Somehow, in the midst of this crazy summer, I have decided it's as good a time as any to start reading again.

I have always LOVED books.  My parents instilled this love of reading in me...my dad taught me to read out of his old primers when I was 3 {according to him!} :).  Whether I was 3 or 4 I don't know but what I do know is that one of my earliest memories is sitting in his lap, turning the pages of those wonderful burgundy-spined old books that smelled and felt like something I really wanted to be a part of.

I remember my mom reading aloud chapter books to Erin and me when we ourselves were too young to do so...we were in our twin beds with the white wicker headboards and the blue and pink abstract flower comforters, in the room with the hot pink wall, with my mom sitting on the floor between us.  She read chapter books like Winnie the Pooh, The Trumpet Swan, Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and many, many more.  When I was old enough I read through The Chronicles of Narnia, Nancy Drew {loved}, Little House on the Prairie {Laura Ingalls was a prominent fixture of my childhood, and from that point on I knew I was supposed to live on a farm/homestead},  and then {duh} the Babysitter's Club series and Sweet Valley Twins books followed by Sweet Valley High {someone please tell me how my literary taste declined as my IQ supposedly inclined? :)}.  Perhaps the smartest "my children must love reading" tricks my parents worked out was letting us girls stay up thirty minutes past our "bedtime" if we were reading.  Brilliance!

On to present day, where reading has been sparse between birthing babies and just living the hectic life of a mom.  But, not unlike cooking and gardening and way too many more things that borders on ridiculous, reading is a love of mine and helps bring some much needed peace, escape, and "me-time" to my day.  {and for those wondering when I have time to read....before bed :). I can stay up WAY too late with a good book.}

I am always asking my reading friends for a good book recommendation and, since I've picked up the old reading habit recently, I thought I would add to the recommendation pool!

Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett
epic novel set in medieval times
I read while pregnant with Emory
amazing book I did not want to put down...Bennett napped=I read
a wonderful miniseries was made based off this book which I also recommend


Fall of Giants
by Ken Follett
another epic novel with great character development
first of a trilogy - I haven't read the other two
Takes place during WWI in England/Germany/Russia


Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
mystery, easier read
quirky and suspenseful
a little dark and good twists/plot


The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton
just finished this one! easy read 
spans generations of a family during pre WWII in England
a "mystery" with great surprises
flowery writing
loved it


Redeeming Love
by Francine Rivers
read this a long time ago but still LOVE it
one of my favorite books
fiction based off the book of Hosea in the Bible
love story with beautiful message


and now some books I have not read yet, but that have been recommended to me:

Island of Saints
by Andy Andrews


Firefly Lane
by Kristin Hannah


Coming Home
by Rosamunde Pilcher


The Shell Seekers
by Rosamunde Pilcher

Happy reading! I would love to know any other good book recommendations you would like to throw my way!



  1. read these then mail to me. k thanks :))))

  2. Looks like we have the same taste in books so try "Death comes to Pemberley" by PD James. It is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice.

    1. Oh that DEFINITELY sounds like something I would love! Thanks!!!

  3. i too loved Pillars of the Earth! My list of favorites runs long and deep. I just finished Defending Jacob. Soooo good. Couldn't put it down. Suspense, psychological thriller, court room. My all time favorite books are anything by Elizabeth Berg and the earlier work of Anita Shreve. Also: A Year of Wonders, The Rent Tent, The Poisonwood Bible, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Rebecca, I could go on and on. Just stop by, I'd be happy to loan you any!

    1. I love all of those...Elizabeth Berg, Poisonwood Bible...can't wait to read the others! And yes, wish I could stop by your house for much more than a borrowed book (cook me dinner? ;) )

  4. Oh Nat, I'm so thankful for your love of reading. Rewarding on so many levels!
    Have already read a few of your recommendations and fully plan to read the rest!

  5. Love your recommendations! It's so hard to find good books, but these all sound right up my alley! The Ken Follet books so awesome - well they all do! Definitely going to add to my list!

    You would love Coming Home - soooo good!! Epic! I tried to watch the miniseries and it was TERRIBLE! Like almost a joke, but the book is amazing! Shell Seekers was good, but not as good.

    A few recommendations:

    Unbroken - Excellent! WWI Survival story & God's Redemption!

    Tudor Court Series by Philippa Gregory - easy reads, fascinating and true stories and historically accurate! Really Interesting but not "history" books - read like a classy romance novel!

    Stolen Innocence - about the FLDS - fascinating and terrible!

    The Help, Life of Pi, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, The Shack, books by Tracie Peterson (kind of like Francine Rivers) and any of Francine River's other books, especially the Mark of the Lion trilogy), Pat Conroy's books, and Exodus by Leon Uris! All great books!

    A friend recommended these and I thought they looked great! Definitely on my "to read" list:

  6. Oh and Thornbirds - epic love story! Definitely racy but oh so good!!

  7. The Language of Flowers is one that I read this summer and enjoyed...http://www.amazon.com/The-Language-Flowers-A-Novel/dp/0345525558
    Also, Sparkly Green Earrings is a cute "momma" book
    Revenge Wears Prada:The Devil Returns, not as good as the first one, but a good "beach" read
    The Light Between Oceans
    ANY Charles Martin minus Thunder and Rain, my favorites being Maggie and The dead don't dance...
    OH I could go on and on and I LOVE TO READ too :)

  8. Love this list! Adding them to my future reading list. :)
    I recommend Wild (by Cheryl Strayed) and Outlander (by Diana Gabaldon). Outlander is a long series but even if you stop after book 1 like I did, it's a great read!

  9. Thanks for the recommendations - I'm in that stage too where reading seems like such a luxury - esp with young kids. Absolutely loved hearing about your memories as a little girl listening to your mom and dad read to you. I have vivid memories of that too - and can recall the walls and furniture of my bedroom, and where my parents would sit when reading. Such good memories that I'd forgotten until reading your blog.

  10. Writing the ones down that I haven't read. I'll have to send you a list of some that I've read lately! xo.

  11. The Kitchen House, Light Between Oceans, Where'd You Go Bernadette? And Defending Jacob. Flew through them all this summer. Lighter than Ken Follett for surebut good reads nonetheless!


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