Spotlighting My "To Be Read" Pile

Y’all. I have seven books currently waiting to be read for reviewing purposes. (I mean, I wanted to read them anyway, but I they’re the books I’ve received free in exchange for reviews.) Since I’m excited about these books, and it’s obviously going to be a month or so before they’ve all been featured on Noveltea, I thought today would be a great time to give y’all a whirlwind tour of what we have coming up. 
I’m also a bit amused with myself, because never in all my born days have I had so many non-fiction books waiting to be read. (Only one of them is fiction.) I guess it’s the season for non-fiction? I also have several more books that I’ve requested, and the fiction/non-fiction ratio is more balanced with those. 
And, without further ado, let’s begin this lovely Monday with a look at some amazing books!
Yes, there’s another book, but it’s an e-book, so I couldn’t exactly take a picture of it since it’s on the picture-taking device. 
by James W. Goll 
I requested this book from Litfuse, which is currently one of my favorite books-for-review programs. Multiple times a month Litfuse sends out emails with information regarding a soon-to-be-released book. When a book looks interesting, I fill out the form that literally takes one minute, including choosing what day I’d like to post my review on. Then, if I’m chosen to take part in the blog tour, the book magically arrives in the mail, and I get an email confirming my agreed-upon day to post. 
I choose to review Hearing God’s Voice Today because prayer is something I’ve been studying as I work on learning to pray more often. And, on a more shallow note, I think the cover is gorgeous, as well as peaceful. I’ll be posting my review of this book on October 3rd. 
by Dutch Sheets 
Unfortunately this book fell prey to that “I’m in slightly over my head” feeling, and I’m actually not sure who I requested it from. Since the publisher is Bethany House, I’m going to guess I received it from them, and hope I’m correct. 
This is currently the only book I’m reading (which is crazy, I barely ever am only reading one book), and I’m a little over half way through it. I don’t remember the last time I read a book so slowly. Intercessory Prayer is good, borderline amazing, and there’s so much information packed into each page that I can’t skim read like normal, hence the long reading time. As much as I’m enjoying and learning from the book, the normally-rapid-fire-pace-for-everything side of me is getting antsy. There are some things I don’t agree with, but overall I’m quite impressed with it. I hope to review it this week. 
By Eva Marie Everson 
This is another Litfuse book, and my review is supposed to be posted September 20th. (And, it’s a good thing I’m writing this post, because for some reason I had it in my head that the review was due in November. Say what? 
The reason I chose this book is because it says it’s “A Contemporary Christmas Carol” and I have very early memories of watching the Donald Duck version of “A Christmas Carol” and then of course reading the real book once I got older. So, pretty much, this sounds like fanficiton of a book I’ve been aware of basically all my life. Pretty cool, right? 
Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder
This book has a nearly embarrassing story. I requested it from Moody Publishers, along with two other books I’ve long since reviewed. I don’t know if the book by mistake was never sent to me (I’m pretty sure that’s what happened…), or if I lost it somehow, but I never saw it. Since I knew I had requested three books from Moody Publishers, I ended up crediting them for a book I’d received from a different publisher. The problem came in when I tried to submit the review from the other publishers to Moody. It wouldn’t go through (obviously), so after several tries I finally contacted someone at Moody. They promptly (and kindly) replied that the aforementioned book wasn’t one of theirs. So, I asked what book I hadn’t reviewed that I requested, and, to make a long story short, they graciously sent me another copy of Rare Leadership
I requested Rare Leadership because it sounded like a genuinely interesting and helpful book (although I’m not a big fan of the cover). Some of the points that the backcover talks about are 
*Cultivating emotional maturity in yourself and others (Um, yes please.)
*Keep relationships bigger than problems  
*Increase productivity through trust, joy, and engagement 
Not only do those things sound fantastic to learn about, but they also use the Oxford comma, which makes me happy. 
By Dr. John Hart 
I requested this book from Bethany House, and received it on Friday. I still have a great childish delight in seeing a package addressed to me in the mail. It’s especially fun when I forget what book I requested (like I did with this one), and so receive a total surprise when I tear open the envelope. 
The reason I wanted to read this book was simply because, as crazy as it is, I’ve barely read anything (other than the Bible), that talks about the End Times at all. 

