I have a confession to make.  

I’ve never been one who likes to read books.  

Ouch.  That hurts to admit because I am a teacher.  I have my Masters in Elementary Education!  I used to TEACH kids to read, for pete’s sake!

But I’ve never been a “reader.” 

Granted, I love to read my Bible.  Devotional books.  Magazines.  Blogs.

But I am not one of those smart type of people who are always reading the latest best seller, or some intellectual book to make them better at their job, ya know the type??!  You are probably one of them.


I always cringe when I am in a group with other women who are “readers.”  They will start talking back and forth about their favorite books and characters.  I stand there frozen like a deer in the headlights.  Like a DUMB deer in the headlights!

I’ve always thought if I was really smart, I would be an avid reader.   My mom was an avid reader!  She was reading a book every single day!  I always wished I could be like her in that way.

But I have a hard time sitting still long enough to get into a novel or book.  I’m always thinking of all the things I could be getting done if I weren’t sitting there reading that book!  Do you do that?  

And then my mind wonders, and I lose my place.  I kept thinking that when all the boys are out of the house, maybe then I would have more time to read.

However, I am very proud to say that over the past few months, I have become somewhat of a “reader.”  Baby steps, y’all. 

I have read several small business-type books, and a book by Stephen Curtis Chapman’s wife, Mary Beth, called “Choose to See.” I enjoyed reading it because Stephen is from Kentucky, and I have followed him in Christian music since I was a teenager. 

And then my sweet “gift mom” (because she is a gift from God,) gave me a book to read that a friend of hers had written.    It’s called Grounded, and the setting takes place in Kentucky.  

There were so many parts of the book that reminded me of my childhood years and of all the wonderful things I learned from my grandparents.  

Each night, I couldn’t wait to get to bed and read a few chapters of the book!  It was so much fun getting lost in the story line.

I felt like a true “reader.”  I was so proud of myself. 

And now, I am wanting another great book to read, so I need your suggestions.  :)

I like good, wholesome story lines, and ones with a good ending.  If it is a great faith-based book, that is even better!  I think I would like it to be another realistic fiction book but the setting can be past or present.

So help this wanna-be-reader out! 

Share your favorite books with me!  

And thank you so much! :)





*There are affiliate links in this post.


  1. I recommend a book by Francine Rivers, “Redeeming Love”. It is set during the California gold rush and is like a retelling of the story of Hosea and Gomer. It’s long, but don’t be intimidated. It’s a beautiful story and I think you will wake up each morning reaching for your book. Blessings!

  2. I suggest subscribing to FaithfulReads as a good place to find inexpensive or free books from Amazon for your Kindle.

  3. Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin was one of our church book club selections and it takes place in Kentucky. The Touch by Randall Wallace is another good one. Try audio books. There are so many and you can work while you listen to a book. There is an app called Audiobooks where you can listen for free. A good way to do the classics. Now, if you want a little steamier read…I have just read Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard for the 5th time. You can always skip over the steamy parts. I love her humor.

  4. Traci,

    Have you read any books by Robin Gunn Jones?
    I LOVE her non-fiction book . . .. Victim of Grace . . .and I am reading it for the third time this year.

    ALL of her Christian fiction books are great!! . . I too have just started reading a few chapters before falling asleep. Even her teen stories are fun because they are really about families. (I am 56)! I am trying to persuade my 18 year-old daughter to read them as well and so wish I would have discovered them years ago! The characters in her books intertwine so I would suggest reading the different series in order . I have found almost all of them on-line USED at thrift stores for less than a dollar. . . but then there is the $3.99 shipping fee. But under 5 dollars is still a good deal.

    I LOVE your blog by the way!! I will be praying for you and your family as you get ready to welcome your new host daughter! God is Good and HE is going to BLESS this endeavor :-)

    1. I was going to suggest Robin Jones Gunn also. (it is Jones Gunn by the way, so you can find her). My library has most of her books so you can just borrow to try them out. I started reading her “Sisterchicks” stories that you could probably relate to really well. They are easy to get into and great fun to read, plus I have come away spiritually blessed from each one.

  5. Hey! Karen Kingsbury writes awesome fictional books of faith. You can peruse her website to see the different series and stand alones that she has written. Shades of Blue is a good one.
    Another author, Jan Karon, has written a series about a fictional town called Mitford. These are some of my favorite books b/c the story line is so good and it doesn’t end with the book…you get to look forward to the next one. :)
    Francine Rivers has written some historical fiction books of faith that are very good.
    And of course there are the classics like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis and Christy by Catherine Marshall.
    I agree with you, reading is like getting lost in your own little world and it is so much FUN! Let us know what you choose! I love your blog! Your house is beautiful and I’ve gotten some great ideas from you that I would like to use in my own house. Thanks!

  6. Hi I love books and reading when I snuggle into bed. The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, Who Stole My Church by Gordon McDonald
    are two of my latest finds. An all time favorite is the Mitford series by Jan Karon – wonderful reads. Enjoy searching and reading. Such a pleasure while on a holiday.

