Tag Archives: reading

Summer Reading Guide 2015: The Kid Edition

Growing up, I remember the brother of a friend of mine was being paid per page of every book he read that summer. I really wanted my parents to pay me per page because I could rack up some serious money by basically lounging around with my nose in a book. Obviously the friend’s brother was in need of some literary encouragement. I also happen to remember that his parents’ did not end up forking over a lot of money once August rolled around that year. Said literary encouragement obviously did not provide the type of motivation he was in need of that year.

At casa de phillips, there is no need (or financial way) to pay kids per page to read.

Both my kids love to read. The boy has been a book fiend since the very beginning. He reads quite quickly and can make his way through a pile of books in no time.

The girl has also loved books from the beginning, but her love grew in different ways. She loved to have books read to her but had some hesitancy for a while when it came to reading on her own. That hesitancy has since diminished and she attacks books with fierce bravado.

The interesting thing about these two is that their tastes in books can be quite different. Part is a gender thing, part is a personality thing, and part is “I don’t want to like that book merely because YOU like that book” thing.


So what is on the girl’s list of books for fellow eight year olds to read this summer? First, lots of non-fiction ocean books. If they contain pictures of really disturbing fish, that is a bonus. Below are some of her favorites.


The Shark Encyclopedia

Rainbow Fairy Series

Capital Kids Mysteries

A to Z Mysteries

The Critter Club

American Girl Mini Mysteries


The boy has his own list of great summer reads. The hard thing about the boy is that on occasion I let him venture over into the teen room to check out their library books. He is rapidly reading through everything in his normal section and he is needing some new inspiration. Obviously we are careful with what he comes back with from said room. His summer reading guide contains some of the following titles.

Science Fair

Gollywhopper Games (he LOVED this series. LOVED. IT.)

Kingdom Keepers (Perfect because we are planning for a trip to Disney in the Fall)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Big Nate series

Anything Marvel comics related


Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer series


One thing they both happen to love is a boxed set of Calvin and Hobbes comics that my husband owns. For the past few weeks both of them have been pulling these large volumes of comics into bed with them to get in a few giggles before lights out.


What books have found their way onto your kids’ list of “Must Reads” this summer?



Latest Fall Reads

The husband and I have only moved three times in the history of our 12+ year marriage. We are creatures of habit, therefore moving is not on our list of top 500 Things to Do.

When we have moved, we often have several boxes marked “Books.”

Nothing makes friends whom you have begged to help you move happier than seeing countless boxes filled with heavy books, waiting to be loaded and unloaded from a U-Haul trailer.

Perhaps an outdated armoire made of solid wood can top heavy boxes of books…. just barely.

Over the years we have actually scaled down the number of books we own. We eventually parted ways with all of our heavy grad school tomes, realizing that anything found within their dusty spines could likely be discovered on Google in a matter of seconds (We also realized that some of the material was outdated and useless. Nothing like an expensive graduate education proven slightly outdated to make one feel old.) We also utilize the local library, checking out hundreds of books from there a year  that we only want to read once.

Now we have two other people in our family who share a love for books (one more than the other…but that is a whole different blog post). They each have their own book collection that continues to grow with time.

Books are one of our love languages and a favorite hobby around here at casa de Phillips. In fact, I have wondered if setting up a Little Free Library would be okay with our HOA. I would adore having our own cute little library out by the mailbox to share books with neighbors and friends. Unfortunately, I have no woodworking skills and our Little Free Library would most likely have to be hot glued together.


I have held off on electronic readers for years now. As the rest of the world is searching for an available outlet to charge their Kindle, I have been happy with my actual book made out of actual paper.

Then the popularity of the ebook hit and there have been times a book has been made available (sometimes for free) only in electronic form. Boo. My eyes are not a fan of reading things on a phone screen so I have had to forgo reading some of these books due to my hesitancy to own an ereader.

Then the husband came home with an iPad for our homeschool.

Hello, Kindle App!

Although I still greatly love an actual book, I have come to love reading things on the iPad as well. Below are some of the books I have read/am reading/will read this fall.


Sparkly Green Earrings

Product Details


This was my first book to read in electronic form (it was 99 cents one day). Funny read from a blogger that I have been following for years.


Bread and Wine


This is on my “To Read” list and is patiently waiting for me on the iPad. I have heard really good things about it and cannot wait to dive into it soon.



