The November Bookbag

Dear Reading Friends ~

There's no place else I'd rather be ... all warm and cozy curled up by the fire under the blue fleece throw I gave him but try to quietly grab before he gets it.  A messy stack of magazines and newspapers is toppling, the pile of library check-outs grows weekly.  I haven't read nearly as much as in previous years and my TV watching is almost nil.

The culprit?  Sudoku-X 16x16 Numbers & Letters.  The cover says it's 'easy,' but even genius family members have struggled mightily to successfully get through one puzzle.  It's not uncommon to invest a week or two of evenings to find, as you're closing in on the final squares, that you made a simple mistake somewhere along the way and the party's over. 

I love it anyway.  And yes, this is a fabulous 🎄 gift for your puzzling loved ones.  Don't forget these erasers.  They'll need them. 


I somehow polished off 8 books the past month.  I'm highlighting the top 4 along with a whole bunch of bookish/writing links, a couple meaningful spiritual practices, and favorite 5-star reads on sale.  I've sprinkled some 🎄 shopping ideas here and there, too, just for fun.

Got your mug filled with something hot?  Grab someone's blanket, hang up the Do Not Disturb sign, curl up and enjoy ...

image credit

Waymaker: Finding the Way to the Life You've Always Dreamed Of
Ann Voskamp 
'I haven't just tipped into heart failure right now; I've been falling in failure for far too long, failing my darling Darryl, failing my marriage, failing my sons and daughters, failing the kindest of friends and long-suffering family, failing in bruised relationships, and failing God.  I've curved inward instead of turned, blamed instead of owned, controlled instead of calmed, dismissed instead of peeling back everything and lavishing attention on souls just yearning to be seen ...'
(page 266-267)
🎄 click to look inside, get a free sample, or buy 


The Sweet Life (Cape Cod Creamery Book #1)
Suzanne Woods Fisher
My family has been huge fans of Suzanne's Amish series (3 Generations Are Loving This Amish Author) and I had no idea she'd written other light-hearted fiction 'til youngest daughter gave me this book for my birthday.  What's not to love?!  My Cape Cod home turf, relationship drama, buying and refurbishing an old decrepit shop in Chatham, mother-daughter dynamics, and ice cream on every page.
🎄 click to look inside, get a free sample, or buy 


The Lazy Genius Way:  Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, & Get Stuff Done
The Lazy Genius Kitchen: Have What You Need, Use What You Have, & Enjoy It Like Never Before
Kendra Adachi
I read these one right after the other ... an enjoyable crash course in all things 'lazy genius.'  Kendra's like a smart, sassy big sister and her philosophy is spot on - 'be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't.'  If your life or your kitchen space is out of control, she's the perfect no-nonsense, very fun companion to get you where you want to go.  Whimsical illustrations and clever charts, lists, and stuff.  
The Lazy Genius Way -
🎄 click to look inside, get a free simple, or buy (on sale for $4.99!) 

The Lazy Genius Kitchen -
🎄 click to look inside, get a free simple, or buy 


The single best thing you can do for your reading life
Anne Bogel

A Season of Waiting (a free devotional focusing on Advent's history) 🎄
Kate Bowler

Christmas Devotionals for Groups, Individuals, & Families 🎄
Tim Challies

Mere Christianity: 7 Helpful Quotes for Modern-Day Readers
Lois Flowers

How to Start a Prayer Journal
Richard Foster

Writing Reveals What is Alive in Us
Henri Nouwen

Cultivating Attention: The Challenge of Reading Great Literature
Dr. Holly Ordway

Why the world needs readers (like you)
Michelle Watson

5 Fabulous Books for Christmas Gift Giving 🎄


I've been listening to the books of Hebrews and 1 Peter on the her.BIBLE app.  Repeatedly.  Sometimes just a few verses.  Sometimes chapter after chapter.  Hearing God's love letter read by women has enlivened the current sermon series and Bible Studies in my life.  Fabulous.

Three years ago, a new friend invited me to get together each week of Advent.  And so we began, using Sarah Young's Jesus Calling for Christmas.  The reflective devotional readings, favorite Scripture, and the most exquisite winter photography have guided us into a much-needed gentle, quiet rhythm each year since.  We're only half way through the book and are in no rush.  

Is there a friend you'd like to make space for this Advent?  It can't hurt to ask, right?  With our ridiculously over-scheduled holiday calendars, inviting someone to walk through Advent with you is best done sooner rather than later.

A huge gift indeed. 🎄 


I love these authors & these titles (on sale thank you very much)
The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Works, Ditch What Doesn't, & Get Stuff Done
Kendra Adachi

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging & the Courage to Stand Alone
Brene Brown

Changes that Heal: Four Steps to a Happier, Healthier You
Dr. Henry Cloud

Myquillyn Smith

Philip Yancey

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