The End

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Wow, it has been so great partying with you all! I loved hearing what your favorite books were, helping you find new things to read, and even getting few recommendations myself. 😉 You all were truly awesome! I definitely have quite a few people to thank, so in just a few hours Rebekah will say those thank-yous for all of us on her blog (as well as announce the prize winners!).

Of course, she didn’t say anything about herself. (Which is really quite humble and cool of her, you have to admit.) She was AMAZING!!! I timidly brought her this tiny idea and asked her for her thoughts. She grew it, organized 103% of it, and was generally a very good and enthusiastic brain behind the operation. Go tell her how much you appreciate her! 😉

Just a couple more things before I throw my “bonus” genres at you. I’ve created a shelf on Goodreads for the books I’ve recommended during this party. (I’ll be bringing that up to date later today. 😉 ) Have fun adding a ton of them!

Also if you missed any of my posts from the party, here’s a nice map for you…

Monday: Top 5 Favorite Mysteries and Top 5 Favorite Christian Fiction Books

Tuesday: Top 5 Favorite Romance Reads and Top 5 Favorite Historical Fiction Books

Wednesday: Top 5 Favorite Biographies and Top 5 Favorite Fantasy Finds

Thursday: Top 5 Favorite Western Adventures and Top 5 Favorite Inspirational Books

Friday: Top 5 Favorite Books for Middle Graders and Top 5 Favorite Picture Books

 

And now for the bonus genres. (I think these two are pretty fun.) 😉

Top 5 Favorite Classics

76624Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

A quiet, frail girl with eight hilarious, boisterous, and slightly prideful boy cousins? Sign me up! 😉 I love this book, and I personally think it’s the author’s best. Each character is unique and lovable, and it’s certainly very lighthearted. Just a note there is some slight feminism and discussion of worldviews typical of that time period.

 

 

 

 

664675Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

Sorry about the drippy cover. That’s not the entire point of the whole book, but you know how illustrators are. 😉 (It is a big point of the book though.) ❤ This was such an amazing follow-up book! Everyone’s character traits set up in the first book were followed to the conclusion as they grew up. (I love Archie.) And without giving spoilers, I’ll just say that the romance was perfect. 😉 Just a note that once again there is some slight feminism and discussion of worldviews typical of that time period and a general romantic theme.

 

 

587293Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I cannot get over this one! It’s so sweet and heartbreaking, so full of British wit and satire. It used to leave me not wanting to grow up, but now that I read it as an adult and realize what a tragedy it is that Peter never grows up. I still love him though. 😉 Just a note that this is a magical story although it is light. (Don’t read the sequel though, it’s just weird; although the recent movie prequel was pretty good.) 😀

 

 

 

136116The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! It’s clever, clever–and you know I love clever! My favorite kind of hero is the one who uses wits instead of weapons when he can, and a secret identity thrown in is always amazing. 😉 I don’t know what more to say that will make you go read it except–GO READ IT! Not recommended for younger readers because of slight romance and the fact that it is set during the French revolting revolution (although that is handled pretty well).

 

 

32831The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

This book starts off pretty slowly, but it picks up in the second half. Pretty interesting story of survival with a cool mystery thrown in. It’s a sequel to Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, so if you are curious about Captain Nemo… *grins happily*

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Favorite Christmas Books

(As you can see, I’m a little short on Christmas books, so I’m up for recommendations.) 😉

5166zodgmel-_sx322_bo1204203200_Through the Tunnel by Rebekah Morris

This isn’t exactly a Christmas book, but I had to get it in here somewhere. 😉 It’s a pretty sweet story, and I love the solid family relationships. Don’t worry, Christmas does figure highly in it and is probably my favorite part. For more reasons to read it and a short content advisory, see my review. 😉

 

 

 

27210729At the Christmas Lodge by Rebekah Morris

AAAAAAAND the snow angels sing!!!! This is sooo cute (painfully so). Being snowed in with really fun family and friends, Christmas, cute/sweet romance, and the Gospel = this book. Not recommended for younger readers because of the slightly romantic theme. 😉 ❤

 

 

 

8287468The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L’Engle

What a cute concept–a solid family doing something special every day until Christmas. I really enjoyed it especially the cute illustrations. 😉 Here’s my review.

