The Bookshelf

renee “For some reason, ever since the beginning of January, I have struggled with disciplining myself to get up in the morning…the last two weeks I have been able to get-up and have time to exercise, stretch and have uninterrupted quiet for prayer, reading and journaling. I cannot tell you how invigorated I feel! … Jen Hatmaker says, “The kind of disciple I am dictates the kind of mother I am.”

So I posted on Facebook, six weeks ago.

Four years ago this March, I fell ice skating and cut my head open on the ice. If you look closely, you might be able to see the scar that graces my left temple. Then again, you may not – my scar has really faded in the last four years.

I can hardly believe it was four years ago. I count myself blessed extremely to have spent only three days in the hospital following my near-fatal incident. The whole thing scared my husband exceedingly; poor man. We had not been married even two years and I was being life-flighted.

Amazingly, I experienced little side effects from my crash on the ice. I never even had one headache. I struggled with dizziness for a couple of months afterwards and people who know me well, said that I had some pretty crazy mood swings, but all in all – I know it could have been a lot worse. Doctors say that with the kind of head injury I suffered, some people go through entire personality changes.

One change I do think I experienced was in my ability to concentrate when I read. It was so frustrating and for the longest time I didn’t put it together. I just got mad at myself for not being able to focus when I tried to read. I lost all joy for reading and this aggravated me. How could this happen, when pre-accident I had loved to get lost in the pages of a book?

As time has gone by it has gotten easier and in the last six months I even started praying about my inability to concentrate and focus when I tried to read. I am delighted to say that I am experiencing greater ability to focus and the old joy of reading has come back.

Since I love reading ideas and book recommends, I thought I’d let you take a peek at my current bookshelf…

The Just-Read Ratings

calicocaptiveFive stars. It’s historical fiction for the preteen/teenager, but when I saw this book sitting on the shelf at our local library, I quickly snatched it up. This was one volume that had completely alluded me when it was recommended to me as an avid sixteen-year-old reader. Elizabeth George Speare does it again with this delightful and engaging tale of a young girl who experiences an American settler’s worst nightmare – getting kidnapped by Indians. Based on a true story, I highly recommend this book. {That said, if you have never read Speare, you positively must. The Bronze Bow and The Witch of Blackbird Pond also come highly recommended by me.}


Five Stars. But please note: I am completely prejudiced in my high regard for this whimsical children’s book. It was one of my childhood favorites. It’s true – I don’t know how anyone cannot like the rhythmic beat of this jolly treasure – and “razamatazzberry” is just way too fun – but it is admittedly very silly.

outofthespincycleThree stars. This book is super mom-friendly. Each devotional is short (generally, two to five pages in length) and easy-to-read, and this “mom do-able” book is packed with humor and bits of wisdom for your every day. Maybe a perfect “potty book”?

redtrainThree stars. This board book is the perfect way to introduce color concepts to your toddler. Amazon describes A RED TRAIN as a book that covers two concepts – colors and transportation. Each picture depicts an animal riding in a colorful mode of transportation with a simple word description of the collage-type artwork. The age range is listed as 2-4 years online, but Leo (20 months) has enjoyed this book for a good half-year already.


* Five stars for this volume that tells the stories of sex-trafficked survivors and those who have helped them in their journey of healing and recovery. This book is both an inspirational narrative of how the ministry of Wellspring Living began, and a motivational call to get involved with practical tips on how you can start caring about this issue through prayer and volunteering.


* Five stars. I underlined a lot of sentences in this volume by the acclaimed Leslie Ludy. I found Set-Apart Motherhood to be more than just another “mommy book”. Ludy unpacks Scriptural truth in mom-relevant, practical ways, calling mothers to embrace their role beautifully and joyfully. Highly recommended. A few thoughts I journaled when I read this book: Consistent joy is possible, in Christ, because of Christ. ~ Being a set-apart mom has little to do with perfection and a whole lot to do with faithfulness. ~ Being a mom consistently scourges my selfishness. It calls me to sacrifice my agenda, my priorities, my wants – to engage in the high calling of nurturing my son’s soul. ~

silenceofmockingbirds* Three stars. I always love a good memoir. This one was gripping and impacted me deeply. A Silence of Mockingbirds is the true story of a young girl abused to death. The writer, Karen Spears Zacharias, calls the reader to always act on valid concern for abuse. In a world where many people rationalize away concern (because many innocent people have been traumatized by unfair accusations of abuse or neglect, over the years), Zacharias pleads for people to sit-up, pay attention, and become advocates for the innocent.

Currently Reading

thenestingplace* So far, this is a five star read. I LOVE this book.

trim healthy mama * Five stars for the book I am very slowly reading that has revolutionized the way thousands of people eat and transformed my approach {are you ready for this?} to cooking. THM is packed with simple recipes for amazing meals (we have only had one bad experience) that are good for you! I am actually in danger of enjoying the kitchen again, people! {That is revolutionary.}

rachel jankovic

Four stars (so far) for this tiny little book packed with a whole lot of wisdom for motherhood in the trenches. Highly recommended. (I give it four stars only because I am picky about grammar.)

mary demuth

Three stars (so far), for this engaging real-to-life Southern novel. Excellent writing and gripping story-line.

Next on the bookshelf…

 life in defiance   a slow burn   fit to burst   in the field of grace

*  Please note: If there is a star next to a review, I own the book and would be happy to loan it out locally.


5 thoughts on “The Bookshelf

  1. I’d love to borrow a few of these books. Set-apart Motherhood, the white umbrella, and a silence of mockingbirds. I don’t need all three of someone else wants to borrow some too. We’re planning to attend your church on Sunday…I’d love to meet you and get more recommended reads.

  2. So thankful with you for the ability to enjoy reading again. I really enjoyed your reviews and would love to borrow the book on sex trafficking. (I couldn’t make out the title) I also would love to read The Silence of Mockingbirds, but I certainly do not need them both at once. 🙂

  3. Is there a Pratt that doesn’t LOVE to read?:)….Well maybe a couple, but you always need to have some nuts in the family:) I liked your post, so many interesting looking books… I already have a huge list of books just waiting to be read, but sometimes days go by before I have time to pick them up. I do have In the Field of Grace if you want to borrow it, I think Steph has it down there. It’s a good one if you like historical fiction, like I do! 🙂 Love ya sis, keep writing!

  4. I love you, Hannah!! 🙂 I wish I could see you again. Maybe you should come down here again for a visit? Yeah? Good idea? You think? I do. 😉 I am borrowing it from Stephanie to read…so I guess I am actually borrowing it from you. 🙂 I miss you.

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