By Jennifer Eivaz
This book is from Chosen, and I requested it totally independently of Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets, although when I first received the two books in the mail, I thought they must have gone together. 
Although I haven’t read any of this book yet, I’m excited to see how the two books work together. I requested it for much the same reason as the other one: Because I want to learn how to pray better. And besides, I think the cover is very appealing. 
By Jason B. Ladd
 I’m vacillating between being really excited about this book, and being slightly nervous. See, I don’t like writing non-glowing reviews, but I really feel bad writing non-glowing reviews when the author himself has requested I read a book, and that’s how I received One of the Few
Mr. Ladd emailed me after finding my blog, and gave me some information about his book. Thanks to the lessons I’ve been trying to implement regarding timely answers to emails, I emailed him back and said I would think about it. Then, when I had a few minutes I looked up the links he had sent. What I read left me intrigued, (including the fact that he’s a homeschool dad and his family lives in Alaska!) so I agreed to read the book, and he sent me a link so I could download an e-version. 
* * *
Which one of these books looks the most interesting to you? 

Books Read in 2015

Books read in 2015


Books Read Altogether: 152 
Fiction: 121 
Non-fiction: 31 

Re-reads: 15
New reads: 137

Reviewed: 23 (plus 3 children’s books) 

E-books read: 102 
Physical books read: 50

Pages Read: 38,615 
Approximate pages per book: 254 
Approximate pages read per day: 105 

I read a book approximately every: 2.4 days

Stack of books read this year equals: 119 inches, or 9 feet, 11 inches 


Reading broke down by month: 

January = 9 books and 2,163 pages
Febuary = 14 books & 3,393 pages
March = 23 books & 5,361 pages
April = 23 books & 6,299 pages
May = 12 books & 3,520 pages
June = 8 books & 2,255 pages
July = 17 books & 3,478 pages 
August = 10 books & 2,236 pages 
September = 11 books & 2,490 pages 
October = 12 books & 3,368 pages
November = 2 books & 725 pages
December = 12 books read & 3,327 pages


This year I learned so much through reading. I really saw my writing expand and grow and my style become easier and my creative side flow in a more even manner. I learned more about what I did and didn’t like, as well as what aspects of books touched something deep within me. 

Reading Ideals for 2016 
* Read less (Haha, yes, I know that sounds weird coming from little ol’ me since I’m all into reading, check out this post for my reasoning.)
* Read more non-fiction (In fact, this month I started a “nonfiction only” challenge for myself. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m aiming for at least a couple of weeks.) 
* Review more (all?) of the books I read, although I won’t put all the reviews on Noveltea 

(Please note: The books in the pictures aren’t actually the ones I read since so much of my reading this year was e-books. The books are the equivalent to the same number of pages I read this year.) 
* * * 
What about you? How did your reading go in 2015? What are some reading ideals you have for 2016?

Whatever the Cost – Book Review

Whatever the Cost 
By David and Jason Benham 

Find it on: 

First person
Two point of views
Non-fiction
 202 pages


About the Book
From the backcover Blurb 

“Two nationally-acclaimed real estate entrepreneurs share biblical principles to revolutionize your work and family life, and give you the courage to stand up for what is right.”

