I have always been a reader.
Before kids, I would curl up with a new book and read it straight through until the sun came up.
Then I would sleep until noon.
Oh, the leisurely days of being a stay at home wife.
Now I am more likely to sew late into the night, but I still crave the peace and quiet that reading brings me.

Long extended periods of page turning have been replaced with little pockets of time.
It works out well for my A.D.D.
A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
A little bit here, a little bit there.
I am currently juggling five books, all vastly different, but all brilliant in their own way.

This is a great daily devotional that was recommended by a friend.  It is the perfect way to start your mornings and has verses for each day for additional study.  It seems to be exactly what I need every time I read it.

Total torture.  I picked it for book club (why?  I have no idea.) and I am struggling through it.  Part of me wants to go ahead and buy my entire book club The Help as an apology for my horrible choice.

I love this book.  I have been a fan of the blog for some time and the book does not disappoint.  It is so true and real and holds a mirror up to the crazy, weird things that we as Christians all do.  I am sure to laugh, squirm and smile each time I pick it up.

This beautiful book was just sent to me by sweet Shelly.  It is written by Angie Smith after the loss of their beautiful daughter, Audrey.  I can hardly get through an entire page without crying.  It is so beautiful, real, encouraging, hopeful.

Our family is embarking on a new journey and this is one of the many books I plan to read in the upcoming months.  It is stretching me, teaching me, scaring me, all the while confirming what is growing in our hearts.

How do I keep track of where I am in all of these books?
So glad you asked.
I am loving Picnik right now and made a batch of bookmarks using their collage feature.
They take just minutes to create and make great gifts too.
Just print them on to photo paper using the 10cm x 15cm size, glue to colorful cardstock, then top off the cuteness with a brad and ribbon.  Done and done.

Read anything good latley?
Do I need to add it to my pile?


  1. When I saw that first picture (before scrolling down) the thought that immediately crossed my mind was, "Does she really have cute, coordinated bookmarks in all of those books???" The answer is yes. Yes you do. Of COURSE you do.

    My books are stuffed mostly with sermon notes from who-know-when. If nothing else those make great bookmarks...

    Which is probably why reading "For Women Only" might have been the best choice I have made all year. If you haven't read it. Do it. Like now.

    And I'm also reading "Bringing Up Boys" but that one probably doesn't interest you.

  2. oh, those bookmarks are too cute. i'm gonna have to whip some of those up! thanks for the great idea. love me a good book! i'll have to try jesus calling.

  3. I recently read this book- Sarah's Key and throughly enjoyed it. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0312370849/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=159734763&ref=pd_sl_16kt2vl7wu_e

  4. oh Sarah's key is a great one!!!

  5. Hi Julie, I recently read A Girl Named Zippy and thought if was funny and quirky. And I read it ages ago, but still recommend it to anyone who asks; The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I see that you are reading a book about adoption. I just wrote a post today about my sister and how she's fostering to adopt 3 young children through the state. it has been a tough but wonderful journey for her family, and it has touched all of our lives. Just thought I'd mention it!

  6. I am a huge lover of books too! I read all sorts of books at the same time! You will get through Pride and Prejudice and love it, you will be happy you did! The Help is one of my all time favorites! I adored that book and I tell everyone about it! I couldn't stop thinking of the characters even after I read it!

    Love the bookmark, so cute!

  7. LOVED Adopted for Life...LOVED it.
    are you adopting?? exciting!!

    also LOVED the Hole in Your Gospel - amazing. challenging. life-changing.

    Sarah's Key IS good.
    and loved the Help.

    just started Gospel-Centered Parenting and like it so far...but just a few pages in.

    i always have 5 books going at the same time, too!

  8. LoveloveloveLOVED The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. It was one of those books that played like a movie in my mind as I read it. Currently reading Water For Elephants and loving that one, too. Oh- and if you love Jane Austen, Apothecary's Daughter is right up your literature-lovin alley.
    (I will not mention any books containing vampires because I remember your slight...ahem...aversion to said books...)

