What’s on Your Nightstand – May 2011

This is my first time joining What’s on Your Nightstand hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

I’ve done a decent amount of reading this month but most of it has been light or fun reading. With my grandfather’s death earlier this month, the books I got free for review being of a serious nature, and a few issues with my extended family I wasn’t in the mood for too much heavy reading.


Books I’ve finished in the last month

I’ve read several young adult books.

Mysterious Benedict Society Collection by Trenton Lee Stewert. This was an electronic version that included all three books.  These books are about exceptional children (not all intellectually) being recruited as spies. These books are very adventurous and fun.  While they’re aimed at a fifth to eigth grade audience I think my teenagers, any adults who like well written kid’s books, and my 8 year old nephew (as a read aloud) will enjoy them also.

Hawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian by Kathryn Lasky. I’ve loved the Robin Hood legend since I was a kid and have read several books about it. This one start with them as tweens and puts a few of it’s own touches to the legend, most notably the idea of Marian and her father being expert falconers. I book is very well written and I enjoyed all of it except the out-of-body experience Marian has near the end.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. My teenagers and I read this as part of their school this year. It does a good job of portraying life in the Second Century A.D. and contrasting the Roman and the Briton way of life while telling an engaging story. I would recommend it especially, to homeschoolers Fourth Grade and up studying that period of history.

Pitch Black by Melody Carlson. The story of a girl dealing with her friend’s suicide. See my full review here.


I read two books that were free on my ereader

Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh. This is a fiction book is about the world as we know it coming to a slow end. I have to admit I didn’t finish it. It had too much foul language, was too depressing, and wasn’t well enough written to attempt putting up with either one.

The Value of Life by Andy Crowson. This is a mystery about children who are abducted but the kidnappings aren’t the normal kind, the parents aren’t wealthy and receive ransom demands with no specific dollar amount. I liked this book, It was well written and a little different from most mysteries I’ve read lately. It also got me thinking about how much a person’s life should be worth to others.


I love mysteries, especially cozies and have read several this month. I find fun mysteries a great thing to read after supper and before bed to help me relax.

Pizza Lover’s Mystery Series by Chris Cavender; A Slice of Murder, Pepperoni Pizza Can be Murder, and A Pizza to Die For.  I actually read the third book in this series first. I found it for a super pre-release price and thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did, I liked it so well I bought the other two and then reread the last one so I could read them in order. They are well written and fun. The Pizza theme fits well in the stories without being overdone. I don’t know if there are going to be more in this series but if there isn’t I might have to try one of the author’s other series (all written under other pseudonyms).

Hannah Swenson Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke; The Chocolate Chip Murder, The Strawberry Shortcake Murder, and The Blueberry Muffin Murder. I’ve read the first two books in this series before but it’s been quite a while.  I decided to start over at the beginning. I love Moishe, Hannah’s cat, and enjoy the interaction between the characters in these books.


Bible related books

Moments with the Master By Denzil Holman. I love all of Holman’s books on prayer and try to reread them every so often.

It’s All Good; Seeing All of Life As Worship. This is volume 4 of the Into the Word Bible study series for teens. This is actually a guide for a 4 week study at a Sunday school or youth group that we are using for part of my kid’s Bible class for homeschool. I preread it to be familiar with the material. It would probably work better with a group of more than two teens but the first lesson has started a good discussion with my kids.


Currently Reading

Shattered by Melody Carlson. I got this as part of the blogger program from Navpress. It’s one of the books from Carlson’s new Secrets series. I’m almost done with it and hope to have the review up before the end of the week.

Look for a Window by Denzil Holman. I just started this. It is the fourth book on prayer by Holman I’ve bought and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s supposed to talk with dealing with stress and overcoming adversity through prayer.


Planning to read this coming month.

I will be working on more of the Hannah Swensen mystery series and I’m planning on reading God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen by Walt Larimore. I know I’ll probably read I lot more than that but I haven’t decided what yet. I’m planning on going around to all the other participating blogs and hopefully I’ll find some good suggestions. I want to make sure I include more nonfiction this month and I’m planning to try to slowly increase the number of longer book reviews and other book related content I post in the coming months.

Until Next month, Happy Reading

6 thoughts on “What’s on Your Nightstand – May 2011”

  1. Welcome to the Nightstand postings! If you visit other blogs, be careful! You might just end up with a to-read list twice as long as you had planned. 😉

    It sounds like you’ve had a good reading month. I hope June is just as good or better!


    1. Thanks for the warning. It’s probably a little late though. I’ve been visiting the “What’s on Your Nightstand” posts for a couple of months and already have a list that will take me four months or more even if I read fast.

  2. I’m sorry about your grandfather – prayers going out for you. I’ve heard really good things about MBSociety although I haven’t yet read it. I need to! You certainly read a lot this month. Happy reading into June!

    1. Thank you for your prayers. The first of the Benedict Society books is the best in my opinion, but they are all good and a little bit silly at times.

  3. Like you, I enjoy “cozy” mysteries (I like your terminology!) and middle grade fiction during stressful times. Have you read Alexander McCall Smith’s #1 Ladies Detective Agency series? They are delightful! Here’s a link to my review, if you’re interested– http://www.hopeisthewordblog.com/2010/01/27/the-no-1-ladies-detective-agency-by-alexander-mccall-smith/

    Lillian Jackson Braun and her “The Cat Who. . .” books are another light & cozy mystery series.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really like the looks of yours!

    1. I love “The Cat Who…” books. The #1 Ladies Detective Agency series sounds really interesting and I’ve added the first book to my To Be Read list. I don’t remember where I first heard the term “cozy” to describe mysteries that weren’t of a extremely graphic or technical nature and usually came in a series but I like it too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *