Omaha Mom Bookshelf: How to Read More

Welcome to Omaha Mom Bookshelf! A series where we share books tips, recommend books, and share how we encourage our family to pick up books and read! Join us every month and share with us what you’ve been reading!

Catch up on the January post (and get your 21 Books in 2021 printable!) here.

Omaha Mom Bookshelf: How to Read MoreTrack your Reads

Author Gretchen Rubin says, “You manage what you measure.” What to read more? Keep track of your reading!

I started using Goodreads a few years ago, and I love it. I set a goal to read 50 books last year and ended the year by reading 144 books! What’s your reading goal? What books are on your to-be-read (TBR) shelf? 

This year I have the goal to read 60 books and have at least 12 read-aloud chapter books with my kids. Sometimes we like to read a book and then watch the movie, or plan a family book club night.

My February Recommendations Bookshelf

For Your Littlest Readers:

Little Blue Truck’s Valentine by Alice Schertle

I am a HUGE fan of the Little Blue Truck books, and I was so excited that a Valentine’s one came out. These books are small but packed with hidden learning. Animal recognition, sounds, counting, and fun stories, and gorgeous pictures. This is a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.

A Fun Read for Moms:

Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

These books make me laugh. They are the definition of light, fluffy, Hallmark romance books. I read the first book in the series, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, and from then on, I’ve read all 26 in the series. They are cheesy, drive me nuts with the love interests, but keep me coming back. Hannah Swensen, the main character owns the local Minnesota bakery, and she’s always coming across dead bodies. This book’s plot was a bit different. Instead, she solved a missing person/identity case.

A Middle-Grade Reader:

Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker

My boys and I read Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. (Think Junie B. Jones, but a 3rd grader.) Waylon! Is what I’d call her “boy” series. Waylon is a smart, scientist kid who is battling elementary school feelings. In this book he pairs up with the outcast student to help an inmate escape from prison! We really enjoyed this fun story, and look forward to reading the next one in the series.


The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

This book was cra-zy! My MOPS book club read it, and we were all shocked. You meet several characters living together in the same building and come to find out some of the characters are on the run, one character is a murderer and he turns his victims into mummies and sets them up around his apartment. What??? This book kept me guessing until the end!


Is it hard to find time to read? Here are a few tips to get you reading more.

  • Access reading material from a variety of platforms (physical books, magazines, audiobooks, kindle/app) The library is also a great source for e-materials!
  • Read different genres at the same time (fiction, non-fiction, kids read-aloud)
  • Always have a book with you. My car and/or purse always carry a book, so even when I wait for grocery pick-up, I can read a few pages.
  • Have books around your house to pick-up easily (for you and your kids)
  • Make time. Put down social media, and pick up a book. Listen to an audiobook while doing dishes. I read a LOT of books on my phone kindle app while nursing/bottle feeding my babies.

My Want To-Read Shelf:

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger, The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate.

What are you reading in February? Have you read any of the books above? How do you get you and your kids reading more? Share with us in the comments below!

Ellen Kehs was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois where she met and later married her high school sweetheart, Mason. Together they’ve traveled the world, most recently touching down in Omaha in June 2019. She’s a mom to three little boys, Theodore (nine), Woodrow (seven), and Maximus (four). Life is never boring with her boys! Ellen loves being a military spouse and she embodies the “bloom where you are planted” mentality. In addition to soaking up whatever current city she’s living in, she is passionate about reading and getting books in the hands of children, as well as helping other mamas connect with each other. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education, a master’s degree in adolescent literacy and technology, and she teaches 6th-12th grade English online full-time, but is primarily a stay-at-home mom. Her hobbies include, exploring, reading, swimming, napping, snapping pictures, playing games, baking, and loving on the little men in her life.