What We’ve Been Reading Lately – November

    The month of November really surprised me reading wise.

    I thought I would not finish a single book this month but I actually read a few!

    It was actually a decent reading month for everyone in our house. I am giving partial credit to our new electric fireplace that we have in the living room, it has become a habit to read by the warmth of the fireplace for a bit almost every evening after the kids go to bed.

    I also think that partial credit goes to my new Read Your Bookshelf Challenge and my decision to only/mostly* read books I own, I now don’t have to try to decide between reading library books or my own books, I’m just reading my own books.

    *Also, a borrowed book and audiobooks from Scribd.

    Here’s what we’ve been reading this month:


    Week in Review - The Fellowship of the Ring



    My goal for the month was to continue reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I started it back in February (and then didn’t read it for months) and I wanted to either finish it this month or at least not read any other books unless I finished it. After struggling through the first 1/3 of the book in February I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the last half of the book and read it quite quickly and finished it!

    I got a short audio book in this month too, I listened to Hidden Christmas in preparation for the Advent season. I pretty much only listen to audiobooks now when I am in the vehicle alone which doesn’t happen very often. But Buzz and Woody had a visit one day and I did some grocery shopping alone and for the first time in my life I was that person in the grocery store with ear buds in my ears while shopping. Thanks to that time I was able to finish the book. It was a really good book to start this season. Right after I finished I started listening to God Rest Ye Merry based off a recommendation from a friend, I’m not very far yet but I’ve enjoyed the little I listened to.


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately


    Next I picked up a book I borrowed from my mother-in-law an embarrassing number of months ago, Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom. It’s a sequel to The Hiding Place and now I honestly can’t pick which book I like better. I don’t think Tramp for the Lord is actually written very well, in some ways it does feel like a bunch of disjointed stories from an eighty year old woman but the stories are so powerful. The miracles she saw in her life were amazing. And I appreciated how honest she was with her own sin and struggles, she didn’t experience these miracles because she was a perfect person. It was a fitting read during this season of life.

    Two quotes from the book that really made me think:

    “These young women had been trained in kindness. How opposite from the concentration camp where men had been trained in cruelty.”

    “God always has more for us than we would think of asking. I would much rather be the trusting child of a rich Father, than a beggar at the door of worldly men.”


    So, I finished three books this month and have started two others, not too bad!


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately


    THE GIRL (9)

    She read a few books this month, she’s been working on The Fellowship of the Ring as well and is about 1/3 done at this point.

    She also read Magic in the Mix which is a sequel to The Magic Half. (Which we always confuse the title with Half Magic, another good one that she has been re-listening to this month).


    THE BOY (6)

    The main book he has been reading aloud this month is Little Bear. As far as audiobooks go, because he enjoys Pippi Longstocking so much I got him listening to The Children of Noisy Village by the same author.



    THE LITTLES (3 & 1)

    A few favorites from this month:



    Our audiobooks have continued this month, we didn’t listen to any for the first few weeks because of overwhelm (of the noise of littles) but it turns out listening to audiobooks while we eat actually makes things quieter! At lunch we are still listening to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street and at supper we are listening to The Monster in the Hallows. We’ve been listening to all our audiobooks this month thanks to the free Scribd trial.


    Did you read anything noteworthy this month? I would love to hear about it!

    If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the book-ish newsletter!


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately


    Read Your Bookshelf – A 2020 Reading Challenge

    I am excited to do something I have never done for this next year and create a reading challenge!

    The truth is the last month has made me realize I really need to prioritize my reading.

    I’ve slowly come to the realization that I want to stop requesting approximately fifity bajillion books from the library and read the books I own.

    I own a lot of books I haven’t read (mostly because I love thrifting for used books) but if I keep requesting books from the library I usually prioritize those books over my own.

    Well, things are about to change!

    In 2020 I almost exclusively want to read books that I own.


    Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


    I thought it would be fun to have a little challenge to help myself picking out one of the books I will be reading in each month.

    I was originally going to share the challenge in December and start in January myself but after I created the list I realized that I have a book for the December challenge that I wanted to read this year so I am going to start a month early!

    My reading challenge, my rules! 😉

    I thought today I would share the challenge and then a book or two I may read for that month based on the books I currently own.

