New Books This Month


This is my monthly roundup of books that were added to my shelves in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my life.

The busy season has begun. We are full on into Cross Country season, both with our senior and with our college son who is running at the college level. Bennett is having a great senior running season and the team definitely has their eyes on making it to State! We traveled to watch Patrick run in Lawrence, Kansas at Kansas University’s course.  He had a PR of 26:31 for an 8K. We were so glad to be there to watch him compete against some top runners in the country.

It’s also marching band season and we made it back just in time from Kansas to watch the marching band compete this weekend too.

This month doesn’t slow down at all. My subbing dates have ramped up and my days, nights, and weekends are busy as ever. But, I wouldn’t change a thing and love supporting our kids in all their activities. You blink and these days are gone, so I’m soaking up every minute! Today is my 46th birthday!  I looking forward to a lovely dinner out with my husband and two of our kids on a rare activity free evening.

I have found time to read quite a bit in the last month. I’ve read some really good ones lately! You can see all my recent book reviews by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup.



Currently Listening: I don’t have any audiobooks right now so I’m catching up on my favorite podcasts like Criminal, What Should I Read Next, and the new Serial season.



If you would like to purchase any of the books in this post, click on the photo or title of the book to be directly taken 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. 


September 2018 Books




The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

By: Anne Bogel

Published: September 4, 2018

Publisher: Baker Books

Format: Hardcover


Anne Bogel is the popular creator of the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy, one I read every day as well as listen to her podcast, What Should I Read Next. I can’t wait to read these delightful essays on reading.


For so many people, reading isn’t just a hobby or a way to pass the time–it’s a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can’t imagine life without them.

I’d Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.

The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone’s life, I’d Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover. 




A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On & Finding A Peace You Almost Forgot was Possible

By: Jennifer Dukes Lee

Published: September 18, 2018

Publisher: Tyndale Momentum

Format: Paperback


This Iowa author always seems to give my heart and mind just what it needs. This comes highly recommended to me from my sister-in-law and I’m anxious to start reading it.


Jennifer Dukes Lee never thought she struggled with control. As long as everything went exactly the way she wanted it to, she was totally flexible.

But then Jennifer discovered what happens when you try to wrap your arms around everything, thinking it’s all on you: You get burned out on the hustle. You toss and turn more at night, and you laugh less during the day. You’re so busy–caring, serving, working, and trying so hard–that you can’t even hear God’s voice anymore.

It’s All Under Control is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right–yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic. Join Jennifer on the journey of learning how to:

Overcome the anxieties and worries that burden your heart

Prioritize your busy life so you can make choices that align with God’s best for you

Find freedom through a new “Do, Delegate, or Dismiss” approach to your daily tasks

Let go of what God has not asked you to do, so you can shine at what he has

Discover a new way of living that will free you to be you, and finally experience the peace of knowing a God who truly has it all under control.




Unlock the Scriptures in 15 Minutes a Day

By: Max Anders

Published: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Format: Paperback


I am part of the launch team for this book. This book was inspired by a woman who recently met Jesus and needed help understanding the Bible in a hurry. Over 500,000 copies have been sold and this is the 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition.


If you’ve ever confused the ark of the covenant with the ark of Noah, or Jericho with Jeroboam, Max Anders’ classic book, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible, is for you. In just fifteen minutes a day, you’ll learn the Bible’s key people, events, and doctrines to get more out of God’s Word. This simple-to-use, straightforward guide has been recommended by Bible teachers and pastors for thirty years, and now it’s available in an expanded thirtieth-anniversary edition—with the most requested topics from the original edition restored and updated for today’s readers.




9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

By: Jim DeFede

Published: September 3, 2002

Publisher: Harper Collins

Format: Library eBook


I was reminded about this book again this year on September 11. I’m so glad I read it.


Perfect for fans of the hit Broadway musical Come from Away.
When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill. As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill. 




And Other Lies I’ve Loved

By: Kate Bowler

Published: February 6, 2018

Publisher: Random House

Format: Library Audiobook


A young mom tries to make sense of being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and how there is a reason behind all of it. She grapples with her faith in God and how people react to the news.


Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke and had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart after years of trying when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, chugged antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.