This book follows the story of highly motivated and entrepreneurial twin brothers, David and Jason Benham, from their formative years and ventures into professional baseball to their rise as owners of a multi-million dollar business empire and securing an HGTV reality series. It’s a journey where the brothers learned how they must die to their dreams not just once, but twice as they walked away from baseball before being called up to the Big Show and later as their TV series was stripped away from them just before airing when the network succumbed to media pressures surrounding their faith. 
These experiences only helped them realize that the key to powerful living is found when you die to your dreams and face your fears, and choose to live powerfully through it all. The biblical principles they implemented to guide their work and families are revealed in practical terms to apply to our daily lives and give us courage to stand for what is right.
Why I Choose this Book

This spring when our family made it’s annual trip to hear John Maxwell talk at Ohio Christian University we also had the privilege of hearing the Benham brothers speak. They had the whole crowd in all out laughter basically the whole time they were on stage and yet spoke to us in such a deep way that left a very lasting impression. I came away from that night wishing I could have listened to them a lot longer. 

They were selling books after the event and since I didn’t have any money with me I borrowed some from my cousin and then ran out in the pouring down rain to get two of my books to give to the Benham brothers for their kids. Their book was well-worth the money I spent on it. (And just so you know, the brothers are pretty nice, too.) 


What I Thought About the Book 

The book is amazing. Not only is it very practical, uplifting, challenging and interesting, it’s also peppered with their competitive twin-ish humor. (As they put it “We’re a couple of guys who take our faith very seriously and ourselves not-so-seriously…)

The book starts out when the twins were little kids and continues on devoting a chapter to each period of their lives. It’s not about the guys though, it’s more about how they’ve seen God work in their lives and the lessons they have learned over time. I loved how honest the guys were and how they talked about the ups and the downs they’ve gone through. They even talk about a million-dollar mistake they made in their business when they ran ahead of where God was leading them. 

I found it really interesting when they talked about how playing professional baseball taught them how they needed to put their identity in God instead of in what they were able to accomplish because that’s been something I’ve been working on. (I’m planning on re-reading that chapter soon.) The book had so many amazing bits of wisdom that I know I’ll have to read it at least once or twice more before I’ve given it full justice. 

I also really enjoyed where they talked about growing their business because I am in the process of trying to grow my business (my books) right now and sometimes (most of the time) I feel like I’m in so far over my head that I’m lost. This book reminded me to trust God with the results and not to lean on my own powers. 

Conclusion 

It’s a good book. You should read it. Yes, you. 

Rating 

I’m giving Whatever the Cost Five stars and recommend it to anyone old enough to read. I especially recommend it to people who are interested in honoring God with their lives and want to be encouraged by some amazing twins who made me laugh out loud. 

About the Authors

David and Jason are former professional baseball players and also nationally acclaimed entrepreneurs. They happily married, and their families live on the same street in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their wives, Lori and Tori, homeschool their combined nine children and are passionate about serving in their community.


Follow David and Jason on Twitter:

@DavidDBenham

@JasonBBenham

Visit their website: BenhamBrothers.com

Questions Jesus Asks – Book Review

Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity 
By Israel Wayne 
Find it on: 
First Person
One point of view (plus lots of quotes)
Non-fiction
166 pages 
About the Book
From the back cover blurb 
Jesus rarely answered questions He was asked, but instead turned the tables by asking a piercing question of His own. Questions Jesus Asks goes through a broad spectrum of these, dealing with issues like morality, suffering, humility, faith, and much more. 

– Explore the unique paradox of Jesus’ divinity and humanity 
– Be challenged by the questions Jesus asks each of us 
– Learn more about Jesus and find the answers to your own life’s questions. 

John 17:3 tells us: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” There is no higher purpose in life than the knowledge of God through His Son. Prepare to learn far more about God and the nature of Jesus than you thought was possible. Jesus asks penetrating questions that cut passed the pretense and reach the target of our hearts.

