Entertainment with Erika-Lots of Books Edition

Happy Thursday!

This post is long overdue because I have a ton of books to share with you.  Apparently, when you stop binge watching Netflix you have way more time to read.  Who knew?

I get book recommendations many ways… mostly friends, blog posts, YOU, or the rabbit hole of Amazon’s recommendations.  You know what I’m talking about with Amazon.  Right?  🙂  Before I was an Amazon Prime member I’d ALWAYS buy enough books to get me to the $50 mark so I could get free shipping.  Amazon kept recommending and they all would sound so good.  I had a stack of books waiting to be read and when we moved (almost two years ago) I packed them up.  I just recently found where I put that assortment of books.  All that to say, some of these might have been newly released in 2015.

Take away Netflix and throw in a Spring Break and we’ve got ourselves a list of books.

This book (by a Christian author) opens up with the story of when her unmarried young son walked in the room to tell her his girlfriend was pregnant.  She had me hooked right then and there.  We’re so quick to judge ourselves and others.  This book is all about how God meets us in each of those moments and forgives.  We’re all sinners and we’ll all have our messes, but we must “Move On”.

Christian non-fiction books like this typically are not books I pick up and read cover to cover.  Usually I read a couple chapters and then need to put them down.  I think it’s because they’re usually more “lecture style” with not as many stories?  Tell me I’m not the only one!  Although it was a good book with lots of great information…I had to put it down.  

I found this book on some blog post about books similar to Girl On The Train.  I searched and searched to find you the exact post, but apparently there are a ton of blog posts out there about lists of books you should read similar to Girl On the Train-type books.  

This book is crazy suspenseful.  It’s written in two parts.  Part One was a little slow but Part Two is full of action.  At the beginning of the book, five-year-old Jacob runs ahead of his mom into the street on a rainy evening and is killed by a hit-and-run.  The mother flees and we follow her to a remote coastal town all the while police investigators are searching for the driver.  

If you like any of those suspense-type books, then I definitely recommend this one.

We’ve talked about this one a little bit already, but I finally read Present over Perfect.  In this book, Shauna shares her personal struggles with balance (we talked about this on Monday).  Balancing the role of wife, mom, author, speaker, friend, and on and on.  This was not my favorite book because (to me) she kept repeating herself.  Saying the same thing but in a different way.  But Shauna has the gift of writing.  She’s an amazing author.  Even in a book that I wasn’t loving, she kept my interest the entire time.  (If you’re wanting a Shauna Niequist book, I’d recommend Bread and Wine…later in the post.)

I need to start by saying this book is hands-down rated R.  Many of you enjoy deep, dark books like this and others not so much.  This book reminded me of Luckiest Girl Alive, but I thought it was much better.  Thirteen-year-old Julie gets kidnapped from her home.  Her younger sister sees it all go down while hiding in the closet.  Her parents spend years in agony all the while her sister is a bit of mess growing up knowing she witnessed it but didn’t speak up.  One day Julie shows up on their doorstep…

Remember, I warned you-it’s rated R.  🙂

Do you guys remember The Kitchen House?  If you haven’t read that one, then call in sick now and get to reading.  It was such a good book.  Glory Over Everything is the sequel.  I don’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t read either book…but in the sequel, *someone* is living life as a wealthy white (his mother was Africa-American) man when he discovers his mistress is pregnant with his child.  He has major ties with some slaves in the area and sets out in search of helping several of them escape all the while knowing if he’s found he’ll be killed.  I loved The Kitchen House and this sequel did not disappoint!

This one!  If you’re looking for a Shauna Niequist book, let this one be the first you read.  Shauna has a way with words.  This book left me wanting to cook oysters for dinner (I don’t even like oysters), take a vacation to a quaint lake in Michigan, and throw a dinner party.  The stories she tells are so good.  I highly recommend it!

PJ Wallis is a writer who’s made it big writing novels about “Monica”.  Everything PJ does, “Monica” tends to mirror.  She decided she wants to branch out in the writing world, but quickly realizes everyone only cares about “Monica”.  Through a divorce, a fire, and many feuds she tries to find her way back to her own self.  This book was just -eh for me.  I’m usually a Bushnell fan, but this novel wasn’t my favorite.

This story about the Avis family is simply inspirational.  The Avis’ set out to start and family and never would have believed they’d find a family through adoption…three children two of which have Down syndrome.  However they followed God’s call for their life and now consider themselves just some of the “lucky few”.  Seriously, an inspirational read!  