As she navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, Kate pulls the reader deeply into her life, which is populated with a colorful, often hilarious collection of friends, pastors, parents, and doctors, and shares her laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must change her habit of skipping to the end and planning the next move. A historian of the “American prosperity gospel”–the creed of the mega-churches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough–Bowler finds that, in the wake of her diagnosis, she craves these same “outrageous certainties.” She wants to know why it’s so hard to surrender control over that which you have no control. She contends with the terrifying fact that, even for her husband and child, she is not the lynchpin of existence, and that even without her, life will go on.

On the page, Kate Bowler is warm, witty, and ruthless, and, like Paul Kalanithi, one of the talented, courageous few who can articulate the grief she feels as she contemplates her own mortality.



By: Kristy Kizzee

Illustrated by: Erika Kern

Published: August 7, 2018

Publisher: Thunder Bay Press

Format: Craft Kit


I have a giveaway for this going on right now. It ends October 8, so click HERE to sign up! It’s the perfect Halloween gift for the Zombie fan!


These cross-stitch projects will warm any undead heart with their light-hearted yet gruesome zombie appeal. Inside this kit is a book with full-color photos and patterns for 12 original projects–everything from Miss Zombie USA to a ghoulish cubicle-dweller. With an introduction to essential techniques and step-by-step instructions for each project, beginners and experienced crafters will enjoy bringing their favorite zombies to life.

Zombie Cross-Stitch includes everything you need to make the first three projects, including specialty fabric, needles, and ten colors of embroidery floss. You can stitch an undead hand reaching out of the grave, a warning that “Zombies Only Want You For Your Brains,” and one killer thriller of a zombie.




By: Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer

Published: October 15, 2018

Publisher: University of Iowa Press

Format: Paperback


This is from the University of Iowa Press and one of the books I chose to review for them. It won the Iowa Short Fiction Award.


From Rebecca Lee, Iowa Short Fiction Award Judge – 

“Mesmerizing, tranquil, and worldly, these stories kept me transfixed. Each is a long, beautiful excursion into the difficulty and suspense of human relationships. One emerges from the book believing life to be more peaceful and more intense than before. A wonderful, masterful work of art.”




By: Hiro Arikawa

Translated by: Philip Gabriel

Published: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Format: Hardcover


This has already been an international best-seller and is now translated from Japanese to English.


Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he’s going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru’s old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There’s even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species. 

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won’t say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break.




A Novel

By: Colleen Wright

Published: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Howard Books

Format: Paperback


Christmas season isn’t far away and I always love reading a Christmas themed book during the season.


A New England inn seems like the picture-perfect place to spend the holidays. But when a snowstorm shuts the roads and keeps them all inside, the guests find themselves worrying that this Christmas may not be exactly what they dreamed of. 

Molly just needs to keep her head down and finish her latest book, but her writer’s block is crippling. The arrival of Marcus, a handsome widower with two young girls, is exactly the distraction she doesn’t need.

Hannah was hoping for a picturesque winter wedding, but her plans come crashing down when her fiancé calls everything off. She reconnects with her childhood friend, Luke, when he comes to check on his grandmother before the storm.

Jeanne and Tim don’t know how they’re going to keep the inn open another year—or how to bridge the distance between them in their marriage. With a flurry of unexpected guests, they’ll have to work together to fix all the problems that crop up. But will it be enough to rekindle their relationship?

As the characters’ stories intertwine, they start to find hope where they thought it had been lost. With faith, and a little bit of Christmas magic, the inn—and its inhabitants—might just make it through the holidays after all.




A Novel

By: Zoe Whittal

Published: September 4, 2018

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Format: Paperback


I haven’t heard of this one before, but it was a finalist for the Giller Prize. It is also the Target Book Club Pick of the Month.

A local schoolteacher is arrested, leaving his family to wrestle with the possibility of his guilt, in this exquisite novel about loyalty, truth, and happiness.

The Woodburys cherish life in the affluent, bucolic suburb of Avalon Hills, Connecticut. George is a beloved science teacher at the local prep school, a hero who once thwarted a gunman, and his wife, Joan, is a hardworking ER nurse. They have brought up their children in this thriving town of wooded yards and sprawling lakes.