    I am not refraining from buying books in 2020 so I may change things up depending what I add to my shelves.

    Oh, and I’m not sure if this goes without saying or not so I will just say it: the books I plan on reading for the challenge are ones I have not read before, since I have so many unread books on my shelves but if you want to re-read a book that’s fine with me. It’s a pretty chill “challenge”.

    If you are interested in joining in for the year or even a month I would love if you leave a comment and let me know, share this post with friends and/or pin this reading challenge image.


    If you want to will a $100 book shopping spree, you can enter the Read Your Bookshelf Giveaway here!


    Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


    The best way to keep up with the challenge is to make sure you subscribe to my monthly book-ish emails:




    Here’s something fun: as I was creating this challenge my nine year old got really excited about it so she is going to join in for most months (though some won’t really apply or we may have to bend the challenge a little).

    If you like things video style, here’s an introduction to the challenge and the prompts:



    Okay, let’s get into the challenges for each month!


    a book with a color in the title

    Right now the books I see on my shelf that I could read are The Black Stallion and Red Riding Hood. Neither of which I’m very excited about right now. Honestly, I think the Red Riding Hood one is going to be terrible. I didn’t read the back of the book until I had it at home, I solely picked it up from the thrift store because I thought the cover was cool (yes, I pretty much always judge a book by it’s cover).

    Oh, I also have a ton of Nancy Drew books that would fit this category so those are an option as well.


    a book that is also a movie

    For this one I may try The Martian or Hidden Figures. I’ve seen The Martian movie but not Hidden Figures and I’m currently split 50/50 on which one I want to read.

    If I don’t want to do either one when the times comes I have a ton of classics on my shelf that have been made into movies that I could read.

    Need more ideas for books that are also movies? I give a ton of ideas here:




    a book with a nature word in the title (wind, rain, snow, etc)

    Apparently this is a common theme with books, I have quite a few I could read here: Gone with the Wind, Emily of New Moon (this may be my pick, I really want to read this one soon), Under the Lilacs, also lots of Nancy Drew and some Hardy Boys.

    the book that has been unread on your shelf the longest

    Um, this is a hard one. This actually may be Great Expectations.


    Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


    a book geared towards children/middle grade

    We own a lot of children’s/middle grade books and I have quite a few I want to proof read for Raeca. Two options currently are Inkspell and Dragon Rider.


    a book with a place in the title

    Some options I have for this one: Jane of Lantern Hill, The Golden Road, Passenger to Frankfurt, The Mystery in Arizona, and once again tons of Nancy Drew I could chose from.


    your newest unread book on your shelf

    This one will have to wait until the end of June to pick! The newest books on myself right now are Moby-Dick and The Old Curiosity Shop (phew, I’m glad I don’t need to pick this right now!).


    a fantasy book

    Our fantasy selection has really grown this last year! I will probably read Eragorn or, if I’m feeling insane I may try the first book in The Wheel of Time series.


    Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


    a book written before 1900

    I have lots of options here. Maybe Tess of the D’Ubervilles, or Mary Barton.


    a thriller, mystery or generally creepy book

    I have a Louise Penny book but it’s not the first one in the series so I’m not sure if I should read that. I also have Agatha Christie, Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew on the mystery front. (Who are some of your favorite mystery authors?)

    As for creepy books, I don’t think I actually have any but I may own some before October rolls around.



    a biography

    Okay, the one I should read for this challenge is Bonhoeffer, but I don’t know, I started the book at the beginning of the year and found it so boring! And it’s huge so it’s not like it’s boring but you can power through it quickly.

    I have a few other options that I may go with her instead: George Muller and Irena’s Children would be the most interesting to me.


    a Christmas themed book

    This is the book I am actually planning on reading this year: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. I actually didn’t even realize I owned this book until I was creating this challenge (#bookhoarderproblems) but I’m a fan of Agatha Christie and this is a book that I feel like needs to be read in December and I want to get started soon instead of making myself wait a year!


    Creating this challenge was fun, hopefully reading the books I choose will be just as fun!

    I will be sharing my final book choice each month in my book-ish newsletter, sign up if you like books!

    If you are joining in on the challenge would you let me know in the comments below? Also, I would love if you invite a friend to join in as well!


    Make sure to join the monthly book-ish newsletter to stay updated with the challenge and all things books:




    Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge

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