A Few Favorites

When it comes to books, you might consider mine a hopeless case.  I can’t seem to help myself – a total addict! You’ll find abundant volumes teetering in a too-tall stack by my bed, a few more on hold at the library, and an even longer list stuck impatiently in My Cart on Amazon. Never mind the ones scattered throughout the house with random bits of paper marking the place where I last left off (and it doesn’t help that my husband is a literary agent, I can tell you!).

I’m practically “jittery” when a few days have gone by and there’s not been the chance to read so much as a page.  When that happens, you’ll see me start to droop…flop…and then grump until my husband or daughters can’t stand it any longer and “shoo” me away to go bury myself in a good book for an hour or two, knowing I’ll emerge once again as the cheery wife and mama they all depend on.

Ahhh….that’s better!

So how about you? Getting droopy…grumpy? Need a good book to sink down into?

Cheer yourself up with some of my all-time favorites!

Favorite Non-Fiction

Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Diebler Rose


Some books you read because they take you to a different time and place. Others you read because your life is never quite the same once you’ve finished the story:  Evidence Not Seen is one of those books.  It’s a true story of love, faith, tremendous suffering and sorrow, yet overflowing with such incredible hope and triumph that you’ll smile more than you’ll cry. This is the beautiful testimony of a newlywed missionary who survived four years in a Japanese prison camp during World War II.


Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot


I look to Mrs. Elliot as my mentor and probably the most gracious and godly woman of my acquaintance. She’s written over 25 books and had a speaking and radio ministry for many years. While it’s difficult to choose just one of her books, the story of the mission and death of her first husband, Jim Elliot, and his four companions down in Ecuador is probably one of the most powerful stories I know.


West with the Night by Beryl Markham

Though certainly not Christian, West With The Night is one of my top favorite picks.  It’s truly the most beautifully written book you’re ever likely to come across. Nor am I alone in this view, as Earnest Hemingway comments, “As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer….I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book.” (Pardon his language).

Set in East Africa in the early 1900’s, Beryl tells the story of her life – of  childhood, friendship, race horses, flying, humor, beauty and adventure – with an utterly masterful pen.


 Favorite Fiction

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

The book is even better than the movie, if that could be possible (please tell me you’ve watched the film!). It’s a lovely story of husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, young love, loss, life, and faithfulness. A delightful tale!


Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Even if you’re not a Dickens fan (an incredible and prolific writer), this is a good one to pick up for it’s one of his brighter novels. As always, his characters are matchless and memorable and this story even has a happy ending! (The movie is well-done too, although includes a few “PG-13″ scenes.)

Laddie, Freckles, and The Girl from the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

Gene Stratton-Porters has a wonderfully unique and distinctive writing style, as well as a charming way of weaving a story. Out of all her books, Laddie is my personal favorite, although it’s a split-vote in our home with my daughters contending for Freckles. Read them both and decide which you prefer!


Children’s Books by Matt and Lisa Jacobson

How Did God Make Me?


Winner of the C.S. Lewis Silver Award for Children’s Literature,  our book addresses the questions young children have about how they were formed in the womb, especially when a new baby is expected in the family.  Included are some of the famous Lennart Nilson photographs of the baby developing in the womb.


From an Amazon reviewer:

In simple language and illustrated with lovely pictures of a mother talking to her little son, children are told the story of how God made each one of us. The language is simple and the pictures help one understand God’s handiwork. A nice book to read to children especially if a new baby will be joining the family.”


The Big Ten for Little Saints

The Big Ten teaches the Ten Commandments to young children in a clear and cheerful manner.

“The Big 10 for Little Saints” is a beautiful book. The ten commandments are written in Biblical form and followed by a simple and effective explanation….and the illustrations are wonderful… beautifully done and they depict a healthy, happy family-oriented home”  (Amazon review).


The Amazing Beginning of You

…is a straightforward introduction to the young reader about the miracles of conception, pregnancy, and birth from a Christian perspective. Color photographs reveal the incredible process of maturing from a zygote to a baby about to be born….The focus is on presenting the creation of human life as a wonder granted by God. The Amazing Beginning Of You is an excellent and recommended book for Christian parents to answer the question: “Where do babies come from?” (Amazon review).


And at the very top of my list….

The Bible

I can’t recommend this one high enough!! My favorite books within the Bible change with the various seasons of life, but I’d probably have to put the Psalms, the Book of John, and Philippians fairly close to the top.