What's on My Nightstand: June 2013

I had an AWESOME month of reading, including THREE highly recommended non-fiction titles.  Once upon a time I didn't read three non-fiction books a year!  Since I was reading so much non-fiction I read short, light children's books this month, too.
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Adult Non-fiction
The Fruitful Wife, by Haylie DiMarco.  (Linked to review.)  This was a fabulous book and I highly recommend it.  The Fruitful Wife emphasizes that the fruit of the Spirit is not natural to people.  In fact, the fruit of the Spirit is only possible through the enabling of the Holy Spirit when we deny ourselves and giving glory to God.  That takes love and self-control.  A chapter is devoted to each part of the fruit of the Spirit, plus introduction and conclusion chapters.  This is a very relevant book.  If you are married or considering marriage, read it.

Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School, by David and Kelli Pritchard.  I am so thankful that I finally bought this book.  This book is NOT about why you should choose public school over private or homeschooling.  The authors do not bad-mouth other school options.  I think this is an excellent book for parents who are leaning toward public school choice or have already chosen it.  This book will help the parent understand the benefits of public school while preparing for situations and help you, as the parent, to live out your Christian world-view at home and at school.  I read this book in just a few days and found what they said to be incredibly beneficial and encouraging.  I will likely write a full review just so I can gather my own thoughts.  However, in the meantime, I would strongly encourage you to read this book if you are even considering public school for your children.   Going Public is full of practical advice for all parents!  (I will be passing it along to my husband...)

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, by Charles J. Shields.   As a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, I have often wondered why such a fabulous author never published another book.  This biography answers that question and so much more.  I really enjoyed Shields' writing and learning about the life of  Nelle Harper Lee.  Thank you, Hope Is the Word, for recommending this!  If you are a fan of TKaM but are not into biographies, may I suggest The Mockingbird Parables?  It takes TKaM and finds Christian truths within it, though it's a "secular" novel.  Very well done!

Adult Fiction
Sweet Mercy, by Ann Tatlock.  (Linked to review.)  This is sweet historical fiction.  Eve finds herself challenged by the prohibition and learns it is not as black and white as she first thought.  Quite enjoyable, especially because it made me think.

Young Adult/Children
Kate's Choice, by Louisa May Alcott.  This gem of a book is part of my library's collection!  This is a book of three short stories that remind us of what love and courage are.  "Kate's Choice"- Kate is a rich orphan from England who comes to the States to live with one of her four uncles.  When she learns of a grandmother, she goes to visit her and the living and love begin.  "What Love Can Do"- Two poor girls talk over their wishes on Christmas Eve.  The neighbor overhears their dreams and works to fulfill them which begins the real loving and giving in a whole house of tenants.  "Gwen's Adventure in the Snow"- Gwen heads out with other children (and teens) for a sleigh ride.  When the horses run off and the coachman does not return, she is full of courage, but learns she must master more than music and foreign languages to be useful.  This was a delightful short book, perfect for any Alcott fan, though girls of 8-14 would really enjoy it.

The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo.  Orphan Peter seeks a fortune teller and learns his sister still lives and an elephant will show him the way to her.  This begins the strange and rather miraculous journey... Despite the fortune teller in the story, it was still delightful. DiCamillo never ceases to amaze me with her beautiful books!

Audio Books
War Horse, by Michael Morpurgo.  I'm not sure who to thank for recommending this book, but it was great.  Amazingly, it was told from the point of view of a horse...and I loved it!  I'm not even a horse person. Joey is a beautiful horse who is taken from the boy he loves to go to war.  I definitely recommend this WWI book...even if you don't like horses.  :)

Finally, by Wendy Mass
A few "entitlement" attitudes early on as Tory finds herself just turned twelve and wants to do and have all the things her parents have said she could do/have after she turned twelve.  However, this turned out to be a great book, and I really enjoyed it.

I didn't even finish the first chapter of Through the Gates of Splendor, though I think I would have liked it, had I tried to read more.

In July, I hope to read Wind in the Willows with the Reading to Know Classics Book Club (come join!) along with a biography on Bonhoffer for review.  I've already started Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women and like it.  I'm not sure what else I may read and listen to...any audio recommendations for a 4 and 6 year old?  (We have listened to Little House, Humphrey, Anne, Narnia, and lots more in the past...)

See what others are reading at 5 Minutes for Books!
~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through a link, I will earn a small percentage. Thank you!


  1. I'm planning on reading The Fruitful Wife some time here soon.

    I saw War Horse was a film some time ago - I haven't seen it, but I am glad to know it is a book as well. I'll keep it on my audiobooks to look for.

    I thought I had read all of Alcott's books, but that one doesn't sound familiar.

    I'm sorry you dropped Through Gates of Splendor. I hope you can get to it some time - I have read it many times over and always find it inspiring.

  2. I read this book last month and it reminded me of you....her style reminds me of Ann Tatlock: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Hole-Back-Home-Novel/dp/143479993X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372192031&sr=8-1&keywords=blue+hole+back+home

  3. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed the Lee biography!
    You've read quite a few I've never read but want to read: the Alcott title, DiCamillo, War Horse. . . .

    Have you listened to all the E.B. White books?

  4. Oh, how I adored WIND IN THE WILLOWS as a child. It would be great to revisit it!
    Thanks for linking up--
    -Dawn, 5M4B

  5. Wow, you DID have an awesome reading month!

    I'm planning to re-read The Fruitful Wife in the next few months because I do agree with you - it's FANTASTIC!

    Going Public DOES sound like a great resource to keep in mind. I'm glad you've mentioned it!

  6. I'm hoping to read GOING PUBLIC sometime soon, especially since you liked it!


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