What's on My Nightstand

I've been wanting to share more of the books I'm reading (not just the ones provided by publishers for review), but really, it is summer, and I am struggling to find time to blog!   What's on My Nightstand link-up is a great way for me to discuss some of these books that I am enjoying (or not).

Little Men is a book that is for fans of Little Women, but fully focused on the boys that Jo and her professor educate and love at Plumfield, a (boarding) school for boys.  It's full of funny and adventurous stories boys and girls alike would love.  I enjoyed it and will continue to read more of Louisa May Alcott's writing.

Marriage and the Family: Biblical Essentials is a book written for Christians who want Bible-based answers for questions of today such as singleness, family planning/contraception, divorce (and remarriage), and same-sex marriage.  This is a resource I will return to, though it is quite short in length.  It is thorough in laying a biblical foundation and uses both the New and Old Testaments to cite verses.  When Christians don't always agree, it explains why, while leading the reader to what the authors feel is the most accurate according to ALL of Scripture. I definitely recommend it.  (This was provided by Crossway, and I will be publishing a full review sooner than later.)

The Peach Keeper was an audio book that I grabbed from the library shelf without any prior knowledge of the author or the book.  It was a good book.  Its theme seemed to be being true to yourself instead of what others expect you to be.  The story follows several people who went to high school together.  Though they weren't friends then, circumstances change and they find themselves getting to know one another more than ten years later.  (The book had minimal language, but there were two-I think-somewhat mild scenes that would make this a PG-13 book.)  I will be looking for other Sarah Addison Allen books.

A very good book was William Henry Is a Fine Name, written by a local-to-me author Cathy Gohlke.  It's set prior to the Civil War, and I have to say, may be the finest book I've read depicting the gruesomeness of slavery while also demonstrating the need for it.  It made me really wonder which side of the fence I would have sat upon had I grown up on a plantation in the South.  Robert was white, and his best friend black, they shared everything...except the knowledge of the Underground Railroad.   I thoroughly enjoyed it!  (While reading this my daughter picked up the book, saw that it was written by Cathy Gohlke, and proceeded to read the first few sentences, remembering having met her before.)  I must say it was rather neat to read about the UGRR located so near where we live and the actual town where Derek and I lived in Maryland when we first married.

Product DetailsMy favorite book this month was I'll Watch the Moon, by Ann Tatlock.  Actually, it will be one of my favorite books of the year.   I'll Watch the Moon is nine year old Nova's story, set during the time of the 1948 Polio epidemic (which really happened)...but, also so much more.  Nova adores her teenage brother, but her sullen mother is full of mystery and confusion.  Mostly, she just wants her mother to remarry so she can have a father again.  This story is not only about family relationships, it is about hatred and bitterness.  Loss and forgiveness.  It's about remembering Josef, who came to America after losing his family to the Nazis' occupation of Poland.  Josef  lost everything, but if he was God, he would not change anything; he would only understand it.  And that is why Nova must always remember Josef.  This is such a well-written story with depth and characters who will haunt you (or at least me).  Though Christian historical fiction, I did not think it was preachy.  I definitely recommend this book to all (not just Christians) for a bit of inspiration and hope wrapped in a fabulous story.  (I am already reading another Ann Tatlock book and would encourage you to do so, too...)

I have also begun a few books, though not completed... (May I state now that the word "begun" is rather awkward?)
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis for the book club and Narnia challenge.  (I'm also listening to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on CD with my children.)
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic  (I bought it after reading this review.)
All the Way Home by Ann Tatlock (It was free for Kindle!)

Definitely looking forward to...
Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I've read a couple great reviews and can't wait to review it myself!
Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood as a Sacred Roll by Erin Davis

And hopefully a couple more titles from my shelf and for review!

I'm linking up to What's on My Nightstand this month to finally share all that I've been reading and intend to read!  (I forgot to mention The Beautiful Wife.  It was great.  Reviewed here.)

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}


  1. If you liked Little Men you must follow up with Jo's Boys. Vist my blog for a review. I am reading The Complete Chronicles of Narnia (currently on Prince Caspian). I'll Watch the Moon sound very good! May have to see if the library has that one!

  2. I always love revisiting Alcott's books. I'm still trying to decide whether to jump in for that challenge.

    I read I'll Watch the Moon, and I remember liking it except there was one thing that bothered me, but I can't remember what it was. That was before I was blogging, I guess! LOL!

  3. Oooh, now I really hope you love Motherhood in the Trenches. (But I suspect you will!) And Beyond Bathtime. (But I'm less worried if you don't like that one!)

    I'm rather curious to know when you read Choosing Gratitude as I really should RE-read it and it would be kind of fun to read it along with you! If that's possible. :)

    So glad you are including your kids on the Narnia Challenge!

  4. I checked out "The Peach Keeper" from my library last month and ended up taking it back without even opening it(which is sad).

    I'll definitely have to put "I'll Watch the Moon" on my list!

  5. I'm adding I'll Watch the Moon to my list, as well as William Henry is a Fine Name. Both sound great!

  6. Little Women is one of my favorites but I've somehow never read any of the other books about Jo! I need to remedy that soon.

    I love Sarah Addison Allen, and The Peach Keeper is one of my least favorite of hers. Check out Garden Spells or The Sugar Queen.


  7. I've had "Peach Keeper" on my list for ages--I've listened to all her other books and enjoyed them for something light. "Little Men" is fun!

  8. Like Nancy, Little Women is one of my favorite books. I have read the rest in that series but very little else that Alcott wrote. Maybe next time I go to the library...

    I really want to read William Henry Is a Fine Name. Thanks for the recommendation of it!

  9. Yep, adding I'll Watch the Moon and William Henry to my TBR list. Thanks, Annette! :-)

  10. Re: Begun. I completely agree. Why are some words just weird?

    I loved the Ann Tatlock novel A Room of My Own when I read it years ago after I'd been given it as a gift. But I've never read anything else by her. I'll be adding I'll Watch the Moon to my TBR.

  11. I have not read any of your books, but you sure made me want to read a few of them!

    Happy August reading!
    Amy @ Missional Mama

  12. William Henry is a fine Name is a book that's on my library list to be read at some point in time. I may have to bump it up.


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