The Stuff of Life

Stories I’m Reading


I’ve started a new page to keep track of the books I read this year. I’m not writing full reviews, just a little synopsis and whether or not they were worth the read.  Feel free to check my new tab periodically to see what I’m reading. And feel free to suggest books to me (especially if they are historical fiction or books my boys might like). I may or may not want to read them 😉  I copy and pasted my first 2 books from the Stories I’m Reading page below…

You have found my 2013 Book List.

I love to read, but have this unfortunate tendency of ignoring my family and my household duties when I’m engrossed in a good book. So I just don’t pick up a novel as often as I’d like to. Seriously, who wants to unload the dishwasher when there are children in Nazi Germany who need to be saved. And laundry just seems so insignificant when Katniss is fighting for her life…

My goal is to read at least one book per month for enjoyment and give a little synopsis of it here. We’ll see how I do. Maybe you’ll find something in my list that you want to read. Or maybe not 😉

mortal sleep

1. While Mortals Sleep (Songs in the Night Series) Jack Cavanaugh.

If you like Brock and Bode Thoene (as I do), you will like Jack Cavanaugh. He writes my favorite genre, historical fiction. This book is set in Nazi Germany in the late 30s and into 1940. The story is of a pastor and his wife and the tension between his beliefs and what is happening in his country. Cavanaugh is such a great storyteller, and I love learning bits and pieces of history as I read for enjoyment. My friend Tori and I actually had the privilege of eating dinner with Cavanaugh at a writer’s conference last year. It’s really kind of strange reading a novel after having had a conversation with the author. I’d sometimes come to the end of a chapter and think “Wow, that normal guy who sat down at our dinner table and had a regular conversation with us has amazing stories in his head.” This book definitely goes on my RECOMMEND list.


2. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) Rick Riordan

Add this book to the ever-growing list of books I would probably never pick up if I did not have male children. But oh the stories I would have missed out on if my life didn’t revolve around boys. (Have you ever flipped through a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book? Hilarious…)

I read this book for two reasons.

1. I wanted to see if it might be a good fit for my boys (the older two).

2. It was a Kindle Daily Deal and I could not pass it up for $2.

My opinion? I wouldn’t give it to a kid who doesn’t have a firm grasp on Truth or isn’t old enough to separate reality from fantasy. And the trip to Hades might freak out a child who is sensitive to fear of monsters and death, but the story was compelling enough that I read the whole 377 pages in 4 days. I thought there were a fair number of parallels to the Harry Potter series, but I found this easier to read. It was definitely faster paced. There were some remarks here and there that would make environmentalists happy, and the story made me wonder if one of my elementary school teachers (I won’t name names) was really one of Hades’ Furies, but those things don’t really have much to do with the story itself. 😉  I liked the story. I enjoyed the characters, and I’m looking forward to watching the movie and reading book #2 – The Sea of  Monsters someday.


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

5 thoughts on “Stories I’m Reading

  1. Just added Mr. Cavanaugh to my “to read” list at the Ames Public Library. Thanks, Kim.

  2. Summer – He has written a lot of books. You’ll have to let me know what you think of his work.

  3. Kim, I am strongly considering purchasing While mortals sleep…is it the first in the series?
    I would highly recommend books by Lynn Austin. She is one of my favorite authors. The Refiner’s Fire series is the best! Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, and A Light to My Path. These are historical fiction books. You mentioned you liked that genre. My favorite part about her writing is that you never really know the end of the book till you get to the end. A lot of books have the same story with different characters and you can predict the ending. The book While We’re Apart is a stand alone title that is good, too. Currently, I am reading the Chronicles of Kings Series by her. ugh…books are so bad for me. I just can’t stop reading :o)

  4. Kim,
    I forget to mention that the Chronicles of the Kings series by Lynn Austin is offering the first book Gods and Kings for free now on Amazon for your kindle.

    • Awesome – Thanks! I just got the free book for my kindle. And yes, While Mortals sleep is the first in the series. There are at least 2 more books after that one but I haven’t read them yet.

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