Finding the Time To Read

I’ve been talking lots about my 100 books read this year. As of today, my page says I’m at 110 books, but who’s counting?  The question I have gotten the most is: How in the world do you find time to read?  The question is a good one, relavant, but always makes me scratch my head in wonder.  My question back is usually, “How do you find time NOT to read?” I honestly can’t imagine not reading, so it is perplexing to me. With so many free books available through the library, Kindle, e-readers, etc., reading has become more available than any time in history.  I’d  say 70% of the books on my list were either from the library,  free on Kindle, or less than $5.

With all of that said, here are some things I do to fit reading around my day .  my day around reading.

  • After all three girlies are on the bus, I sit with a cup of coffee and read before I start my daily activities.
  • I carry my Kindle with me in my purse so I can choose the “text to voice” option through my van radio.
  • I wear headphones while shopping so I can listen to a book. This has made the whole shopping process a whole lot more fun. I hate shopping.
  • I take a little bit after lunch and before Belle gets off the bus to read.
  • If the book is really interesting, I literally carry it around the house with me and read a few paragraphs as I’m emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, or vacuuming.  Yes, this is all possible.  🙂
  • I read before bed.

That’s it. Reading is super important to me, so I make it happen.  Does that answer the question?

And The Wegnerberry Awards Go To…

You’ve heard of the Newberry Awards, but have you heard of the “Wegnerberry Awards?”   So many of you have been so kind and have asked me all kinds of questions about what I’ve read, which is my favorite book of the year, etc. It was so hard for me to choose a “favorite” book, since each one, no matter how great or not-so-great, taught me so much. I learned more than I could have imagined I would from these books.  I decided to break them up into smaller categories so you can have sort of an idea as to what I liked best.  Each gets it’s own special “Wegnerberry Award” from me.

I linked each book to my account so you can click each link to see the review I have written if you’re interested.

All around Favorites-

Really, these are just GREAT books. I loved them for lots of reasons.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Memoirs of a Geisha

The Paris Wife

Shanghai Girls

Chains (Seeds of America, #1)

Those Who Save Us

Most Surprising Likes

These books were completely out of the “Normal” realm of what I ordinarily read. They both fascinated me…on completely different levels.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


Most Inspirational:

These books touched me at the deepest spot. I was changed by them.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Celebrating 100 Books Read This Year!

Here they are! My goal at the beginning of this year was to read 100 books. I was able to keep track of all them on and took part in their Goodreads Challenge for the year. I honestly didn’t think I could do it, but I finished way ahead of schedule yesterday.  The one question everyone keeps asking me is “What was your favorite?” Looking at this list of 100 books, I honestly can’t answer that question. I learned so much from every single book I read.  I will unfold what I learned from them in the next couple of weeks.  For now, here is the list. Thanks for your very encouraging words along the way.

Michelle’s bookshelf: read

Narrative of Sojourner Truth
The Silence of Trees
Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days
Chicago: A Brief History
No Longer a Slumdog
The Last Letter
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
I am Number Four
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A Predator Priest
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
Missional Moves
When a Pet Dies
Chasing Amanda
While We're Far Apart
Celia and the Fairies
The Pain Chronicles

Michelle Wegner’s favorite books »


Someone Else is Sharing the Well

Sometimes I can put the sights and sounds of India in the back of my head somewhere. Sometimes I can ignore the pulling in my heart toward that place, the men, women, children.  The never ending fields of rice and women in saris bent over, harvesting it. The women in saris serving me tea, giving all they have just to put a smile on my face and some nourishment in my belly. I can put it away for awhile, but the tug is always there.

Today, the tug is fierce. If you are on Facebook, you may have seen the picture floating around of a father standing on his daughter’s dead body. It was cruel and horriffic, but so utterly symbolic of what is happening in many parts of the world as we sip our lattes and drive our mini vans to soccer practice with a car full of iPod listening, gum-chewing tweens.

It’s when these two worlds collide that I am jolted awake most often.  I just finished reading K.P. Yohanan’s book, “No Longer A Slumdog“.  Gospel for Asia is reaching out to impoverished children, starting centers around India called “Bridge of Hope”. They provide water, education, micro finance training, health and hygiene classes, etc. We are doing all of these things in Southern India as well, but they are doing it on a much larger scale, over a large portion of India.  The stories he told in this book are awful. In one story, he said that a group of mother’s travelled to a local market to sell their 50 children.  They were not trying to financially benefit from the sale of their children, they were just trying to keep them alive.

He says, “Some are shocked by the statistic that there are 50 million child laborers in India alone, or that 1.2 million children are trafficked as slaves and prostitutes every single year.”

I pray every day that God would shine His light in the darkest places of India and around the world. In corners and alleys where children are being bought and sold. In fields where children as young as 4 and 5 are working 12 hour days only to get one bowl of rice at the end of the day.  I pray that God would give us the tools to reach these children, tell their stories, speak up for those who can’t.

The tug is fierce today, and I can’t get away from it.

If you want to read the stories that Rob and I  have written about church planters in India, our book Share the Well is available on Amazon here  If you can’t afford the $20, let me know and I’ll hook you up.  Every penny made goes back to India to help men and women church planters in Southern India. 

Twelve Reasons I Love to Read

  1. Reading takes me out of my own world for awhile. Someone else’s thoughts, story and perspective shifts my thinking away from my own circumstance, causing me to think outside my box.
  2. Reading from a wide variety of writing styles causes me to think hard about my own writing.  I can reflect on what I like to read, and what causes me to put a book down.
  3. Reading keeps my mind active.  It feeds my imagination.
  4. Reading stories of survival of hardship or abuse are very inspirational to me.  They cause me to realize the strength we have built in, and the odds we can overcome when we draw from God’s strength.
  5. Stories cause me to think about other people I know and why they might respond the way they do to circumstances.
  6. Reading as much as I have this year, I find myself thinking in narrative, much the way I am sure true musicians constantly have a song or melody floating around the corners of their thoughts.
  7. Reading keeps my own writing polished.
  8. I find myself in a characters shoes when I’m reading their thoughts.  How would I respond to their situation? Do I agree with how they handled it?
  9. Stories are playing around us all day every day.  Only a few have the guts to write them down.  I want to read what they have to say, and why it was so important for them to write it down.
  10. Reading fills my heart with wonder and my heart with joy.
  11. Reading something amazing makes me want to create something on my own.
  12. Reading takes me on adventures to places I might not ever get to go on my own.