Our November Reads


Where has this last month gone? For that matter, the year. Without even trying it seems our days have been filled with a flurry of activity; pulling our time in several directions and leaving us in awe of our many adventures. Before we prepare to fully immerse ourselves in Christmas cheer, we want to take a quick moment to peruse the few reads we included in our monthly routine.

We’ve broken down our list into categories and included our personal rating from zero to five stars. To read more about a particular book, simply click the title!

Learning Resources:

  • The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for The World’s Most Adventurous Kid (Dylan Thuras & Rosemary Mosco) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Created by the same team behind Atlas Obscura, the #1 New York Times bestseller that has over 600,000 copies in print in its first year, The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid is a thrillingly imaginative expedition to 100 weird-but-true places on earth.

General Reading:

  • Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say (Kelly Corrigan) ⭐️⭐️⭐️– In channeling the characteristically streetwise, ever-relatable voice that has defined Corrigan’s work, Tell Me More is a meaningful, touching take on the power of the right words at the right moment to change everything.
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. 
  • The Final Curtain (Ray Comfort) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – “How could any successful, famous person who is rolling in money and who is surrounded by adoring fans be depressed? Happiness comes from what happens to us, and if good things are happening, we should be happy. So why the depression? That is the question that they and we ask ourselves. Why?” If you are suffering from depression or know someone who is, this book can help you find hope.

How are we rating these reads? Good question! If the book has a five, whether learning or for fun, it’s clean and we want it on our bookshelf permanently. Four stars are sorely tempting us, but as our local library carries them we’re in luck. Three stars are worth a look, but we don’t see ourselves reading them too often. Two stars were entertaining, but once was enough. One star was acceptable. And zero. Well, it’s zero.

What to be on the lookout for… 

  • RThe Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide is a fantastic book. The illustrations are lovely, and our children enjoyed learning about fascinating places around the world we don’t often hear about. We were so blessed to receive this book.
  •  The FInal Curtain is an amazing read, and one I highly recommend. It’s fitting for young adults and anyone who looking for a way to minister to people battling clinical depression. 
  • The other two reads were personal selections for myself. I found both topics intriguing but slightly disappointing.

Well, this month’s list is short but sweet. Between learning adventures, outings, and a holiday, we spent more time with personal reading than we did on group selections. No problem with that! In December, we’ll be taking a break from our regularly scheduled book list in order to fully enjoy the Christmas holiday! Be sure to check back here in January as we share another round of fabulous, and sometimes not so fabulous, reads.

We’re curious… How many Christmas books does your family currently own?

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”
~ Psalm 101:3

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Our November Reads


November is over and we still can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner. Where has this year gone? It has been a fantastic adventure of reading, learning, and increasing in wisdom. Before we finish dusting off the ornaments and immerse ourselves in holiday cheer, we’re taking a few moments to share our list of reads during this past month. November’s list has a few reads which were recommended for personal development, and others which added to our learning fun.

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie) – Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
    It would seem generations of people grew up reading this book. I was not one of them. In fact, I had never heard of it. That said, I found the book enjoyable if a simple read. Most of the tips included seem common knowledge, but perhaps at one point in time they were revolutionary?
  2. The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg) – Award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.
    This was another interesting read I was referred to from an online “friend”. I found it fascinating to read, and enjoyed it tremendously. 
  3. What Is… (Series by Penguin Random House) – Covering everything from revolutionary battles to natural disasters, social movements to witch trials, Penguin’s What Was? series dives into our world’s most important historical events.
    A favorite series in our home and learning. As we’re currently studying the American Revolution, this was our current focus. This series makes learning fun for the younger of our children and yet gives them plenty to think on.
  4. Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words: How to Work Smart, Play Well, and Make Real Friends (KM Kistyal) – This book presents 50 of Benjamin Franklin’s famous “wise words” from Poor Richard’s Almanack, his personal letters, and other writings, with sage advice on everything… Sayings are paired with hilarious illustrations and witty translations for modern audiences.
    I’ll be honest, yet again it was the illustrations which caught my eye. However the pages within are gems. I see us returning to it repeatedly.
  5. Brave Red, Smart Frog (Emily Jenkins) – Step into a wintry forest where seven iconic fairy tales unfold, retold with keen insight and touches of humor.
    Our family is a fan of fairy tales; we can’t get enough of them. This book was charming; filled with lovely illustrations and quaint stories. I might have to purchase this one.
  6. The Book of Dragons (E. Nesbit) – Dragons — of all sorts — make for marvelous fun, and this collection of madcap tales is filled with them. Some of the legendary monsters are funny and mischievous, others are downright frightening, and a number of them are wild and unpredictable.
    More fairy tales! This book is a classic, and entirely fun.
  7. The Earth Book (Jonathan Litton) – Explore the incredible place we call home! Marvel at the physical planet, learn how the weather works, meet some of the most influential people from the past and present, and much more.
    In this circumstance I will again confess the illustrations caught me. And while I still stand by the beauty of the visuals within, I will admit the worldview dimmed the loveliness of the book. Skip over the nonsense, if you would – detailing man’s evolving from monkies, and more – and partake in the fabulous other lessons included. 

