Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Recommended Reading: Input Requested!

I'm itching to do some reading and don't know what to read! So, I'm hoping some of you have some good suggestions of books I can request from our library to keep me busy for a while! I am set on non-fiction ideas, so am looking for fiction suggestions.

I like Little House on the Prairie, Mitford and Christian fiction. Please share some of your favorites and I look forward to discovering lots of new books!


Maria said...

Hi Monica,

If you have not yet read them I would recommend books by Francine Rivers, I especially liked her Mark of the Lion Series and Leota's Garden, The Scarlet Thread and The Last Sin Eater.

Happy Reading!

~Maria in NC

melissa said...

Just about anything by Karen Kingsbury - Oceans Apart, When Joy Came to Stay, Even Now, & Ever After.

I also really like the latest series by Terri Blackstock - the first book is "Last Light" - they're a little intense, but very well written.

Anonymous said...

I see your favourite film is Ann of Green Gables.. I assume you've read the series of books? After reading your blog you've reminded me to pick up this very old favourite and read it again, 10 years later :) In fact I'm going to buy them, so that I can pass them down to my daughters (please God if I have them) who I hope will love the books as much as me - it's nice to be able to have things from my mother knowing what she enjoyed and treasured so much too.

Can't think of anything else to suggest, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Since you are a Mitford fan, I think you will love the Lake Emily series by Traci Depree. A Can of Peas, Dandelions in a Glass Jar, and Aprons on a Clothesline ... small town, faith beautifully woven in, fantastic characters. Wonderful, wonderful books.

(I read here often, but don't comment much - but I had to when you said you were looking for new reads!)

More than Survival said...

My favorite author is Lauraine Snelling. The Red River of the North is a WONDERFUL series!!!!!! I will admit when I first picked up the first book of the series I almost didn't even finish the first two chapters.... boy am I glad I did!!!! I have never identified and been challenged by characters in a fiction book more than I have been with her work!!!
Happy reading!

Anonymous said...

Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner aka Elizabeth Wetherell. This is a very old book i have some dated early 1900. Lamplighter publishing has republished this one in recent years. Also by this author Queechy and Daisy. I found mine on ebay also used bookstores and precious friends. David Copperfield by Dickens. Little Women and Little Men by Alcott. Hope this helps-tammyp

Mary Ann said...

Robin Jones Gunn's Sisterchick series. Any of her books are wonderful reading but I really think you'd like the Sisterchick books. I laughed until I cried in some of them!

Wendi said...

I also agree that the series Red River of the North by Laurine Snelling is great. It has a second seriers Return to Red River and even a third, Daughters of Blessing. I LOVE this series! You can check it out at

I also like the Love Comes Softly series. I can read it again and again just like the Little House series.

Sarah M said...

Divine by Karen Kingsbury

although 2 fiction book that have won awards in the past that are wonderful are:
The Life of Pi

Katy said...

Have you ever read beverly lewis books? She writes christian fiction Amish books...they are GREAT!!!! I totally LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! She has great books and I totally recommend them! :)

Sarah said...

I just read Same Kind Of Different As Me by Ron Hall. It's an awesome true story about how God uses the most unexpected people sometimes.

Anonymous said...

If you like Anne of Green Gables, you will love the rest of L. M. Montgomery's books like: Emily of New Moon (this is the 1st in a 3 book series) A Tangled Web, The Blue Castle (my personal favorite), Kilmeny of the Orchard, and several books of short stories.

I would also highly recommend any of Charles Martin's books. When Crickets Cry is excellent. His books are more thought-provoking, but very enjoyable.

Enjoy your reading!

Anonymous said...

You would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE A Girl of the Limberlost. It is amazing. My mom read it when she was a child, I read it as a child, and still read it about once a year. Also, have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? So many people have missed this classic. And may I suggest checking out the Young Adult fiction section? They have many books that are so fun and such quick reads - perfect for stolen moments when the little ones are occupied. But definitely read A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. It tells a girls struggles in the early 1900s and how she remains true to herself. I love it. Now I'm going to have to reread it. :)

Brie said...

I echo Maria with the Francine Rivers books. The Mark of the Lion series is my favorite series ever. All of her books are good. I've also posted a few of my favorite books that I've read lately on my blog, so check those out too if you're interested.

