Thursday, June 26, 2008


Remember when I asked for suggestions on books to read? Well, you all really answered! I've been enjoying lots of new books lately and at your request, will share what I've read these past few months.

I've always enjoyed seeing Megan's book list by month, so I've been keeping a similar list in a Word document.

Here are the books I've read this year:

Colorado Christmas by Rosey Dow (compilation of three short stories): I enjoyed this for it's title and there was one story in particular that I enjoyed. Having lived in Colorado Springs, where her first story was set, I could not make a connection between what she wrote and even a historical perspective of this city I love. But, I did enjoy the short stories.
Living Simply by Joanne Heim read my review here
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo: I do enjoy this author - though this was not my favorite of her books.
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo: a quick read, but not my favorite
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder: a consistent re-read around my house!
Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo*: this is probably my favorite of her books
Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern: lots and lots of info on organizing! Don't read this while you are on bed rest and can't do any organizing!
Mitford Bedside Companion by Jan Karon: a great compilation of the Mitford series
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder: I think this is my favorite book in this series. I love this particular book and all the things they accomplish in one day!
Hidden Places by Lynn Austin*: I really enjoyed this one! The movie does not do it justice, so I would choose to read the book instead.
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder: another consistent re-read
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore (partially skimmed/read about half): I borrowed this book as we plan to begin homeschooling. There were things I liked about it, but the fact that I didn't finish it tells me it was a bit overwhelming to me.
Though None Go With Me by Jerry Jenkins: I'm interested to see this one made into a movie.

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon: a very different tone from the Mitford books, but a good read from this well loved author.
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo: this is one of Emily's favorite movies, I did enjoy this one!
Willow Springs by Jan Watson*: This is the second in a series I had started before Christmas. Another one I really enjoyed.

Peace Like A River by Lief Enger: I must admit, this was not one of my favorite books I've read this year. Books like this make me feel like I am not very smart - I had a hard time getting into the writing style and it was heavy material. But, I did finish it, which should say something right there.
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall*: I loved this book! I can't wait to read it with Emily and Rachel.

A Woman’s Place by Lynn Austin*: I liked this one because it followed the lives of four women, and how they eventually interconnected.
Rekindled by Tamera Alexander*: I really enjoyed all three in the series by this author and am anxious to pursue any other books she may have written. The stories were intricate enough to keep me guessing, I really enjoyed her style. These books were also set in Colorado Springs in its frontier days. Of course, I really liked that and the author described the air, the mountains and trees so beautifully I missed them!
Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp*: Oh, how I needed this one. It is really right where we are at right now raising young children. This is one of those books I'll read again and again for wisdom and help in the training of children according to God's Word. I was challenged and inspired.
Revealed by Tamera Alexander*: see above

All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin: Again, some heavy material - life is hard. Not my favorite of her books.
A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman*: read a few thoughts here - book review coming on this one. I LOVED this book!
Remembered by Tamera Alexander*: see above
The Storekeeper's Daughter by Wanda E. Brunstetter: Another one that I wasn't a huge fan of. I do enjoy reading about the Amish - but this wasn't my favorite.

Currently Reading:
The Family Meal Table by Nancy Campbell (I haven't been able to find a link for this one): I am really enjoying this one a lot! I will share more about it when I finish but it fits really well with our hospitality theme going on here!
The Scent of Lilacs by Ann H. Gabhart: I am basically just finishing this one to see what happens at the end. I had a very hard time getting into it and thought about not finishing it at all.

Of all of these, I would say that there are some that stand out above others. I have put a star next to my favorites. Of course, I read so many in January because I was on bed rest. And, it is hard for me to write a synopsis of these now that it has been several months. I have made notes on the books that I can remember enough about them to share. Plus, you can read a short synopsis on each at the provided link.

Note - it is hard for me to be so honest about some of these books. I wish I could find something wonderful and charming to say about each one. I also want to be careful suggesting books that I liked and then you read them and don't like them. As with all things, use your own judgment and discernment on choosing books rather than taking my word for them.


MamaBirdEmma said...

Though None Go With Me is a Hallmark movie now, Monica! Maybe you can get it through the library if you don't have the Hallmark channel!

Thanks for your reviews!

Lisa said...

Try reading Beverly Lewis's Amish novels. I think they are much better than Wanda B. books. Beverly is a much better author.

There is also a series of books by Guidepost called Grace Chapel Inn series. You can find them on These are very good uplifting novels.

Happy Reading!

mamabeck said...

I'm enjoying a wander through Mitford (actually Whitecap) again. Taking my time through A New Song this time. It's kind of like coming home, isn't it? Sure does make the summer heat easier to deal with, though! Mitford is a tall glass of iced tea and feet-kicked-up kind of read, isn't it?

I just finished "Because of Winn Dixie" and can't wait to read it to the kids, may start this afternoon. Desperaux is in my stack to read next.

Megan said...

Sorry you didn't like Peace Like a River. It's still in my top 5 of favorites! Different strokes for different folks.

Jeannie Birdsall is easily my new favorite children's author. I'm glad she's new and still writing. My girls and I loved both of her Penderwicks books!

Anonymous said...

May I recommend Jamie Langston Turner to you? I have a review of one of her books on my blog

Sounds like you've done a lot of reading and that you like historical fiction. I do, too. Have you tried anything by Bodie and Brock Thoene. They particularly focus on Israel around the time of WWII and after.

I have Shepherding a Child's Heart on my nightstand and STILL haven't read it! Fiction has so much more appeal for me!

rohanknitter said...

If you plan to homeschool, one book I would highly recommend is "Homeschooling with a Meek & Quiet Spirit" by Teri Maxwell.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My husband really enjoyed The Storekeepers Daughter. He likes her writing more than Beverly Lewis because Lewis is more "touchy feely"... remember, that is a man's perspective. :)

My favorite homeschool books were Diana Waring's Beyond Survival, anything by Sally Clarkson (her link is on my blog), and books by Karen Andreola... since we used the "whole books" way of homeschooling.

I'm sure there are others I can't think of right now.

A series of books I enjoyed very much were the three Oxford Chronicles books by Melanie Jeschke (starting with Inklings).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comprehensive list! I made note of several authors you listed. My library bag is always fuller than time permits, and at last count, I was 16 magazines behind! But, I hope to catch up this summer by the pool.
Off topic--what is the name of the store you have mentioned long ago that sells (surplus, I think) home furnishings? I think you got wallpaper from this store. Its name may begin with "Re..." I think one of these stores is opening in an adjacent town, and I want to learn more about it. Thanks! angie

Elise said...

I remember reading the Love Comes Softly series years and years ago and enjoyed them. Thank you for your kind words on my blog!!

Elise said...

I think Monica was talking about the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I have never been to one but we have one in the city and I look forward to going as I have heard great things about them.

Dana D said...

My all-time favorite is Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. You can read where I reviewed it on my blog

She also throws in some homeschooling wisdom along the way!

Madonna said...

Still making my way through the old blogs but getting closer to the new stuff. :) I just wanted to comment on your books since books are a love of mine. I have the whole Little House series and my 2 favorites in it are The Hard Winter and Farmer Boy. Another favorite series of mine is the entire Anne of Green Gables series. I love them all except Rilla of Ingleside. I don't like the sad parts. I reread these over and over. I will check out some of these at the library that you have recommended though.