Then one night a police car pulls up to the Woodbury home and George is charged with sexual misconduct with students from his daughter’s school. As he sits in prison awaiting trial and claiming innocence, Joan vaults between denial and rage as friends and neighbors turn cold. Their daughter, seventeen-year-old Sadie, is a popular high school senior who becomes a social outcast–and finds refuge in an unexpected place. Her brother, Andrew, a lawyer in New York, returns home to support the family, only to confront unhappy memories from his past. A writer tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist group attempts to recruit Sadie for their cause.

Provocative and unforgettable, The Best Kind of People reveals the cracks along the seams of even the most perfect lives and the unraveling of an American family.




By: Ray Bradbury

Published: January 10, 2012 Reissue

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Format: Library Audiobook


This classic has been one I’ve always wanted to read. I’m glad I read it but it didn’t WOW me.


“Fahrenheit 451- The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns.”

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.




By: Anthony Pearson

Illustrated by: Jennifer E. Morris

Published: September 1, 2018

Publisher: Two Lions

Format: Hardcover Picture Book


I can’t resist a sheep story!


Eduardo Guadardo may look fluffy. He may look cute. But he’s no little lamb. He’s about to graduate from the FBI—that’s the Fairytale Bureau of Investigations—as an Elite Sheep. He knows five forms of kung fu, and he can outfox the foxiest of foxes. In fact, he’s so good they put him on his own case: to keep the farmer’s daughter, Mary, safe from Wolf, Troll, and Witch. It’s a job for somebody baaaaaaad—someone like a soon-to-be Elite Sheep. The thing is, protecting Mary isn’t quite as easy as Eduardo expected…

This imaginary backstory for “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is hilarious, action-packed, and filled with subterfuge (that means pulling the wool over your eyes, for you civilians).




By: Sharon Chriscoe

Illustrated by: Dave Mottram

Published: October 9, 2018

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Format: Hardcover Picture Book


Our boys would have loved this great bedtime story about a fire truck’s busy day.


A fire truck has had a big day of putting out fires and saving kittens, and now it’s time to sleep. After making sure all is quiet and safe, he rolls back into the station for a shower, swishes, and swigs a bedtime refreshment, and settles in with a bedtime story. But a hero’s job is never done, and the fire truck dreams of taming a ferocious campfire and celebrating the end of his exciting day with s’mores!

This delightful book about a heroic fire truck preparing for bed will be a favorite for any fan of fire trucks and everyday heroes. As always, Sharon Chriscoe lulls the reader with her witty and gentle rhyming verse, accompanied by Dave Mottram’s charming illustrations. Fire Truck Dreams is certain to bring joy to any bedtime routine.




By: Nancy Viau

Illustrated by: Talitha Shipman

Published: September 1, 2018

Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company

Format: Hardcover Picture Book


Yes, snow is coming. Winter is not too far away and I always loved getting out our  Winter and Snow books for that first snowfall and read them with the kids.


Snowflakes falling! What a treat! Friends gather outside to celebrate the first snowfall of the season with snowball fights, sledding, building igloos, drinking hot chocolate, and making the most of a windy, wintry day. With rhyming text and cheerful illustrations, this is a charming celebration of the winter season.




The Evilest of Them All

Published: July 3, 2017

Publisher: SFI Readerlink Dist

Format: Hardcover


I’ve already read this one. I couldn’t wait as I am a huge Disney movie fan. I’ll be posting my review on Friday, but if you have Disney fans in your house, it’s a fun way to share about all our favorite Disney Villains from Scar to the Evil Queen to Jafar and Gaston and many more.

Dive into the devilish thoughts of Disney’s most masterful villains and become a part of the story . . . for better or for worse.

WANTED: The evilest, wicked, abhorrent, vile villain to ever curse this world . . . or any others.

A villain acting vile is merely part of the job description . . . but which of Disney’s famed scoundrels is the evilest of them all? Dive into the devilish thoughts of The Evil Queen, Jafar, Ursula, and more as they recall their most wicked achievements. With gatefolds and lift-the-flaps, readers can dive into the minds of the best of the worst in this fun read for Disney fans of all ages.


To see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves, click HERE.


So many books, so little time!

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