  9. Oooh, I loved The Help. Such a good book! Cute bookmarks!

  10. Forgotten God.
    Simple Life.
    Successful Adoption- A guide for Christian Families.

    these are on my night stand, and I'm reading through all of them right now, and like them each a lot.

    Successful Adoption has lots of great personal stories from different people who've adopted (steven curtis chapman being one of them)
    It's a great resource and has some great 'stop and think moments'. The tough questions and things like that.

  11. of course you have sparked many I am sure with what is on your bedstand. Of course what sprung out to me was the adopted for life. Oh I hope you all are embarking on adoption!! We are an adoption family and we have been so incredibly blessed by our daughter Hayden(20 months) from Taiwan. It was a long journey, but worth every single painful minute!! Even my friends with homegrown kiddos that have adopted say it is the most amazing experience in the same but yet such a different way!!!

    Can't wait to hear the news. I also can't wait to try out those bookmarks!!

  12. Ohh, I just finished The Help!! I couldn't put it down. It was soooo good.

  13. for just straight out reading find "Fieldwork" by Mischa Berlinski - fab, fab, fab....the author did live in Thailand so I am not sure if this is a true story or fictional but a great read....enjoy!

  14. I am reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and loving it!

  15. There's some good stuff in your pile o'books. I love to read and I just blaze through books before I really know their names. Two of my all-time favorites are Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and One Night With The King by Tommy Tenney. Crazy Love is on my list next. I've heard such great things about it.

    Adopted For Life - has me intrigued! I can't wait for the details on that! :)

    SCL - I'm not surprised. He's so hilarious!

  16. Embarking on a new journey? I can't WAIT to read more about that. :)

  17. If you have never read anything by TC Boyle, you must pick him up. I would start with Tortilla Curtain since you live in southern California. I am re-reading Drop City for my book group... recommended Tortilla Curtain to my friend Heather who loved it so much she picked another Boyle book.

  18. Oh, I am so excited for you if you are considering adoption. It is one of the most sacred and blessed experiences that can be had in this life! In our living room, on the wall, I applied these words (in a "good" font :))- The joy is in the Journey. That is our motto! Adoption is a journey, it will grow and stretch you, it will teach you, and it will make you an even better person! It will make you a mama again :). And through it all, the Lord will be guiding you and holding your hand! It is so evident. If we had a million dollars, we'd do it again and again! It is such a blessing, and I look forward to hearing about your Journey! If you'd ever like to visit, feel free to email me :)

    blessedcowgirl at gmail dot com

  19. Today I read the Target ad and the coupon in my Chick-fil-A bag...probably doesn't count...sounds like we might be embarking on the same journey.

  20. I am also reading Stuff Christians Like as well. You should pick up Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. I just started reading it, and I have heard that it will change the way you view your secret place.

  21. I would do cartwheels if you announced adoption. I also know that your close friends have had an enormous struggle with their adoption process, and have a feeling you're reading it to better understand the process and offer support. Either way, you're amazing for reading it.

    My jaw dropped when I saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Why? Because it's next to the Twilight series at Walmart and I almost took a picture of the collection as a whole and sent it to you titled: Your nightmare on a shelf.

    My favorite book of all time takes no effort to read and makes me laugh out loud. You HAVE to read it. I actually think you'll enjoy it: Be Happy or I'll Scream by Sheri Lynch. There's no hating that book. Pinky promise.

    I love your bookmarks. LOVE.

  22. Thanks for sharing! I'm always, ALWAYS reading like 5 books at a time, due to my own ADD. I actually just like to say I'm just well-rounded. haha! Thanks for sharing the Stuff Christians Like blog. Funny stuff! I've never heard of it. Our book club is reading "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. Great book so far!

  23. I too love to read....and with 4 children, usually don't have time until right before bed...a lay and try to read usually I fall asleep after a coupld of pages but o'whell...I still try....I would love a mini vacation on a beach where I could sit in the sun and read.....hmmmmmmm... Love your bookmarks they are way to cute!!!

