My Favorite Books

I’m a bookworm with a lot of favorites, but I’m trying to include the best of them here for you.  I’m still adding more from time to time (especially as I keep on reading good ones!), so be sure to check back every so often.

Current Favorites

In no particular order:

Michael Phillips — The Secret of the Rose series.  Since I wrote a whole post on these four books, I won’t repeat myself.  Check out the review!

Rachel Starr Thomson — I read Taerith online, and I couldn’t “put it down,” or in this case couldn’t quit clicking to the next chapter!   I’ve read the first two books in her Seventh World Trilogy, Worlds Unseen and Burning Light, and I’m excited to be getting the third, Coming Day, soon.  My full review is here.  For more of her work, check out her website.

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris.  Read my review here.

Mere Christianity may not be my favorite C. S. Lewis book, but if so, it’s because there’s no real way for me to choose one favorite from among his writings!  I also enjoyed his space trilogy, as well as the dear old Narnia series, and if you want a challenging read, get a copy of The Screwtape Letters.

In His Steps, by Charles M. Sheldon, offers a tremendous challenge.  You may recall the “What Would Jesus Do” (WWJD) fervor, well, this is the book that started it.  I remember hearing about WWJD when I was pretty young, but never got the full impact of the idea until I read this book several years ago.  It’s fiction, but can you imagine what might happen if Christians everywhere really took the time to answer that question?

Christmas Carol Kauffman — What an author!  I’ve read only a few of her books, but she has a way of writing theology into her fiction that’s intriguing.  I have Light From Heaven and Not Regina, and I’ve enjoyed them both.  Get ready for a journey of the spirit!

Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris, is a call to arms.  These homeschooled twins write for a generation of teenagers who do not seem to know how to grow up.  I have a link to their website, TheRebelution.com, in my blogroll.  Their sequel, Start Here, is equally challenging.

Gene Stratton-Porter: Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost, Michael O’Halleran, Keeper of the Bees, Her Father’s Daughter, The Harvester.  Stratton-Porter has to be among my top five favorite authors for her forthright style, lovely descriptions, and masterful handling of important life issues.  These novels aren’t just stories; Stratton-Porter’s characters make many a comment on life in general which it would be well for us to understand.

Agatha Christie —   I acquired a taste for mysteries at a young age, and have spent many a happy hour up to my ears in clues, false leads, and ingenious solutions.  While not a Hercule Poirot fan, I love Miss Marple and enjoy Tommy and Tuppence.  Several of Christie’s best do not even include one of these detectives.  Christie also wrote for the stage, and some of those make for good reading also.

Ellis Peters — Brother Cadfael may be a monk, but he certainly gets around.  I’ve never seen the TV series based on these books, mostly because I like the books too well to want to lose the mental pictures I have of the people and places Ellis Peters describes so strikingly.

Baroness Orczy — Besides writing The Scarlet Pimpernel, the Baroness also wrote several sequels and also a couple of mysteries.  I seem to have some fascination with British writers in addition to my mystery leanings. . .

Kilmeny of the Orchard is my favorite book by L. M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), who is Canadian rather than British.  I also enjoyed Story Girl, which combines many diverse short stories into one fabric, much like a quilt.

H. Rider Haggard wrote King Solomon’s Mines and Queen Sheba’s Ring, but I love him best in Pearl Maiden, a story of first century Christians.  I also liked The Brethren (about the crusades) and Lysbeth (set during the Dutch struggle for independence).

George MacDonald has to be one of my all time favorites.  Sir Gibbie tugs heartstrings, while The Curate of Glaston (originally three books, but now combined as a trilogy edited by Michael Phillips) digs into deep theology in the midst of stirring romance.  Some of you may remember MacDonald’s At the Back of the North Wind, another great book, or you may have heard of Lilith, an intriguing look into the world of the spirit and soul.  While MacDonald is hard to read in his original Scotch dialect, others like Michael Phillips have rendered them in today’s English, and his stories stand the test of time.

A School To Come Home To, by Lisa Dunlop, follows a girl who was pulled from the public school just as she was looking forward to her junior year.  Her year of transition is a hard one, and it culminates in a life changing experience.  Lisa Dunlop was homeschooled for nine years, and wrote the book to encourage other homeschoolers, especially those going through rough transitions.  This isn’t my experience, obviously, but it was a good introduction to what that transition is like for others.

Childhood Favorites

Marguerite Henry wrote about horses, and I, like many girls, was a little horse-crazy at one time.  My favorites are San Domingo, Brighty of the Grand Canyon, and White Stallions of Lipizza.

Martha Finley: Elsie Dinsmore and Mildred Keith.  I know people who think Elsie Dinsmore a bit too much of a goody-goody Christian.  I have to admit that in the first book or two she rarely does anything wrong, and that her troubles do seem to come from others around her, but she does have struggles, though perhaps more of a spiritual nature.  Other characters, especially in the later books, model various different personality types, and demonstrate that God not only loves all people, but he can meet them all where they are and draw them to himself.  I personally prefer the Mildred Keith series, though it is shorter.  Where Elsie is the child of wealth, Mildred is a pioneer girl.

“The Boxcar Children,” “The Happy Hollisters,” and “Encyclopedia Brown” are my first mystery loves.  I’ll make a caveat with the “Boxcar Children”; the first 14 or so that were actually written by Gertrude Chandler Warner are great, and most of the next dozen or so are good, but after that the series is very hit or miss.  “The Happy Hollisters” are much like the “Boxcar Children” in that it’s a group of siblings who solve mysteries, but the Hollisters are younger.  “Encyclopedia Brown” is fun because the mysteries are short, and readers can try their hand at solving the mystery before looking up the answer in the back.  The “Hawkeye and Amy” series is the same, with the addition that you have a sketch for each mystery, which usually provides at least one clue in visual form, helping you enter into the fun.

Elizabeth Yates is well known for Amos Fortune: Free Man, but I like her best in The Journeyman and its sequel, Hue and Cry.   The Next Fine Day is also good.  If it’s a book by Yates, I guarantee you that Sister and I want to read it!

Earlier favorites included Mouse’s Birthday, Ferdinand, Blueberries for SalAnimalia, anything by Bill Peet, and all things Seuss.

[more to be added later . . .]

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One Comment on “My Favorite Books”

  1. Sister Says:

    A LITTLE horse-crazy? That’s putting it mildly . . .

    (I was there. I know.)


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