What books have you been reading?


What have you been reading lately?



By clicking on any of the links in this post, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

As those people who follow my blog may remember, when I wrote my last 101 Things to do in 1001 days, one of my goals was to read at least 35 books during this time. Even though I have not neglected my reading, I am a little behind where I should be at this point. But I have been reading and/or listening to several books.

One of the methods I have used to get my grandson to “read” and be able to

Audible App

test on chosen books, is to use the Audible app through Amazon. The app itself is free.

As you can already assess, Dylan is my reluctant reader, so this app has been a life saver for us. He is able to chose a book which is on his AR (Acclerated Reader) list, and I have purchased the audible version of the book and it is downloaded into the app on my phone and ipad. Every morning on the way to school, I played the book, so both him and I “read” the book together. After we finished the book I was able to look up a set of questions for the book which we were able to use for review before he tested. This has been a real lifesaver.

Even though the audible app itself is free, there is a monthly free for this program.  You can download one free book with a 30 day free trial.                      After that, the subscription is $16.99 a month and receive one credit per month to use on a book of your choice.

So I am counting the two books we listened to as two of my approximately 35 books required to meet my goal.

Book One: The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero

Rick Riordan is the author of the Percy Jackson series. In the Lost Heroes series he continues where things in the last series left off.

The book opens to find teenagers on a school bus heading toward the Skywalk that goes out over the Grand Canyon.

The book centers around a boy named Jason who has had his memory stolen from him and two of the kids who befriend him.

During their quest, these three meet monsters, Greek and Roman gods, and a vast variety of creatures. They also learn a lot about themselves during the confrontations they encounter along their journey.

Although Percy Jackson is not in this book, he is mentioned many times during the reading. We have not seen the last of Percy Jackson.

This was a very long, involved book for younger reluctant readers. However, both Dylan and I enjoyed the book very much and he chose to read the next book in the series for his next assignment.

I was happy he did. I  thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Book Two: The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two: Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Son of Neptune

As with book one, this book opens with the introduction of a teenage boy who has lost his memory. Do you see a pattern here? Have you figured it out? I’m not telling; you’ll have to read the book.

Again, this book also introduces and has us traveling with three young people who also have to complete a quest so their kind can survive.  They learn their own strengths and weaknesses as they not only fight for their own survival, but also the survival of their home camp.

I became more interested in these books than my grandson has. When it was time for him to get out of the car, many times I would be tempted to just let the book play so I could continue to listen until I got to work.

We both were really excited at the end of the book, but it has left us hanging until we begin the third book of the series. The downside is we will not be listening to the next installment until the beginning of the next school year.

If anyone is interested in Greek and/or Roman mythology, this series of books would be an excellent way to learn more on this topic.

Book Three: Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup

Living Well, S;pending Less

I also listened to this book on audio. I think I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable with audio instead of reading an actual book.

In her book, Ruth has broken down the steps for living well and spending less.  The book goes through 12 steps to achieve this goal.

Most of the book was written through her own life examples of how she achieved each step in order to live her ultimate goal which is the title of the book.

I have read several negative reviews which center around her using her own experiences as a way to explain each step. My response would be how are we supposed to learn and teach if we have not experienced these things ourselves? I would ultimately rather learn from someone who has been there.

Also, there were several negative comments about her use of religious beliefs and her addressing these beliefs in her book. This is how many people manage their lives. I live all areas of my life with values instilled in me through my spiritual foundation. This is who I am; so all my writings and activities will and should let people know where I stand religiously.

This was a easy and quick book to read. I recommend it  to those who follow Ruth Soukup and her blog. It gives you insight into the how and why of who she is and what she does.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Book 4:  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People  by Steven Covey

This is the last book that I finished on my audible app.  After I would drop Dylan off at school and turn off his book, I would play this book on my way to work.

In this book, Steven Covey says there are seven habits of highly effective people, hence the title.

The first habit is that highly effective people are proactive.  As a classroom teacher for 20+ years, I would 100% agree with this. In being proactive and anticipating certain possible behaviors, I have been able to maintain a structured and productive environment for my students.

We as effective people have to look ahead in able to make the best decisions now. By deciding now, we are able to know how to respond to outside stimulus.

Habit 2 is to begin with the end in mind. How often do we start a project not knowing how it will end? How do we want this to finish? What kind of responses do we want from our project? Look toward the end to know what to do in the beginning and middle.

Habit 3 is to put first things first. Prioritize. When I was in college one the first day of classes, the students were given  a syllabus of required assignments. By the end of those first days, I would always feel overwhelmed, wondering how I was going to manage to get everything completed. I would prioritize by due dates and the depth of individual assignments. I always managed to complete all assignments this way.

Habit 4 involves maintaining a win-win situations in your interactions with other people. Compromise so that those on both sides of the coin feel like they have not given up everything to complete or move forward.

Habit 5 tells us to seek first to understand, they to be understood. Let’s start taking more time to try to empathize with those around us instead of demanding they follow our lead without question. I often see people do this when they stereotype other races or those of different social and/or economic backgrounds.

Habit 6 says synergize. In other words, step out of your box. Try somethings new. Let’s expand our horizons; only then can we understand the world around us.

Habit 7 is about sharpening the saw.  We all need to take time to rejuvenate ourselves, to learn new things. Take care of  yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Only then can you lead an effective life.

At times, I found this a hard book to listen to and to keep focused on. Covey writes in such a way  it made it hard to understand all he was trying to teach his readers.  He has went on to add to the original book and has written the 8th Habit of Effective People. At this time I am undecided whether or not I will be reading it.

Those are the books I have finished reading lately. I would love to hear what have you been reading.

My life verse

To leave a comment: 


Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson


From the time several years ago and continuing today,  Dee Henderson has become one of my favorite authors. This book met my expectations of a great story line and with her skills as an author.

Like many of her previous novels that I have read, this one interlaced  characters from previous novels into the threads of her plot. This gave me, as the reader, a feeling of familiarity which drew me into the book.

The book centers around Paul Falcon and Ann Silver, two law enforcement officers. Paul soon falls in love with Ann and is determined to win her over despite her hesitation to become involved with anyone.  However, the cases that both of them are working on keep drawing them together.

Ann is a mysterious woman who is hiding her own secrets and it is hard for her to trust anyone enough to divulge those to anyone. This is the biggest obstacle that keeps the two apart.

Not only is the book a love story between these two, but it is a murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing and surprised at the end. I highly recommend this book.



Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock

Thank you everyone for your responses on your favorite books and authors. Most of those that responded with their favorites, I am familiar with.


For this week’s book review, I chose the genre of fiction. I have recently finished reading Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock. This book falls within the categories of religion, Christian, and suspense.

The main character is a young woman who has given up the life of a lawyer to become a full time investigative blogger after the murder of her boyfriend. She uses her blog to help convict those who she feels may be acquitted of their crimes as was the man who murdered her boyfriend.

Only when the tables are turned does she realize the power of the words she writes and their effects on others. She begins to question herself, whether or not she has been instrumental in wrongly convicting innocent people,  and her fragile faith during this time.

It is with the help of her sisters and her boyfriend’s brother, that she again turns to God for help and finds her faith along with love.

I highly recommend this book along with others written by Terri Blackstock. I would list her among my favorites in the genre of fiction. I have read several of her books including the Cape Refuge Series and the four books she co-authored with Beverly LaHaye.

*I have received no compensation for this post. All comments and opinions are mine.