I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

What We're Reading in January 2019

What We're Reading in January 2019

Our reading took a bit of a dive in December. We hosted so many get-togethers, played lots of board games, and just generally filled our days with shenanigans that books took a back-burner. So, some of our book selections for January are roll-overs from last month.

And I'm OK with that.

I never want meaningful stories of fiction to interrupt the meaningful stories we're living in real life. Here's a look at the books we are starting the year off with.

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What We're Reading in January 2019 #homeschool #readaloud

Read Aloud- everybody

The Monsters in the Hollow- The bad news: We were supposed to read this one (the third installment of the Wingfeather Saga) at the end of November and finish it up in the first part of December, but we got waylayed by a few Christmas-themed chapter books and never even started it.

The good news: The four oldest kids each received one of the books in the 4-part series for their Christmas gift of Myrrh, so we no longer have to borrow them from friends.

The best news: I started this series with drudgery. I'm not a fan of fantasy and it was difficult for me to get into the storyline. But by book 3, I'm hooked.

As I've mentioned many times before, I don't typically read sequels to my kids. In my opinion, the secret sauce to getting a child hooked on a series is to read him the first book and then have the rest of the books at-the-ready for him to read on his own. This is especially true if the author ends each book in a cliffhanger. But since this series is above the reading level of my youngest, I think it's only fair to him to see the saga through to the very end. 

Jamie- that's me!

Hannah Coulter- For a brief second, I was a member of a local chapter of the Well-Read Mom book club. At the very first meeting, the ladies were encouraged to answer the question, "What has been your most favorite Well-Read Mom book that you've ever read with our group?" Almost unanimously, the group chose Hannah Coulter. Later I saw it listed as a top pick for another set of friends. If that weren't enough, I started seeing it plastered all over Instagram.

Now, I'm not one who believes in signs or the "forces of nature," but I do take stock in book bandwagons. True readers are too smart to fall for junior high style popularity ploys, especially when it comes to older, lesser-known books. So, I decided this was a book I must read.

I'm half-way through it and I'm really not sure what to think. It's such a well-crafted narrative that it almost feels like poetry. But because of that, the plot plods along. It is a character-driven work that reads more like a memoir than fiction. 

None Like Him- My Monday night Bible study group is still in the middle of reading this one. Since we only read and discuss one chapter each week and since the holiday season through a few wrenches into our rhythm, we've still got about 40 pages left.

Each chapter details one attribute of God that only He possesses but which humanity tries to copy. Wilkin's has included a handful of discussion questions about each attribute which has helped guide our conversation each Monday. She has also written a companion book, In His Image, that tackles the 10 attributes of God that He calls us to replicate in our own lives.

Cheaper By the Dozen- When I'm finished with Hannah Coulter, I will move on to this one. I'll be reading it alongside my daughter for the mother-daughter book club that we launched last month. We'll read it through January and discuss it at our club meeting in the first part of February.

This is one of the books I'm embarrassed to admit that I've seen the movie, but have never read the book.

UPDATE: Turns out, there's quite a bit of swearing in this one, which is typical for the time period it was written in. But, we have decided to pass on this book for our book club. 

Sweetie Pea- 10th grade

The Hiding Place- As of tonight, she just finished this memoir of Holocaust survivor and Jewish sympathizer Corrie Ten Boom. It is the first book in the line-up for our mother-daughter book club. When she turned the final page, her exact words to me were, "This was probably the best book I've ever read."

She's had similar feelings about other memoir-ish books which leads me to believe that this very well could be her new genre sweet spot. 

Super Boy- 7th grade

Hatchet- Since much of his December reading time took a nose dive through no real fault of his own, my oldest son is still working his way through the first book of the 5-part Hatchet series. Admittedly, it's one of the most "culturally relevant" books he's ever read as it features a young boy who struggles to come to terms with his parent's divorce. But since that's only a subplot of the story, I thought it appropriate for my adventure-seeking son. 

Blonde Warrior- 6th grade

Follow My Leader- My middle son found this book in his Christmas stocking. I read it to my oldest two kids years ago before he was even old enough to appreciate a good novel. But, I know he's gonna love it. It tells the story of a boy who is permanently blinded in a firecracker accident. With the help of a seeing-eye dog, he slowly comes to terms with his new normal and learns independence.  

The Secret Garden- My son attends a homeschool book club led by a homeschool graduate. She assigns the club members to read a certain number of chapters each week. They're then supposed to write an entry in their reading journal that corresponds with those particular chapters. They meet at the local library to discuss the book and share their journal entries. It's the highlight of his week! The Secret Garden is the January pick.

Greased Lightning- 4th grade

The Sign of the Beaver- How can a Native American boy and the son of a white settler become friends and eventually brothers when they don't speak the same language nor share the same customs? This survival story has been loved by each one of my older children and is now in the hands of their younger brother. Like all great living literature, it is not only teaching him about the history and culture of a different people group, but also helping him to appreciate both.

He's nearly finished with this one and will then move onto his next literary adventure. He's just not sure what that book choice will be yet, and neither am I. 

The Dude- 1st grade

Easy But Not Boring Readers- This month, my youngest son will continue reading through a collection of easy but not boring readers found in our home library

The Cricket in Time Square- I wish I could say that we are finished with this one. We started it in November, after all. But I can't. The truth is, I've not faithfully carved out enough one-on-one reading time with my son in the last month. It's time to remedy that.

This is the whimsical tale of a cricket who forms unlikely friendships with a boy, a mouse, and a cat in a subway tunnel of New York City. 

That's what we'll be reading at the start of the new year. And you? What will you be reading?


  1. I just read Hannah Coulter at the end of 2018. I liked it and it's language and simplicity of the time era. Not sure I'd chose it as one of my favorites of all time though. And, interestingly enough, I just started reading aloud Cheaper by the Dozen to my kids yesterday. They love it so far (especially since they are part of what will be 7 siblings come March when I'm due)! A lot of your other selections I've read (Love, love, love The Hiding Place....such an amazing lady) or we've read aloud over the years.

    1. Oh, how fun! I love it when books mirror the real life of my family! Enjoy!

  2. Thanks for the recommendations! We’re reading good ol’ Little House on the Prairie together. I’m reading An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers). My two boys, 11 and 9, are reading The Trumpet of the Swan, The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and the Adventures in Odyssey series. Here’s to believing your next library will be as wonderful as the first one your husband built! I’ll be praying for your move 😊

    1. I loved the Mark of the Lion series! Though it is only fiction, it was so helpful in shaping the way I view my time here on earth.
      You have so many great titles on your list this month! Thanks for sharing.