Well, it has been so good to get back to regular reading. I have been making the time to read whether I am at home in my favorite chair, riding in the van to a ball game, waiting for an appointment, or during my lunch. I always have a book going on my phone, on audible, and a physical book. I’m trying to go to my Kindle app on my phone when I have even just 5 minutes rather than scrolling through Facebook. I’m finding, even just checking Facebook once a day, allows me to see all I need to see and all those wasted minutes are better used for reading.

I’m still being super selective on new books I take on because I am so far behind on reading the books on my own shelves. I need to read the books on my own shelves so my shelves aren’t so overflowing. Plus I’m always behind on my review books. I can’t believe that I am telling you I read 15 books in January! Yes, 15! Now, in all honesty, 4 were middle-grade chapter books, 3 were children’s books, and 2 were audiobooks. But, that still leaves 6 adult fiction/non-fiction books that I read with my own eyes. That is a lot for me. Trust me, I’m not sitting around the house all day reading. I’ve got a lot going on. But, like I said, I’ve been more intentional about my reading and it shows! I can’t wait to see what my February reading looks like!


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 the product on 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. 

By: Jackson Pearce
Published: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s 
Format: Paperback

This new middle-grade series is written to inspire tween girls in STEM. I LOVE this idea and can’t wait to check out this book and see what will be next in the series. I think girls are going to LOVE these books.

The hilarious and smart start of a series about a girl who loves to build—STEM-powered, creative fun for girls.

Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can’t wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit’s birthday nears, Ellie doesn’t know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about her present—the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don’t get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet?

Illustrated with Ellie’s sketches and plans, and including backmatter with how-tos, this is full of engineering fun!

Sharing Kindness with Our Animal Friends
By: Parry Gripp
Published: December 26, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Format: Hardcover

The cover alone grabs you doesn’t it? Another great Valentine’s Day gift idea for the child in your life. I reviewed this already, HERE

Through adorable, uplifting photographs, and sweet, silly text, kids will learn not only how to interact with animals, but also just what makes you a good friend for your fuzzy, feathered, or scaly new bud. This fun book will inspire young animal lovers to understand their perfect new pal, giving kids lessons on being gentle with pets, making sure to care and love them, how to be patient, and more. Lyrical text illustrates the fun and companionship that dogs, cats, lizards, fish, rabbits, and all sorts of animal friends can offer. Parents and families considering or who’ve just gotten a new pet will have fun sharing and learning all about animals together. Plus, turn each page and sing along with Parry with an original song and music video!

By: Nickelodeon
Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: SFI Readerlink Dist.
Format: Hardcover

Paw Patrol is a hugely popular Nickelodeon TV show and I’m anxious to check this out. I’ve never seen the show as our children were too old when it came out. The book also has a wrist projector that projects images onto your wall. I think most kids will think that is pretty cool.

Join the PAW Patrol team on two fun-filled adventure in this hardcover book that includes a removable communicator!  Pretend to contact the rest of the team while projecting images from the story directly onto the wall!

Whether it’s Alex’s first tooth that gets misplaced before he can put it under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy, or a flock of Symphony Songbirds that have gone missing from thier nests, the PAW Patrol is ready to rush to the rescue! Read these two pup-tastic adventures, and use your wrist projector to display ten images on the wall that extend the action! 

By: Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper
Published: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Format: Board Book

I saw this at Target and read it. I’m a sucker for Hedgehogs since my parents had one for a pet when I was in college. It’s a super sweet story and one that would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a little one in your life. I’ll be sending it to my great-nieces!

Horace and Hattie are hedgehogs, and the very best of friends. Together, they make daisy chains, splash in puddles, and have tea parties. But there is one thing they can’t do—hug! They are just too spiky. Throughout the seasons, these two hedgehogs will try many different ways of hugging. But will Horace and Hattie find a hug that feels just right?

Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say
By: Kelly Corrigan
Published: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Random House
Format: Audiobook

This was on my radar, but after reading Bermudaonion’s review, I knew I had to read it. I listened to her book THE MIDDLE PLACE and really identified with much of her feelings on parenting and being a child of aging parents. I used an audible credit for this one and since it’s just over 4 hours long, I’m sure I’ll be listening to it soon.

