The problem with working from home is that it’s so easy to get consumed by work and do nothing else but work, work, work. Growing up, reading was a big part of my life — my family is full of readers, and up until the last few years when I became busy with my blog and two babies, I read a lot. I spent the first two years of Benson’s life reading a ton of classics (and of course some fluffy novels thrown in there), and I’ve missed it lately.

So about a month ago I decided I needed to do more than just work all the time, and I needed to make the time to do the things I love, one of which was reading. I currently read aloud short novels to my boys every night, but I also want to read on my own.

We’ve all started using Oyster, an awesome subscription based app, that’s basically like Netflix for books. For $9.95 a month, you get access to unlimited ebooks on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, and on the web, and with over half a million books to choose from, we’ve got plenty of reading material over here!

Oyster has both adult and kids books, so I can read in bed at night or while I’m waiting at gymnastics, or Benson can read while we’re in the car (which is perfect for him since we would literally have to go to the library every other day to keep up with his crazy reading habits).

They’re offering a 30 day free trial so you can try it out too — just sign up right here!

Here are a few of the books I’m hoping to get through this Fall…
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin 
Still Alice by Lisa Genova 
The Glass Castle  by Jeannette Wells
  • I read this in a book club a few years ago and remember loving it, so I’m excited to read it again!
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey 
  • My dad read this to us when I was little, and I think it’s his all-time favorite book. I haven’t read it since then, so it’s time I picked it up again. 
And a few that I’m reading to the boys (or Benson is reading on his own):

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling 
  • we finished this one recently and Benson loved it! 
Franklin’s Halloween by Paulette Bourgeois 
  • I’m always on the lookout for shortish series that he can read on his own. I know nothing about the Franklin books, but there are a ton of them and they look cute! 
The Mouse and the Motorcycle – by Beverly Cleary
  • We also just finished this one and loved it! 
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater 
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • This was our most recent read — we just finished it a few days ago. Both my boys adored it (although Foster didn’t follow the story, of course, but he loved all the animal pictures!). 
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes  

Any other good books we should be reading?? I’d love any recommendations!


  1. Holly Simon says:

    I just finished reading An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. It was so good and I couldn’t put it down. It’s pretty intense, though, and I spent half the book trying not to cry. I highly recommend it if you don’t mind something more scary and pretty graphic.

  2. Natali says:

    Beautiful photos and I see some really great book picks, some of which I know/ have already as well as some of which I haven’t come across yet. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Christina Storm says:

    Love this! Great photos!
    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  4. Kristin DeSalle says:

    The glass castle is fantastic! Also, try water for elephants if you haven’t already. I just finished a book called The Silent Sister and loved it as well.

  5. Elizabeth Pearson says:

    The Giver and Cheaper by the Dozen are both such great books!

  6. Kate R says:

    ooohhh i’ve been interested in trying oyster, so it’s good to hear an endorsement from a trusted source! Is it similar to the library where you have to “check out” a book or do you have access to a book for an unlimited amount of time??

    • Merrick says:

      You don’t have to check them out — once you sign in, you have access to their entire library, and you don’t have to download the books either. They’re just right in the app!

  7. Janssen says:

    oh man, I thought My Father’s Dragon was the most boring book on the planet. You obviously are more cultured than I am.

  8. Sarah says:

    Your four year old reads those books by himself?? That’s amazing!! How did you teach him?

    • Merrick says:

      He’s a pretty gifted little boy — honestly we didn’t do a ton. I worked with him on Starfall.com and we read a lot together, but he picked it up so quickly by himself. Sorry, completely unhelpful! (but I do recommend starfall!)

  9. Ash says:

    Oh my goodness… The Mouse and the Motorcycle! That was so good… Now you need to find Runaway Ralph! Beverly Cleary is far and away my favorite children’s author.
    Also, if you love Cheaper by the Dozen you need to check out Time Out for Happiness by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. It’s more like two mini-biographies on each of the parents and then a lot of information about their work in motion studies. I found it absolutely fascinating and sweet just like the first book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Kristen Miles says:

    Cheaper by the Dozen was my favorite book as a child. I watched the movie when it came out years ago, it was a let down. The original was a winner. I still think about the father who was an efficiency expert… although I probably couldn’t tell you his name… time to re read!

  11. zaydia says:

    Out of curiosity why would you pay for a service that your local library provides for free? Most libraries these days have access to Overdrive which is an ebook checkout.

  12. Monica Packer says:

    I have totally been feeling the same, that I miss reading and want to make it an important priority again. Since having my second I have only finished reading the Harry potter series again and that’s it. So embarrassing! I am so fried by the end of the day that I have been seeking mindless entertainment. Reading restores me!! Time to get back to it.

  13. Valerie says:

    I love reading to my babe and great post, but I’m going to jump off topic and ask where the multi-stripe sweater in the top photos is from. I’ve recently seen it or one similar, but can’t remember where.

      • Valerie says:

        So here’s a real laugh for ya. I went to Target (instead of actually looking at your link) and couldn’t find the sweater. Want to know why? Because I distractedly read blogs while feeding my daughter breakfast and completely thought that the PILLOW behind you was part of the sweater! So I was looking for a sweater with 2 kinds of stripes on it. I don’t even know what to say for myself.

      • Merrick says:

        Ha! I can totally see that now that I look at the picture again! But now you have another excuse to go back to target…I mean, not that anyone needs an excuse to go to Target, but still ๐Ÿ˜‰

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