reading

Light Fare

I am grateful for the responses from yesterday about your “catapult” into reading. Because I never read much as a child, I missed out on the whole Little House series. Last year, believe it or not was my first time reading through the entire series, and I think it is wonderful. I have a whole new commitment to reading them to my children after seeing your response in yesterday’s comment box.

The Little House books are an extremely easy, yet entertaining read. Light reading is a wonderful way to get into the habit of reading. I think it was Briana who asked about books to just “veg” with instead of t.v. and the following are my answers to her question. Notice they are mostly in a series…I love to get hooked into a series an then read book after  book.

The Little HouseSeries by Laura Ingalls Wilder. No need to continue here, but the whole pioneer thing is extremely fascinating to me.

The Anne Series by L.M. Montgomery. If you have seen the amazing movies, you really should try reading the books. The first movie is very close to the first book, but the second movie barely resembles the next three books. Find out what happens to our favorite spunky red headed orphan as she teaches, goes to college, and eventually marries Gilbert and has five children. Then read about her children in Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside. Little bit of warning here: these are books geared toward pre-teens. You may find that Anne is a bit too perfect by book 3 or 4. Still, the colorful characters, amazing descriptions, and even the quintessential Anne make for a fantastic read. I literally go through these almost every year.

The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. What could possibly be interesting about the life of an unmarried sixty year old Episcopalian priest? You will be surprised to find yourself loving Father Tim as well as his parishioners and friends in the sleepy little town of Mitford. There is a wholesome little romance, a bit of mystery, and at some point in every novel – the gospel. That said, these are not Christian books, but they are truly wholesome. The best description of these books is that the author does an amazing job portraying the beauty of everyday people living everyday life.

Stepping Heavenwardby Elisabeth Prentiss. This is one of my all time favorite pieces of fiction…yes, it is fiction. The journal like format could be misleading, but this isn’t the life of Elisabeth Prentiss, it is her insightful story (I am sure heavily based on her own experience) of a woman who over time is transformed from a typical teen to an extremely godly woman. I love watching the evolution of Katherine. This book has a way of inspiring me to want to grow in godliness. It really is a very edifying book…but still a very easy book to read.

There you have it…my Light Fare recommendations. What are you favorite “veg” books? What books in a series do you recommend? Be sure to tell a little bit about why you love them. I just have the latest Mitford book to read, so I’m looking for a new series to begin. Thanks ahead of time.

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11 thoughts on “Light Fare

  1. My favorite “light” book of all time is “The Mirror” by Marlys Millhiser. I read it 20 years ago, soon after it was first published, then had to return it to its owner (my sister-in-law). I never forgot the book or the characters, and looked for it on and off through the years. I talked about it to other people, and they had never heard of it.

    Recently, I found it on Amazon, and in reading the over 100 reviews of it, discovered that this book has the same effect on everyone who has ever read it! Several people had ordered two, one to loan out, and one to keep.

    I’m not a reader of science fiction or “black magic” kinds of things, but this book has a time travel theme (don’t run, give it a chance!). The mirror is an old family heirloom, and a young girl looking into it on the eve of her wedding, finds herself on the floor in her room, and still in her family home, which has been lived in by several generations of her family, but it is 75 years ago, and she is in her young grandmother’s body, on the eve of HER wedding! The whole book is so fascinating, seeing her live in a time so far removed from her own, and later we catch up with her grandmother, who has been transported to HER body in the later part of the 20th century. Believe me, it’s a great story, and one you will want to share with everyone.

    Other than that, I like to read historical biographies, historical fiction, and anything set in the Civil War. I’ve read and loved Pete Hamill’s “Snow in August”, “Forever”, and am currently trying to read “Far Pavilions” It’s a very long book that I’ve been reading for three years! I’ve probably read 20 other books while I’ve been reading it, but it’s good – an epic type story spanning the whole life of a young British boy born in India.

    I started my love affair with books when I was 10 years old, and I read “Gone with the Wind”. When I would go to my grandmother’s house, she would give me her library card, and I’d walk down and get 3 or 4 books, read them in a couple of days, then go get 3 or 4 more. Real life, work, home and family make for less reading, but I still love it more than any other pastime.

    cj

  2. I have to make a huge recommendation for Francine Rivers. “Redeeming Love”–her sort-of retelling of the book of Hosea, set in 1800s California gold rush, is at the top of my all-time favorites. That’s saying a lot since I read a ton and can never pick one favorite. It’s that good. Her “Mark of the Lion” series is also fantastic–three books, a bit hard to get into at first but KEEP GOING–you will be unable to put them down!

    I’ve become a Ted Dekker fan…his Black/Red/White trilogy is thrilling, can’t put them down. You do have to suspend your sense of reality a bit, but not like most fantasy books, I don’t think. I don’t like fantasy either, but I liked these.

