Saturday, November 14, 2015

Revisiting an old "What Am I Reading?" post

Going back through some old "What Am I Reading?" posts and found these books that I still, years later, would recommend!

A few years ago I did a study at my church on Michelle Anthony's book Spiritual Parenting. When I saw this study on the church calendar, it called my name OUT LOUD. It told me that even though life is a bit crazy right now as we adjust to being back in school and both kids playing recreational soccer, this is a study I needed to participate in.

And it didn't disappoint. Michelle really spoke to me and I began to see my role as parent in a different light....

The Ph.D. mom-author's conversational style is rarely preachy and more narrative than didactic as she describes her "Aha!" moments, when she moved from attempting to control her children's behavior to putting them into environments where they can know God and be changed by him. This is not a "how to" parenting manual, but a guide for developing as a spiritually minded parent who asks, "Who did God create my child to be?" 

One of Michelle's recommendations is to explain to children that the Bible is one continuous story, and it's still on-going, and WE are a part of it. She has written a book called The Big God Story
which looks fabulous, but is just 36 pages and I looked for something similar, but longer. I found The Big Picture Story Bible (456 pages), which is based on the same concept, and it's fabulous. It also comes with a CD.

Katy from a blog that used to be around called Katy Shops recommended 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog, and since mine is definitely NOT, I jumped to get a copy. Our problem is a dog that barks, barks, barks whenever someone comes over.... she's very territorial and distrustful of strangers. There are several chapters in this book that were very helpful.

What are you reading these days?


Friday, November 6, 2015

Sasha's Top Book Favorites

Which app on my phone gets the most use? Definitely my Kindle app! As an insomnia sufferer, there's no better way to pass the time in the middle of the night than reading a good book! Today I'll share with you my top 6 favorite reads.

  • Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graces (Kindle price: $3.99). Kate is a former lawyer who has opened a food pantry and hasn't been so lucky in love. She meets Ian when he makes a donation and begins to pursue her. There just aren't enough words for me to describe Ian- but to start, he's charismatic, attractive, and witty. And brilliant! Their banter is delightful and I adored him long before we won Kate over.
  • Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G (Kindle price: $3.99). This is a friends-to-lovers book that is just charming. Carter and Arizona have been friends since fourth or fifth grade (a point of contention between them), and contrary to everyone's belief, have never been more than that. One night after a party things go in a different direction, much to the surprise of both of them. There's a follow-up novella called Sincerely, Arizona that you'll want to read as well.
  • The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen  (Kindle price: FREE!). I have read this no less than 5 times since I first read it earlier this year. Corey is starting college in a wheelchair due to a hockey accident she suffered in her senior year of high school. Adam Hartley is the gorgeous injured hockey player who lives across the hall. The bond over their injuries, sharing a deep friendship that turns into something more for Corey as the year progresses. There are several books in this series, called The Ivy Years, and all are great, I also enjoyed Bowen's Gravity series.
  • Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park (Kindle price: $2). I first listened to this on Audible, and it's absolutely amazing. Julie moves to Boston for college and moves in with a family of her mom's college friend when her housing falls through. As Julie begins to spend time with Matt, the middle son and MIT student, and Celeste, the eccentric 13 year old, she also begins to chat via Facebook with the eldest son, Finn, who is away traveling and volunteering. DO NOT BE SPOILED on this book- it's just stunning and you need to go in spoiler-free and experience it as it is written. You'll want to read the two follow-up novels as well, Flat-Out Matt and Flat-Out Celeste. The entire series is just wonderful.
  • Him by Carey Heywood (Kindle price: $0.99). Told in alternating present and past chapters, this is a friends-to-lovers story of Sarah and Will that I just loved. There are a few other books in the series (Her, Them, and Sawyer Says) and well as a novella called Being Neighborly. Heywood is also the author of the Carolina Days series, another series I really enjoyed. 
  • Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (Kindle price: $7.99 but oh-so-worth it!). Sigh. What a perfect book! I did the Audible version of this, and went into it totally blind, which I would recommend. I only read a short blurb describing Sydney, a college student who discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her. She soon leans on her mysterious neighbor Ridge for help.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Attention Amazon Prime Members!

I recently found out about two features on Amazon that are simply amazing!

First, there is a program for Prime members called Kindle First that allows you to choose a FREE book each month! There are six to pick from each month, and even if you don't have a Kindle, the book can be read on the Kindle app on your phone. 

Second, do you read book on the Kindle app and use Audible as well? Have you heard of Audio Upgrades? Here's a link that that searches your Kindle library and finds discounted audio upgrades for the books you already own. I found some great audiobooks of favorites for just $1.99!