  24. Love reading the suggestions posted thus far. Someone already mentioned Sarah's Key which I really enjoyed.
    The Last Lecture is also amazing.
    Newest addition to my nightstand reading is "Fearless" by Max Lucado.
    Thanks for the bookmark idea. I thinking Father's Day gift!
    Amy (Joy's friend)

  25. I completely agree- reading is so relaxing, but also time consuming.
    Some books that I've read (and L-O-V-E-D) and can't wait to read are:
    Scared by Tom Davis (I recommend this to EVERYONE... it's a must)
    It's Not Okay With Me by Janine Maxwell
    One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda
    Crazy Love by Francis Chan

    If you are embarking on the journey of adoption, WAY TO GO!!! Adoption is such a blessing! We have adopted 2 children from Guatemala in addition to our 4 child bio children. Prayers are being sent your way... I am excited to follow this new chapter in your life.

    Shari Stroup

  26. One of the best books I have ever read, which made the most impact on my life was "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" by Betty Smith. I recommend it to everyone.

    I also love "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. I love the 25th anniversary addition, as he had become a Christian and it adds a much more broad depth to the book.

  27. are you guys adopting!? woohoo!
    love your bookmark.
    I'm the same kind of reader. Right now it's "In Defense of Food," "Tending to Eden," and "Repentence," with many more on the to-be read list.

  28. I read through about half of "I Will Carry You" last night on my iphone. Incredible.

  29. Have you ever read Sheldon Van Auken 'A Severe Mercy'....


    Let me know how those books are! I love my reading time!

    I completely loved ~ The Red Tent and The Secret Life of Bees

  30. So funny - my book club ALMOST picked that book this month. But we ended up going with Little Bee. I'm liking it, but dying to read The Help.

    Can't wait to chat adoption with you.

  31. Oh, I echo MANY of these titles but I have to add "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. I've read it at least 15 times (no joke) since I picked it up my senior year of HS (in 1990--eek!) My very favorite EVER. A close second would be Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Seriously...I could go on and on with titles galore, but you get the picture. Happy reading to you...and off to my book laden nightstand I go!

  32. http://stefaniesreadinglist.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for the reviews...

    here is my friend's book review blog....

    I also love/d reading, but haven't had the focussed attention in far too long now.
    (Enjoyed Redeeming Love-Francine Rivers.)
    I miss it, and long to get stuck into all of those recommended on blogs.
    also enjoyed piknik, had forgotten about them

  33. Julie,
    One book that might actually excite you if you are embarking on a God adventure is Primal by Mark Batterson. I read it back in December in order to do a blog review, and it has stuck with me so strongly that I was able to get permission to do a book study at our house through my church. My adrenaline actually pumps, noticeably, when I think about this book; we start tomorrow night, and from our rather smallish church, we are going to be packing almost 30 people into this house tomorrow night! My (or God's, rather) ultimate goal through this book is to have our church body not just read the book, but to take it to heart and do something BIG for Him with the information. It's short, simple, but for me, it was profoundly motivating. It basically takes the Great Commandment and breaks it down and gives you tangible ideas on how to live it out.
    I read Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years before Primal, and for me they went hand it hand-Don's Book is on truly living the Story that God created for you.
    I'm excited for you!!

  34. I had to come back and mention the book Stiff by Mary Roach. It is an entire book dedicated to what they do with bodies when you donate your body to science. I couldn't put it down.

    As a result, I have signed up to donate my temporal bones (ear bones) to science because I have a genetic hearing condition called otosclerosis. I had surgery in 2005 to fix it, they removed part of one of my ear bones and replaced it with a titanium piston.

  35. Aww yes ... reading. My long-lost love...


    I am currently reading "Original Intent" by David Barton. It is a book about how our country truly was founded on God. I love it. Such a great book!