Why I Choose this Book

I met Israel Wayne and his wife last year when I was hanging out at the Creation Museum. It turns out that they know my adopted parents so it was cool getting to talk about writing for a little while. Since then I’ve enjoyed keeping up with him via Facebook.  
Then, when I was at the Museum at the beginning of this month I posted a picture of me with my new book and Israel commented and pointed out that his book was on the same shelf, which was pretty cool. (We also have the same publisher which is so neat!) 
And as if that isn’t enough, then Israel’s book was rapidly climbing up the Amazon Kindle bestseller list in it’s category and was on sale so I snatched it up last week. 
What I Thought About the Book 

I enjoyed reading this book and I learned a lot from it. It takes different questions Jesus asked during His time on earth and expounds on them. It’s easy to tell that Israel did a lot of research while writing this book. I liked it when he would go into the Greek meanings behind the words because he did a great job in explaining them in a way that was easy to understand. Each chapter includes tons of Bible verses and quotes as well as a short personal story to introduce the topic (which were actually one of my favorite parts of the book… I like stories and it made the subject so much more relatable… ;). 
Each of the chapters were engaging and easy to read; I especially appreciated the chapters about riches and prayer. 
Since I was reading the book on my phone I’m not sure how long each chapter was, but they were short enough that I could breeze through them which made it a nice book to carry around and read when I had a few minutes to spare. 

Conclusion 

There was one or two things I didn’t agree with 100%, but that’s a given with pretty much any book I read. Overall I really appreciated the book and the message.  
Rating 
I’m giving Questions Jesus Asked four stars and I would recommend it to people twelve and older. 
About the Author 

Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker who has a passion for defending the Christian faith and promoting a Biblical worldview. The author of Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview and Full-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship, Israel is the Director of Family Renewal, and site editor for ChristianWorldview.net. He is a homeschooled graduate, father of eight and author of the previous title, Questions God Asks, which was released in the Spring of 2014 by New Leaf Press.

A Happy Little Milestone

There are days when I’m really not entirely thrilled about being a writer. The work that I spend on my writing seems to be way more taxing then the payoff justifies and my heart sometimes takes a nosedive. 
But I continue on and keep working on my writing because do you know what? Writing is a gift. Words are a gift. Being able to craft a story is a gift. And I feel honored to have been given this gift and want to make sure I use it to the best of my ability. 
You see the second part of Luke 12:48 says From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. All of us have gifts that we’ve been given and each one of those gifts are special. Our job is to take the talents and gifts that God has given us and hone and shape them to bring Him honor. 

Then there are days when I can actually see results with my writing and my world grows a rosy hue and I feel like dancing around and hugging everyone and celebrating.

Yesterday was the first time I signed one of my Cool Critters of the Ice Age book which is a notable milestone. Having a new book out and seeing people interested in it and buying it makes my little heart happy. It’s as if I’m getting to share a special part of my world with someone else and that is a honor.

I grew up loving to read and pouring over books for hours at a time. I would dream of one day meeting an author or, gasp, even being one. And now I have that spectacular privilege of meeting children who love to read, too.

These happy times help me to keep my focus during the long hours of writing and editing and remind me that what I am doing really does make a difference.

* * *
What about you? What is one way you encourage yourself to keep going?
I’m at the Creation Museum this week, y’all, so if you’re in the area you should really stop by! 

Book Snob: Six Things that Make My Readerly Heart Happy

Last month I posted about six things that make me cringe in books. This month I thought I’d post about six things that make my little readerly heart happy: 
1. Amazing and realistic relationships. It doesn’t matter if it’s a parent/child, friend/friend, sibling/sibling, older person/younger person, etc… If the relationship makes me root for the problems to be worked out and fills me with happy feels when they interact then the story automatically rates higher in my book. Especially if they overcome a hardship together and are able to emerge stronger. 
2. Creative characters. I know this is totally a me-thing because I’m a writer, but when there’s a character who is a journalist, photographer, seamstress, artist, author, musician or similar creativity-driven occupation then I find myself making a connection. Even if they live in another century, in a totally different setting and in a country far, far away, I still have the “I got you bro” feeling. 
3. Distinct descriptions. One of the best things about reading is seeing the world from someone else’s eyes. When I read a book I see everything playing out in my head like a movie. The new ways I’ve learned to view “common” objects has enriched my life. 