 

 

 

 

That’s really, truly all folks! Have a great rest of your weekend (reading, right?); and I’ll be back on the blog next Monday! 😉

Top 5 Favorite Picture Books

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I love picture books. Especially ones that hold the attention of both the child I am reading to and me. They can be such a cozy way to spend time with a child, and the conversations that often arise are definitely keepers. ❤

17414681Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith

I LOVE this story! It’s not your typical read-this-picture-book-aloud-then-groan-when-the-little-kids-ask-for-it-again-for-the-eightieth-time. The illustrations make you want to get lost in them for hours and the story is so sweet! Definitely something I will read for years to come! ❤

 

 

404405Aunt Green, Aunt Brown, Aunt Lavender by Elsa Beskow

The most important thing about a picture book is the illustrations, right? This one has adorable pictures and a great story to go with. We have a ton of fun comparing ourselves to the aunts and guessing which of them we would be. 😉

 

 

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For Such a Time as This by Angie Smith

This is probably my favorite Bible storybook of all time! While geared towards girls specifically, it doesn’t skimp on the stories or their meanings. One of my favorite things about it (besides the illustrations by Breezy Brookshire, the same illustrator of Audrey Bunny) is that Jesus’s face is never shown once! Not even when He’s a baby! I’m not a stickler for this, of course, I just appreciate the respect that is shown for Him in this way. This book is great for reading aloud to younger girls. Just a note that some of the bad women of the Bible (i.e. Gomer, Jezebel, etc.) are touched on but handled very discreetly.

6606452Norman the Doorman by Don Freeman

This is such a cute story (I mean, tiny mice with earmuffs!), and the illustrations are icing on the cheese. Great read-aloud. 😉

 

 

153540The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

That house with a little face is just too cute! I love the passage of seasons and years, and the end is pretty sweet. Every old house and house-lover’s dream right there. 😉 Also a splendid read-aloud.

 

 

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So grab a picture book and a child’s hand and find an out-of-the-way bench to relax and enjoy a story together. 😉

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and entries for the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

Since this blog party is rapidly drawing to a close, we would love to hear your thoughts through this survey. (Hint: you get a free short story for your feedback pains.) 😉

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Top 5 Favorite Books for Middle Graders

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One of the best things about being a long time bookworm is getting to recommend books to those who have just started their career/addiction/hobby. 😉 Usually these readers are younger, so I have a special list just for them of clean and interesting beginner books.

41vg2b1fpzqlThe Farm Mystery series by Stephen and Susie Castleberry

This is a ten book series (nice and long!) of mysteries set in a God-fearing home with sweet family relationships. We keep passing these down through the family to the current newest reader, and several detective clubs have been started because of them. 😉 My personal favorite in the series is The History Mystery especially since it teaches about a little-known historical fact. 😉

 

 

18721541The Beautiful Culpeppers by Marion Upington

It’s so hard to find doll themed books that aren’t full of magic and murder, so this book is a keeper. It’s the story of a delightful little family of paper dolls (made specially by their owner’s daddy) and their search for new friends. Pretty sweet. ❤

 

 

51e6jqaxqflPearl’s Practice by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

With an adorable cover, sweet illustrations, and a daaaaaarling story, this is a big favorite. I love that it mixes together the anticipation of a new baby sister and the training for being a future mommy. Quite the pro-life, pro-motherhood story perfect for younger readers. 😉 ❤

 

 

 

1308296The Scripture Sleuth series by Mat Halverson

My dad bought me my first signed copy of a book in this series at a homeschool convention, and I loved it immediately. It’s the same concept as Encyclopedia Brown–a smart kid who figures out the mystery and gives a clue so you can too–except this time the clues come from Scripture verses. Quite a ton of fun. Between me, my brother, and a friend of ours we managed to collect the whole series. My favorite book is definitely book four, though the Gospel presentation in book three is pretty awesome. 😉

 

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Operation Space Cats: The Rescue Mission by Lesa McKee

I had a ton of fun reviewing this book recently and found it good enough to pass on to my youngest sister. It’s a very cute, humorous story that would work for all ages but especially younger readers. 😉 Read my review.

 

 

 

fff-benches-2So take a book outside to the bench and settle into the story. Adventure awaits. 😉

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and entries for the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

Since this blog party is rapidly drawing to a close, we would love to hear your thoughts through this survey. (Hint: you get a free short story for your feedback pains.) 😉

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Quick Announcement

We interrupt this recommendation bonanza to bring you an announcement about prizes.

