“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” 
Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird 

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Books are my love language. Words breathe life into my soul.

“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” J.K. Rowling from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

January has been gray and blustery in The Wilderness Place. I declared most days too cold to go out, much preferring to stay under my fuzzy blanket with a stack of books.

Today I am sharing what I read in January. Enjoy! And while you are here, let me know what you read! I would love to hear from you!

The list is in no particular order other than how they are listed in my planner. 

Silver Bay was my first JoJo Moyes book! Can you believe it? Going forward I will be picking up one book a month by Moyes.

I thoroughly enjoyed Silver Bay as well as Moyes writing style.

“We had not mentioned love, but my every nerve ending throbbed with it, and I carried it in a cloud around me, like sea mist.” JoJo Moyes from Silver Bay


I bought this book directly form Logan Wolfram’s hands. I will tell you, she is the real deal. She’s the friend you will want to sit across from in your favorite coffee shop and share stories with. She also shares great recipes at http://loganwolfram.com.

“Why are we so afraid of the “road less traveled”-the road we don’t know? Our desire to control the way so often impedes our ability to experience new journeys.

What if the greatest story of your life is waiting to happen on a zigzag outside of your control?” Logan Wolfram from Curious Faith


I recently discovered Charles Martin. His books are thought provoking, include an element of faith, written with beautiful prose, and with a hint of a mystery.

I especially loved this one as the story line felt familiar, after having just coming through my Sweet Man’s open heart surgery.

“The human heart is remarkable in that it is designed to pump continuously for a hundred and twenty years with-out ever needing to to be reminded what it was meant to do.

If anything in this universe reflects the fingerprint of God, it is the human heart.” Charles Martin from When Crickets Cry

 I picked up News of the World by Paulette Jiles for Modern Mrs. Darcy’s book club. This book started slow for me but soon picked up the pace. I found myself unable to turn the pages fast enough, anticipating what might happen next.

“Maybe life is just carrying news. Surviving to carry the news. Maybe we have just one message, and it is delivered to us when we are born and we are never sure what it says; it may have nothing to do with us personally but it must be carried by hand through life, all the way, and at the end handed over, sealed.” Paulette Jiles from News of the World 

I cannot say enough about this book! Erin Loechner’s Chasing Slow is unhinging parts of my soul I clench tightly in my heart. I love this book! I suspect it will be one of my top three non-fiction reads for 2017, if not my absolute favorite.

Not only is Chasing Slow well written it is lovely. This is a book I will recommend to every one! It’s the book I am constantly talking about.

“But I’d given up my mask. I’d packed it away for Goodwill. Hadn’t I given up my quest for perfection too? Hadn’t I yet learned the beauty of gratitude, joy, peace in any circumstance.”

Where there is learning, there is always relearning.” Erin Loechner from Chasing Slow. 

There were aspects of The Baker’s Wife I did not like. Having said that, you should know I could not put it down!

“Before Audrey was the baker’s wife, she was the pastor’s wife.

Then a scandalous lie cost her husband a pastoral career. Now the two work side-by-side running a bakery, serving coffee, and baking fresh bread. But the hurt still pulls at Audrey.

Driving early one morning to the bakery, Audrey’s car strikes something―or someone―at a fog-shrouded intersection. She finds a motor scooter belonging to a local teacher. Blood is everywhere, but there’s no trace of a body.” Amazon  

The Second Mrs. Hockaday is showing up everywhere! There is quite the buzz surrounding it. After listening to The Bookshelf’s podcast From the Front Porch I knew I had to read it.

“TAUT, ALMOST UNBEARABLE SUSPENSE . . . This galvanizing historical portrait of courage, determination, and abiding love mesmerizes and shocks.” —Booklist

I cannot say enough about this book. Read. It. I imagine, like me, you will not be able to put it down.


I am listening to this one on Audible.

I first heard about this series while listening to the Modern Mrs. Darcy podcast What Should I read next. If you are a bookworm, this podcast is for you!

I have fallen in love with Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. Rather than binge read them all in order, I decided to listen to them on Audible.

Two books in, I am invested!

Be sure and snatch up Audible Free Trial [Digital Membership].


This sums up my January Bookshelf. I would love to hear what you are reading!

Gifts of Grace