I am currently in the middle of this book right now. This one is an ACTUAL book, with real pages, and a bookmark that one’s daughter can accidentially remove. Originally I scooped it up because I read “Prep” back in the day and enjoyed it. Also, this book is set in St. Louis. The husband and I are about to spend some quality time in that city (more details in a future blog) so it is fun to read about a place we will soon visit.


The Husband’s Secret

I really enjoyed “What Alice Forgot” and am making my way through this next book by Liane Moriarty. It is good but is proving to be a bit of a slow read for me. Part of this is because I am reading it in the electronic version. (again, it was 99 cents one day). For whatever reason, I am having trouble feeling super motivated to get into this book. Anyone else finding similar feelings with this one?


10 Gifts of Wisdom

This little gem just came out last week and is only available in electronic form. I love me some Sally Clarkson and the wisdom she provides regarding raising children and homeschooling effectively. This is one of those books that I can read in snippets when I have little pieces of time to myself. The only problem: I cannot highlight and dog-ear important passages to reread later (I know you can highlight on the Kindle…but it is not the same).


Several people have recommended this to me (Hi, Jordan!) and a friend even brought me her copy to borrow. I am saving this one for when I need some simple, fun reading.


What is the rest of my family reading?


The Grapes of Wrath


The husband reads a variety of things as well. Lately he has been reading “The Grapes of Wrath” (again) and really digesting that storyline.



The boy is a really avid reader, spending a good portion of the afternoons with his nose in a book. He reads quickly (like his father) and can blaze through chapter books in a day. I finally found a book that takes him just a bit longer than 24 hours to finish. He is 50 pages from the end of this one and is anxious to get started on the second one in the series.


Ocean books


The girl can read but stills struggles with it. As I said, this is a blog post in itself. She prefers nonfiction books, especially anything having to do with the ocean. She is all about the ocean and ocean animals, with career aspirations to become a marine biologist one day.


What is on your bookshelf right now?











Summer Reading for Adults

Last year I participated in the adult version of our local library’s summer reading club. The adult version is not as tricked -up as the kiddie version. There was not a cute little die-cut animal to put a sticker on every time I reached a reading goal. No one gave me a fuzzy key chain at the end for all my reading accomplishments.

Instead, there were door prizes.

Really, really good door prizes.

All adults had to do in order to participate in the summer reading program  was simply write down their name, phone number and the name of the book they read and enter it into a weekly drawing. Prizes consisted of gift cards to local establishments and restaurants.

The great thing about the adult reading club was that not too many adults participated. With the exception of me. Because of these fortunate odds, I won three door prizes last summer.

It was glorious.

I have high hopes of winning again this summer. I already have a stack of books I am currently reading,  want to read or plan to read. I will include a list at the bottom of this post.

Before I get to that list, I want to gingerly feel out a topic that is on every radio station, Facebook news feed and lips of women (and men) nation-wide.

That would be this book.

This trilogy is being gobbled up by readers everywhere. People are raving about how great it is, how they could not put it down, how you MUST read it. It is prominently displayed at every bookstore and retail store. People are reading it on planes, trains, buses and by the local pool.

Despite the content matter.

Unsure what it is about? Well, read the Amazon reviews (and note that most well-read individuals discuss that despite the nature of the content, it is poorly written. Says something about the intelligence level of our society, doesn’t it?) and you will figure it out.

This book is not on my nightstand. Nor do I have plans for it to be on my nightstand.

(And what parent leaves this book laying around when they have children who can read living under their roof?)

First we had Bella and her terribly co-dependent relationship with a vampire. Now we have Ana attempting to save Mr. Grey, while finding herself in some terribly “interesting” situations.

Are the founders of the women’s liberation movement literaly rolling over in their graves at the twaddle that America is calling literature these days?

(No offense to the Twilight fans. Or the 50 fans. And by the way….I gobbled up the Hunger Games trilogy in a week. And that is about children killing children for sport. I am just as guilty, friends.)


I really liked this post talking about this book and its cult following.


Are you reading this book? I always appreciate a difference of opinion. As for what I am reading this summer, here is a small list of what I hope to enjoy in my leisure time.


Another Place at the Table

The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The Memory Palace

American Passage: The History Of Ellis Island

Summerland (what can I say…I am a sucker for Elin Hilderbrand and Nantucket)


What are you reading this summer?



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