Sunday, June 28, 2015

June Reads

Hooray for summer!  We have been having a blast as a family soaking up the days of summer and squeezing in quite a lot of reading.  I am glad that we were able to get back into the habit of a family read aloud this month.  I hope to make reading at least one chapter book a month a family tradition.  I have such fond memories of my mother reading books aloud to myself that I really want to pass that on to my children.  Here is what I have been reading in June: 

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin: Ever since I can remember I have been a very scheduled young woman who thrives on organization and habits.  While marriage and becoming a mother has radically influenced my habits and my "productivity", I still delight in my routines.  My sister-in-law was so excited about this book that I think she could have sold me a copy on the spot.  :)  I knew I could borrow her copy next month but I just couldn't wait to read it.  I'm so glad that I didn't wait because this book is wonderful.  I loved reading this book!  It was absolutely intriguing to read about all of the different personalities that Rubin mentions in the book and how they affect how a person cultivates habits in their own life.  The author did a fabulous job of researching how habits influence people.  I feel like I learned so much about myself and I feel encouraged to take steps towards changing my own habits to suit how God wired me.  I really am a morning person (just not one of those crazy people who relishes waking up at 4am) but I happen to be married to a night owl.  For years I have tried to adjust myself to my husband's schedule but I think I might need to revisit this idea in the next month or so.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging For Books.  All opinions are my own.

Lessons From Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott:  I was first introduced to the author while watching her video on her 10 Item Wardrobe which you can watch here.  I am by no means a minimalist but I would admit to becoming more of a minimalist the older I get.  The book chronicles the lessons that she learned while living in France for a semester while in college.  I studied French throughout high school and in college and have always been interested in French culture.  Recently I have been very interested in simplifying my life.  I thought this book was simply fabulous.  I found it inspiring to think of living a simple life that relished living each day to its fullest.

At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott: After recently reading Lessons from Madame Chic this book was actually a big let down.  Scott repeated so much in this book that she already shared in her first book that I found it a tad bit boring and very repetitive for someone who has read her first book.  I do think I would have enjoyed it had it been my first book by the author.

The Core by Leigh A. Bortins: I thought this book on classical education was very interesting but it lacked a lot of the more practical ideas and suggestions that I was looking for.  I guess I expected it to be more along the same lines as Susan Wise Bauer's The Well Trained Mind.  (It felt very different.)  This book did encourage me to continue helping my children cultivate their learning.  I would love to see a revolution take place throughout schools in America where children are taught more of how to think as Bortins suggests.  Bortins is the founder of Classical Conversations and I did think that her book did feel like a big plug.  Still I am glad that I read this book.

Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More-Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior: I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about this book.  The first hundred pages were a bit tedious but the glorious recommendations on the back cover really kept me reading.  The second half of this book was actually decent.  I must confess that I did find myself encouraged and quite enlightened while learning of all that Hannah More did during her life.  In general I do enjoy reading biographies and as a history major in college I have read quite a few of them.  Still this one was harder to get through than most.

The Boxcar Children #11: Caboose Mystery by Gertrude Warner: This was a delightful children's read aloud that I really enjoyed reading with my kids this past week.  The Aldens take a trip on a train and end up getting to ride in the caboose.  Along the way they uncover a mystery.  I had originally planned to just read a chapter a day but the plot line was so fascinating that Eli and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next!  This was only our second book from this series and I look forward to reading many more in the next few years.

What about you?  Have you read any of The Boxcar Children books?  What have you been reading this summer? 


  1. So glad you loved "Better than Before"! i found it really inspiring (obviously lol!) I'm a "lark" and bryan's an "owl" too.

    we've never read Boxcar Children but I have started reading aloud to the girls the past six months (chapter books) -- we did Uncle Wiggly's Storybook and now we're on charlotte's web. i think Peter Pan is next on my list.

    I have another book recommendation for you, if you are interested in decluttering: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

    i thought our house was decluttered--then i read this book and ended up getting rid of 4 bags of trash and 2 bags of goodwill stuff!

  2. Thank you so much for the book recommendation. I just picked up the audio book from the library and listened to about half of it while decluttering in the basement yesterday. I know that isn't the order that she suggests but I recently went through all of my clothes and the kid's clothing. :) I already threw away a large bag of trash, have a large bag for goodwill, and have passed on a few smaller bags to friends. :) We have also read Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. One of my favorite read alouds was the book The Five Little Peppers. I think we have read through that book at least twice!