    And then my latest favorite series (which is still being written–the 5th book comes out this month) is the A.D. Chronicles by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Again a little slow getting in but SO worth it. I almost didn’t keep reading the first one but I’m so glad I did–and they just keep getting better! Set during Jesus’ life, with tons of Jewish background that really illuminates things. The books brings to life peripheral characters from the gospels (man born blind, lepers healed, demon-possessed boy, etc).

    those are my fiction pics! but be careful with some of them…you won’t get anything else done because all you’ll want to do is read 🙂

  3. I have to make a huge recommendation for Francine Rivers. “Redeeming Love”–her sort-of retelling of the book of Hosea, set in 1800s California gold rush, is at the top of my all-time favorites. That’s saying a lot since I read a ton and can never pick one favorite. It’s that good. Her “Mark of the Lion” series is also fantastic–three books, a bit hard to get into at first but KEEP GOING–you will be unable to put them down!

    I’ve become a Ted Dekker fan…his Black/Red/White trilogy is thrilling, can’t put them down. You do have to suspend your sense of reality a bit, but not like most fantasy books, I don’t think. I don’t like fantasy either, but I liked these.

    And then my latest favorite series (which is still being written–the 5th book comes out this month) is the A.D. Chronicles by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Again a little slow getting in but SO worth it. I almost didn’t keep reading the first one but I’m so glad I did–and they just keep getting better! Set during Jesus’ life, with tons of Jewish background that really illuminates things. The books brings to life peripheral characters from the gospels (man born blind, lepers healed, demon-possessed boy, etc).

    those are my fiction pics! but be careful with some of them…you won’t get anything else done because all you’ll want to do is read 🙂

    great series, Laurie–it’s fun sharing with other bookworms 🙂

  4. I love all the books you mentioned, Laurie. Anything by L. M. Montgomery is entertaining and easy (not just the “Anne” books). I too agree with Amy, anything by Brock and Bodie Thoene is great. I loved the Zion Chronicles and Covenant.

    The first comment also mentioned “Gone with the Wind,” which is one of my favorites. It’s different and so much better than the movie! My all time favorite light reads are books by Daphne du Maurier who writes suspense books that take place around Cornwall, usually. Also, adore Dorothy Sayers’ witty Peter Whimsy mystery books, especially “Strong Poison” “Have His Carcase,” and “Gaudy Night.”

  5. Just reading the comments is intimidating me, and ya’ll are talking “lite fare”! 🙂
    I was glad to see that I have read one of your picks, Laurie, twice! “Stepping Heavenward” that is, and I probably only did so b/c I did think it was non-fiction. Thankfully, finding out it was fiction didn’t completely ruin it for me. The only other book I’ve ever read twice I think was called, “I Gave God Time” by Anne Keimel Anderson (not sure on spelling). It was written in a similar journal format, so maybe I need to go with that style of writing.

    Because of your little series here on reading, I decided to jump in. I’m only wading in the shallow end and may remain there for the rest of my life, but to be in the pool of readers at all is growth for me. I went to the library today and picked up, “The Pampered Chef” which is about Doris Christopher, its founder and her journey of starting The Pampered Chef. I’m hoping it will keep me engaged as I LOVE p.c. products to pieces and would love to be a consultant for them one day. The idea of being a stay at home mom who is also entrepreneurial is highly attractive to me, too, but that may only remain a dream for me at least for a little while. I’m way over my head as it is just feeding, clothing and training my little guys.

  6. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t like reading! I do know that my Mom would read to us constantly growing up. We read the Archives of Anthropos and of course, Little House on the Prairie as a family. Now our family has read The Archives of Anthropos and the Chronicles of Narnia together! I hope that reading these books out loud to my children will instill a love for reading in them like it did for me!
    As far as my own interests – I like Gilbert Morris’ House of Winslow series. The only problem there is keeping ahead of my 12 year old Julia! I also liked the Left Behind books and pretty much anything written by Bodie Thoene.
    In my pre-teen years I loved reading the Mandie books as well as Janette Oke’s animal series.

  7. Thanks for all the book recommendations just in time for our vacation! I just wanted to put in 2 of my favorites (you already mentioned my top pick – Jane Eyre) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Count of Monte Cristo.
    Also, I tried reading the Little House series to my girls but I think they’re a little too young still. I never noticed it before but there is a lot of comparison going on between Laura and Mary due to their difference in appearance (blonde and brown hair). I’m sure this will be something good to talk to my girls about in the future since they may have the same tempations to comparison but I thought I didn’t need to give them any ideas yet!
    -Eva

  8. I’d add to your list “Aunt Jane’s Hero” by Elizabeth Prentiss, the same author as Stepping Heavenward. I’ve enjoyed it and benefited from it even more than Stepphing Heabenward and read it nearly every year, usually all in one or two days! Also Mrs. Prentiss wrote some children’s stories that are now published together in one volume and are called “Little Suzie Stories” the first few volumes are especailly nice.
    We spent one entire summer just reading the Mitford series, my mom read (with all the voices!) and my sister and I did our needlework, it has become one of my most cherished memories of life as a teenager.

  9. Just wanted to offer this—the Mitford series is just wonderful on tape or CD for car trips. I learned the hard way that some books aren’t appropriate for my children, and the Mitford series keeps every one of us fully entertained and entranced—husband, wife, and kids. You’ll love them. We borrow them from the city library.

  10. Jeanne, I love the Mitford series on CD. The reader is simply amazing. I almost rather listen than read because he is so talented. thanks for the reminder.

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