It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/3/2022 #imwayr


Good Monday morning! I’m happy to say I met my two reading goals for 2021. I completed my #MustReadin2021 list, finishing all 49 books that I considered mandatory. And I also met my yearly goal of reading 365+ books. Whew! I’ve let my Goodreads account go in recent months, so there was a lot lot of catch-up over the last two weeks.

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If we’re not yet connected on Goodreads, please feel free to friend me. I love the connection and accountability over there. I really believe it helps me keep better organized knowing my reading buddies are often popping on and off all week on that platform.

Oh yeah. I thought I’d mention that one of the libraries I frequent does this little tally notification, letting patrons know how much they’ve saved by using the library that year. How fun is that?! Now I kinda wish all my libraries offered this information (this is probably my least used library).


I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! We stayed home this year as we nursed ourselves back to health, so we did a lot of lounging on the couches. We also ended the year COVERED in snow and with -4° temperature. Eeek! I’ll share just a few photos from this last month, including one of my favorite gifts (excuse me while I test out the slideshow option for the first time…):

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The next couple weeks I’ll be gathering up my book lists for the #MustReadin2022 challenge. The annual “Must Read” group is now hosted by Cheriee Weichel of Library Matters and Leigh Anne Eck of A Day in the Life. If you’d like to participate this year, please link up HERE before January 31st. I often don’t complete my list until the end of January because I like to see all the Youth Media Award winners (which will be announced this year on January 24th at 8 a.m. CT).

If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! Today is Monday, and I regularly participate in a weekly #IMWAYR meme. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

All that blather at the start of my post and yet I actually have only one short “review” to share, this week. (And it’s not even KidLit!) I was happy to finish Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Otherwise, I finished some great picture books and better organized a few ARCs that I’m diving into this month. Perhaps you’ll find something to add to your list, below.


Who Wrote the Bible?
Richard Elliott Friedman
Originally published 1987
Latest edition is 2019
Simon & Schuster

I’ve had this one on my #MustRead list for a long time, but I was admittedly intimidated by the topic. My husband, who finished an undergrad in Bible (specifically in Biblical Greek), finished a MDiv/seminary, and completed a PhD in Rhetoric with emphasis in religious rhetoric, asked me if I would add it to my list back in 2019. He said it was the “clearest and most accessible introduction to the Documentary Hypothesis and related issues in Pentateuchal scholarship that I’ve read.” Still, I avoided it the first time around, afraid that it would go way over my head. But this year, I re-added it to my “must read” list, took a deep breath, and dove right in. And honestly… I’m glad I waited until 2021. Now that I’ve finished it, I can confidently say that I don’t think I was ready for it before this year.

First off, Friedman knows his stuff. He’s one of the premier Bible scholars in the country (check out his shortened bio HERE or his Wikipedia page HERE). He’s not doing this as some little side project or a fun research paper while teaching a Sunday School Bible class at a church. Nope. When it comes to Near Eastern Studies or Ancient Civilizations, experts know this is Friedman’s life-long work (from his expertise in ancient languages to actual archaeological excavations).

The primary focus of this book, Documentary Hypothesis, may seem complicated to the layperson, at first glance. But Friedman breaks it down into bite-sized pieces, answering hundreds of questions along the way. Not all scholars 100% agree on the finer points of it, but there is a very strong consensus on the major points. Having even a general understanding of it provides an interesting re-reading and understanding of the Old Testament (more specifically, the Torah). Documentary Hypothesis includes an in-depth study of the history of languages, of ancient politics, Hebrew writing styles, and even cultural and religious practices of Biblical times. And despite my lacking 50+ years of in-depth research in this area, I stayed right with Friedman most of the way. It was fascinating and made me want to stay up all night reading. He made very convincing arguments and humanized the history-writing experience from thousands of years ago. Yes, I had to stop to look up vocabulary a few times, but it only aided in my understanding of the topic.

I’m not even going to attempt to share a detailed summary or include my jumbled thoughts on this one right now as I definitely need time to digest all that I’ve learned and sort through my notes before saying ALL. THE. THINGS. But I’m quite pleased that I placed this book on my #MustReadin2021 list! This experience was very encouraging, despite my initial hesitation. Definitely well worth the read (and is something I will very likely re-read at some point).