Lisa said...

Any of the Beverly Lewis "Amish novels" are great! I have read them all and they are wonderful. The faith these women have and the devotion to their husbands is inspiring.

Anonymous said...

From my personal library....

Gilbert Morris - esp. the Winslow series - these are INCREDIBLE!

Karen Kingsbury - a little more "graphic" but they are TRUE life written - not a fairytale, they're so believable.

Beverly Lewis - her Amish series are VERY good!

Al & Joanna Lacy - Mail order bride series

Lori Wick - favorite author of all time - LOVE her books!

Terri Blackstock - mostly mystery but good!

Janette Oke is always a winner

There are lots of great authors - I love browsing Amazon. I get all my books either through the local used bookstore where I get them extra cheap, ebay or :) Have Fun!

Mrs. Hurzeler said...

Anything by Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, or Janette Oke

Dianna said...

Another vote for A Girl of the Limberlost. You will love it!

Anonymous said...

Karen Kingsbury, Lori Wick, Lauraine Snelling....oh they are all good!!

Anonymous said...

If you like Amish/Mennonite themes, I'd like to suggest the Beverly Lewis books or Wanda Brunstetter books. The are great stories with wonderful plots. They will take you away to another place and time.

Ruth, PA

Elizabeth said...

Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion series is excellent. Loved every minute of them. The Scarlet Thread was a heartbreaker. Just a note about Francine Rivers: Every time I read one of her books I end up stopping halfway and putting it down and have to finish it later. I get so wrapped up in her books.

Anything by Lori Wick is good. She's my favorite. Linda Windsor is also one of my favs.

Liz Curtis Higgs is another great author. Her series about Scotland is so heartwrenching you won't be able to put them down. There are 4 books in the series Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes. Make sure you read them in order or you will be so so sorry. It's a retelling of the story of Jacob.

Anonymous said...

I am another old fan of Anne--Dh and I even went to PEI on our honeymoon. You really should read all of LM Montgomery's works. Aside from that, though, I HIGHLY recommend anything by Brock and Bodie Thoene if you like history. They are a Christian couple who write about, among other things, the birth of the nation of Israel. I also recommend A Garden to Keep by Jamie Langston Turner. It's a great, though provoking work of Christian fiction. I review the books I've read recently on my blog here:

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I have to second (or third or fourth) a vote for Francine Rivers. She is probably my FAVORITE Christian author. She has a way of getting to the true heart of the matter. She's a MUST READ!

Nikki said...

I have to agree with some of the ladies that Francine Rivers is the best. My favorite book of hers is "Redeeming Love." This is an amazing book. I have read it 6 or 7 times and I'm always reminded of how much God loves me and how He will continually reach out for me.

I have so many other Christian fiction books I like, I couldn't begin to name them all.

I've enjoy some new authors like Deanne Gist and Tamara Alexander. Their books are awesome.

Of course I can't forget those who have been around awhile like Lori Wick, Tracie Peterson, Beverly Lewis, and Janette Oke.

Hope this helps.

Nikki in SC

Anonymous said...

I love the Jane Austen books. It is nice to then follow them up with the movies. I have also been reading alot of the Janette Oke and Beverly Lewis books with my daughter. I have heard that Francine Rivers is very good, especially the Last Sin Eater.
That's all I can think of for now. Sorry if these are repeats.

Anonymous said...

I have to vote for Beverly Lewis also. As for non-fiction, I recommend Sally Clarkson. She has a lot of good stuff for mothers.

Leah said...

Wow - what great suggestions you've been given! I've jotted down a few to add to my list, just from reading your comments! =)

A new author to me is Terri Blackstock. I just finished her four-book series, Cape Refuge. Each book stands alone, but I'd recommend you read them in order.

The main characters continue throughout the series, with new secondary characters thrown in to each book. There are enough to keep it interesting, but not too many that you can't keep track of them. All of Terri's characters are so true-to-life!

Normally I wouldn't feel drawn to a murder/mystery series, but these books are about more than just murder and whodunnit. The secondary story lines are great, too! She weaves in such wonderful examples of faith and living out the Christian life to the best of our ability.