In “I Don’t Know,” Corrigan wrestles to make peace with uncertainty, whether it’s over expected invitations that never come or a friend’s agonizing infertility. In “No,” she admires her mother’s ability to set boundaries, her liberating willingness to be unpopular. In “Tell Me More,” she learns something important about listening from a facialist named Tish. And in “I Was Wrong,” she comes clean about her disastrous role in a family fight–and explains why saying sorry may not be enough. With refreshing candor, a deep well of empathy, and her signature desire to understand “the thing behind the thing,” Corrigan swings in this insightful book between meditations on life with a preoccupied husband and two mercurial teenage daughters to profound observations on love and loss.

In channeling the characteristically streetwise, ever-relatable voice that has defined Corrigan’s work, Tell Me More is a meaningful, touching take on the power of the right words at the right moment to change everything.

The Grace and Power of America’s First Ladies
By: Kate Anderson Brower
Published: April 12, 2016
Publisher: Harper
Format: Audiobook

I forgot to mention this one last month. I purchased it with an Audible credit after two people suggested I might like it. I’ve finished it and will be talking about it my Quick Lit post in a couple weeks. I’ll just say, I was a bit disappointed and didn’t like it as much as I had hoped.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House, The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.

One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the smooth operation of countless services and special events at the White House. Now, as she did in her smash #1 bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources—from residence staff and social secretaries to friends and political advisers—to tell the stories of the ten remarkable women who have defined that role since 1960.

Brower offers new insights into this privileged group of remarkable women, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories she shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ political crusades to their rivalries with Washington figures; from their friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands. She also offers a detailed and insightful new portrait of one of the most-watched first ladies of all time, Hillary Clinton, asking what her tumultuous years in the White House may tell us about her own historic presidential run . . . and what life could be like with the nation’s first First Husband.

Candid and illuminating, this first group biography of the modern first ladies provides a revealing look at life upstairs and downstairs at the world’s most powerful address.

And Other Lessons from the Crematory
By: Caitlin Doughty
Published: September 28, 2015
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company
Format: eBook

I don’t remember where I first heard about this book, but I added it to my Overdrive account and my turn finally came up. It’s morbid, horrid, and fascinating. I’ll be talking about it in my Quick Lit post in a couple weeks.

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

By: Jonas Jonasson
Published: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Hachette Books
Format: Paperback

One of the small town libraries near us had their book sale so I grabbed this one. It’s been said to be a combination of A MAN CALLED OVE and FORREST GUMP. Can’t wait to read it!

A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over …

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

A Library of Art for Book Lovers
By: Guinevere De La Mare
Published: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Format: Hardcover

I had a credit and a coupon to use on Chronicle Books so I chose this lovely book. It’s more for decoration that reading. It has artwork, poems, and quotes inside related to all things books and reading.

For anyone who’d rather be reading than doing just about anything else, this book is the ultimate must-have. In this visual ode to all things bookish, readers will get lost in page after page of beautiful contemporary art, photography, and illustrations depicting the pleasures of books. Artwork from the likes of Jane Mount, Lisa Congdon, Julia Rothman, and Sophie Blackall is interwoven with text from essayist Maura Kelly, bestselling author Gretchen Rubin, and award-winning author and independent bookstore owner Ann Patchett. Rounded out with poems, quotations, and aphorisms celebrating the joys of reading, this lovingly curated compendium is a love letter to all things literary and the perfect gift for bookworms everywhere. 

By: April Henry
Published: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Paperback

I purchased this book for our daughter with her birthday coupon from Barnes and Noble. She is a reader, which I love, but we read completely different books. She likes dark and scary stuff and I don’t. So, I can’t tell you anything else about this novel except she has already read it and her birthday was just a couple weeks ago. She also begged for more by April Henry but since several are below her AR level, I was limited to what I could choose. This is apparently Book 1 in a series as well.

In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.

By: April Henry
Published: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Format: Paperback

Another choice for my daughter. This is an older one but fits her AR level. It’s also the first in a series. 

Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of the car while her stepmom fills a prescription for antibiotics. Before Cheyenne realizes what’s happening, the car is being stolen.

Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne and once he finds out that not only does she have pneumonia, but that she’s blind, he really doesn’t know what to do. When his dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes–now there’s a reason to keep her. 

How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare?

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

As always, be sure to let me know if you read any of these. 

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  1. bermudaonion on February 6, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    I've read 3 of those books and loved all of them. Have tissues ready when you listen to Tell Me More.

  2. Jill Hoke on February 16, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I haven't read any of these. Enjoy all your books!

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