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See that amazing Grand Prize? Since we’ve had 81 entries in the giveaway at Read Another Page, we’re adding a second place prize of 3 ebooks and a $5 Amazon giftcard! And if we can make it to 100 entries, we’ll be adding a third place prize as well; so spread the word! 😉

I’ve made a Goodreads shelf for all my recommendations to you thus far, so you can easily find and add them. It’s been so fun sharing recommendations, and my to-read list is growing nicely. 😉

Have a great evening and see you all tomorrow! For now, I’ve got a date with Sherlock Holmes.

The book, that is. 😉

Top 5 Favorite Inspirational Books

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All parts of life inspire me somehow (even the gnarled roots of a tree remind me of dragons or something); but I had to search hard to find non-fiction books that have inspired me. I’m don’t read much in this genre; but there are some books that stand out as very, very inspiring. 😉

671856Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally

I’ve had my own copy of this book for several years now ever since my oldest sister gave me hers when she got married. 😉 While it does mainly focus on a girl’s favorite/least favorite topic, it is also generally about growing up in the Lord. Very good, discreet book on this topic.

 

 

 

12927216It’s [Not That] Complicated by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin

A little more focused and a lot more into the nitty-gritty of HOW?, I would recommend this book for a slightly older age group than Before You Meet Prince Charming. It’s practical, Biblically-based, has some pretty hilarious jokes (those are always important), and even short testimonials from Christian brothers on what they think of the topic. It’s also nicely organized which makes it easy for future reference. 😉

 

51ujvdcru5l-_sx377_bo1204203200_Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman

This topic is definitely down the road for me, but there’s one super encouraging thing about it for me. It can be done! This book proves that large families can be well-organized. Reading about how one woman manages her household also helped to get me excited for the role of motherhood. 😉

 

 

121715The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

This is a collection of essays by one of my favorite authors, and the best one of all is the essay for which the book is named. 😉 C.S. Lewis takes the most complicated spiritual concepts and brings them to my level in a tangible way that draws me so much closer to the Father.

 

 

 

51yyzduymvl-_sx334_bo1204203200_Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine

I love writing stories, but when I get stuck at the bottom of a plot hole I feel like quitting the art for good. While this little book is mostly how-to, it definitely encouraged me to enjoy the process and gave some very helpful tips for finding inspiration. For a small content advisory, read my review.

 

 

 

fff-blanketsGrab that cozy blanket and prepare to be inspired!

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and entries for the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

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Top 5 Fantasy Finds

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I read “fantasy” as one of my absolute favorite genres probably because it is so close to medieval; but it’s often hard to find anything in it because it usually includes quite a bit of magic. (Read my thoughts on the issue here.) It’s very special for me to be able to recommend five non-magical (or at least very light) books from this genre.

41egzxvm-5l-_sx311_bo1204203200_Song of the Sword by Hope Ann

This was a nice new surprise this year. Not magical in the least, well-written, and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ly inspiring. (Like over-highlighting on the Kindle inspiring.) For more reasons to read it and a small content advisory, read my review. (And the first book in the series is super good too!) 😉

 

 

 

23754884The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

Rabbits with swords? Wouldn’t that be kind of little kiddie or something? Nope. Also non-magical (bonus!), this book is really amazing, and the characters being rabbits adds a neat twist to the action scenes. For excessive fangirling, read my review here. And yours truly is hopping up and down (like a rabbit, of course) in anticipation for the sequel. I can’t wait to read it!

 

 

25618438The Black Star of Kingston by S.D. Smith

This is something of a prequel to The Green Ember, but could just as easily stand-alone as it’s own story. It was fantastic to read the history behind the pledge they are always saying to each other, and Fleck Blackstar was FABULOUS! (For a rabbit.) 😉 Read my review.

 

 

 

16166626Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland

If this portal-medieval fantasy classifies as magical at all, it’s very light. That said, the book is AMAZING!!! Jumping back and forth between this world and the dream one, Lael; sword-fighting; cool elf-like people (with huge ears); and even some sweet romance… It was definitely a cliche breaker because it went against the you-accidentally-found-another-world-and-now-you-are-automatically-it’s-savior story line. Nope, the MC’s coming is a world-ending problem. Two worlds ending. For a content advisory and some more incomprehensible screeching, read my review.

