What I’m Reading April 2016


We’ve had snow here several times this month and it just feels wrong to be cold in April.

Some great reads and re-reads this month (plus a few that were abandoned and didn’t make the list).

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit for April.


livingforward Buy now from Amazon

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

I think if I would have read Living Forward 25 years ago before I discovered Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it would have revolutionized my life.  Reading it now feels like a good reminder.

This book is for you if:  you’re struggling with clarity, purpose, your life is out of balance or you’re flailing in some area of life.

This book is not for you if:  you have a good handle on life’s direction, setting goals and you’re making progress in areas you want to improve and grow.

That being said, I’m still a huge Michael Hyatt fan.  I listen to his podcast regularly and I highly recommend his book, Platform.

Natureofthe Beast Buy now from Amazon

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

The Nature of the Beast is the 10th book in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series and I read it first.  Let me first say, I love an honorable hero.

As intriguing as James Bond movies are with all the fun spy gadgets and suspenseful plot lines,  I don’t like James Bond because he’s a playboy.

On the other hand, Jack Ryan is just as brave, clever and cunning, but he’s a great family man.  He has a solid, loving marriage and reads Dr. Suess to his kids.  Can’t rate much higher than that for me.

That being said, I love Inspector Gamache’s honorable character. I love the values he stands for.  I truly believe we shape cultural norms with fiction.  For all the talk of being politically correct these days, I believe Judeo-Christian values can co-exist with great art and I applaud anyone who can do both.

I also love the way Louise Penny has human nature nailed.  The intricacies, the complexities and the subtlties.  It’s all there.

StillLife Buy now from Amazon

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life by Louise Penny is the first Inspector Gamache novel and I read it after the tenth.

Still Life had everything that I loved about The Nature of the Beast except for one thing.

There was a small story thread in the book that bothered me.  Since I’m still wrestling with how to address it, I’ll leave it alone for now. There’s still a lot to love.  I’ll be looking for more in the series.

HandsFreeLIfe Buy now from Amazon

Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distractions, Living Better and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford

I appreciate the author’s insights, love her writing and I’m taking her philosophy of life to heart.  One problem that makes it hard for me to relate to her is her age and stage of life.

I turn 49 next month.  I’ve been married 28 years. My oldest is 24 and my youngest is 16.  So, what she’s dealing with in her life is a totally different scenario from mine.

I read a lot from authors in their twenties and thirties.  Honestly, they have a lot to offer.  But, occasionally, it’s nice to hear from someone who’s done some miles.  Not that every mature person is wise.  Some people have been around the block but didn’t learn anything on the trip. But, I do appreciate reflections from thoughtful, observant people with years of life experience.

Partly stimulated by these thoughts and since I’m turning 49 next month I’m working on a series posts:  advice to my 19-year-old self, advice to my 29-year-old self and advice to my 39-year-old self. Stay tuned.

PenderwicksGardam Buy now from Amazon

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

There’s no good reason that I am reading children’s literature at this point in my life.   My youngest is sixteen and we don’t have any grandchildren (yet). In spite of that, I can’t get enough of the Penderwicks.  The second book in the series is satisfyingly predictable.

PenderwicksPoint Buy now from Amazon

The Penderwicks at Point Moquette by Jeanne Birdsall

Usually “predictable” is not what you want in fiction, but predictable doesn’t ruin a Penderwick story. Still timeless.  Still engaging, quirky characters that are relatable.


BoysintheBoat Buy now from Amazon

Boys in the Boat

I’m reading this aloud to my 16-year-old son, and appreciating it even more the second time.  As inspiring as Joe Rantz is as a hero, the interwoven history of our country and Europe  at the time these events unfold gives the backdrop that accentuates the drama.

Penderwicks Buy now from Amazon

The Penderwicks

I’m reading the first book in the series to the teens in my carpool.  We’re all loving it.  I’m so glad I bought the kindle version when it was on sale for a couple of dollars a few weeks ago.

I haven’t joined the adult coloring book craze yet. But have you seen the new journaling Bibles?  Some of them are gorgeous.

What are you reading this month?

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