A Bookish Update

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~Charles William Eliot

This is my relationship with books.

My love affair with books has burned slowly over the past few years, and I believe this year it has culminated into a roaring fire - a healthy (albeit all consuming) hobby.

My goal is to read widely, carefully, and out of my comfort zone.

I read to better educate myself and my children.

What I didn’t realize was just what a balm reading would be for my soul - the soul of a mom who is readying children for college, caring for aging parents, and sometimes feeling that escaping into a book might just be the very best part of the day.

A Bookish Update - The Reading Life of a Homeschooling Mom

Can you relate?

When last I left you with a bookish update it was the Quarterly Reading Update. I had read many books I enjoyed - and a couple that reached me in profound ways.

I’ll give you my highlights since then, and a fun reading project I have set for myself this fall.

No matter how you slice it - I’d Rather Be Reading!

Books for Mom

Following are the books I’ve read since the last update.

My five must reads out of this list are:

Small Great Things: A NovelThe 49th Mystic (Beyond the Circle)A Place for Us: A NovelLabor Day: A Novel (P.S.)Mark of the Lion : A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness, As Sure As the Dawn (Vol 1-3)Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy)The Handmaid's TaleThe Widows of Malabar Hill (A Mystery of 1920s India)Garden Spells: A Novel (Waverly Family)Same Kind of Different As MeThat Kind of Mother: A NovelI Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with DeathA Well-Tempered Heart (Art of Hearing Heartbeats)The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A NovelA Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s WorldI'll Be Your Blue Sky: A NovelThe Almost Sisters: A NovelThe Great Alone: A NovelAn Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and MadnessThe Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-DiscoveryLittle Fires EverywhereThe Mothers: A NovelThe Beach HouseA Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Modern Classics)The Stolen Marriage: A NovelTruly Madly GuiltyUnwritten: A NovelWhat I Saw And How I LiedMy Name Is Lucy Barton: A NovelAn American Marriage: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club 2018 Selection)Bel CantoEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A NovelHome Fire: A NovelThrush Green (Thrush Green Series, Book 1)Winter in Thrush Green (Thrush Green, Book 2)Beartown: A NovelTell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to SayStay with Me: A novelThe Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your KidsLilli de Jong: A NovelEvery Note PlayedWhere You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions ManiaMalagash


Reading Aloud with Teens

I take such joy in reading aloud - thanks to The Read Aloud Family I have plenty of suggestions!

Reading with older children can be fun, too. It creates a shared time and experience that is of such value in the teen years.

Please don’t give up on reading aloud to them once your children are older. They need it then more than ever!

I heartily recommend each one of these titles!

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True StoryListening for LionsPeter Nimble and His Fantastic EyesBreaking Stalin's NoseThe Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called EelOkay for NowThe WilloughbysThe Graveyard Book


Reading for Fall

This fall I have a fun project - I have recently acquired some of the Puffin in Bloom classics. At the same time, two other books have found their way to me - books that will pair perfectly with the Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. I can’t wait to revisit these classics from my childhood, and then read the contemporary books to go with them!

All of this was inspired through a visit to meet Anne Bogel at The Story Shop in Monroe, GA - if you’re ever in the Atlanta area and have a chance to visit this bookstore, you MUST!

Little Women (Puffin in Bloom)Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom)Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still MattersAnne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me: What My Favorite Book Taught Me about Grace, Belonging, and the Orphan in Us All


Until next time - enjoy all the books!

What have you read recently that you can recommend to me? Leave me a comment below and I’ll add them to my list!

You might also like:

Favorite Read Alouds for Teen Boys

The 50 Books I Read in One Year

Favorite Fall Activities For Kids

Fall triggers a sense of wonder in all of us.

As the leaves turn and then scatter in our yard, there is the enthusiasm and joy that comes from building a big leaf pile and diving headlong into it for loads of giggles. As I pull out the basket of seasonal books, there is excitement and wonder as we read our favorites each year. And, as we make our favorite fall recipes, they want to be there with me in the kitchen.

This is a season to make memories with our children.

 Let them be little!

Favorite Fall Activities For Kids

These favorite fall activities have stood the test of time in our home. I've included activities for children ranging in age from toddler to teenager!  (Keep in mind - I like to keep things SIMPLE, so these are all low prep, low cost, but high memory makers!)

Favorite Fall Books 

We read aloud each and every day in our home. When the children were young,I keep a basket of seasonal books on our fireplace. When I would unpack them each year it is as if an old friend has come to visit. 

It's Pumpkin Time - a very sweet book about how a pumpkin grows; includes good science information at the end. Use these pumpkin life cycle printables to reinforce learning. 

The Pumpkin Patch Parable - We used to read this one before carving our pumpkins when my kids were little - a very sweet book. 

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything - We've been reading this one for years!  This is a silly story, and also a great example of a cumulative story. Add instruments with the reading of this book and your children will remember it for years to come! 

The Witch Next Door - This book was read to ME as a little girl. Normal Bridwell has given us a classic! 

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving - This story points us to the miracle God gave the Pilgrims and His providence in putting Squanto in their path.  Eric Metaxas has written a beautiful book which is a great read aloud for young and old alike. 

The Children's Book of Thanksgiving Stories - FREE from Project Gutenberg - perfect for older children

Favorite Fall Activities for Kids

Favorite Fall Hands On Activities

My children remember learning better if they have DONE something. Fall provides the perfect time to DO a lot... warning: some of this involves CANDY, so be forewarned!  

Autumn Candy Mix Math - We do this activity each year! Lots of learning and sugar involved!

Create a Thankful Tree - This is so simple!

Autumn Scavenger Hunt - You can make up your own, or here is a printable toddler scavenger hunt, and for older children - an autumn leaf scavenger hunt!

Fall LEGOS - How about incorporating LEGO bricks into the fun?  Download these free LEGO Minifig Fall Writing Prompts and have your LEGO lovers hone their writing skills this fall!  

Washi Tape Pumpkins - My 13 year old has been decorating lots of these! We buy the plastic pumpkins at Target so we will be able to keep them for years to come. 

Leaf Fights/Piles - Do I really even need to include this in a list? Yes, I do. You see, I realized a few years ago that I was forgetting to just have FUN with my kids, until one day my son attacked me with a handful of leaves and I realized the fun I was missing!!

Favorite Fall Activities for Kids

Favorite Fall Recipes

Apples, candy corn, meals in the slow cooker - these are all treats we enjoy in the fall. I hope you enjoy some of our favorites! 

{I catalog all of our recipes in Plan to Eat - an online recipe, grocery list making, and generally awesome site!}

Crock pot Applesauce - This tastes EXACTLY like Apple Pie, just without the crust - which is great for my Gluten Free daughter!

Easy Apple Cider - You will win Mom of the Year if you keep a crock pot full of apple cider for your kids while they are doing their schoolwork!

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes - so easy and simple - and delicious! My teenage daughter makes our dinners about once a week, so I am always on the lookout for achievable recipes for her.

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - this is time consuming, but SO WORTH IT!  If you have a young baker on your hands, this is a great recipe to teach them a lot of culinary skills. (It's also a great way to show your husband you love him - mine LOVES this!)

Owl S'Mores - We've been making these for years - the kids love to make (and eat) them! 

Owl S’Mores

What is YOUR favorite way to make memories with your kids in the fall?