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

What would a post on fantasy be without the pinnacle of the whole genre? That’s a picture of our family treasury (complete with color illustrations and maps) along with my Hobbit door necklace. With very light magic, amazing characters, some good British wit, and amazing spiritual themes–well, you get why I love the series. 😉

fff-bonfiresWarm your hands in the glow of an autumn bonfire and let your imagination take you to another world.

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and entries for the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

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Top 5 Favorite Biographies

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Biographies!!! Any book is good in my book, but biographies have that extra-special twist to them that they are based on real life. It’s always neat to know that an inspiring person actually lived, and we can follow in their footsteps.

229117A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall

Peter Marshall, father, husband, pastor, and chaplain to the U.S. senate led an extraordinary, inspiring life. This biography (and the movie!) told from the perspective of his wife is so amazing and inspiring. He is such an enthusiastic, God-fearing character who loves the Lord with all his energy. He’s also a pretty fun, hilarious person to boot. 😉 (And the romance between him and his wife is really cute.) There are also a few of his sermons mixed into the book which was a neat bonus.

 

722737Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

I know that this not technically a biography since Katherine is a fictional character, but it’s so realistic that I can’t help but wonder if it is based on the author’s own life. It’s quite the unique, open chronicle of a young girl’s struggles and triumphs. No wonder it’s one of our special “rite-of-passage” books for turning sixteen. 😉 (Especially since the main character is sixteen at the beginning of the book.)

 

 

770910Mr. Pipes series by Douglas Bond

This is a delightful four books series recounting a brother and sister’s adventures with their new friend Mr. Pipes as he teaches them about different hymns and their writers. We enjoyed this look into church history as a family. Makes a great read-aloud. 😉

 

 

 

51zi2bx9g2al-_sx366_bo1204203200_Jolly Girl by Miriam E. Mason

This has been one of my favorites for a long time now. Maybe it’s because it’s about an author, or that it’s about close sisters, or maybe it’s just because the illustrations are so good. (If you read it, read the version with the silhouettes.) 😉 Whatever the reason, it’s pretty awesome. 😉

 

 

2646024John Hyde by Francis McGaw

Talk about a book being formative!! I read this book as a young teenager and was struck by “the apostle of prayer’s” faith in God and how he was used by Him. Definitely spurred me on to greater faith in God and belief in the power of prayer. 😉

 

 

 

 

fff-bonfiresIsn’t it amazing that just a spark of faith can do great things for God just like a tiny spark can light a whole bonfire?

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and entries for the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

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Top 5 Favorite Historical Fiction Books

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Historical fiction is one of my absolute favorite genres, especially for read-alouds. I connect with the people in history, not the random dates or dry measurements; so it’s always been my favorite way of learning about a specific time period.

402127Calico Bush by Rachel Field

This is such a well-written story set during the little-known time period of the French and Indian war. I love the main character, the feeling of the setting, and the fact that there is no modern attitude thrown in. 😉 Just a note that there are some realistic pioneer hardships that may take a little editing for younger readers.

 

 

 

128048Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

(I’m beginning to notice a pattern here. A lot of my favorite books have that cool circle on the front.) 😉 This book is soooo amazing! It’s a study in perfectly interesting writing right from the beginning. Mr. Bowditch is a super interesting character that is very well-developed and realistic. 😉

 

 

 

4918709The Princess Adelina by Julie Sutter

I loved reading about this Esther-type woman who had such an impact for Christ during the early medieval spread of true Christianity. It is a such a beautiful story of faith and faithfulness. 😉 Just a note that there are a few intense scenes connected with the paganism of the people’s surrounding them.

 

 

 

7143771The Doll with the Yellow Star by Yona Zeldis McDonough

I read this very recently and loved seeing the child’s perspective of fear, loss, and love during World War II. Quite the well-written, realistic tearjerker that manages to handle the hard parts discreetly. For more encouragement to pick it up, read my review. 😉

 

 

 

20439785The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum

This story of an ordinary family reaching out to help their countrymen and neighbors during early World War II is one of my family’s favorite read-alouds. It is one of those great books that accidentally teaches you something while you are enjoying it to death. 😉

 

 

 

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Many of these would make great read-alouds as you peel apples for a delicious autumn pie. 😉

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and more information on entries for the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

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Top 5 Favorite Romance Reads

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Ah, romance. It makes me sigh in pleasure and sigh in frustration. I like a little romance here and there (it’s a blessed and necessary part of life); but a lot of books tend to overdo it and just leave me feeling dirty if I even give them a try. My favorite kind of romance is friendship-based and sweet to the core.