And let me just add that there is a lot of unpredictable action in these books! What is very refreshing is the fact that the endings are just that - ENDings. I never had a clue as to how they would turn out until the very end.

The Cape Refuge series gets a 5-star review from me! =) Here's a link:

Tamara said...

Monica, I agree with almost all of these recommendations. I am a voracious reader, and I'm blessed to receive my mom's hand-me-down books, so I don't have to invest much!

Kingsbury and Blackstock are a few of my modern favorites, especially the lastest Blackstock series.

If you haven't already, you should definitely check out some old Grace Livingston Hill books...they model feminine modesty and faith. You might also enjoy the Christy and Julie books by Catherine Marshall.

I've really enjoyed the Wortham family series by Leisha Kelly (which center around a family learning to live by faith and make do with little during the Great Depression).

Happy Reading!

Tamara said...

Oops...meant to leave you this link to the Leisha Kelly books:

~Babychaser~ said...

I like just about everything I've read by Francine Rivers... especially her historical fiction! :)

Megan said...

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
My Name is Asher Lev by Chiam Potok
The No. One Ladies' Detective Agency by Allexander McCall Smith

~katie~ said...

I just began the Janette Oke series "Love Comes Softly". Lovely, Christian fiction! [I did this backwards as I saw the movies by Hallmark first ~ but LOVED them. I'm excited to read the set of books!! Although, I hear the movies didn't quite follow the books, it will be interesting to compare/contrast.]

I also have heard the "Sarah, Plain, & Tall" series is great ~ fashions the likes of "Anne of Green Gables".....and the "Christy" series is a winner too.

Great post!

sewspun said...

Right now I am reading Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. It is pretty long and I have a ways to go but I'm really enjoying it.

Jamie - Family Focused Fun said...

This is a bit non-related to your other book suggestions, but if you haven't read The Chronicles of Narnia, I highly suggest them. They are a breeze to read through and just throughly enjoyable. The last book made me cry just thinking about what heaven will be like. I had never read them until this year and can't wait to re-read them with my son when he is older!

Annikke said...

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jeff Bridges was a great book and really made me think!

I also am reading The Mind of Christ by TW Hunt

I know you said non-fiction, but if you haven't read The Wednesday Letters yet, it is a great book and is easy reading.

Unknown said...

Hello. I'm a Mitford fan too. Home to Harmony is the first in a series by Phillip Gulley. Funny, light reading. And you can't go wrong with the Lamplighter books, but those may be harder to get from your library. Have fun!


Becky said...

I really enjoyed the Thrush Green series by Miss Read. It's set in England and isn't specifically Christian fiction but they are quite wholesome.

Catherine said...

I recommend "I Capture the Castle" by Dodi Smith. It is not Christian Fiction, but it is a lovely read, set in an old castle in England. The first line is "I write this with my feet sitting in the kitchen sink", and the book continues in the same charming manner. It is a gentle, enjoyable read.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm a fellow "Carolina Girl"! I've read your blog for a few months now but I think this is the first time I have commented. I am a big book lover!

I recommend anything by Francine Rivers, especially the "Mark of the Lion" trilogy. My other favorite Christian authors are Lauraine Snelling, Beverly Lewis, Deeanne Gist, and Cathy Marie Hake. I tend to prefer historicals over contemporary novels, but Karen Kingsbury is very popular with the ladies at my church.

Let us know which ones you choose and happy reading!

Michelle @ My Gluten-free Kitchen said...

I'm guessing you've already read "Home to Holly Springs". (The first in the Father Tim series). I'm listening to this on audio CD and really enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Francine Rivers. Some of my favs are The Atonement Child, and the Shofar Blew, and Redeeming Love. I also am into Terry Blackstock. She is more of a Christian crime/love/drama- but VERY good. Right now, I'm going through the Chronicles of Narnia- very good, especially with the new movie coming out this May.

Have fun picking out great reads!

Anonymous said...

What a great list of books. I'm going to have to jot down a few of the suggestions.

I recommend:
The Shepherd of the Hills, by Harold Bell Wright
Freckles, by Gene Stratton Porter (a companion book to A Girl of the Limberlost)

I second these that others have mentioned:
A Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton Porter
The Last Sin Eater, Francine Rivers
Sisterchicks series, by Robin Jones Gunn
The Chronicles of Narnia series
The Harmony series, by Phillip Gulley
The Thrush Green series, by Miss Read

Michie said...