I grabbed this book out of my book cabinet having no idea what it was about-other than the title.  Isn’t it crazy how God knows just what we need at certain times?  I ordered this book back in 2014…THREE YEARS AGO.  God knew I needed to read it three years later.

Hands-down the best book I’ve read lately.  First of all, Carlos Whittaker is FUNNY!  He’s a Christian musician, song writer, and author.  He had a YouTube video that went viral…do you remember three kids in the backseat of a car dancing to “All the Single Ladies”?  His two daughters are dancing and then he tells his son he’s not a single lady.  His son, whose probably two-years-old at the time, bursts into tears.  And timeline-wise I think he wrote this book right after that.

In Moment Maker, Carlos reminds us we have choices to make every single day about life.  We can be seizing moments or we can be allowing them to slip right by.  He encourages us to make the most of every moment.  With everything going on in my world over the last month, I truly felt this was the book I needed to be reading.  I have no doubt Manda seized every moment she was given.  I want my friends and family to say the same thing about me.  GET THIS BOOK!  You’ll be so glad you did.

Up Next…

This book is on my nightstand.  🙂

And we need to discuss….
There aren’t many family-friendly shows out there right now we can watch with our kids.  I thought my kiddos would enjoy watching Dancing With the Stars so I recorded it on Monday.  Ebby Lee has been taking dance the last several years so I knew she’d be into it.  The boys were kind of -eh about it.  

But I have a couple Mom thoughts…

*The Clothes-Aren’t my favorite.

*Some of the dance moves.  I was at the park this week with some moms and one mom mentioned how it’s okay to dance side-to-side all day long but there’s no reason to be moving front to back.  YES!  Family-friendly, ABC?

*This probably drives me the most crazy.  Why during all the interview portions do the dancer and celebrity hang on each other?  They’re either holding hands or they have their arms wrapped around each other?  Do you guys know what I’m talking about?  Why do they do that?  I get wanting to be united as a team, but they don’t have to be hanging on each other like that to be a team.  

What are your thoughts about Dancing With the Stars?  Do you watch?

And if you have a book recommendation, please send it my way!  I love reading books you guys recommend.

Have a great day, girls!  XO

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  1. 3.23.17
    Leslie said:

    I love Heather Avis and her children!!! I also bought her book this month. Do you follow them on Instagram? Those babies are truly amazing.

    • 3.23.17
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I just started following her! Thanks for suggesting it!

  2. 3.23.17
    Eileen said:

    Have you read any of Jodi Picoult's books? I just finished her latest – Small Great Things – and it was awesome. Her other two favorites of mine are My Sister's Keeper and Nineteen Minutes. We've been watching Dancing with the Stars together as a family for years. My kids love it. I agree with you that most of the costumes are a little too skimpy, and sometimes the dance moves are a little cringe-worthy, but that being said, my kids just really love to watch the dancing. They get up and dance with each other while it's on. Every few seasons they do a "Disney" episode and my kids watch it over and over.

  3. 3.23.17
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    I had never seen that Single Ladies video, so I just googled it! Hysterical! Just as cute is how concerned his sisters are for him and how annoyed they are at their dad! PRECIOUS!

  4. 3.23.17
    Anonymous said:

    What great suggestions, friend! I'm adding them to my list! The costumes on Dancing with the Stars and SYTYCD make me so uncomfortable! Too much, people! 🙂

  5. 3.23.17
    a little bit of emily said:

    Bread & Wine was one of my favorite books I read last year. It's so great!

  6. 3.23.17
    Erika Slaughter said:

    Eileen…thanks for the recommendations! Didn't they say on DWTS a Disney episode is coming up? I thought I heard that?

  7. 3.23.17
    McFarland Family said:

    These books sound soooo good!! I have added a few to my Amazon cart!

  8. 3.23.17
    Paula said:

    I love all these recommendations! Building my cart!
    We don't watch DWTS. My little girls (6) are too influential and try to copy every dance they see & my son (11) just doesn't need the images.

  9. 3.23.17
    brookerichardson said:

    The Disney episodes on DWTS are always really good and more kid friendly 😉

  10. 3.23.17
    missy said:

    The dancers hang on each other because they are so out of breath and and they just spent every piece of energy they have, and the non-professionals can hardly stand up after.


