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.

Our daughter, Reagan, turned 14 last month. We celebrated by having a late lunch at Cheddar’s since school got out early that day and then cake and gifts after her brother’s basketball game. She had a few friends over on New Year’s Eve to celebrate.

It’s full-on basketball season and this year basketball meant a bit of an injury for Bennett.

Bennett had a collision with a teammate during practice and ended up having bilateral nasal fractures. He had surgery two weeks ago and is doing great. But, he had a couple of black eyes and a swollen nose for a while. One of his friend’s mom ended up being his nurse which was a special treat!

We are spending nearly every weekend at a show choir competition. We love watching Bennett and his fellow classmates perform and are thankful our daughter will be in high school next year so we can keep going for four more years.

On top of all the other stuff, we try to get to as many of Patrick’s indoor track meets as possible. We love cheering his teammates on. Having all these activities help these long, cold winter days go by much faster. But, we certainly put a lot of miles on our vehicles!

I have actually found some time to read or listen to books in the last month reading a surprising 14 books in January! I’m thinking the 8, yes 8 no school snow days in a row helped that. Let’s hope the rest of this winter is a little calmer on the snowy front! 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: AS YOU WISH 



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. All book bios are taken from


January 2019 Books



Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

By: Eleanor Roosevelt

Published: Originally 1960 – Anniversary Edition April 26, 2011

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Format: eBook


This was a Kindle Daily Deal purchase and with credits, I actually got it for free. I think Eleanor Roosevelt was a pioneer and had so many life lessons and pieces of wisdom to share.

Mrs. Roosevelt expresses her philosophy of life by relating the experiences which have enabled her to cope with personal and public responsibilities.




How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive

By: Jessica N. Turner

Published: September 18, 2018

Publisher: Revell

Format: eBook


This was also a Kindle Daily Deal. I wasn’t sure it applied to me because I don’t have young children, but then I read a review and found there was a lot I could get from this book. Even though I don’t have young children, I often feel “stretched too thin” due to our kids’ activities, my job, and other obligations. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Working mothers constantly battle the pull to do all the things well. From managing work and home responsibilities to being impacted by a lack of self-care and time for deep friendships, the struggle is real. At the end of each day, many working moms are exhausted and stretched too thin. But this does not have to be the norm.

In her latest practical and inspiring book, Jessica Turner shows the working mom how to

– work and parent guilt-free
– establish clear work boundaries
– set achievable goals
– discover more flexibility
– develop home management solutions
– prioritize self-care 
– invest in her marriage
– cultivate deeper friendships
– feel like a good mom, even while working

Full of compassion and encouragement, STRETCHED TOO THIN will empower women with useful insights and tools to thrive as working moms.




Uncover the Art You Were

By: Emily P. Freeman

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Revell

Format: eBook


This was also a Kindle Deal with Jessica Turner’s book. I’m familiar with Freeman’s writing but missed this older book of her’s somehow.

The majority of us would not necessarily define ourselves as artists. We’re parents, students, businesspeople, friends. We’re working hard, trying to make ends meet, and often longing for a little more–more time, more love, more security, more of a sense that there is more out there. The truth? We need not look around so much. God is within us and He wants to shine through us in a million little ways.

A Million Little Ways uncovers the creative, personal imprint of God on every individual. It invites the discouraged parent, the bored Christian, the exhausted executive to look at their lives differently by approaching their critics, their jobs, and the kids around their table the same way an artist approaches the canvas–with wonder, bravery, and hope. In her gentle, compelling style, Emily Freeman encourages readers to turn down the volume on their inner critic and move into the world with the courage to be who they most deeply are. She invites regular people to see the artistic potential in words, gestures, attitudes, and relationships.

Readers will discover the art in a quiet word, a hot dinner, a made bed, a grace-filled glance, and a million other ways of showing God to the world through the simple human acts of listening, waiting, creating, and showing up.



A Novel

By: Julia Whelan

Published: April 24, 2018

Publisher: William Morrow

Format: eBook through the library


I just recently found out that Julia Whelan, who is a favorite audiobook narrator, had also written a novel. Since it was available through our library’s Overdrive system, I decided to check it out and I liked it. If you liked ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes, then I bet you would like this.

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.