4. A book that makes me laugh or cry. And double points if the book can make me do both. Triple points if I’m doing both within a couple of minutes of each other.
It’s not hard for me to engage in a book. I express myself best through the written word and I connect really easily through the same medium. It does take something special for me to get close enough to a character for me to actually cry for them though. And laughing out loud? It makes me want to hug the book when that happens. (Except when it’s in public and… Yeah. I have some embarrassing stories I’m not going to be sharing… Just be forewarned: It’s not always appropriate to laugh. Especially when people don’t know you’re reading.)

5. When the cast of characters is unique and easily distinguishable and small enough to keep track of. It’s so easy to get lost when a whole slew of characters are tossed at me like balls at a dunking tank. I like having a few close characters who I can really delve into and learn about and cheer on. I’m totally a character-driven reader.

6. When the ending is satisfying. Endings generally leave me moaning and knocking the book down a half a star or so, so when I find an ending that leaves me content I’m on the moon. I’ve never been able to peg what exactly makes a good ending, but they’re beautiful.

* * *
What about you? What are some things that you like to find in books? 

Book Snob: Six Things that Make Me Cringe

Some books I’ve read recently are so bad that I briefly wonder if I hallucinated them. These books leave me wanting to clutch my head, roll my eyes, heave huge sighs and start a group called fellow-lame-book-readers-unite so we can commiserate together. Only, I don’t like bashing particular books on-line, so that wouldn’t really work out. But, since I’m not going to give y’all any book titles here, I can discuss   the flaws of these books to my hearts content. 
Now y’all are probably wondering why I read these books so here’s your answer: I learn from them. Plus, they always have a few redeeming qualities. And, last but not least of all, sometimes it’s the second half of the book that leaves me wanting to shout words of sarcasm. (By the time I get into the second half of a book it’s very hard for me to stop reading.) 
Here are some flaws that leave me wondering if the reader and editor were even working on the same manuscript together:
1. Using the same word three times in the space of about ten words. See, using the same word multiple times can get wordy and reduntant. I like sifting through words and choosing the best word so I don’t use unnecessary words. Using the same word too many times can make brains hurt.
2. Using the same exact description twice in a book. Sometimes this might work, such as if you use “dark blue eyes” when describing a certain character. But if you’re talking about some obscure thing, a character talking to her horse for example and write predictably the horse did not reply, that’s semi-ok. But using it twice? Please, no. 
3. Now this might just be me but I like getting introduced to a new word. I see it, look it up (if I’m reading on my kindle, at least) and learn it’s meaning. But if the word pops up again. And again. And again? Then ugg. My senses are finely tuned to stop and jump around in my brain, get my attention and pull me out of the story to say, There it is again! 
The problem is that part of good story-telling is finding out how to not pull your readers out of the story. So, introducing an uncommon word? Yes please. Using it multiple times in a book? No thank you. (When I was explaining this to my mom she disagreed because the receptiveness helps her learn the word. So, to each her own.)   

4. Having a crashing conclusion where everything happens at once. I mean, why not have the main characters nephew be born, her brother-in-law die and her boyfriend propose all within a few hours of each other? Because none of these events inspire very much emotion and that way we can gloss over each individual happening and numb the main character to everything so we don’t have to try and explore any of the emotions. Cha-ching. Perfect out for the author and perfect let-down for the reader.

5. When a delicate subject is handled harshly/not handled at all. Seriously. If a character dies (especially unexpectedly) give the other characters some time to grieve. And while there are some people who use humor to diffuse a tense/heart-wrenching situation, not everyone does that. So, to have all the family members sitting around the hospital waiting room telling jokes and laughing and never taking time to grieve (other than crying) isn’t realistic at all. There is more to grief than tears and jokes.

