Books on My Nightstand 

This past weekend I was cleaning up our bedroom when I noticed there were so many books piled on my nightstand that it left precious little room for anything else.

This threw me for a loop because I could have sworn I just gathered up half of the books that had been hanging out there for months and hauled them upstairs to the office.

Apparently, it doesn’t take me long to accumulate five, ten, or even 20 books that I’m only half-reading, but that I don’t want to let out of my sight until I’ve finished them.

I read the same way I clean, which is probably why I never finish as many books as I would like to. A friend once told me when I was fresh out of college and living it up as a working professional in Austin (making the equivalent of minimum wage), “You know, you’re constantly ‘cleaning’ but your apartment is never actually clean.”

She can say that because we’ve known each other since Girbaud shorts and Nike velcro sandals with socks were a thing.

In case you’re interested, here are the 12 books I’m “reading” at the moment, not including the ones on my Kindle app, or that I’m listening to on Audible. Do I have a problem?

I’ve included Amazon links in case any of these books peak your interest. (They are also affiliate links, which means that if you happen to make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you!)

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1.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Because I’m a complete fraud of an English professor, I have never read a Jane Austen novel beginning to end. I figured this was a good place to start before moving on to Northanger Abbey, which was already on my to-read radar before my sister-in-law put it in a super sweet care package for me when I was pregnant with Emma and got put on bed rest.

It’s one thing when your doctor says you can’t get out of bed. It’s another thing entirely when your doctor says you can’t get out of bed, and then someone sends you a box filled with books and Dove chocolates. Why would I even want to get out of bed?

Though I’m not far enough in to give much of a synopsis, if you aren’t familiar with Pride and Prejudice, this classic is where all those “Mr. Darcy” references come from.

2.) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

See my introduction for detailed information about my cleaning habits.

From what I have read so far, Kondo takes this approach to tidying: 1.) Reduce clutter, and then 2.) Organize what you have effectively enough that you avoid the constant re-creation of clutter. It sounds like common sense, and I might have stopped reading by now or not even purchased the book to begin with if not for so many rave reviews from other bloggers.

Since we are already in the process of de-cluttering in preparation to move, I figured my tidying habits could use some refining before we settle somewhere new. I actually get a little bit giddy when I can steal some time to read a few pages of this one.

3.) The Trader’s Wife by Anna Jacobs

I believe one of the main reasons I love to read is because I have parents who loves to read, and who read to my sister and me throughout our childhood. My mom and I tend to like a lot of the same books, and she loaned me this one with the descriptor of “just a good book that you can’t wait to get in bed and read at night.” Sold!

This is book 1 of 5 in Jacobs’ The Traders series. It is set in the late 1800’s and follows the journey of a young couple in Singapore building a trading business. I haven’t really started it yet, but it’s living on my nightstand all the same.

I love what it says in Jacobs’ biography on Amazon: “She’s totally addicted to writing, and produces three novels a year. If she slows down, new characters nag her till she tells their stories. And after all, dusting isn’t important – story-telling is.”

I can’t wait to get to know the characters in this series.

4.) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

This is a lighthearted, entertaining read that my sister sent me after she finished with it. One of many things I adore about Kelli is that without reason or occasion, she will just stick a book or CD in the mail for me with a sweet note saying that she enjoyed it and thought I would too. I love getting goodies in the mail, and I use those sweet notes as bookmarks while I’m reading what came with them. I think I’ve literally been picking away at this book for years, but I love that every time I open it up, I see my sister’s handwriting.

In the book, actress Mindy Kaling (The Office, The Mindy Project) tells stories of her childhood, her college years, and how she finally broke into the entertainment industry. She is hilarious and sarcastic, and I just really think she should (and would) want to be my friend.

5.) Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

When Kelli sent me this one she said it was the most heartwarming book she had read in a while. She described it as the story of a 12 year old boy over the course of a single summer, with stories woven in about other people in the town. She said the whole book gives you a very nostalgic feeling, but that there are also some scary moments.

Developed from one of Bradbury’s short stories, the book is modest in length, set in the 1920’s, and the sweet title just makes it sound cozy. I’m intrigued to say the least, but for some reason keep choosing to start other books before this one.

6.) Fervent by Priscilla Shirer

Another person in my life who shares my passion for reading and looks after it by gifting me with new books any chance he gets is my sweet husband. He does his research and always knocks it out of the park, like he did when he gave me this one for Valentine’s Day.

