Good books!

I’d like to give you a peek at some of the good books I’m reading right now–from children’s books to fiction to spiritual growth. They’re worth your time!

(Click a cover to view the book on–you may be able to look inside!)

[amazon_link id=”0141310014″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]To Be a Slave[/amazon_link]

To Be a Slave, by Julius Lester (non-fiction)

  • Mr. Lester’s purpose in writing was to bring into light the “black literature” buried in archives and libraries. It’s a book of quotations, a look at slavery through the words of ex-slaves.
  • “Pa said ol’ massa and ol’ miss looked like their stomachs and guts had a lawsuit and their navel was called in for a witness, they was so sorry we was free.” p. 139

[amazon_link id=”0441627404″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Once and Future King[/amazon_link]

The Once and Future King, by T. H. White (fantasy)

  • A classic retelling of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. (Let’s just say I’ve enjoyed this one a time or two before.) It’s the first book I ever read in which the characters were fully Real… not all good or all bad, but a complex human mixture. I love White’s masterful interplay of classic-romantic with modern-hilarious.

[amazon_link id=”0867169133″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, Loving It[/amazon_link]

Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, Loving It, Dr. Ray Guerendi (personal growth)

  • This one taught me a lot about adoption but more about mothering. I like Dr. Guerendi’s humor and common sense.

[amazon_link id=”0763660531″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Journey[/amazon_link]

Journey, by Aaron Becker (picture book)

  • A most lovely children’s book: whimsical, wordless, satisfying. The stellar illustrations won a 2014 Caldecott Honor.

[amazon_link id=”1416994157″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book)[/amazon_link]

Locomotive, by Brian Floca (picture book)

  • And here’s the 2014 Caldecott winner! A charming look at western travel in the days of steam locomotives, including landmarks and eating houses along the way.

[amazon_link id=”0545070759″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Farm[/amazon_link]

Farm, by Elisha Cooper (picture book)

  • I’ve mentioned this one before. But we’re still reading it, and we still love it. A realistic and understated look at modern farming–the farmer with his cellphone and air-conditioned cab, but the weather and animals just as delightful/unpredictable as in the days of Farmer Jones.

[amazon_link id=”087951809X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Freddy the Detective[/amazon_link]

The Freddy Books, by Walter R. Brooks (juvenile fiction)

  • Though the Freddy Books were written in the mid-1900’s, I just discovered them in the audio section of our library. And then on the bookshelves. We love them.

[amazon_link id=”0439272009″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Witness[/amazon_link]

Witness, by Karen Hesse (juvenile fiction)

  • I first loved Out of the Dust, by the same author. Witness is the story of a small Vermont town pushed about by the coming of the Ku Klux Klan. Written in Hesse’s signature free verse… a surprisingly big story in a surprisingly few words.

[amazon_link id=”0877880301″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids![/amazon_link]

Good and Angry, by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (personal growth)

  • What was anger created for? Does it have a purpose? Read and find out…

[amazon_link id=”0385751532″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Boy in the Striped Pajamas[/amazon_link]

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne (historical fiction)

  • The story of an odd friendship between a boy in Auschwitz, and a boy outside Auschwitz. Perhaps the naïve people and unguarded conditions couldn’t have happened quite so; but I do not think Mr. Boyne’s point was to create a factual story. He wanted to capture an emotional truth, and he succeeded. He says, “I believed that the only respectful way for me to deal with this subject was through the eyes of a child, and particularly through the eyes of a rather naïve child who couldn’t possibly understand the terrible things that were taking place around him.” It’s a book that makes you think about fences.


Your turn! What are you reading? I do love a good book recommendation…

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9 years ago

I just started reading Rick Rhodes new book, Created with Purpose. (Men & women as God intended.) I’m only a few chapters in, so far I’m really enjoying it. It’s not a long book but it’s filled lots of golden nuggets! 🙂

9 years ago

I’ve been reading your blog for a while but am just now taking the time to comment. I love to read as well (too much sometimes!) and my younger siblings have enjoyed the Freddy books over and over. In fact my youngest brother has listened to some of them so often that he can sing along with the narrator (John McDonough). Thank your for your interesting, encouraging, convicting and fun blog posts! Blessings!

