I’ve been an avid reader since I could put a few letter sounds together and decipher the code. My love of literature and getting to share it with my children is a homeschooling feat that keeps me going when I’m about ready to throw in the towel. I spend quite a bit of my days either reading to my children or listening to them read to me. I love it but at the end of the day after they’ve all gone to bed I eagerly await a hot cup of tea and my own reading time. My husband and I both enjoy reading, however, like most parents, we are busy all day long and can only squeeze in a few minutes of reading before bed.

There are so many books to choose from. So many that I often have a hard time trying to pick what I will read next. I scour Amazon reviews and the websites of dedicated readers to help me decide. For several months I was in a reading desert. Everything I picked up fell short of my high expectations. I have about half an hour a day to read therefore there is no time for lousy story. Amazon reviews are okay and normally what I look at first when trying to decide what to read. A problem I find with websites devoted to books is that they are usually written by people that apparently have enough time to read ten books a week and love 999 out of every 1,000 books they read. They must never sleep or have children. Their idea of a great book with they’re unlimited time to read is very different than mine.

I have a stack of second hand books destined to be donated that I never finished because life is too short to waste it reading a lousy book. I’ve put together a short list of books I’ve enjoyed and looked forward to getting to read just one more chapter of.

I recommend getting these from your local library because a penny saved is a penny in the travel fund!

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Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel

This was the book that handed me a refreshing glass of cold iced tea after months of traveling the book desert. I had read several raving reviews about this book but overlooked them because of a few reviews stating that the idea was copied from another book, Daddy Long Legs, published in 1909. When it finally went on sale for the Kindle for $2.99 I decided to give it a shot.  While it will never be a classic or considered great literature, I found myself staying up way too late wanting to find out what would happen next. As soon as I finished it I started it again.  I didn’t read completely through it the second time around but I will probably pick it up again.


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Modern Classics)

I’ve always heard of this book but had never picked it up until recently. In this modern classic I traveled back in time to Brooklyn, New York in the early nineteen hundreds.  Betty Smith, the author, grew up in Brooklyn during this time and the story is like a fictionalize memoir of her childhood and the many struggles of the working class immigrants in her neighborhood. I read a library copy but it’s a book I would love to have in my own library.  I plan on reading another one of Betty Smith’s books because I enjoyed this one so well.


Pride and Prejudice (Dover Thrift Editions)

If you’ve never read Austen’s Pride and Prejudice then it’s about time, it’s a classic for a reason!  If you’ve read it before but it’s been awhile, read it again.  I love Jane Austen’s books and so many of the other classics that I’m reading now as an adult.  I wonder why more of these classics aren’t required reading in high school.  Not only are they literary masterpieces but they can teach the young (and old) so much about life, morals, history, and so much more. You can snag a copy for free if you have a Kindle or the Kindle app.


Mark of the Lion : A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness, As Sure As the Dawn (Vol 1-3)

This is a trilogy and I raced through each book as fast as I could, it was so hard to put these books down. I read these a couple of years ago and I know I’ll read through them again.  The setting is before the fall of Rome, during the time of Christian persecution and Gladiators.  The trilogy follows a simple servant girl, Hadassah, as she boldly lives out her faith through many hardships.  I could go on and on about this series, this is a definite must read if you haven’t read it yet.  Add it to your summer reading list!

I’m always in search of a great book.  Do you have a book that you recommend that you couldn’t put down? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear about it!

“Reading a great book is like taking a journey.” -Emma Gulliford

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