paleontologists present the latest news and insights from the field.

1,000 Giant Jokes and 1,000 Funny PHotos Add up to Big Laughs
By: Kelley Miller
Published: October 17, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Oh my, I know my great-nephew will love this book!

Can’t get enough hilarious jokes from National Geographic Kids? Never fear! With this brand-new bigger, better Just Joking book, you’ll get loads of laughs to keep you ROFL and to share with friends and family. It’s jam-packed with 1,000 jokes, including knock-knocks, puns, riddles, and tongue twisters, plus more than 1,000 photos of cool animals, silly situations, and more! Get hundreds of fun facts about all the coolest creatures and some of the craziest info about the history of funny business. It’s the right formula for laughing, learning, and maybe even launching your stand-up comedy career! 

A Collection of Pictures, Poems, and Stories from Nature’s Nursery
By: Stephanie Warren drimmer
Published: November 14, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Hardcover

Oh my goodness! This book is definitely jumping to the top of my favorites list. Amazing and adorable photography with interesting facts make this a great book to keep out year round!

Sweet dreams are made of this! Join National Geographic Kids on a trip around the globe to celebrate nature’s nursery. Get up close to adorable baby animals — from the teensiest turtle hatchling to the biggest baby whales; from black bear cubs frolicking free in the Rocky Mountains to a kangaroo joey lounging safely in its mother’s pouch. Readers will ooh and aah over the cute baby pictures, sweet stories, folktales, and poems in this lovely keepsake book. Ideal for reading to sleepy little ones! 

Biblical Stories and The Archaeology Behind Them
By: Jill Rubalcaba
Published: November 7, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Hardcover

This book looks fascinating. I’m sure I will learn plenty from it!

Travel back to ancient times to revisit classic Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments. Learn fascinating facts about biblical history, then explore that same landscape as archaeologists are studying it today. Unearth clues about where these stories took place and how people in that time period might have lived. Stories include the Garden of Eden, Joseph in Egypt, Moses and the Ten Commandments, the birth of Jesus, Paul’s conversion, and many more. Classic paintings and photos of the Middle East today enrich the archaeological explanations. Kids don’t just revisit classic Bible stories in this book … they’ll dig deeper into the history behind the tales to learn more about the biblical world.

Fascinating Far-out Fun-tastic Facts
Published: August 8, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Hardcover

Wow! This book looks like so much fun! Amazing National Geographic photography and really great facts! I’m gifting this one this Christmas!

Did you know that the first stop signs were black and white? Or that a litter of kittens is called a kindle? There’s a lot to know and we bet you’ll have fun learning these fun, far-out facts in the next super series from National Geographic Kids!

Based on a favorite department in Nat Geo Kids magazine, this book is chock-full of fascinating facts, silly stats, and catchy little knowledge nuggets in all kinds of cool categories, from astronomy and dinosaurs to revolutions and breakfast. Special features include Extreme Weirdness, Strange Places, Wacky World, and more.

Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles from the Past
By: Kitson Jazynka
Published: October 17, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Paperback

From flying saucers to the Yeti, this book has all the mysterious stories we have heard over the years.

Why were the Easter Island heads erected? What really happened to the Maya? Who stole the Irish Crown Jewels? The first book in this exciting new series will cover history’s heavy-hitting, head-scratching mysteries, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Bermuda Triangle, the Oak Island Money Pit, Stonehenge, the Sphinx, the disappearance of entire civilizations, the dancing plague, the Voynich manuscript, and so many more. Chock-full of cool photos, fun facts, and spine-tingling mysteries.

By: Sarah Wassner Flynn
Published: September 26, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Hardcover

We love anything about Presidents, First Ladies, or the White House so I know all of us will love the facts shared here.

Welcome to the White House! Go behind the scenes to get a 360-degree view of America’s most famous president’s residence, from how it was built in 1792 and the fire of 1812, to today’s state dinners, celebrations, celebrity pets, and more. Discover through 1,000 fun-to-read facts what it’s like to live and work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the quirky rules of the house and how the Secret Service keeps it safe. Find out how the kids who have lived there play, watch movies, and entertain friends. With a treasure trove of material from the White House Historical Association, this book presents a fascinating story of the building and the many people who have shaped its 225-year history. 

By: Susan Meyers
Illustrated by: Amy Bates
Published: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This book came in my Bookroo Subscription. I reviewed this subscription service and the books that came HERE.

A mother soothes her daughter before bed as they say good night to all the things in her room—a rocking horse, dolls, blocks, and even the pictures on the wall—until it’s time to share a story and a kiss good night. With lulling rhymes and lush watercolors, Rock-a-Bye Room is a homespun love song from a mother to child with a dreamy, rockabilly twist. This tender lullaby will be the perfect complement to any child’s nighttime ritual.

By: Beth Ferry
Illustrated by: Ben Mantle
Published: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This book came in my Bookroo Subscription. I reviewed this subscription service and the books that came HERE.

The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him…a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don’t want turns out to be exactly what you need.

It’s A Big World for a Little Penguin
By:  Igloo Books
Published: June 7, 2015
Format: Board Book

I purchased this as a Christmas gift for my great-niece. The story of a baby penguin exploring its new world is adorable.

There’s an egg on the ice and it’s about to crack! When a fluffy, little penguin chick hatches out, he doesn’t know what he will find in the big, wide world. Will there be adventure, or is he in for some scary surprises? Come and see what happens in this touching tale about family and friendship that’s perfect for snuggling up and reading together.

A Story to Melt Your Heart
By: Alice King and Lee Holland
Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Igloo Books
Format: Board Book

I just loved this story of a little bear bored with all the snow. It’s a Christmas gift for one of my great-nieces.

Little Bear was bored at his home in the snow. There was nothing to do and nowhere to go! Come and join Little Bear as he is taken on a playful adventure by Big Bear. There is always fun to be found, you just need to know where to look! Discover all the wonderful things Little Bear never noticed before in this charming tale about finding fun and friendship.

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

As always, be sure to let me know if you read any of these or purchase them for loved ones on your list. There are so many great books here, I can’t wait to get started on them!

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