6. Having characters gloss over huge betrayals and offering insta-forgiveness and right away being like lets-go-back-to-the-way-it-was-before when the betrayer says he/she’s sorry. Especially if the betrayal resulted someone getting hurt or even killed.
Yes, I get the idea of forgiveness. I can even understand how an author would want his/her Christian character to forgive right away because God forgives us. But surely, surely there’s still room for internal struggle and doubt, even if it is brief.
Plus, realistically? If someone who you thought you knew well suddenly turns into someone else and after your world explodes comes limping back telling you that they really have changed and asking you to 100% believe them again? Humm… Common sense tells me that this relationship should be taken slowly because they’ve obviously fooled you once. Who’s to say they’re not doing it again?

My list could continue, but I’ve purged my snobby bookish brain enough for today, so I shall stop.

Of course I’d be delighted to hear some of the things that make you cringe when you read so I can learn from you and not make those mistakes myself… Ah, the joys of reading! 

What I’ve Been Reading

Since we left home on Friday I’ve been enjoying reading. I think the writing side of my brain called a time out and the reading side of my brain called a free-for-all. 
I’ve focused a good amount of time on my non-fiction reading list: 
I read the last half or so of Love Does by Bob Goff and could barely contain my enthusiasm as I shared story after story with my family and quickly passed the book along to my cousin and sister who are both gobbling the book up. Someday I’ll be reviewing it on here. A total Five Star book. Y’all should go buy it and read it ASAP. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sufficiently rave about this guy. 
I also finished the last third of Getting Things Done by David Allen. I had to read this book for work and unfortunately it’s not really one of those books that meshed well with me. (Translation: I had to crawl my way through it and y’all aren’t going to be seeing a review.) 
I also began Home Run by Kevin Myers and John C. Maxwell. Y’all! It’s amazing. I’m only on page 86 of 217 pages, but I’m really enjoying it. I received this book back in February when I was at the Salt and Light Conference. Mr. Myers gave a talk with the principles that are in the book and then at the end of the session each person got a book. I completely recommend this book and hope to review it for y’all after I’ve finished reading it. 
I also started reading Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. I’ve read this book (or at least part of it) before, but that was several years ago. I’m currently on page 106 out of 174 pages. It has a lot of really helpful information and I’m trying to immerse myself in books about writing, so I’m very thankful for this book. 

I’ve also read four fiction books (one of them that I’ll be reviewing on here soon) that add up to 1,215 pages of reading. Combine that with the 376 pages of fiction (It really felt like more! I’m always shocked at how much easier it is for me to fly through fiction compared to non-fiction, even though I really do like non-fiction). That adds up to 1,591 pages which is kinda a lot of reading for five days. (About 318 pages a day.)

One reason I took this reading blitz is because I’m still mind-tired from finishing When Life Hands You Lymes. I have been working on plotting my next book though (which is the second book in the Creation Quest series) and I’m hoping to begin writing it today. Thankfully I have a good grasp on what’s going to happen with this story and it should be really easy to turn out. A couple weeks from now I think I’ll be ready to move on to my next project. Excitement.

* * *
What about you? What are some of the books you’ve been reading recently? I’d be delighted to hear!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Non-Fiction Books On Your To-Be-Read-List

This morning I’m linking up with The Broke and Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday weekly feature. This week’s prompt is: Ten Books You Recently Added To Your To-Be-Read List. My problem is my list hasn’t changed much since this post. Therefore I thought I’d change the prompt to: Ten Non-Fiction Books On Your To-Be-Read-List because even though I read a lot this month I didn’t finish any non-fiction books so I need to ramp up my non-fiction reading during April. 
**I don’t have links for most of these books because I’m running on tight Internet usage**
1. Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Willamson 
I’ve already read this book, a lot of it more than once. But me oh my, it’s so helpful! Totally worth re-reading several times.