I love Priscilla Shirer with a capital L. I have done a couple of her Bible studies (with video) and she comes across as genuine, passionate, and carries herself with a humble strength I long to possess. Plus, she battles a self-professed love affair with Starbucks and accessories, which just speaks right to my heart.

This book is all about the power of strategic prayer. In the 8+ years Jared and I have been married I don’t think I have seen prayer answered as blatantly as it has been this past year. For the first time, we rallied as a couple, and prayed specifically and consistently for things to fall into place that would benefit our family. And guess what? They did.

I feel like we are in a phase of our lives that requires a lot of really weighty decision-making. I think that comes along with having children, and needing to clothe and feed and educate them properly. I long for even the smallest decisions to be covered in prayer and I’m excited to see what this book has to say.

7.) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Given that I’m having a bit of a fling with historical fiction (thank you Kate Morton), the timing of this Christmas gift from Jared was excellent. I’m so excited to read this, even though British-spy-held-prisoner-by-Nazi-interrogators doesn’t exactly spell heartwarming.

The cover art is captivating and every time I see it on my nightstand I long for the day I can cozy up with it for hours and read it cover to cover. It just seems like the kind of book where that’s going to be necessary.

8.) Audacious by Beth Moore

I won this in a gift exchange at a family Christmas party, along with some lip gloss and body butter, both of which I use daily. My Aunt Tracy is pretty much awesome and has excellent taste in all things girly.

And let’s talk about Beth Moore for a second. She is just as fiery today as she was when I heard her speak at A&M..gulp…15 years ago. I’ve heard her speak on a couple of other occasions and have loved every book and study I have read of hers. My favorite, Get Out of That Pit, fell into my hands at a time when I was very much in one. I guess if I could name one evangelist/author/speaker who has consistently shown up to re-route me and keep me walking in a somewhat straight line towards Jesus, it would be her.

And if I could go shopping, just once, with her and Priscilla Shirer, maybe together they could teach me how to be an intelligent and Godly woman, while looking completely freaking adorable.

9.) Daily Light: Morning and Evening Devotional

This is a daily devotional book that was recommended by my Sunday School teacher. The daily compilations of scripture can be read in 5 minutes in the morning, and 5 minutes at night, which, let’s be honest, is sometimes all you have. I keep a pretty journal close by to jot down whatever stood out to me in that day’s reading, and a few prayer requests so I don’t forget to go to the Lord with whatever and whoever are on my heart. I still don’t get it done every day, but knowing I can read this while I’m blow-drying my hair makes it highly more likely.

10.) Parenting is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt by Leslie Leyland Fields

I’m part of a group at our church called Intentional Mommyhood. It’s amazing to look back over the past year and see all the things God put in place to lead us to our new church home, and this sweet group of ladies played a huge role in that.

We spent last semester getting to know each other on a deeper level, and this semester we decided to read a book together and discuss a chapter a week. We all have young children, and this book does an excellent job of separating the lies we tell ourselves when we are exhausted and feeling like failures, from God’s truth about parenting.

11.) Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine

I love me some Crystal Paine! I read her blog on occasion, but mostly I listen to her recorded Periscope sessions on my daily commute. She scopes about organizing your life and time, making money, and saving money. She provides plenty of insightful tips on blogging, but what I love about her book is that she really makes you think outside the box about other ways to make an income from home, based on your own unique skill set. She is honest, open, and kind without sugar-coating the reality that success might start with a good idea, but only happens after a lot of hard work.

12.) The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Last month, I ran all over town looking for a couple of specific items for my mom’s birthday that were nowhere to be found. Finally, the day before her birthday, and a few minutes before I had to pick up my kids (from her house) I ventured over to the book section of Target. Since I know a couple of the authors she likes and books she has read lately, I used my intuitive daughter skills (otherwise known as Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together” feature) and voila! Set during World War II and focusing on the durability of women when their husbands literally march off to the front lines, The Nightingale sounded right up her alley. She read it, loved it, and now I get the added bonus of borrowing it.

So there you have it! Just a random sampling of my highly dysfunctional reading habits.

Do you read multiple books at a time? What are you reading now? I’d love to add to my stack!

 

3 thoughts on “Books on My Nightstand 

  1. Loved The Nightingale! I happen to also love (in no particular order) you, Kelli, your mom and books.

    I’m currently reading Yes please by Amy poehler, my unknown to her best friend, and listening to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I just finished on recommendation from Mat one of my favs from this year, The Power of One.

    ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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