  11. 3.23.17
    Kelly said:

    Girl….100% on DWTS! My daughter loves to watch it with me (she's 5) but I think some of those costumes (cough cough Shauna!) would fit my 5 year old! I finished Barefoot last month and thought it was a great Hilderbrand book! I also just finished A Hundred Summers and LOVED it! In A Dark Dark Wood was a really good one as well, it's the same author as The Woman in Cabin 10 but I liked it even more! Reese Witherspoon says on the cover that it's scary and I didn't think so at all but it is suspenseful and keeps you wondering what's going on.

  12. 3.23.17
    Sara said:

    Two good suspense novels I have read this month are: The Girl Before by Rena Olsen and The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel. You might like them!

  13. 3.23.17
    dresselfamily.blogspot.com said:

    I just finished the last page of I let you go last night. It made me gasp in a few places!
    I read bread and wine last yr and loved it

  14. 3.23.17
    Jennifer said:

    I am with you on Dancing with the Stars. I was going to let my daughter watch it when she was about EbbyLee's age and after 1 episode, we nixed that idea.
    And did you know Clare Mackintosh has a new book out? I am reading it right now and it is pretty good so far.

  15. 3.23.17
    Nicole & J.D. said:

    Thanks for the book recommendations, Erika. I just checked on Amazon and Good As Gone is FREE for Kindle right now.

  16. 3.23.17
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    Have you ever read anything by Jane Green? She's a lot like Hilderbrand and Emily Giffin. I love her books! I think I've read them all. You'd love her!

    That Inspired Chick

  17. 3.23.17
    kelly said:

    I agree Paula. Not family friendly. Boo!

  18. 3.23.17
    kelly said:

    I think I've said this before, but I really like your book reviews thanks to your honesty! I so appreciate knowing ahead of time if a book is Rated R (dont want that in the house with kiddos!) ha

  19. 3.23.17
    The Scriveners said:

    I do not think dancing with the stars is a family show to watch. I wish it was. But the costumes and dance moves are not what I want my kids imitating.

  20. 3.23.17
    Ayelet said:

    I just finished Barefoot and I bet you'll like it 🙂

  21. 3.23.17
    Casey said:

    We all watch DWTS as a family. My kids are interested in some of the songs but some they lose interest. I agree that some of the outfits are a little much but some of them are so pretty. And as far as the dances, the same thing. Some are a little too steamy (I'll fast forward) but I've been to plenty of ballroom performances and most of them are just the way the dance it, like salsa for instance. It's just a "sexy" dance. I've learned after years of watching which dances are safe for the kids to watch and which are going to be a little more r rated.

  22. 3.24.17
    Andresen Fam said:

    Oh my goodness, I just started reading Elin Hilderbrand books and I love them all! I still need to read Bread & Wine…it's been on my list. Soooo many good books, so little time!

  23. 3.24.17
    Angela Ellingson said:

    Love the book reviews! I just listened to Heather Avis on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey last week. DWTS… agreed. I mean, I still love watching it, but the costumes are way overboard.

  24. 3.24.17
    Simple Purposeful Living said:

    I use to watch Dancing with the Stars but I just lost interest. Also the Lucky Few was just recommended to me by my friend Amazon ;). I just read Bringing Lucy Home which is such a good read, I could not put it down. I too struggle withChristian non-fiction and I am a Christian blogger – LOL. I agree it has to be full of stories and applications or really short chapters to keep me interested! xoxo ERIN

  25. 3.24.17
    Unknown said:

    I just finished reading "night road" by Kristin Hannah and it was so good! "The Mark of the Lion" by Francine Rivers is one of my all time favorite series of books. Me and 3 other friends were all reading it at the same time and we spent hours texting back and forth about the books!

    I agree with you about Dancing with the Stars! It would never settle right with me if another woman was hanging all over my husband! Lol

  26. 3.24.17
    Amber Barrett said:

    Oh Erika, you said everything I have been thinking on DWTS. For years I have thought it was so inappropriate how the dancers and celebrities act after the dance. They hang on each other like romantic lovers…It's WEIRD!!! I always wonder, how do these people's spouses or girlfriend/boyfriends feel when they see that?! I would die (or he would) if my husband did that to another woman. Anyway, glad I'm not the only one.

  27. 3.24.17
    Jenny said:

    I am ordering the Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything right now. Thanks for the recommendations. I was needing a few good books to take on my trip. Have a great weekend!

  28. 3.30.17
    kristine said:

    My kids and I love watching Survivor together! No way my hubs will watch DWTS! Haha! I just finished two of Shay's recommendations: Cancel the Wedding and It Ends With Us! Both so good! I ordered another Colleen Hoover book, November 9, and can't wait to read it!