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Reading Goals for 2016

How can it be that I haven’t shared about book club or what I’ve been reading since April??  How can this be?   My goodness.  This is seriously freaking me out.  I could have sworn I wrote a reading update this summer!!  Didn’t I?  Is it on my blog and I can’t find it?!  I’m loosing my mind people.  Somebody stop the bus!  Time is going at mach speed.

Ok, well enough about my shock and horror regarding the passing of time, I’ve got some serious book sharing to do!           


Reading Goals for 2016Faves:  Books that I’ve read in the past months that have stuck with me are Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman if you want turn the corner with your faith, and are ready and willing to be convicted, this book is a must read.  Kyle has a way of sharing his life stories in a way that’s easy to read, but at the same time if you are really listening, honestly taking in what he’s saying there is no way your life will not be changed after reading this book….I no doubt will share more about how our lives (my husband read it too) have been changed from this book.  Another fave The Rent Collector by Camron Wright, I could not put this book down I literally was fully immersed in this story, so well written.  The Rent Collector helped me to realize how privileged I am not only to have learned how to read but to have so many books at my finger tips!!  Three Many Cooks: One Mom, Two Daughters and their shared stories by Pam Anderson, I loved the real life stories of my favorite cookbook author Pam Anderson.  It gave me hope that one day my kids will come back to the kitchen and want to cook with me.  The stories Pam and her girls tell of how food and faith has shaped their family and relationships was truly inspiring.


Book Club Book Club Reads: Starting from most recent going back to May.  Remember Babes under the covers otherwise known last BUC’s read one book every two months.  We are all busy momma’s maybe someday we will be able to graduate to once a month!  Ok so starting from most recent book going back to May here is what we’ve read 2gether! 😉

January – Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis 

The BUCs gave it a unanimous two thumbs up!

I loved this book.  It was over our agreed upon page limit, we try to stay under 400 pages, but it was such a great read we all agreed that it didn’t seem like a 500+ page book.  The character development was amazing, I literally felt like I could hear them breathing next to me, peering over my shoulder as I read their story.  I can’t recommend this book without saying some of this book, was just a bit out there….I was thinking really, really could things play out that way?  Then I watched Dateline NBC and was like oh yeah we do live in a pretty crazy world, this could probably all happen!!  I hope you take the chance to read this book, the characters will surely ring true to you especially if you’re from the east coast (specifically Providence Town) , or you are Portuguese, or Catholic.   Kim B hosted this time and she made some delicious Portuguese inspired food, I twisted her arm and asked her if I could bring Trutas which is a sweet potato filled pastry.  It was fun to try a new recipe and they were so good!

November – The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin  This book had humor, romance, and maybe even a little suspense.  Overall it was an easy and light read.  I enjoyed it!  Great beach read!

September – The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant I loved this book.  Written from the perspective of a grandmother telling her life story to her granddaughter, at times this book brought me to tears.  I could only hope that one day I can sit down with my grandchildren and they will want to know about my life.  The way my memory is lately one can only hope I will remember some of it to tell! LOL. Truth.   The author of this book also wrote the Red Tent, which I loved, but was a very different book, but she also gives great insight to jewish culture and family life.


July – The Rent Collector by Camron Wright  Great book!  Would be a great read for a teen as well.

May – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel I have to confess I never finished this book.  I rarely start a book without finishing.  I’m not sure if I wasn’t in the right state of mind or what.  The consensus on this book was 50/50 some loved it, some didn’t finish, others were like “meh”.   It gets great reviews, I just was not interested in the subject matter, and I thought the author was all over the place, like she had a lot she wanted to write and say but couldn’t quite organize it well enough to grab my attention.  Thats just what I think.  I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read it.


Other Books I’ve read:

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris  Written by humorist, and radio personality David Sedaris this book made me giggle.  If you like peeking into others quirky lives as I do  you will surely find this book a page turner.  I interesting enough have zero in common with this man, and could really not relate but found that I wanted to read this book out loud to my husband.  I really enjoyed Mr. Sedaris voice.

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman I’m not sure how I happened on this book, but I loved it!  You can read the review in the link.  I have to say one of my top books of the year.  I loved how the story melded the past with the present in this heart wrenching story.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins  The book everybody was reading last summer!  If you liked Gone Girl you will love this book.  I found this book so heart wrenching, the main character was so well written.  Another great page turner.  I thought I heard they were making this into a movie, which will be great if they do it right.