2. Finding the Core of Your Story by Jordan Smith 
Same with this book. Amazingly helpful when you’re trying to really tack down just what your story’s about.
3. The Plot Skeleton by Angela Hunt 
I have a hard time with plots and it’s been a while since I read this book, so I thought it was time for a re-read. 
4. Evoking Emotion by Angela Hunt  
Can you tell that I’m pretty focused on writing at this time? Yep. 
5. Leadership 101 by John Maxwell
To all you people who might be new to Noveltea, I’m a big John Maxwell fan and almost always have at least one of his books part-way eaten. 
6. Be a People Person: Effective Communication by John C. Maxwell 
I’m part way through this book and figured it was time to finish it off. 
7. Getting Things Done by David Allen 
Ahem. This book isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I’m reading it for work and eagerly await the last chapter. 
8. Love Does Bob Goff 
I started this book and OH MY WORD. Yeah, you should read it. Mr. Goff has such a unique outlook on life and it’s so inspiring. 

9. Pushing People Up by Art Willams 
This is a book that was recommended to me and I have it waiting in my office, all ready to gobble up. I really like Mr. William’s writing style, so I’m excited about diving into Pushing People Up
10. Hand of Providence by Mary Beth Brown 
This book was recommended (and given) to me by my mom and since that doesn’t happen extremely often (and since Mom’s amazing), I’m eager to read it for myself. 
* * * 
What about you? Do you have any books on your non-fiction reading list? Do any of these books look interesting to you? 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books From My Childhood I would Love to Revisit

Today the prompt from The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Ten Books from my childhood I would love to revisit. This one is going to be incredibly fun to share with you because not only did I begin devouring books at a young age, I had books read to me at an even younger age. Since I did a picture book TTT a few weeks ago, I’m doing chapter books this week. 
I’m pretty sure I had read or had all of these books read to me by the time I was eleven.
1. Scout by Julie Nye
Best dog book ever. I named my first dog Scout approximately eight years before she was even born. 
2. In My Uncle’s House by Julie Nye
This is one of the first books that ever made me cry.
3.  The Stolen Years by Gloria Repp
The sibling-love, miscommunications, overcoming fears and mystery combine to make this book a winner.  
This series is the best. My oldest sister read us the first book when I was four and I’ve devoured all three of them over and over since then.
5. Deerwood Inc., and Llama’s on the Loose by Jeri Massi 
I don’t think any other series has ever made me laugh so hard. For years when I wanted to laugh I would curl up with Deerwood Inc. and laugh out loud for hours. 
6. The Runaway Princess by Millie Howard
This is another one of those books my sister read out loud to me when I was just a little itty-bitty thing. It’s full of adventure, princesses, and the sweetest rescuer ever. 
7. Brave the Wild Trail by Millie Howard
This is one of those books that spurred my love of camping and made me wish I could live outside all the time. I just feel like hugging all these books right now.
8. Star of Light by Patrica St. John
This is another one of those books that was read to me when I was a little mite. My mom was the one who read this book to us and she read it when I was four and she was expecting my little sister. There was a crazy feeling about a decade later when I read the book for myself and suddenly realized Wait a second! This is the book Mom read to us
9. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder 
These were some of the first ‘big’ books I ever read by myself. I devoured book after book and then started the process all over again. We’ll not take the time to talk about how badly I wanted to live out west in a soddy or claim shack… 
10. Captive Treasure by Millie Howard

When my sister (the one who read to us so much) went to college she recorded herself reading this book out loud for my sister and me and gave it to us for Christmas. I’m pretty sure we listened to it each night until the tape wore out. 
This, my friends, is a list of some of the books that inspired me the most to become a writer. They are all fantastically amazing. I’m guessing I’ve read all of these books at least twice and most of them closer to five to eight times. I’ll probably pick most of them up within a couple of years and read them again, because really, where’s a better place for a writer to get inspiration? 
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What about you? What are some of your favorite childhood books? Do you think you’ll re-read any of them? Have you read any of the books on my list?