What's on My Nightstand {January 2014}

This has been a good month of reading for me.  Part of that is because of some time we spent with family for Christmas in northeastern PA.  During Little Sister's naps, I had to be beside her in order for her to fall asleep.  So I had a couple hours each day to rest and read!  I have also had a few days when I had a very stiff neck and could do almost nothing.  (Though it did get to the point where I couldn't even read.)

To find out what others are reading, check out What's on Your Nightstand?

The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery.  (Linked to review.)  This was an enjoyable LMM book.  I didn't love it, but I did enjoy seeing the changes in Valancy, the 29 year old main character.  I have to say, I didn't enjoy it at first, but did by the end.  It was definitely a different type of LMM title, with an adult audience in mind.  This was read for the Reading to Know Book Club.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.  (Linked to a nice edition.)  I delight in the complexities of this classic each time I read it.  This time I read it "with" a friend.  We would talk about concerns, questions, and insights as we read it.  I will read it again in December for the Reading to Know Book Club.  It's my selection.  It is worth reading, even if you have seen the movie (currently $9).

Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey.  I bought this for my husband as a Christmas gift.  He told
me I needed to read it when he was done.  I hope to write a full review of this because I sincerely believe that using his advice we will make some serious and noteworthy lifestyle changes; the biggest will be that we will live completely debt-free sooner than later.  It is a book EVERYONE (with just a mortgage or substantial debt) should read!!  We have always been rather careful with our money.  (Even the first year out of college, I paid extra on my student loan payments...)  Yet this book will still make giant changes for us if we do as it suggests.
Everyday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children, by John A. Younts.  (Linked to review.) This book focuses on how and what we say to our children.  If you are a Christian parent, I highly recommend it, though it's not just about faith.
The Art of Speed Cleaning and Organizing, by Brian Knight.  This was a free (at the time) ebook.  I didn't really find it to be too informative for me, though it may be highly valuable to others though rather short.

Audio Book
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I finally read one of these!  (Or listened to it.)  I really enjoyed it.  I was disappointed that I think it's a bit intense for my young children at this time.

The Complete Father Brown StoriesI'm still reading The Hands-Free Mama.  I think the general message of us needing to put down the phone (computer or book) and be present in our family lives is right on.  However, I'm not far enough into it to know my true opinion yet.

I've also started The Complete Father Brown Stories by G.K. Chesterton.  (I'm also reading this one with the friend who gave it to me...long distance.)  Father Brown is a priest who solves mysteries!  This book is the full collection of five Father Brown books.  Each book is a series of short stories.  I wasn't sure if I'd like short stories, but I am definitely enjoying it!  Enough mystery to keep me guessing, too.  The cover alone makes me smile.

If you are interested in clean (not squeaky) fiction and great non-fiction recommendations, check out my favorite books of 2013.  Also, enter my giveaway while you are at it.

If you have a list of favorite books of last year, please leave a link to them or list them out!  Please also let me know what kind of books you lean toward.  Also let me know what you recommend for me!

~ 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!
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  1. I loved The Hobbit via audiobook. I had read the book years ago, so it wasn't totally new to me when I heard the audiobook, and the narrator did a wonderful job. Someday I'd like to listen to the whole LOTR series again, but not any time soon.

    I've never read Chesterton though I have enjoyed a few quotes I have seen from him.

    I enjoyed The Blue Castle more than I thought I would starting out.

    My favorite books from last year are here:

  2. We really loved the Hobbit. I waited to share it with my daughter. She was 9 when we listened to it and she absolutely loved it.

    I've only read one book by Chesterton (and barely understood it) but I think I must try these Father Brown books!

    1. I also heard that about Chesterton! Do try Father Brown!

  3. You know, I'd never heard of the Blue Castle, and now I've seen it twice today! It sounds a lot like books by Gene Stratton Porter (an early 20th cen. Hoosier author -- I'm just finishing up a book by her). I bet the Dave Ramsey book is good. I have always been really frugal, and when I've heard him on the radio, he sounds like he could be me with a male voice :)

    1. I enjoyed Gene Stratton Porter's The Girl of Limberlost! I reviewed it at http://www.thissimplehome.com/2012/06/girl-of-limberlost-by-gene-stratton.html

  4. OH, I am glad that you are enjoying the Father Brown books. I started the first story and it took me a page or two to get going in it. But after the first story I find that they are much easier to read along with and I'm enjoying them!

    My father-in-law teaches a Dave Ramsey course and whenever the family is together we all talk finances. It's been an interesting journey for me as my thoughts on spending/saving/money in general have changed a great deal over the years. I've never read a Ramsey book for myself but I'm curious to do so!

    1. Our church offers the course every once in a while. I wonder now if we'll do it... :)

      Definitely loving the Father Brown stories!

  5. Dave Ramsey has saved our lives. My husband and I each brought a lot of debt to our marriage and were close to drowning in it. Credit cards, student loans, a car payment, and a defaulted student loan with killer interest. We were living paycheck to paycheck and any emergency would set us months behind. A coworker suggested Dave Ramsey, we read his books and the forum (the unofficial one - free!), and started putting his principles into place. We've paid off the defaulted student loan, all of the credit cards, own the title on our car, and are still working on the regular student loans. We have an emergency fund. We live well within our means with a budget. Sorry for the long testimonial, but I think you'd be happy with his advice. :) It made a world of difference in our lives!

    I'm looking forward to reading To Kill a Mockingbird this year. It's a great book.
    Happy February reading!

  6. We're doing Dave Ramsey's Money Makeover as well, it's tough but I think it will be well worth it in the end! I hope I can start doing this link up again, I loved it when I did it! Just gotta make the time ;-)

  7. It seems that almost everyone picked The Blue Castle for their LMM read. I am still in the Anne series... I have The Total Money Makeover and I am sad to say have not yet read through it. I listen to Dave on the radio though and I really agree with him, just haven't applied many of his ideas.

  8. I have myself on the wait list at my library for the Dave Ramsey book(#5). It sounds like something we can benefit from. I love Cassandra's testimonial up there! It's encouraging!! :)

    The Father Brown books look really cute. I'll have to look them up! I like the cover, too.

    I ended up reading Kilmeny of the Orchard, instead of Blue Castle. I had a PDF copy, and on my kindle, the print was so small, I couldn't read it without straining(which is why I can't read mass market paperbacks anymore). :S I've got to get my review up soon.


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