Books 1-12: A Book Review by a Photographic Bookworm

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One of my many goals this year is to read 36 books. To some that may sound like a great many books, and to others, not nearly enough. But, as a busy mom of three active boys, a business owner, and someone who is dyslexic (Yep. I've worked hard to be able to read and spell well, because it's something that I enjoy!), 36 books- or three books a month- seems a reasonable goal. I've managed to accomplish one-third of my goal, and I wanted to take a moment to share with y'all what I've been reading.

1.) Tale from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare- I love the Shadowhunter series by Cassandra Clare. It's refreshing to read some young adult novels that feature strong female characters, as well as a good storyline. This book focuses on Simon's two years at the illustrious Shadowhunter Academy, where he learns all that he needs to know before becoming a Shadowhunter. It introduces some new characters, and fills in some side stories from the main books.

2.) Wonderful Lonesome by Olivia Newport- This book is a fictional story about a real settlement of Amish in Eastern Colorado. It's a sad story about how the colony slowly dissipates due to several years of drought and bad crops. At it's core, it's a love story about a young man and woman who have to make some hard choices about whether they should stay in Colorado, and whether or not they should convert from Amish to Mennonite.

3.) Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber- The fourth- and final- book in Macomber's The Inn at Rose Harbor series; I was looking forward to this book immensely. In this conclusion, JoAnn is faced with some very difficult choices when it comes to Mark, and Emily faces the challenge of a lifetime when she falls in love with a guy that- at first glance- appears all wrong for her. It doesn't disappoint!

4.) The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma- This book is based on the writer's real-life events, and tells the sweet tale of a Father/Daughter duo who find a connection through the books that they read together. It certainly made me realize just how special the time I spend reading to my boys is, even if they don't realize it just now.

5.) 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber- The first book in Macomber's Cedar Cove series. It opens with Judge Olivia Lockhart, and a controversial decision she makes when a young couple appears in her courtroom asking for a divorce. This book gently introduces many of the most popular citizens of Cedar Cove, and by the end of it, you feel as if you live in their little town.

6.) Meek and Mild by Olivia Newport- Perhaps my favorite book by this author, this is the story of a young Amish couple and how they face the changes and challenges of their district in an era when the rest of the world was modernizing, and they were beginning to be left behind.

7.) 204 Rosewood Lane by Debbie Macomber- The second book in the Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber opens with Grace's husband going missing. He's there one day, and gone the next without a word to Grace, their adult daughters, his employer, or any of his friends. No one knows where he could have gone, or why he left.

8.) 311 Pelican Court by Debbie Macomber- The third book in the Cedar Cove series focuses on a family that is forced to deal with a controversial decision that Judge Lockhart has once again handed out: instead of awarding the house to either parent and having the kids go back and forth, the kids get the house, and the parents have to go back and forth. It certainly makes for some interesting situations!

9.) 44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber- The fourth book in the Cedar Cove series focuses on Bob and Peggy Beldon, and the resolution of the man who was murdered in their bed and breakfast. It's certainly the most suspenseful of the series so far!

10.) Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport- This book focuses again on an Amish community and a dispute over the public education of their children, as laid out by the state laws of Ohio. It certainly made me think about the rights that I have when it comes to the education of my boys!

11.) Duck Tape Marketing by John Jantsch- I picked up this book because I knew very little about actually marketing my small business, and when I need to learn something, the first thing I do is reach for a book. I have to say, after reading this book, I feel more competent and ready to work with y'all to grow my business!

12.) Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure- While this book is about weight loss (I'm working to shed these pregnancy pounds), at it's core, it's a book about faith and serving Heavenly Father, as well as how we can lean on Him to provide us strength while we fight our battles- including losing weight. This was the second time I've read this book, and I'll probably return to it a number of times in the future.

As you guys can see, I read a variety of different things- young adult novels, romance novels, Christian novels, self-help books, educational books, the works. I'm always looking for new suggestions on things to read. If you have a favorite book or series, please let me know about it! Well, that's it for now. Until next time, y'all!