9 years ago

“A Visitor For Bear” by Bonny Becker
Bear’s peaceful morning is rudely interrupted by a persistent intruder. Wonderfully entertaining for children of all ages and has a sweet ending. This is one I don’t mind reading over and over.

“What Difference Do it Make? :stories of hope and healing” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
I haven’t actually read this one yet, just picked it up and started it at my parents’ house. I have read “Same kind of different as me” by the same authors. These books help me to look at the homeless with compassion instead of judgement.

“Loving the Little Years: motherhood in the trenches” and “Fit to Burst” by Rachel Jankovic. Two of best “mom” books I’ve read.

Just put a bunch of your recs on hold at the library. Thanks!

9 years ago

I’m reading ‘The Hawk and the Dove’ trilogy by Penelope Wilcock. A fascinating study of characters in a monastery.

9 years ago
Reply to  joshandjean

Ah yes! I received this book as a gift last year–I read it all and have reread most if it (at least once, some parts more often). There are some real gems in there!

Tabitha Schmidt
9 years ago
Reply to  joshandjean

I recently read this trilogy too, and enjoyed the two following books too. Definitely worth rereading!

9 years ago

I’m reading one of James Herriot’s collection of stories right now. That’s about as high as my brain aspires these days. But I like your list. Someday…

9 years ago

Enjoyed your ‘list’…I don’t have a whole lot of time to read, and enjoy when I can get a good book…and don’t have any on the go right not!! So checked into our local library and am going to try out Karen Hesse…my girls like to listen to sound recordings while they work, so was pleased that they have ‘Out of the dust’ in that ‘status’!! 🙂

9 years ago

“The Rosary” by Florence Barclay, my absolutely favorite fiction, and one of the only romance novels I recommend:)

9 years ago

I love your list. The adoption book stands out to me right now because of what you said about it speaking to mothering- I need that! “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” is the kind of book I can’t stand to read.

I am a sporadic reader. I’ve read some of Wendell Berry’s works in the last few months and would recommend them. My children and I are flying through Beverly Cleary’s “Henry Huggins” books. We also love the “Froggy” series by Jack London and Kate DiCamillo’s “Mercy Watson” series.

9 years ago

Can’t wait to see if some of the books on your list are at our local library!

I’ve been reading lots of World War 2 books so I could check if they were appropriate for my daughter. I’ve discovered some great books. Even if they are juvenile level – most are based on true stories. They were not as heavy as adult books on the subject but still moving. Some of my favorites – Number the Stars, The Endless Steppe, Escape from Warsaw, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Henry’s Red Sea, The Winged Watchman, and The Snow Treasure.


9 years ago

Glad to see Good and Angry on your list. I found it helpful as a beginning for significant change in parenting/coaching my children through the emotion of anger.

9 years ago

I wish I read more than I do. I think I need to restructure my days so I have more opportunity/time to read?!

Right now I am currently reading…
1) Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
2) The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
3) Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

Those are the books by my bed. They don’t include the books on my study shelf…that I rarely pick up because they are for reading when I have time to really mull over the words…

Mama Zook
9 years ago

Not sure if the last book I read would be considered a “good book” or not by your readers, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Shack” by William P. Young. I’m pretty sure Cliff would not have liked it, but something about the different characteristics of the trinity portrayed by the characters in the book was almost comforting to me. I know some are probably going to question my theology! WOW! I also can identify with God wanting to meet us if we willingly go back to where hurts have been the greatest, intentionally seeking for our Papa.
I also read “The Charm of Wicca”. Amazing that those who are drawn to that are generally seeking a spiritual relationship and power that is available within a personal encounter with our God!
Also read the book “Ten Years Old and Divorced”, and cried my eyes out!! And then became angry, and a host of other emotions! Maybe it’s time I read some kids books!

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