While we gather our books from the local library, the bulk of our month’s list came from readers like you and acquaintances from online forums. We’ve enjoyed hearing and seeing new books being discovered; encouraging us to do a little searching of our own.

We’ll be taking a break from our regularly scheduled book list during the month of December in order to fully enjoy the Christmas holiday, and to share a special new series the Lord has placed on our hearts! Be sure to join us, and then check back here again in January as we share another round of fabulous, and sometimes not so fabulous, reads.

Your Turn!: How do you feel about self-help books?

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Our November Reads


November was a relaxing month. A holiday. Some family. Outings. Nothing too crazy. Just plain and simple fun. Along with those incredible memories, came outstanding reads.

All of November’s books were school, family or personal reads. We’re taking a new approach to Our Morning Basket; one we can’t wait to share with you during the new year. Here’s a rundown of the books we enjoyed during the month of November:

  1. The New Concise History of the Crusades (Thomas F. Madden) – In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance.
    This book was a must read which came directly from my husband’s office. We’re covering the Crusades in history, and this was an assigned read. My husband found it fascinating. My oldest girl found it informative, if a bit dry. 
  2. Uninvited – (Lysa TerKeurst) – In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection. With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers: …Stop feeling left out and start believing that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.”
    I’ve been needing this book for years. Uninvited is brilliant, insightful, and beautiful. I loved every word. Then, passed it off to my daughter who needs every word as much as I. 
  3. Secret Keepers (Trenton Lee Stewart) – Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author and E.B. White Read Aloud Award winner Trenton Lee Stewart returns with a captivating, heart-stopping adventure about thrilling secrets and dangerous mysteries–and the courage to reveal the most frightening of truths.
    I enjoyed Mr. Stewart’s previous series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and had great hopes for this read. While the story was interesting, I found it rather dry and dull. I was constantly comparing it to his previous works and coming up short. 
  4. Once Upon a Dream, A Twisted Tale, #2 (Liz Braswell) – What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks the second book in a new YA line that re-imagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.
    My oldest gal found this read and had it ordered at the library. She liked it well enough, but preferred #3 better. 
  5. As Old As Time, A Twisted Tale, #3 (Liz Braswell) – Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns–a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.
    The much admired book #3, ‘T’ really enjoyed this book. Frankly, the Beauty and Beast story has always been a personal favorite as well. 
  6. Nature Drawing & Journaling (Barry Stebbing) – A unique combination of nature journaling instructions, reflections, and space for your own work, Nature Drawing and Journaling will keep you outside observing & thinking for hours. Filled with Barry Stebbing’s 40 years’ worth of insights on studying nature and keeping an art journal, with patience and practice you’ll be able to create your very own!
    Another fun resource we added to our library recently. I am no artist, and am completely in-adept at teaching journaling as an art form. I feel I’ve learned much from merely perusing this book; I can’t wait to dig in fully and take this for a spin.
  7. Achieve What Matters in 2017 (Michael Hyatt) – 8 Strategies Super Successful people are using now to accomplish more next year.
    Who doesn’t like starting the year off on the right foot? I’ve enjoyed several of Mr. Hyatt’s previous works, and this read was no exception. A refresher course to re-energize the blogger, homeschool mommy, and wifey that I am. Whew!

Well, that was it for the month! December is here and we’ve already started on our next reads. As usual, Mom is just as excited as the kids. No surprise there! Prayerfully we’ll all enjoy the selections coming, and the memories will keep on building.

📢 Chime In!: Which inspirational book are you taking into the new year?

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