All right, we’re two months in to 2018. How’s your reading going?
I’ll be honest, I had an excellent reading month in January, but things really ground to a halt in February. I’m excited about the new month–and I’m hoping to be able to finish a few new books in the next 31 days.
Counting down the months with different themes has already been a unique experience. I definitely think about the themes when I’m selecting my next book, and I think the time has gone by faster. It seems like every time I turn around I’m making a new Amazon list with suggestions! This month’s theme is “Bloom Where You’re Planted,” a not-so-subtle nod to the arrival of Spring, which, here in the South, is just around the corner.
I’ve tried to select some hopeful, refreshing selections for you this month, and I’ve recently partnered with the Amazon Affiliates program to be able to bring you a direct link to some of the books mentioned in the post–that means I’ll earn a percentage of any book purchases made by clicking on one of these links. There’s no pressure to buy anything, and I’m aiming to be very selective about the ads I include, but I did feel that it’s only fair to warn you! You can find all of the books I’ve mentioned here.
Sarah’s Top Three Must Reads:
- Hope Heals by Jay and Katherine Wolf
- I read this book last year, and it was one my most inspiring books of 2017. I even added it to my top ten list! Katherine Wolf, along with her husband, Jay, write gracefully about the power of hope when the sufferings of life are all too real. Katherine and Jay have turned their pain into an incredible ministry, which I think sums up this month’s theme perfectly.
- Quiet by Susan Cain
- One of my first books of 2018, Quiet is all about identifying and understanding the strengths of introverts. This book helped me truly understand how my personality affects my daily life, and I’d recommend it for anyone who is an introvert or who simply wants to better understand the introverted personality.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- This is one of my favorite old-fashioned classics. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the life of Francie Norris and her impoverished family as they grow and change together in Brooklyn. I love this story because it champions reading as a way to beat the odds and escape–both from daily struggles and from poverty in general.
- Upstream by Mary Oliver
- I read this book over the summer, and I really enjoyed the poetic but approachable essays written about everything from writing to nature. If you’re a nature lover or a fan of Mary Oliver’s poetry, this is a great selection for you!
- Home by Julie Andrews
- This memoir follows Andrews’ career from her birth up to the production of Mary Poppins. This would be a great choice for anyone who’s looking forward to the new Mary Poppins movie this summer or anyone who, like me, thinks that Julie Andrews should be elected queen of everything.
- The Remarkable Ordinary by Frederick Beuchner
- This one fits March’s theme because it’s all about noticing the everyday rhythms of your life right where you are!
- Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Werderkehr
- If you’ve ever wondered about the practice of keeping monastic hours, this book is an easy introduction. It includes guided prayers and thoughts for the seven monastic hours.
- Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
- This book about Biblical womanhood will help you reconnect with who God has made you to be!
Kids and Teens
If you’ll notice, I don’t have a category for adult fiction this month–mainly because I’ve got so many books for kids and teens. As a side note, I think that any of these books would be excellent for adults, too. I’m hoping to reread Little Women ahead of the new miniseries that’s coming out.
- Anne of Green Gables by Anne Shirley
- I know I probably talk about Anne Shirley too much around here, but I just can’t help it! This is maybe the perfect book for blooming where you’re planted.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The March sisters bloom in a time of war as they grow closer together and grow up into their own personalities. I read this book over and over when I was young, and I’m excited to rediscover it as an adult!
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Can you blame me for including this book about a secret, hidden garden on March’s list? This childhood classic will teach you to find the hidden spring in everyone!
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Great for younger guy readers, this survival tale follows a boy named Brian whose plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. He has to “bloom” where he’s planted in order to simply survive.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
- This series of books for young readers is quirky and zany in the best possible ways! If you like to solve puzzles, this fun series of four books is a great option. These books are long for young readers, but the pages will fly by.
- Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
- Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors of books for children. I wrote an entire blog post about her books last year, because they are sweet, simple, and sometimes sad stories that teach us larger messages about love and life. This story is one of growing up during difficult times, and it’s a good one!
If any of these books caught your fancy, you can find all of the titles in one convenient location here. Let me know in the comments what you’ll be reading this month!