Try The Christmas Jar by Jason F. Wright. I just started another book by him, The Wednesday Letters.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

So many good books have been mentioned. I also agree with Sally Clarkson for nonfiction. She just updated Seasons of a Mother's Heart (which is my favorite "Sally" book).

There is a wonderful trilogy by a homeschool- mom- C.S. Lewis "scholar" by the name of Melanie M. Jeschke.

They are called The Oxford Chronicles. I love these books, they are among my all time favorites. The first is called Inklings.

I think the first two have gone out of print but they are available used at Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Funny you would ask this, I have re-reading my "Love Comes Softly" sereis by Janette Oke and kep thinking that I should reccomend these books to you! I think you will find the same family/community feeling that Mitford provides. Ms. Oke is a very gifted writer and brings a Christian message to each of her books. In fact, these books prompted me to explore Christianity in the first place!

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

I'd have to agree with Katy and others who said Beverly Lewis. Knowing that you have similar taste in books to my own, I really think you would enjoy them. They aren't heavy on the sappy romance like some Christian fiction, and are actually quite well written. They also have more of a slower feel, like the Mitford books. If you are looking for classics, my all-time favorites are Jane Eyre (although not really a cheery story), anything by Jane Austen, and Girl of the Limberlost (what a great book!).
Oh, now I want a library near me! :)

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

All right, it's me again. I have to second Stephanie too, in her suggestion of the Tracy Depree books. Love 'em.
Blessings....I'll try not to comment again. :)

Saralyn said...

The Hawk and the Dove Triolgy by Penelope Wilcock is amazing. It is a totally enthralling story--I couldn't put it down--yet it has also taught me so much about myself and the Lord. (But don't read it where weeping aloud would be inappropriate.)

kymk99 said...

Our family just recently watched the Christy series on DVD, so I just had to check the book out from the library to see how the story ended!!

Hope you find something good to read!

Yvonne :o)

Rebecca said...

Hi Monica,
I was planning on posting the very same question! But, now I don't have too - look at all the suggestions! :)

Hope you have a great day!

Lynn said...

I enjoy all Miss Read books - especially her Fairacre series.(Bit Mitford-ish)
I loved Girl of the Limberlost.
I enjoyed Honor Girl by Grace Livingstone Hill.
Thanks for this post I was getting a bit stuck on fiction choices.

Deeapaulitan said...

WOW! Do you want anymore recs? I read through what the others reccomended (skimmed would be a better word) so I'll try not to double up.
I didn't see LM Montgomery's *Blue Castle mentioned. IMHO this is her best book ever. It's obscure only because the heroine is not a spritly red-head who conquers the world, but a spinster... I won't go on.
A family favorite series is one not mentioned here either- *Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley. All 3 of the girls in our house read & reread these. They are beautiful.
*Heidi by Johanna Spyre ~ you will long for skipping on the mountains and hills.
*Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. This is one of those stories that leaves you forever changed.
------- Below are some others, fresh and sweet, but the above are the rich cream --------
*Betsy, Tacy, Tib books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Especially the ones when the girls are young, before highschool.**Also Emily of Deep Valley by her is wonderful.
*Mary Frances books by Jane Eayre Fryer. Every one of them, in every way, I reccommend.
*I too love "Limberlost". We listen to it on CD and eat Dulce De Leche' hershy kisses! We can't hear a line from this book without tasting them!
If you read any of these, Monica, will you drop me a note to tell me what you thought?

Anonymous said...

Just read "The Shack". It is a fiction book - Christian story line, very thought need to read it!
Also, just fluff reading- have read "One MIssisssipp" and "Crazy in Alabama"... good southern story writer...

~~Deby said...

I have given up most of the more modern fiction to apurer kind of books, liek Grace Livingston Hill, just finished April Gold, a real recommend....
What I like in most of her books is when people get saved or walk with the Lord there is a real change in their lives.

~~Deby said... sorry for the typos in the first post, was not paying attention.
yes I do know how to spell,
at least most of the time.