“A book should be a safe haven, a private retreat... something you get lost in, over and over again.” -Anonymous
Whether it's on your nightstand or sitting on your office shelf, there is bound to be a book (or two... or three) that you could pick up repeatedly. For our latest MamaVoices column, we asked a few of our favorite bookworms for their list of favorites... Happy Reading!
Which statement do you think is true?
1. I love chocolate cake.
2. I have read six novels this week.
3. I wish winter lasted longer.
If you guessed number two, you’re right. I read a lot. Many of the books are good but few are classics. A classic is a work that can be enjoyed over and over.
Here are three that come to mind.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
This true story is about a Christian woman who hid Jews during WWII. Eventually, she was caught and thrown into a concentration camp. She lost several family members there but lived to tell the story.
Although The Hiding Place is about the holocaust, it is uplifting and full of miracles and forgiveness.
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Dashti, a lady’s maid, is locked in a dark tower with Lady Saren. She tries to keep the lady comfortable, but food and supplies are limited. Outside the tower, war has devastated the Asian steppes. If they escape, will life get any easier?
I am a decided fan of Shannon Hale and her unique fairytales. Her writing is stunning, poetic, and empowering.
Letters for Emily by Camron Wright
When Harry Whitney dies, his estranged kids find three copies of a book written during his dying days.
Each story is a riddle that unlocks part of Harry’s life. Through the book, they come to know him, but more importantly they learn about themselves and the power of forgiveness.
Emily Beeson, blogger – Homespun Light
I am a big re-reader so this was harder than I anticipated. Re-reading is like sitting down with a big bowl of your favorite comfort food. It may not be the fanciest book around, but it satisfies something in your soul. So, here are 3 books I can read over and over.
Harry Potter – Ok, so this is technically 7 books but there is something, especially about the first part of the series, that keeps me coming back. Because of the excellent writing, we are able to inhabit Harry’s world and, for adults, revisit that place when we didn’t quite know who we were but finding out was exciting.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I do like the entire series but the first one pulls our heroine out of time, drops her into the midst of an excellent cast of characters and makes us long to be that resourceful, that strong and, of course, that loved.
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle – This is probably my favorite author. Her books have spoken to me since I first read A Wrinkle in Time. In this book, our heroine is dealing with the upcoming death of her grandfather, 3 different boys, and trying to figure out her place in the world. I think this quote from L’Engle herself speaks to why her books resonate so much with all of us.
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
Ramona Duke, blogger – Mama Reads
My favorite part of the day is when my three-year old daughter is sitting beside me, my infant son in my arms, and we’re reading stories of missing bunnies and adventurous chickens or looking at photographs of frogs, seashells, and construction equipment. Here are three of my favorite books for kids in different age groups.
The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer, Illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli
A tiny girl lives in a castle encased in a glass globe inside a museum. When the children visiting the museum leave at night, the girl gets lonely even though she’s surrounded by beautiful things. Nicoletta Ceccoli's soft clay model, acrylic, and digital media illustrations are absolutely stunning, resulting in a captivating picture book for young readers.
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
This is what I like to call a “wholesome, feel-good book.” Four sisters, each with distinct personalities, spend an adventurous summer at a beautiful Massachusetts estate. This is the first book in what is to become a five-book series and is a perfect example of realistic fiction with strong and lovable characters.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss lives in the poorest district of Panem, a war-torn country that used to be the United States. When Katniss’ sister is chosen to participate in Panem’s annual Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place and is soon participating in a brutal, fight-to-the-death competition in which only one person can survive. Not for the faint of heart, The Hunger Games will leave readers on the edge of their seats and racing to the library for the next book in Suzanne Collins’ beautifully-written and suspenseful trilogy.
Jill Tullo, blogger - The Well-Read Child
I was really excited when I was first asked to post about three books I read over and over. Then I realized that I would have to limit myself to three books and then the great mental debate began. The debate continued up until the minute I wrote this but, after much perusing of my bookshelves, I have decided on three (although I could write about 100).
Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer, a funny regency period novel about Phoebe who wrote a fictional book after a man with distinct eyebrows who was rude to her, that everyone in London society believes to be real, leading to all kinds of problems that she has to fix.
The second book is A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland. Normally I don't really like time travel romance novels, but Kurland doesn't romanticize the time periods, she displays it in all its dirty hardship. Author Elizabeth falls asleep in Central Park and wakes up in medieval Scotland where she is thrown into a dungeon by James, suspected of being an enemy spy. I love the relationship that develops between James and Elizabeth, and how James reacts to all the changes that come to his life.
The last book is The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, a Young Adult novel retelling the classic fairy tale. It is the first in a series about Princess Ani who travels to a distant land to marry a prince and her maid tries to kill her, assuming Ani’s place. Ani is forced to get a job as a goose girl to survive.
Jessica Williams, blogger – Novel Reaction
I have several standby books that over the years I find myself reading over and over. Since I am a non-fiction learner type, they might not be the typical lot of books most people like, but I feel with each of them I can go back and read them and I glean something new that I can apply to my life.
When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I seem to turn to A Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Anne wrote this book after having survived tragedy in her life. Anne, wife of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, travels to Florida's Captiva Island to contemplate her life, motherhood and to embrace solitude. Though this book was written in 1955, it remains relevant to me in my daily life as a wife and mother. It calms me and makes me focus on the important things in life.
Another book I find myself reading often is Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways by Susan Jeffer. As a shy teenager, I read this book and it really helped me to take some positive steps in my life. This book has helped me since I've become a wife, mother, business owner, and blogger. Anytime I feel a gentle tugging on my heart to take a new direction in my life that seems scary, I read this book and it encourages me to take the first steps.
As a good Christian girl, I cannot write on this topic without bringing up my Bible. It has been my constant companion since I became a Christian as a teenager. I'm not the most regular of reader, but I often go to it when I have questions in my life. It's my go-to book that goes with me everywhere. Whether it's in electronic version or my trusty, tattered book.
Deanna Gibbons, blogger – The Bookworm Blog