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 2022

book resting on a chair

We're only three weeks into the new year and I've already bought four new books. I might have a book buying addiction. Then again, since only one of them is for me, it could be argued that I'm more of a  book dealer than a book addict. 

Either way, January has been a month of books in the Erickson household. We've cracked into several new-to-us titles, have revisited a beloved classic, and have been pleasantly pleased by our book club picks. 

Here's a peek at what we've been reading as we've kicked off a new year.

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What We're Reading in January 2022 #readaloud #rar #kidlit #homeschoolblooks

Read Aloud- everybody

Blizzard- This is the true story of a 14-year-old boy from the late 1800s who gets trapped outside in a blizzard overnight and ends up losing both of his legs and one of his arms due to frostbite. While others see his loss of limbs as an insurmountable obstacle, he refuses to let his physical disabilities stop him from doing all the things that he had dreamed of doing. He grows up to be a leader in his community and even works alongside President McKinley to help build up the educational systems of foreign countries.

My mother-in-law sent us this book, assuming we might enjoy reading it during a winter blizzard. We did! It was an exceptional narrative non-fiction with a compelling plot that we're still talking about weeks later.

Please note: Because the boy works on a ranch in Montana with some hardened cowboys for the first few chapters of the book, there are a few instances of foul/crass language at the beginning. I edited those out on the fly as I read aloud. This book is probably best suited for older tweens and teens.

The Magician's Nephew- In this first book of the 7-volume Narnia series, two children must travel to another world and face off with an evil witch. But they won't have to do it alone. Mighty Aslan sends his song to protect them.

A few of my kids have read the entire Narnia series and have convinced the rest of us to read them aloud. 

Jamie- that's me!

The Secrets of Love Story Bridge- In this breezy, contemporary romance, single dad Mitchell Fisher rescues a woman who unexpectedly falls over the bridge he is working on. Turns out, she is the missing sister of his daughter's music teacher. In helping to save her life, he ends up saving his own. 

This was my book club's pick for January. It was relatively clean, less predictable than I had expected, and overall a fun title to read and discuss with friends.  

The Personal Librarian- I wanted to like this book so badly. I had seen it included on so many lists by Bookstagrammers I have grown to trust. Plus, the story itself had all the makings of a plot I could get behind: turn of the 20th century, black woman with fair skin living life as a white woman during a time in history that such deception would land her in jail or worse, historical figures such as J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts and Carnegies, a personal library of rare books to rival any museum's collection. But, about midway through the book, Belle, the lead character, begins an intimate relationship with a man who is in an "open" marriage. Not to mention the fact that J.P. Morgan's philandering lifestyle is mentioned, albeit not in detail.

Needless to say, I didn't finish it. As a Christian, I don't need to inundate my mind with plot points that do not run congruent with Scripture. Perhaps the author eventually condemns the adulterous behavior, but up until the point I stopped reading the book, she was condoning and even glorifying it. Philippians 4:8 calls me to set my mind on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, etc. None of those qualities were exemplified in whole portions of this book.

On Purpose- I'm only about halfway done with this time management/productivity book that I've been reading for research. So far, it's been relatively average. Perhaps it's because I've read quite a number of Boss Babe-style books for a project I'm working on, but I don't think this book offers any new or life-changing revelations that I didn't know already. 

Super Boy- 10th grade

Good Man- Written by the youngest son of one of my favorite authors, Sally Clarkson, this book takes a critical look at how the world defines a "good man" and submits fifteen alternative qualities worth striving toward.

My son has just barely cracked this one open, so the verdict is out on whether he's enjoying it or not.  

Blonde Warrior- 8th grade

A Long Walk to Water- This is the true story of Salva Dut, a young boy who comes of age in war-ravaged Sudan in the 1980s. When his village is attacked, he escapes and finds his way to a refugee camp in Ethiopia and eventually Kenya. Tucked alongside Salva's story is the present-day story of Naya who must walk for miles each day to fetch water for her Southern Sudanese family. Eventually, their stories collide when Salva returns to his homeland as a grown man determined to change the lives of his people.

This was our tween/teen book club pick for the month. Since it was such a short/quick read, we've decided to make January a two-book month.

The Borrowers- Living inside the floorboards of an English country home, the Clock family are Borrowers, little people who "borrow" things from their mammoth "human bean" neighbors in order to survive. But when 14-year-old Arietty Clock is discovered by a boy-sized human, she puts all of their lives in danger...or does she?

This is a bit below the reading level of the tweens/teens in the group but they unanimously voted to read it for the remainder of the month based on the recommendation of one of the members. My son and I plan to host a viewing party of the 1998 movie version after the group discusses the book.

Greased Lightning- 7th grade

Hunting for Hidden Gold- This is the fifth in the long line of 117 Hardy Boys books. My son is currently working his way through the older titles. (Rumor has it that the newer books are a bit racier and contain agendas that are contrary to our Christian worldview. But, I've not read them personally.)

Please note: My son has mentioned that this particular title is much scarier than the previous Hardy Boys boooks he's read.

The Dude- 4th grade

Little Pilgrim's Progress- Adapted from Bunyan's original Pilgrim's Progress, this is a beautifully illustrated allegory of the Christian life. 

I picked this one up as a Christmas gift for my son last month when Moody Publishers was having their semi-annual half-off everything sale. I highly recommend them both--the book and the sale!

That's what we've been reading in January. How about you? Whatcha reading?


  1. How do you decide which books you will be reading?

    1. I share all about that in my Homeschooling Multiples ebook. You can find that here>>>https://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2021/04/key-multiple-ages.html

  2. I'd be interested to hear the review on Good Man. My son will be 9 next month, so we have time until this type of book is more relevant, but it does seem that there are limited titles for boys/men pursuing Godly/ Biblical qualities.

    I recently read Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech, Black Star Bright Dawn by Scott O'Dell, and Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan for my 12 yr old daughter's book club. The kids all loved Ruby Holler, I thought it okay. We liked Bright Dawn, though one kid was a little more upset and sensitive to the peril of the animals. I appreciated Bright Dawn's determination and perseverance. I loved Echo. I first knew about it from one of your posts and I'll have to find the audiobook and experience the music with it. Can't wait for the discussion with the kids.

    I have A Long Walk to Water on my shelf, at what age would you think it would be good for a read aloud or to hand over to read alone?

    We're towards the end of Ember Rising for our current read aloud. It's a bit darker than I anticipated but we're still enjoying Heather and Picket's story.

    1. I have the same question regarding A Long Walk to Water. Also, my husband read Green Ember to our boys (ages 9 and 7), and I picked it up to read myself when they were through with it. It was darker than I was expecting and that was only the first book! I haven't pushed the next one as a read aloud yet for that reason.