Family Reads

I was just in Barnes and Noble the other day (first time in a bookstore in a long time…) and it was so wonderful. I love bookstores!! 

Since I knew my weekend was going to be deliciously wide open, I started making plans on Friday to fit in some nice, long chunks of reading. It dawned on me that I have a million books going, in one way or another, right now. 

I would say this is pretty unusual for me, reading multiple books at the same time. Normally, I’d say I average reading 2 books at a time, maybe 3 if you count a book I’m reading with the kids before bed. Typically I have one non-fiction going and ideally another fiction. I used to listen to an audiobook too but haven’t lately. 

I know some people who read SO MANY BOOKS in a month (like Lisa who reads a seriously impressive number of books). I’m lucky to get through, maybe, 1-2/ month. I read fast, but I just don’t read often enough. 😞 I aim for at least 10-15 minutes a day but some days I don’t read at all! 

I thought it would be fun to share the various books we are currently reading in my household. Some I’ve mentioned before (and am still reading…) but others are new.


By far probably the most voracious reader of the household, he reads fast, often and generally quite obsessively. 

He just finished this book the other day and really liked it, about a teenage squire delivering a secret message to a King across several kingdoms. He got it for his birthday and devoured it. Apparently it is a Netflix original series, too, so he will have to check that out. 

The Hunger Games:

He moved on (yesterday morning) to The Hunger Games. I was a little unsure if it wouldn’t be too mature for him (you know, with teenagers killing each other and all), but I knew it would captivate him. I really enjoyed them myself, and decided to let him. HE LOVED IT. He started it yesterday morning (book 1) and read the entire book yesterday. He continued on to Catching Fire and when I peaked at it this morning, he is already 60 pages in!! He read for a LONG time yesterday. 


Asher read most of the Keeper of the Lost Cities books last year, but Book 8 came out in November and he hadn’t read that one. It wasn’t in libraries yet, and then the pandemic happened…We went to Barnes and Noble on Wednesday and he bought the big hardcover book with his own money. He couldn’t wait to start and has been LOVING it. Ethan will read this one, too, I’m sure. It’s a big one- 848 pages!!

Ethan/ Me (together)

We started this one a while back and still haven’t finished it! It’s excellent, but we just haven’t had a ton of time 1:1 to sit and read it. Need to finish it up ASAP though! Ethan loves historical fiction books in general (he loves Alan Gratz’ books- Refugee (about Nazi Germany), Allies (about D-Day) and Grenade (WWII). This one is about the Civil War. The main character Annie is pretty bad@$$ too, for her time. 


West of Ireland Folk Tales for Children

This was a gift from my sister (who lives in west Ireland). It’s a book of traditional fairy tales and myths from that region. While the writing style is a bit quirky, the boys have been enjoying it! There’s lots of adventure, magic and fantasy. 

Asher and I grabbed this one one night before bed (was going to be a 1:1 book for us), but Ethan wandered in and liked it too, caught up and now has been reading it with us as well. It’s a fun one! It’s about a middle school aged boy who tends to stretch the truth and tell tales to get people to like him (b/c he thinks his real life is boring). He ends up falling down a hole in the park into a magical land where nothing makes sense. Kind of like Alice in Wonderland, I guess, but not really. Very funny and entertaining! 


I think I mentioned that I selected this one as part of my personal challenge to read 5 books in 2020 from genres that I don’t normally read. After some research on Goodreads, I picked this one as a “Folklore” genre read and placed a hold at the library. 

It is fantastic!!! I am absolutely loving it. It takes place in Russia, in the winter (I know, maybe weird to read in the middle of summer, but it doesn’t bother me). It’s beautifully written, there’s magic and spirits, the characters are engaging, it takes place in the 14th century and just has an amazing quaintness about it all….It’s like a fairy tale, with a dark side, for adults. The story line is hard to explain briefly, so just take my word for it and check it out! I can’t put it down. 