A Novel

By: Kara Isaac

Published: February 19, 2019

Publisher: Howard Books

Format: Paperback


This one came unsolicited, but since it comes with a rave review from Kimberly Stuart, I’m excited to read it!

A fresh, heartfelt romance involving a case of mistaken identity when a ghostwriter masquerades as a relationship expert and the man who is determined to expose her holds not only the key to her success but also her heart…

Rachel Somers is America’s #1 relationship coach—America just doesn’t know it. Rachel writes the books, but her Aunt Donna plays the face of the operation. Afraid of their secret being exposed, Rachel has no choice but to keep up the charade or lose the big money required to care for her father.

Lucas Grant is a star of late night radio and set on achieving his dream of syndication. When a big-time producer calls, it looks like his hard work is about to pay off. But the offer comes with a catch—the producer is convinced Dr. Donna is not what she seems and he wants Lucas to discover her secret. To do that, he needs to win over her tight-lipped assistant who holds the key to his success and—he begins to suspect—his heart. Can love find a way through the lies that force them apart?




A Novel

By: Kimmery Martin

Published: February 13, 2018 – Paperback February 5, 2019

Publisher: Berkley

Format: Paperback


This book has been on my to-read list. With the paperback publication coming, I got the chance to get a copy! I can’t wait to tell you about it! I love that this is the author’s first book and she is an ER doctor and avid reader!

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend. 




By: Claire Adam

Published: January 29, 2019

Publisher: SJP for Hogarth

Format: Hardcover


This was a Book of the Month choice for January. I first heard about this one because it is published by Sarah Jessica Parker’s new label and I was intrigued. When I saw it was a book choice for Book of the Month, I chose it right away. I hadn’t chosen a book lately and this month I actually found two to chose.

Rural Trinidad: a brick house on stilts surrounded by bush; a family, quietly surviving, just trying to live a decent life. Clyde, the father, works long, exhausting shifts at the petroleum plant in southern Trinidad; Joy, his wife, looks after the home. Their two sons, thirteen years old, wake early every morning to travel to the capital, Port of Spain, for school. They are twins but nothing alike: Paul has always been considered odd, while Peter is widely believed to be a genius, destined for greatness.

When Paul goes walking in the bush one afternoon and doesn’t come home, Clyde is forced to go looking for him, this child who has caused him endless trouble already, and who he has never really understood. And as the hours turn to days, and Clyde begins to understand Paul’s fate, his world shatters–leaving him faced with a decision no parent should ever have to make.

Like the Trinidadian landscape itself, GOLDEN CHILD is both beautiful and unsettling; a resoundingly human story of aspiration, betrayal, and love. 




Hard Work, Low Pay, and A Mother’s Will to Survive

By: Stephanie Land

Published: January 22, 2019

Publisher: Hachette

Format: Hardcover


This was my other choice for Book of the Month. Since I like memoirs, I thought this one sounded really intriguing.

Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land’s memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich. 

“My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.”

While the gap between upper-middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work–primarily done by women–fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter’s head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s inequitable society.

While she worked hard to scratch her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labor jobs, higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren’t being told. The stories of overworked and underpaid Americans.

Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle-class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Stephanie writes. With this book, she gives voice to the “servant” worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children.




A Shared Death Journey from Darkness to Light

By: Sharon Prentice, PhD

Published: May 8, 2018

Publisher: Waterside Productions, Incorporated

Format: Paperback


I think many of us have questions about life after death. This book offers stories of Shared Death Experience (SDE) which means it occurs to the loved one that is not dying, no matter where they are. I’m definitely curious to read about this experience.

The Shared Death Experience (SDE). Most people know of or know someone who has experienced a Near Death Experience (NDE), but very few have heard of the SDE. The SDE is similar to the NDE except that it occurs not to the person who is dying, but to their loved one who is physically well. That person could be sitting right next to their loved one, or sitting across the room, or even across the globe unaware of the impending death of someone they love. Location or activity level is of no consequence to the SDE. That person, the loved one, is “invited along” to witness the aftermath of physical death. The invitation extended has no RSVP–the person accompanying the dying individual can neither accept nor refuse–they are just “taken” or “given” the experience by powers outside of their control. 

Becoming Starlight is one of those stories. It is a story filled with the type of pitfalls that accompany much of mankind on the journey through existence. Deeply embedded in Starlight is an ongoing war with death, faith, and hope- and with God–a war most of us have experienced or will experience in our lifetimes. 

