Books & Reading

What I Read In May

The last 30 days have been jam-packed for us. We moved, including packing and all that entails. I started an affordable print shop on Etsy. And my son began an FDA nutritional supplement study for autistic children with digestive trouble.

All that doesn’t leave much time for serious reading. This month’s list includes a NYT bestseller, 2 Christian new releases, and a sci-fi thriller. Here are short reviews of books I read in May.

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Top Picks for Your Catholic Book Club

A couple of readers have asked me for a list of suggestions for their Catholic book club. Choosing a new title for the whole group can be nerve wracking! Especially when it’s your first time leading such an event.

Here are some tried and true favorites for Catholic book clubs. For ease of use, I’ve separated them into three categories by level of difficulty. 

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A Mother’s Rule of Life: Book Review


In 2014, I was feeling swamped. My son was a high-needs infant, stuck in that gap between wanting to be into everything, and unable to crawl yet. All day long, I felt like I was putting out fires. There was no order. I couldn’t tell you what my priorities were. Just getting through the day alive?


That’s when I joined a small book study online. The group was reading and discussing A Mother’s Rule of Life. From the author and the women in the group, I learned how to prioritize my new life as a mom.

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Rosaries Aren’t Just For Teething: A Review

For my first communion, our CCD teacher gave us each a beautiful rosary. She made sure we knew each prayer used. She taught us the history and meaning of the devotion. And for about fifteen years, I never thought about it again.

Until this year when my (very patient, very wise) husband suggested we pray some novenas. I agreed wholeheartedly! The only problem was, while I still remembered the prayers, I didn’t connect to the mysteries at all. They were dry, historical facts to me.

So I did what I always do when faced with a problem. I searched for books. I’ll admit it; the cover of Rosaries Aren’t Just For Teething is what drew me in. My son (and probably yours too) has the same wooden rosary. I immediately got the impression that the book was for young Catholic moms. And I was not disappointed.  

Structure of the Book

Edited by Michelle Chronister, this book is a collection of reflections on each and every mystery of the rosary. Each essay is a short personal narrative about the ways each mystery is lived in the life of a normal mom. The essays are written by popular authors including Kelly Mantoan, Amy Garro, Jenna Hines, and Haley Stewart.

Marian love is a mother’s love. The rosary is far from being a dated story, or a dry list of facts. The rosary is the prayer of a Mother, by us mothers.

My Favorite Takeaways

We all hate to see our children struggle. It’s super tough to trust that suffering has meaning. Even more so when your child has pain that other children don’t. But if there’s one thing Our Lady knows, it’s bearing your child’s pain.

She saw her beloved son, God incarnate, suffer more than we will ever see our children suffer. Christ was tortured, humiliated, and killed. At every step, she knew He could perform miracles beyond count; yet He willingly suffered to atone for our sins.

His pain was so great, and so was hers in witnessing. If Mary can bear witness to her son’s hardest, most painful work, then so must I.  

Why this book?

You aren’t starved for choice when it comes to rosary devotionals. It’s a popular genre with spiritual rosaries, visual rosaries, even sung on CDs set to music. What sets Rosaries Aren’t Just For Teething apart is that it speaks directly to your mother’s heart.

Marian love is a mother’s love. The rosary is far from being a dated story, or a dry list of facts. The rosary is the prayer of a Mother, by us mothers.

Marian love is a mother’s love. The rosary is far from being a dated story, or a dry list of facts. The rosary is the prayer of a Mother, by us mothers.


To help you stay on track with your next novena, I put together a little printable. It’s available along with many others in the Subscriber Resource Library.

7 Reasons to Quit a Book

Life is too short to read bad books

Our days are short. Don’t waste your time, attention, and emotional energy on a book you don’t like.

With libraries, indie bookstores, Amazon prime, and the rise of self-published eBooks, we have never been more spoiled for choice. If a book isn’t meeting your needs, you can get the same or better content from another title. Never feel guilty for passing on a book.

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What I Read in April

Welcome to Quick Lit! Here are short reviews of the books I read over the past 30 days. Only 7 finished books this month, and two were quite short. But I’m so excited about one book, I had to immediately start a Facebook book club to share it with others. 

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Inside My Catholic Reading Binder

I left formal education 5 years ago. Pregnancy (or maybe the sleep deprivation afterward) turned my brain to mush for a time. While I still loved reading, everything I read floated off into the ether. If it wasn’t written down, it was promptly forgotten.

I don’t know about you, but school supplies make my heart go pitter-patter. I’m an organizer, a record-keeper, and a list-maker to my core. Recently I’ve gathered all my little scrap sheets, and organized them into a unified binder.

Recording makes memorable what is otherwise forgotten. Reading journaling printable sheets for adults. Catholic home binder for moms.

This is a Seven Quick Takes post, so I’ll get onto the good stuff {there are free downloadable sheets for you too!}

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