I talked about this one in a previous post and still haven’t quite finished it! I put it down in favor of The Bear and the Nightingale for our U.P. trip last week (the teenager book is good and all, but not really vacation reading). I’ll probably finish it this week. I am still enjoying it, but the back half has moved into more specific “teen issues”- like a chapter on “What to do if you think your teen is cutting?” Yikes. Thank God that just isn’t relevant to me right now. 

I wasn’t planning on starting another book until I finished the other two above, but I’m a huge fan of Laura Vanderkam’s work. She’s a time management expert and I love all of her stuff- she has 3 podcasts that I enjoy, I’ve read a bunch of her other books, and I follow her blog

She just released a new e-book this past week about working from home, and since I work from home and am always looking for new productivity tips, I just had to buy it immediately! I’m about 75% of the way through it and it’s excellent! Lots of great tips. 

Also, she actually quoted me in it, from a comment I left on her blog! My one line claim to fame!! Hahaha! 🙂 

Me/ Ivan

Cazando a El Chapo

This is maybe not even fair to include, because we haven’t even touched it in a while. But if you recall this post about our “reading dilemma” (I like to read, my husband doesn’t), you’ll remember Ivan and I started reading this book together- me reading aloud to him. Well, after 3-4 sessions of it in May and June, we just haven’t really made time to read it again lately. I do want to finish it though- it’s really good and super interesting! Ivan likes it too. We just tend to….do other stuff I guess. Maybe I need to add some reading dates to the calendar to make sure it happens.

So, as you can see, I have plenty of books on my plate! Maybe I’ll keep track of when I finish ALL of the books listed above and report back. 🙂 

What are you reading? What are your kids reading?? 

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful that my boys like to read. I’m grateful they developed the habit early on and that for whatever reason, they honestly enjoy it. I know it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. But I’m grateful they do like it and I don’t have to “force” my kids to read. 

3 thoughts on “Family Reads”

  1. love reading your lists. I love the new corner office podcast too. is the book very different than the tips in the podcast?I just finished how not to diet, fascinating book about nutrition. I might start "educated" next and listening to "conscious parent". I find lately I'm more interested in non-fiction than novels. Just ordered whimpy kids series for Sofia, waiting for it to arrive. She finishes book way too fast!


  2. Well that is very cool that you got quoted by Laura in her book! There's your claim to fame!! I will eventually read that but haven't felt compelled to because working from home is definitely a temporary thing. I do hope I will be able to WFH 2 days/week going forward or something like that because it's nice to not have the commute and I am just as productive as I was in the office. I probably end up working more hours because I don't have the distraction of socializing at work. Plus, since I worked downtown, I could go to Target or Banana Republic or run other errands during my work day.This was fun to read through as I am a HUGE fan of reading as you know. I love seeing what your boys are reading! I bought one of my nephews an Alan Gratz book for his bday – I need to ask him if he eve read it! I read for about a hour on week days and more on the weekends as I end up reading during nap time. And then I also spend quite a bit of time reading to our son. He is very very into books and now he can handle the picture books with more of a story to them. So that has been fun as the board books get a little old. I am bummed we can't go to the library because I think he would love pulling books off the shelves. I'm also looking forward to our local children's book store reopening because I would rather read through a book for him before buying it. I bought some anti-racist books for him but when you are buying online, you can't assess if he's ready for the content. So he loved a couple and I put a couple away that are way too advanced for him/over his head. My husband is also a big reader (his mom was an English teacher and his dad taught social studies and they were both big readers). But he reads way less than me. Probably 1-2 books/month but less during the pandemic since the library was closed for so long. Don't beat yourself up over reading 1-2 books/month. That is still more than the average person! It is hard to find time for all of our different hobbies and interests. It's easier for me to find time to read during this stage of life since our son is in bed around 7-7:30 so I still get an hour with my husband and an hour to read before going to bed at 9:30.


  3. I think if you listen to the podcast often, or her work in general, you'll find many similarities. That being said, I still like the book- it's a nice review and summary of many of her best tips!


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