Becoming Starlight is a story that has been written, in one way or another, since the beginning of time. The war between life and death–who lives and who dies and why they die–is at the heart of this deeply personal experience. It’s a life-and-death struggle with spiritual darkness and loss of faith. It is a story not unlike the stories of anyone who has loved and lost, grieved and sorrowed, felt anguish and rage, fallen from Grace and questioned the very existence of God. The specifics are different, but the humanity splattered on the human soul and on every page is the same as that of any life lived fully. Some find redemption more easily than I. It took a complete fall from grace for me to be awakened from the trauma and darkness that had found its way into my life, and it took an unexpected encounter – an SDE — to bring me into the arms of God, where I finally found the solace and understanding that I had yearned for. “Becoming Starlight” is the “Lifting of the Veil” that led to a peek into foreverness and to the compassion of a loving God. 




9 Secrets to Creating A Successful Future

By: Skip Prichard

Published: February 6, 2018

Publisher: Center Street

Format: Hardcover


I haven’t heard of Skip Prichard but he is apparently an extremely successful and well-known CEO. This book comes with high praise from well-known business authors like Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, and author Lee Woodruff.

In the spirit of Fish! and The Go-Giver, Skip Prichard draws on a lifetime of studying success to share the 9 mistakes wildly accomplished people know not to make, so you can avoid them too! 

What if the world’s most accomplished people are so successful because they avoid nine pitfalls in life that the rest of us are not aware of? In this self-help wrapped in fiction tale, Skip Prichard introduces a young man named David who with each passing day is becoming more disheartened and stressed. His life isn’t turning out the way he thought it would. Despite having a decent job, apartment and friends, his life just feels hollow…until one day he meets a mysterious young woman and everything starts to change. David will meet nine people who have each discovered a core truth of achieving a successful and satisfying life by recognizing a key mistake they were making. 

Like David, most of us are repeating the same mistakes, and while we may learn from them it is often too late and the lesson comes with a good dose of pain. But what if we could identify the mistakes before we made them? This little parable is packed with wisdom that will help you discover and follow your personal purpose, push beyond your perceived capabilities and achieve more than you ever dreamed possible.




Unfiltered Thoughts from a Sarcastic Southern Sweetheart

By: Heather Land

Published: May 7, 2019

Publisher: Howard Books

Format: Paperback


Wit and sarcasm are what stood out to me with this book. I had never heard of Heather Land before but since our family loves Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan and they are mentioned in her book blurb, I have to assume that Land is someone I can relate to. I’ve since started following her social media accounts and she is a RIOT! She says the things we are all thinking and wish we could say but with a southern twang!

Heather Land has something to say about almost everything in life—the unbelievable, inconceivable, and downright frustrating—and why she “ain’t doin’ it.” In her first book, Heather shines a light on the (occasional) ridiculousness of life through a series of hilarious essays, dishing on everything from Walmart and ex-husbands to Southern beauty pageants and unfortunate trips to the gynecologist.

I Ain’t Doin’ It reminds us that when it comes to life’s messy moments, it’s all about perspective—and that we too can say, I ain’t doin’ it!

Perfect for fans of Jim Gaffigan, Anjelah Johnson, and Brian Regan, I Ain’t Doin’ It is a fun, breezy read for anyone who appreciates someone who tells it like it is and wants to embrace the lighter side of life.


January 2019 Kids Books



A Baxter Family Children Story

By: Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell

Published: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Format: Hardcover


Karen Kingsbury is a much-loved author. In this new children’s chapter book, she has joined with her son, Tyler Russell to tell the childhood stories of the beloved Baxter children. This is the first book in this new series sharing what it was like to grow up in the Baxter family based on the adult series The Baxter Family.

Brooke is the perfect older sister. For that reason, Kari and Ashley work hard to make their parents just as proud of them as they are of Brooke. Each girl has her own talents. Brooke is an excellent student. Kari is a great soccer player. Ashley, a talented artist. And they are always there for each other. But when the news comes that Dr. Baxter is moving the family from Ann Arbor to Bloomington, Indiana, and the Baxters need to leave the only home and friends they’ve ever known, no one is happy. Saying goodbye is hard but the family still has what’s most important—their faith and their love for each other. 

