What I’ve Been Reading Lately: A Bit of Everything


It’s officially summer reading time!

Speaking of, if you haven’t seen Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guides, you must check them out. Warning: it will make your to-be-read list explode. That’s not a bad thing!

Now that our schedule is becoming a lot less stressful, combined with a sinus infection that kept me laying on the couch most of the month, I’ve been able to make some progress on my reading piles. Today I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to discuss the books I’ve been reading lately. I have a little bit of everything on this list.

For Fun


The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

Lowell accomplished the nearly impossible – she handled the classics with wit and insight and didn’t come across as cliché or cheesy! The Madwoman Upstairs is the (fictional) story of the last remaining descendent of the Bronte family: the slightly misguided and extremely sarcastic Samantha Whipple. There is a bit of mystery to the story, as her recently deceased father has left her a series of clues, using lines from literature, about her inheritance that she must figure out. It’s a fun adventure and there might also be a sweet romance involved. Mostly, read it for the main character. She’s a hoot.

For My Soul

Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey

I’m new to Sarah Bessey’s works and writings, but this book was recommended on another blog and it caught my attention. I think God knew I needed these words. Even though the cover looks a bit like a textbook, there’s nothing about it that feels “preachy.” Instead, it is a loving, honest, grace-filled discussion about faith. I could relate to so much in this book. In many ways, it felt like a chat with a friend. I didn’t leave the book feeling like I learned anything per se (no how-to steps), but I felt encouraged and revived. Her somewhat lyrical writing style reminded me of Ann Voskamp, but with a dash of Rachel Held Evans’ honesty and willingness to tackle tough topics. I highly recommend it.

I loved this passage from the book:

“Real life is the undignified life, and it is the classroom for holiness. If you can’t find God while you’re changing diapers or serving food or hanging out with friends, you won’t find God at the worship service or the spiritual retreat or the regimented daily quiet time or the mission field.” … “I believe God hides in plain sight in your right-now life.”

Such a great reminder!


A Memoir

Steel Will by Shilo Harris with Robin Overby Cox

My book club picked this book for this month’s read. The author was severely burned and wounded in an IED explosion while deployed. The book covers part of his life leading up to the explosion, the tough road of recovery and how he ultimately claimed his new normal after the explosion. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have read this book without their prompting. It’s an uncomfortable topic and I thought it’d make me too sad. I’m happy to report, although I did tear up in several parts, it was overall a very inspiring story. I think because Shilo Harris is a Christian, he was able to weave his story with so much provision, hope and a “peace that transcends understanding.” It’s an important story: one that needs to be told, read, and remembered.


With My Family


The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright

This is children’s literature at its finest. It is such a delightful, sweet and entertaining story. This is the second book in the Melendy Quartet series (the first one in the series is The Saturdays which is equally fun) and it continues the childhood experiences of four siblings: Mona, Rush, Randy and Oliver. In this book, the Melendy family (including loveable Cuffy and dependable Willy) has moved to the country, which is a big change from city life. We read about all the shenanigans they get themselves into living in the country. I don’t want to give anything away but there might even be a pet alligator involved. The characters are excellent role models in how they overcome difficulties, deal with change, and take on responsibilities, such as earning money to help the family and to buy war bonds, in a positive and healthy ways. My family really enjoyed reading it aloud together.


Your Turn: What have you been reading lately? What’s on your summer reading list?

9 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading Lately: A Bit of Everything

  1. I’m in the middle of reading Longbourne, another twist on a classic. This one’s the story of Pride and Prejudice from the eye’s of the servants. Unfortunately it’s not as good as the Madwoman Upstairs sounds! I’ll add that one to my list.


    • I bought Longbourne at my local used book store months ago but I haven’t gotten to it yet. My library books always have the first priority, since there’s a deadline, but this is reminding me that I need to work my way through the stack of books I actually own. I hope you get a chance to read The Madwoman Upstairs soon. Let me know what you think when you read it!


  2. I have been struggling to get some quality reading dine. But since I started the book a month challenge that you shared, I’ve read a lot more since January than I have in a very long time. At the moment I’m reading “The Game of Thrones” (Switched from Outlander… Long story) as part of the reading challenge. For my soul I’m reading “The Life Giving Home” by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. It’s not to bad. Once a month a group of us get together to discuss the last chapter. So far I’ve been stalled in my reading, but I’ll be picking it up again soon. I am also reading a book called “Opposition Mincemeat” A bizarrely true story about how a dead man helped end the war. I’m reading that one because of my dad’s love for war history. When he comes to visit this summer, we will have lots to talk about!

    I like the sound of your first two books…The Madwomen Upstairs and Out of Sorts. I may habe to check them out. And that’s about it!


    • Opposition Mincemeat sounds very interesting. And I think it’s so sweet that you’re reading it so you can discuss it with your Dad! I love Sally Clarkson but haven’t had a chance to read her latest book. I do listen to her podcast and she’s discussed it a few times. Seems like it’ll be a very encouraging book to read. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on your challenge pick! The Game of Thrones…wow!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an impressive list! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap when you finish it. It sounds like it’ll be a good book. One a separate note, I completely agree with your thoughts about Gone With the Wind (on your more recent blog post). Although, I did secretly kind of like Scarlett.


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