  36. Reading 6 or 7 books right now....Plan B is really speaking to me.

  37. Oh we're starting our adoption journey right now :-) so excited to see where you guys are headed!

  38. I love your blog! Please pop on over to my site to receive your Versatile Blogger award!


  39. The Help is an excellent book! My hubs got it for me for Christmas and I devoured it in a couple of days!

  40. Oh, I so hope God leads you to adopt!! Adoption has been such an amazing gift to our family, not only our's Eternally, but our's here on earth.
    Joshua Shen Cryer... left on a sand pile at two days old... adopted into our family FOREVER almost 2 years ago. He's incredible!!
    Our story: www.our-china-doll.blogspot.com

  41. Adopting? Good for you! We are too :)

  42. Reading is the best, and mine was somewhat curtailed while raising my family. Now I can read again and on my nightstand is, Love Is Eternal. I'm enjoying it so much! Thanks for sharing your spurts...the right thing to do right now!

  43. Hey--I had to chuckle that two of the books in my current reading pile are also in yours--"Jesus Calling" (SOOOOO good!) and "I Will Carry You"...I've also got Beth Moore's "Praying God's Word" and James Dobson's "Bringing up Girls" in my pile! Happy reading!


  44. The books most commonly found on my nightstand these days are the series by Karen Kingsbury about the Baxter family. They are AWESOME!

  45. cute post,fyi angie of(i will carry you) just delivered a safe healthy baby girl last night on her own birthday.You might already know just wanted to give you a heads up.:)

  46. oh my gosh I am freaking out about your book collection, especially the adoption one, that is so exciting! can't wait to hear more details.
    I also recommend For Women Only. I have that on my nightstand & I also have The Shack on it, haven't started it yet though.
    Love your cute bookmarks!

  47. Glass Castles by Jeannette Walls (memoir about her crazy childhood with parents with mental illness, could not put it down!)

    and her follow up book too, Half-Broke Horses (true life novel of her grandmother, another one I can't put down!)

  48. love the bookmarks!
    'slummy mummy' by fiona neill
    {funny, light, quirky}
    'jane eyre' by charlotte bronte
    'persuasion' by jane austen
    i'm sure you've read both, but they're great, and i never get sick of them.

    drumroll, please for my top pick of all time. i promise you will NOT be disappointed.
    'outlander' by diana gabaldon

    this book is so incredible. i was very skeptical based on plot summaries i've read that describe it as a historical, epic love story with time travel. yes, i said time travel. but it is soooo not cheese. it's phenomenal. makes me have faith in 20th century literature. READ IT! or else...

  49. Love the little bookmark!!! :) Great idea!
    Reading- I just finished "Things Fall Apart" but thought it was so-so. I love goodreads to keep my "to read" pile organized.

  50. i go through spurts of great non-fiction, entertaining reads and books that challenge me. i've been on a challenge spurt. [i just needed to clear up that sometimes i do read other things!]

    the hole in our gospel
    crazy love
    future grace
    radical [in the middle of this one & doing our small group series on it.]

  51. You have lots of good books there and lots of great suggestions. I get most of my suggestions off blogs and comments so thanks! I added a few from your readers into my swaptree list :) Now for a cute, light story try Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stewart - I loved it!

  52. You're adopting!?!?!
    This is my first time commenting on anything you wrote, so you don't know me at all but I'm going to say this anyway ... God sent me to you! I actually have tears right now. I want to adopt more than anything and I'm counting down the years until it's possible. I can't wait to read more about your journey and I'm going to buy that book NOW!

  53. I die over that bookmark!!

    I'm in the middle of a zillion boooks too....though none of them are "good" like yours ;)

  54. A woman after my own heart. I have to be careful when I pick up a book, because usually nothing else will get done, aside from feeding and changing my little ones!

  55. I'm wanting to read I will carry you. I read an excerpt from it in the Family Life magazine I get at church. I cried my eyes out, so I don't know how I'll make it through the book. It seems so inspiring and amazing to see how God works.