The first book in the Baxter Family Children series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell tell the story of what it was like to grow up in the Baxter family, the best family ever.




By: Sue Fliess

Illustrated by: Jen Taylor

Published: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Format: Hardcover


I just reviewed Sue Fliess’ book, MRS. CLAUS TAKES THE REINS and loved it.

Pack your bags and grab your gear: you’re going to Ninja Camp! Listen closely to the ninja master, who will teach you everything you need to know to become a ninja warrior-but it won’t be easy. You’ll have to be sly and swift, strong and speedy, and only then will you become a Ninja of the Night!

This fun and energetic book will delight and entertain kids and parents alike with its clever, rhyming verse and action-packed depictions of the coolest camp around. For fans of Ninja Red Riding Hood who are looking for a lesson in teamwork and cool stealth skills. 




From New York to Hong Kong

By: Mia Cassany

Illustrated by: Victor Medina

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Prestel Junior Publishing

Format: Hardcover


Mia Cassany also wrote AN ATLAS OF IMAGINARY PLACES. For families that want to teach children while reading, this book is certainly a great choice.

Travel to the world’s ports and you’ll learn much about a country’s people, culture, and industry. Ports are thriving hubs of activity, filled with an endless variety of boats, cargo, and workers. This unique book takes young readers on a journey around the globe’s ports and features some of the world’s most fascinating destinations. In colorful spreads, readers are given insights into each port city: What are they eating in Hong Kong? What lives on the Nile River? What do the boats of Venice look like? From flora to fauna and from tropical climates to polar regions, this book is packed with vibrant, 1950s-era inspired illustrations. As entertaining as it is educational, this book gives children a window into a new way of seeing the world.




A Look and Find Book

By: Mia Cassany

Illustrated by: Miguel Bustos

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Prestel Publishing

Format: Hardcover


Another book by Mia Cassany. This Look and Find book is so fun!

Travel to the world’s ports and you’ll learn much about a country’s people, culture, and industry. Ports are thriving hubs of activity, filled with an endless variety of boats, cargo, and workers. This unique book takes young readers on a journey around the globe’s ports and features some of the world’s most fascinating destinations. In colorful spreads, readers are given insights into each port city: What are they eating in Hong Kong? What lives on the Nile River? What do the boats of Venice look like? From flora to fauna and from tropical climates to polar regions, this book is packed with vibrant, 1950s-era inspired illustrations. As entertaining as it is educational, this book gives children a window into a new way of seeing the world.




Explorations in the World of Birds, Insects, and Fish

By: Florence Guiraud

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Prestel Junior Publishing

Format: Hardcover


You know I love birds and this book is absolutely gorgeous and teaches kids all about birds, insects, butterflies, and fish.

Bright-eyed birds, evanescent butterflies, tropical fish, and other pleasures await the readers of this large-format book that will appeal to young children’s curiosity about the natural world. Reminiscent of the watercolors of Ernst Haeckel, John James Audubon, and Maria Sibylla Merian, these charming and expertly rendered pictures of birds, insects, and fish will provide hours of exploration. Presented in double-page spreads, interspersed with informative texts, Guiraud’s illustrations capture the wondrous beauty that populates our oceans, forests, and fields. Her expressive illustrations create a sense of intimacy and empathy with the natural world and their exquisite detail rewards close investigation. Certain to captivate both children and adults, this magnificent book will instill in its readers a connection to the world around them and ignite a sense of wonder about all living things.




By: Mary Maier with Lauren Horton

Illustrated by: Mary Maier

Published: February 7, 2019

Publisher: Building Block Press

Format: Hardcover


This book is adorable! Amazing illustrations and silly story!

It’s time for Mouse’s Surprise Party, but Owl’s glasses are broken. It’s a good thing you came along! Can you use the clues to help Owl figure out which guest is at the door? Hoo hoo who could it be?

In this catchy and interactive book, children are encouraged to take part in the story and use expressive language to respond to Owl’s WHO questions. With engaging opportunities on every page, children will be excited to read this story again and again. Who doesn’t love to yell “Surprise!” and sing “Happy Birthday”?

The bold and distinctive illustrations are refreshing for parents and particularly enthralling for children who will be naturally drawn to the curvy and circular shapes.


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


So many books, so little time!


Posted in

Leave a Comment