Messenger #3 of The Giver series by Lois Lowry  I loved the book the Giver, Messenger is the third book in the quartet of dystopian books by Lois.  I skipped book two and went right to three.  The story is not like Hunger Games where each book picks right up where the last left off.  They are connected but each really their own story.  So if you have not read the Giver (which you should) you could go ahead and read this book.  These books are actually considered teen fiction,  so they would be great to read with your kiddos.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal This book was sent to me by a friend, who knows me well!  This book was seriously quirky, but if you love quirky, food, and you live in the midwest (specifically Minno-sow-tah) well then I suggest you read this book!  Another friend told me her favorite chapter of this book was Bars, and I have to say it was mine too.  As I was reading I was thinking how does all this come together, then at the end it does, and its sweet and heartwarming, and lovely in a very midwestern way 😉  Ya heh!  Have you read this book?  I want to know what you thought of it!!  please share.



I am blessed to be spending a week away somewhere in the Virgin Islands with my Kenny, next to spending time exploring with him, sleeping, and eating to excess I am so excited to be able to have time to read for hours!  Reading on vacation is one of my favorite things to do!  When I’m home I honestly have a hard time taking the time to sit, so most of my reading is done at night in bed, where I often fall asleep and wake up all cuddled up with my book, but on vacation I give myself the freedom to read whenever, wherever!!  I’ve been known to read a whole book before I even arrive at my destination!!  (Mostly that’s because I escape my fear of flying by reading!  Don’t think just read!)

JOIN the Babes Under Covers for their next book club reads:

Book ClubWe let Kim’s cat pick our next book club reads!!  We are easy going like that.

March- Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, Erin Torneo

May – Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

The Portuguese trutas that I made for our last book club.  So YUM!  If you’re into fried stuff covered in sugar that is!!

Book Club

What have you been reading lately?  I love it when you share!  Are you on GoodReads?  If so I’d love to be your friend, you can find me as Sheila Johnson…yep that’s mee name.  Don’t know what GoodReads is?  It’s an app that you can use on your desk top or your phone to help you keep track of books you’ve read or want to read, it also lets you see what your friends are reading!  However, I’m not a big fan of reading all the reviews that people write, some people are so picky and they don’t give spoiler alerts…they just spew it all out.  Many times I’ve read reviews after I read a book and I think……did they just read the same book as me?  Anyway, give it a try and add me as a friend!

I’m taking off later today on a week long vacation to the Virgin Islands with Kenny…just me, my man, and a few books!! LOVELY!!  We both love to read, which is awesome because then I don’t feel guilty about sitting there with my face in a book while he is chomping at the bit to do something. Don’t get me wrong we love to take excursions and see stuff, but life is so busy at home it’s also nice to read, eat, chill, and repeat!  With a walk sprinkled in for good measure!  I just started reading the Book Seller of Kabul, and I have Picking Cotton and Inside the O’briens in my suitcase and I’m wondering if I should throw another book in for good measure!

Oh hey, I meant to ask….do you set reading goals?  I usually don’t but this year I decided what the heck, why not?!  So my goal is 24 books, actually hoping to read more, but didn’t want to set myself up to fail.  Well it’s been nice catching up.  Hope you’re well!  Don’t be shy, I’d love to hear from you….leave me a comment!

Happy Reading! XOX, Sheila


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  1. I recently discovered your blog when I was doing a search for church meals ministry ideas. I popped by and immediately was enchanted with your site.

    Like you, I set a low reading goal for the year—25 books—but I really hope to read more than that. I have photo, genealogy, and writing projects I want to accomplish too, so I figured setting too lofty of a reading goal just wasn’t realistic. I will send you a Goodreads friend request—it will come from Patricia. Several of the books you’ve discussed here sound like ones I would enjoy. Thanks for the recommendations.

    1. Patricia, thank you for friending me on goodreads, I look forward to sharing book ideas with you! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and let me know how you found my blog! So grateful for everyone who reads, I hope you found meal ministry post helpful! Have a great day, Sheila

  2. I’m always looking for good books! You’v just given me a great list!! So, you finished Great Kitchens… I loved the ‘bars’ chapter, my other 2 favorite chapters were the Supper Club (I can’t remember if thats the exact name, but I’m sure you got me) and the last one.
    Have a wonderful vacation!!! xoxo I miss you girl!