81330471Aggie’s Inheritance series
by Chautona Havig

I have such a hard time finding romance novels that are wholesome and sweet (without being too sweet, if ya’ know what I mean); so finding a whole series is a huge bonus! It is such a sweet series with a great message! 😉 For more reasons to read this series (!!!) and a comprehensive content advisory (although I have yet to read the latest book) read my review.

 

 

543358A Little House of Their Own by Celia Wilkins

I’m not a huge fan of all the “extra” Little House books, but this one is told in the style and spirit of the ones Laura wrote. It was so sweet to see “Ma and Pa’s” friendship-based courtship that sets the stage for their future family. Pretty, pretty adorable. 😉 ❤ Just a note that there is some slight feminism that may or may not be accurate.

 

 

 

41424Beauty by Robin McKinley

Confession: as of the beginning of this year I’d never read the story of Beauty and the Beast. So this was honestly my first time. And THE ANGELS SING! Not only was it the sweetest story ever, but it was pulled off with such an adorable friendship-based relationship that I loved it twice as much. 😉 Just a note there is some thematic magic.

 

 

233819Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

This is probably THE iconic clean romance; and, while it’s not the most well-written, I do appreciate it for its main theme. Love isn’t always a huge explosive falling-head-over-heels experience, more often it’s based on friendship and shared experience. 😉

 

 

 

9176221Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster

When I was reading this, I found myself laughing out loud over Judy’s letters! My Kindle copy is full of highlighted quotes, and I wrote a blog post awhile ago entirely full of them. While I do have this in the romance genre (because that is the main theme); it’s not the whole point of the book, and it is refreshingly full of life outside that area. Just a note there is some slight feminism and discussion of worldviews from that time period.

 

fff-bushels-2Yep. Sweet to the core, just like a bushel of apples. 😉

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and more information on entries for the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

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Top 5 Favorite Christian Fiction Books

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I love books from all genres, but when they are specifically Christian and pull me even closer to my Savior–that’s what I call a really good book. 😉

2590521The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton’s books never ceases to amaze me, make me think, and draw me closer to God (while giving me a good dose of that British wit I love). This book is such an amazing journey of worldview starting with the very first chapter. It’s also a bit of a crazy adventure for two men who would like to duel (which is illegal at that time) over ideological differences. 😉 Definitely a must read! (Though not recommended for younger readers because of some British expletives.)

 

 

evangelists-in-chainsEvangelists in Chains by Elizabeth Wagler

This book has been one of my favorites for a loooong time. It’s a compelling story (based on actual historic events) of eighty Mennonite men being marched to the sea to become galley slaves and sharing the Gospel all the way. Although I don’t agree completely with all of their church’s applications, I love this story and it inspires me to trust God all over again each time I read it. (Just a note that there are a couple martyr stories that are a little rough for younger readers.)

 

31sjgnohlzl-_bo1204203200_Sir Knight of the Splendid Way by W.E. Cule

Somebody splendid took the idea of Pilgrim’s Progress and put it in the medieval genre for a whole new amazing twist! I just adore this book, and every time I read I feel closer to God and ready to serve Him more than ever! (I also really love it that the names are subtly related to the character’s role in a way that still sounds like a real name.) The audio drama is super too. 😉

 

 

 

8805291Mother by Kathleen Norris

This story is such a sweet tearjerker with a great message. The Goodreads description says it all, and no wonder it’s one of my family’s special “girl books” we get to read as a special treat for turning sixteen. 😉

 

 

 

 

29811Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor

My family and I love this retelling of the classic Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s such a beautiful allegory of the Christian walk and the updated language makes it a perfect read-aloud. 😉 (Hey, Pilgrim’s Progress retellings made it on here twice!)

 

 

 

 

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I am so excited to join in this party as we discuss our favorite book and suggest what you should read next! Comment below for an entry in today’s giveaway of my ebook The Treasure Hunt.

For links to the other blogs participating in this party and more information on the grand prize, visit our hostess blog. 😉

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