Let's Talk Books (a #WOMNS Post)

I read 59 books in 2019. I really didn't know if I'd make my original goal of 52, so I was surprised and delighted when I surpassed it. Granted, several of them were children's chapter books or re-reads for my own pleasure, but it still counts for me. Reading is reading, and I'm amazed that even in all the chaos of being a full-time chauffeur, cook, nurse, tutor, and life counselor for five little people, a part-time, work-from-home editor and consultant, and squeezing in the occasional lunch date with the Hubs, I still managed to find time to read that much. It just goes to show that if you make something a priority, you learn how to say no to lesser things and yes to better things. 📚

Since 2019 proved it was possible, I've chosen the same goal (52 books) for 2020. But here we are, half-way through January, and I've gotten off to a rather bumpy start when it comes to sticking with completing a book a week. Life has been very busy, the Hubs has been working long hours and late nights, and by the time I crawl into bed and try to read anything, the book (or my phone, where I use my Kindle app) just ends up hitting my face within minutes of starting. I know this is just a season, so I continue to grab the moments I do have in car line or sitting at a sporting event, and try to make some headway, albeit slowly.

  • Hank & Jim (by Scott Eyman) was a Facebook recommendation that someone else shared on a friend's post about Jimmy's service in the Air Force during WWII. I love Jimmy Stewart, and when I read the premise of the book, I decided it was something I wanted to add to my shelf this year. So far, it's not sucking me in, but it's interesting, and the book is currently 70% off the list price on Amazon, with free shipping.
  • A is for Arsenic (by Kathryn Markup), I believe, was a Goodreads find. It covers the poisons that Agatha Christie uses in all of her books, and gives details about the poisons themselves, as well as examples from real life cases (some successful, some not), antidotes, and how Christie used them in what books. If you are a fan of Christie, this is a good companion to her work. I might look a little scary while reading it at taekwondo, but this is the kind of random stuff I like learning about (though now I'm a little paranoid about the kids eating too many apple seeds...). 
  • Murder on the Orient Express (by Agatha Christie) is a reread. Every once in a while I get the urge to reread my collection of Christie (mostly Poirot - not a huge fan of Miss Marple, or her stand-alone mysteries, unless it's And Then There Were None). I started working through them again last year, and this is where I am at the moment. I just re-watched two film remakes of this book—the all-star cast in the 1974 version, and the one from season 12 of Poirot with David Suchet—and I couldn't help but be disappointed with both. The story stands alone...stop changing the films to add drama. At least, that's my opinion. And we won't even speak of the atrocity that was the 2017 big screen version (really, Poirot with a gun??).
  • Mary Poppins Collection: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, Mary Poppins Opens the Door, Mary Poppins in the Park (by P.L. Travers - Kindle Edition) is a book I borrowed for free through the Prime Lending Library. Let me just say that if Saving Mr. Banks had any ounce of accuracy in it, I would fully understand why Mrs. Travers was appalled by the Disney transformation of her beloved character. But let me also say that having grown up on the Julie Andrews version, reading these stories for the first time has left me a little dumbfounded. I'm on the final book of the collection now, and honestly just ready to be done with it.
So while those are currently what's on my nightstand (WOMNS), I haven't finished any of them. My saving grace at the moment, and the only reason I'm still "on track" as far as Goodreads is concerned, is that everyday on our ride to and from school the kids and I are listening to Radio Theater's production of The Chronicles of Narnia, produced by Focus on the Family and recorded in London. We've completed The Magician's Nephew and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe so far, and are currently working our way through The Horse and His Boy.

In general, I am not a fan of audio books, but the kids have loved listening to Adventures in Odyssey over the last two years (as have I, reliving my childhood!), and when I saw that this was done by the same folks, I figured it might be worthwhile...and it has been! I cannot speak highly enough of this production. We received the CD set for Christmas from a family member, but you can also get the MP3 version from Amazon (for over twice the price, just FYI - it's cheaper to buy each MP3 audio book individually in this case). As soon as we get in the car each morning and afternoon, at least one of the kids immediately says, "Can we listen to Narnia?" That's music to my bookworm ears!

Side note: If you're on Goodreads, feel free to send me a friend request so that we can keep up with what we're both reading. I love seeing what others add to their shelves, and often find a future read because of it.

What's on YOUR nightstand?


  1. I just finished reading a speculative fiction series on the Flood and the Tower of Babel. It was definitely interesting to catch a fresh (albeit speculative) perspective on how things might have happened. I'm also working through some books on color theory, acrylic techniques, and lettering embellishments. I'm thankful I can combine my love of reading with my current interest in learning more about art!

    By the way, I'm sure I've asked this before - but have you ever read AC's "N or M?" with Tommy and Tuppence Beresford? It's one of my all time favorites, and there's a few others with those two characters as well.

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Elizabeth! I've been following your reading updates on Goodreads. :)

      Yes, I'm read that, and one other Tommy and Tuppence book, but I just couldn't get into them. I guess I'm just a Poirot-gal. :)

  2. It’s a bit elementary, but I’m finally close to finishing The Red House Mystery, by A.A. Milne. Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room while a loved one is undergoing tests makes it hard to focus, especially with a reading disability, but it helped me not worry. I love mysteries.

    1. First things first...praying for your loved one! I don't know what all they're facing, but God does, so I will pray. :) Thanks for taking the time to comment...I hope the post also took your mind off of everything.

      Second...of course I know A.A. Milne, but I've never heard of The Red House Mystery and am now on my way to Amazon to find out more about it. :) Thanks for sharing a new book with me!

  3. I'm reading A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and a Great War. I has started it years ago but didn't get into to and it then was due back to the library. I am enjoying it and am thinking about religion and and war and black and white, good vs bad stuff as I read. I read quotes to my husband and to my mom from it. I know you read it this past year Carrie, right? I have been reading a lot about WWI not on purpose, but it has been interesting and quite sad. I've read 3 Maisie Dobbs and another book by the same author. I don't really like them but I enjoy the mystery and setting.
    I'm also reading My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House. It is taking me a long time to read but is interesting and I end up researching things about various presidents while I'm reading. I read more about Herbert and Lou Hoover last night.

    1. Yay! Happy to see you on here, Maya! :)

      Yes, I just finished reading A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War and wrote a review of it on Goodreads. I was rather disappointed by it, as the premise seemed different than the reality. But there were still things about it that I enjoyed.

      Maisie Dobbs...I have one of those on my shelf to read, but I haven't started it yet.

  4. Thank you for your engaging blog writings I enjoy them!


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