What I’m Reading February 2016


Reading top picks from “the Best of 2015” lists made for some fantastic reads this month.

Dear Mr. Knightly

DearMr.Knightley Buy it now from Amazon

Five stars for Dear Mr. Knightly!  I struggle to find wholesome, well-written fiction.  This one’s a winner.  I’m a huge fan of Webster’s Daddy Long Legs, and this modern re-telling knocked it out of the park. I like it better than the original.  The Austen references were fun, but the story itself was poignant.

Even though it’s technically Inspirational fiction, the Christian message was subtle, not overwhelming.  Kudos to Reay for a wholesome, engaging work. Very satisfying to a fiction snob like myself.

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom tipped me off to this book in her best of 2015 book list. Great fun reading through the “Best of 2015” Reading Lists.  Here’s a round up of ones I loved.

Lizzy and Jane

LizzyandJane Buy it now from Amazon

I was so inspired by Dear Mr. Knightly, I read Reay’s second novel, Lizzy and Jane.

I didn’t find this one to be as compelling.  But, she touched on some great themes– food, strained family relationships and finding your life’s work.  Like Dear Mr. Knighly, the inspirational message was subtle.  But, I would buy either one for my nieces without reservation.


essentialism Buy it now from Amazon

Highly recommended by bloggers I follow, Essentialism advocates an uncluttered life.  Instead of weeding out physical clutter, it tackles weeding out the clutter of wasted time, energy and effort.  Full of profound common sense, which is anything but common.

Will it Fly?

Willitfly Buy it now from Amazon

Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com owns several businesses, calling himself “the crash test dummy of online business”.  When you read his blog and listen to his podcast you learn that he’s passionately committed to delivering value.  If you’re going to shell out money for one of his products, you can bet the farm that it will be worth every penny and more.  

Will it Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea so You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money is practical, hands on, interactive.  Pat analyzes his business successes and failures and identifies the root causes of both.  He emphasizes the forgotten element in business: the integration of your life, well-being and happiness with the meaningful work in your life.  You can’t go after money and ignore these elements. He shows, step by step how to gage consumer responsiveness to your business ideas, so you can make adjustments, revisions or go back to the drawing board.

Just released on February 1st, Will it Fly? has already hit the Wall Street Journal best seller list.

Boys in the Boat

BoysintheBoat Buy it now from Amazon

I was hoping that Boys in the Boat would live up to the tradition of Unbroken, one of our family favorites.  Aside from the inspiring story of Unbroken, the writing is a work of art.  Boys in the Boat is equally inspiring, but not as well written.  However, the pathos of the story draws you in.  Joe Rantz is an almost Dickensonian hero.

I love the real life lessons of leadership and teamwork, and wonder how to transfer these lessons to other teams.

The up close and behind the scenes glimpses of history are instructive and sobering.  So much to glean from this book.  This will be our next family read aloud.

Looking for your next great read?  Check out the top rated books of 2015 from top readers.

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Catch up on all the What I’m Reading posts.

What was your favorite read from 2015?



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