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 October 2020

Imagination Station books

The other day, my youngest three sons asked if they could have a later bedtime in order that they could stay up to read.

Of course, I let them. Since we homeschool and are never at the mercy of someone else's arbitrary start time, my husband and I are pretty flexible with both bedtimes and wake up calls, especially when books are involved.

Trouble was, while the older of the two boys already had books in hand and were ready to hunker down under the covers to enjoy one literary adventure or another, their younger brother couldn't seem to find a book that looked interesting. 

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

In an effort to help him with his selection, I gathered a small stack from our shelves and encouraged him to read the first chapters of each in order to get a better feel for the writing style and plot.

"Then, keep reading whichever one sounds the most exciting to you," I said. 

He did. Choosing the first in a series of illustrated chapter books, he plunged deep under the folds of his bedsheets and plowed through the story. From there, he continued to read and then read some more. By lights out, he was nearly finished with the book.

I'm hoping he'll continue on to the other books in the series and that the month of October will be laced with the sounds of turning pages...for all of us. 

Here's what we're reading.

What We're Reading in October 2020 #homeschool #kidlit #readaloud #homeschoolreaders

Read Aloud- everyone

Heart of a Samurai- This was a new-to-me book and new-to-me author. After checking a few trusted vetting sites, I decided to crack it open as a read aloud. And I'm so glad I did. 

This is the true-ish story of Manjiro, a 14-year-old boy who is lost off the coast of Japan with several of his fishing companions. They get rescued by the "barbarians" of an American whaling vessel. Manjiro makes quite an impression with the captain and is given the opportunity to go with him back to his home in New England. After years in the States, however, the boy longs to return to his native land. But will they accept him now that he's been "polluted" with western ideals? 

Jamie- that's me!

A Bride Most Begrudging- I've been plowing through Deanne Gist's back catalog of books on the free Libby app during my evening workouts. The audiobooks are actually re-recordings of the original cassette tape narrations, so they have a few extra pieces of technical commentary that can be a bit obnoxious. But the stories make up for the inconvenience.

Gist writes clean and captivating romance. This particular title takes place in the colony of Virginia. When Lady Constance Morrow is kidnapped at the harbor and sent to the New World as a "tobacco bride," she is forced to marry a kind but aloof farmer who has no interest in having a wife. She desperately wants to return back to England and he desperately wants his bachelor's life back.

The Fifth Avenue Story Society- When five New Yorkers are mysteriously given invitations to the Fifth Avenue Story Society unlikely friendships begin to form. They have no idea who brought them together and for what purpose, but they are determined to learn each other's stories in hopes of putting the pieces together.  

Cozy Minimalist Home- After reading The Nesting Place several years ago, I came to appreciate the idea of creating a cozy home aesthetic, not to impress my neighbors but to create a comforting and welcoming place for lost ones to land. This is the second of three books by this same author. She's a design queen who knows how to create beauty without also creating clutter. 

Sweetie Pea- 12th grade/college sophomore

The Truth About Us- My daughter has followed Brant Hansen's work for the past five years. She listens to his radio show, podcast, and reads his books. He's a Truth teller who's not afraid to admit that he still has questions. In this world of nominal Christianity, his mix of humor, solid doctrine, and vulnerability is quite refreshing. His latest book exposes the self-righteousness found in all of us.  

Super Boy- 9th grade

Unbroken- The other day while making dinner, I began listening to the audio version of the bestselling memoir of World War II hero Louis Zamperini. My oldest son just happened to be within earshot. After catching bits and pieces of the first chapter, he moved in closer. He parked himself at the kitchen counter and stood statue-still so as not to miss any of the narration. When I finished my dinner prep and went to pause the book, he asked if he could keep listening. Who was I to say no? 

Blonde Warrior- 8th grade

The Invisible Friend- This is book three of a five-book Viking Quest series, a collection of Christian fiction books all based on the lives of the Vikings of Norway. Since my son is part Norwegian (His name means Blonde Warrior in Old Norse.), I thought he'd enjoy these tales of epic adventures that have come highly recommended by so many other families we know. Unfortunately, he's not. I don't know if he'll end up finishing the series.

Greased Lightning- 6th grade

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch- Last month, my son started this biographical fiction that recounts the true story of maritime navigator Nathaniel Bowditch. He enjoyed it at first, but through the course of the last couple of weeks has changed his opinion. In keeping with the time period and the facts of Bowditch's life, the story includes the death of nearly every person in his family. This has weighed rather heavily on my son. 

The Dude- 3rd grade

The Beginning- This is the first in the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, the series that my youngest chose to read on the night of the extra late bedtime. Similar to the Magic Tree House books, this collection follows the time-traveling adventures of siblings Peter and Mary. Each time they leap back in time, they land in a Biblical narrative, the first being the Creation account. 

That's what we're reading this month. How about you? What are you reading?


  1. I love so many of these! I would say to prepare your 9th grader for some "content" in the Unbroken book. My boys were a bit younger when they read it so I had them read the young adult version which left out some material. Your son may be prepared for it at his age though!

    1. Good to know. Thanks for the head's up. He ended up not wanting to finish it.