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.

Picture Books I finished:

Currently Reading:


To Be Read:



What are YOU reading?

15 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/3/2022 #imwayr

  1. We had that snow & cold, too, a good time to stay in & start the year, Shaye! I liked seeing your slideshow, saw the family pick elsewhere, too. Lovely pic of your family! Congrats for finishing your long list. I didn’t even finish the 12 I had! But maybe someday I’ll get to all the books. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just barely got under the line on finishing my list. Whew! I was suddenly determined to finish up in my last couple months. Yes, ALL THE BOOKS is such a great goal, isn’t it? LOL 😂 It’s easy for me to get discouraged over not having enough time to read all the wonderful books out there. Thanks for visiting, Linda!


  2. We had another couple of inches of snow last night. I’m not yet sick and tired of winter because this fresh snow makes the world look glorious. I’m thinking that -4 you are talking about is Fahrenheit. That makes it a fair chunk colder than our -10C here. It’s good weather to hunker down and read.
    I love the library tally!
    I’m glad you managed to have to time to recuperate over the holidays. I enjoyed the slide show. Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same way about all the fresh snow. I grew up in a state where we barely got any snow (and it was always gone the next day). So I get all giddy inside when big flakes begin falling. Yes, I meant Fahrenheit – I believe we got down to -11 this week. But we’ll be back into the 40s (F) by this weekend. It seems every week is up and down like that. Crazy. Thank you for dropping by, Cheriee!


  3. Congrats on meeting both your #MustReadin2021 challenge and your 365-book challenge! And I love the slideshow—it’s crazy that it was -4º and so snowy, so I’m glad you all got to stay inside! Who Wrote the Bible? sounds like a fascinating read, and I appreciate your thorough review of it. And all the picture books look great too—Dancing With Daddy is on my TBR list! Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Shaye, and happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just barely got in under the line on both my challenges, this year. 😅 But it’s nice to have met those goals in the final hour. I hope you enjoy Dancing with Daddy. I recall getting it on a special deal through Amazon and I’m so glad to see such representation in today’s children’s book world!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures. You reminded me that I had meant to read People of the Sun as well. Congrats of meeting all of the challenges of 2021 (reading and otherwise). I didn’t really do MustRead last year. I have to decide if I will this year. Last year, I had it in my head that I had to have a list early in January and that just hasn’t worked for me in the last few years. But, the end of January might be more manageable. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am really enjoying People of the Sun, so far. I’m not quite halfway through and I can’t tell is he’s setting this up to continue as a series or if it’s coming to an end. So I am easer to figure it out very soon! Yeah, I’m so thankful that I have until the 31st for the #MustReadin2022 list. The beginning of January is really too much for me to get all my reading goals organized. Thanks for swinging by, Aaron!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree on the library $$ tally, Lisa! It’s quite encouraging to think about it. Again, this library is the one I use the least, so that’s really putting things in perspective for me. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’m afforded with books that don’t break my bank (Lord knows I purchase enough, as it is). Thanks for visiting, Lisa!


    1. I’m really enjoying it, Karen! I could see this being a fun read aloud where each of the narrators is a different student, too. I know there have been a great number of middle grade books with multiple narrators, but sometimes it really works. Thanks for dropping by!


    1. The title is a bit misleading, I think. Once I got into it, I saw that it was much more than I expected. So much emphasis on history and culture and it paired well with the Ancient History textbook I’m currently reading with the kids (by Susan Wise Bauer). It’s all quite fascinating to me! Thanks for swinging by, Earl!


  5. Congrats on completing both your reading challenges and I’m glad to know that you’ve recovered enough to post more of your wonderful recommendations.

    I’m reading the excellent Here in the Real World, by Sara Pennypacker and Fly on the Wall, by Remy Lai. One of my goals this year is to review a middle grade graphic novel as well as a middle grade novel each month. Your library savings are jaw-dropping! It makes me glad I’ve used my own library so much!


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