  7. Dee Henderson writes a series of the O’Malley family that are suspense/romance with a christian background. Each book is about one of the family members. The late painter Thomas Kinkaid also co-wrote several books with Katherine Spenser that are “feel-good” books located on the eastern seaboard. At the time that I read them, there were only 4 books, but looking on Amazon, there are now a whole bunch and I can’t remember which series I read, but they were christian in nature and easy to read with some humor. I just switched from reading actual books to reading on my iPad with the Kindle app and the Nook app. I find that when I can’t sleep, I can read for a little bit with no light on and then fall back to sleep. I also agree with the first comment about audio books. They are great ways to “read” a book.

  8. I could literally write a book recommending books that would be great. Dee Henderson books are awesome.Also,a “new”author I found recently is Kristy Cambron. Her book “the Butterfly and the Violin” I found incredible!

  9. Tracey, I am a reader and wish I was more of a “mover” like you who accomplishes so much.

    However, there is one book on my shelf which was given to me by my late, wonderful Aunt Mary that I’ve read once a year for the past 20 years and you’ll love it, laughing out loud many times. It’s FOR THE ROSES, by Julie Garwood. It must have been one of her first books because others I’ve read were too risqué but this one is absolutely wonderful and I feel joy every time I open the pages. I think I’ll start reading it again tonight.

  10. hi Traci! Thanks for sharing the new book! I will have to check it out! I LOVE “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It is an all time favorite. It’s a fictional book based on the story of Hosea but set in the 1800s. It’s just a beautiful portrayal of a love that never gives up, and it brought me a fresh glimpse of God’s love for us. Also, Rivers has a book series call the Mark of the Lion. It’s a 3 part fictional series set in Ancient Rome, but it is phenomenal! Especially the first two books! I still have quotes from that series that I refer back to that help me think deeper and marvel at God’s great work. Hope you find some more good books that help you become more of a “reader”! I would love for you to share any more good books you find! Especially because you will have such a godly perspective and I know you’ll refer us to good wholesome books! Have a great weekend!

  11. Traci – I love to read books. I wish I had more time to read. I sometimes even go back and forth between more than one book at a time. As far as fiction books go I read anything by Eugenia Price I could get my hands on in my teens and twenties. I also enjoy Jan Karon’s books about Father Tim and Mitford. Karen Kingsbury is another good author as well. I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with too many suggestions, I could go on. Currently I am reading a non-fiction book called The Edible Landscape by Emily Tepe. I am thinking of taking some baby steps this spring and plant a few veggies, herbs and edible flowers this summer. I am not much of a gardener so I am hoping this book will give me some good ideas.

  12. I love to read and read from many types of genre but my favorites are historical fiction and biography/memoir. My favorite fiction, Christian author, is Lauraine Snelling. She has a series about an immigrant family from Norway settling in South Dakota I think. It is a wonderful series, and I think you might like it. To become a reader, you just need to find a niche that you like and start there.

  13. My favorite all time Christian book is “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It is such a wonderful story of redemption. It was written several years back, but continues to be a Christian best seller. A beautiful love story set in the 1800’s, but so much more than a love story. It will stay with you forever.

    1. I second Lauren on “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It’s a must! I can’t even count the number of women I have shared this book with and everyone loves it! My husbands two grandmothers both read it and loved it!

  14. It’s an oldie, but remains one of my favorites, Sophie’s Heart by Lori Wick is such a good one, as is her Kensington Chronicles series and The Californian series. They are great, wholesome stories with characters you can’t wait to get back to. Her book, The Princess is good too.

    If suspense with romance interests you, there’s no beating Irene Hannon. Her books are excellent. Dee Henderson is quite good as well.

    Suzanne Woods Fisher writes books with an Amish setting with great characters and delightful stories. Two series I recommend are the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge series.

    Tamara Alexander is also an excellent Christian fiction author. (All authors I’ve mentioned thus far write Christian fiction)

    Beth Pattillo has three books: Jane Austen Ruined My Life, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, and the Dashwood Sisters Tell All. All three are delightful reads if you enjoy the Jane Austen originals.

    Goodness! Asking book lovers what books they like is like opening the floodgates! I could do this all day:)

    Happy reading!

  15. I have a problem with reading–I can’t put a good book down. I become a neglectful mother and wife once I pick up a “good read”. Given that, I had to seriously cut back on reading when I was heavy into the children rearing (about 30 years worth!). I am now on a book-a-month program so that I can read guilt-free! I do think it is good to lose ourselves in good fiction occasionally :). Because I have a hard time putting a good book down, I often go for good youth fiction for a quicker read. My favorite of all time is the book that captured my heart when it was read to me in the 5th grade by my teacher. It launched me into my love of reading. It is a Newbury winner, entitled “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch.” A story about a real person in colonial Boston. I have had each of my four sons read it and each of them said it was inspiring to him. My other “go-to” book for a great read is “Christy”–about a teacher in the Ozarks (don’t quote me on that–but somewhere in that area).
    Thanks for asking–always fun to think about books that have changed my life!

  16. Dear Traci,
    I have always enjoyed reading and I totally agree with Lauren #7 above that Francine Rivers, author of “Redeeming Love” is the most beautiful book I have ever read. It is a must read. I also just finished a book entitled, “Ghost Boy” by Martin Petreaus, which is a true amazing story of an 8 year old boy stricken with a mystery illness which left him unable to move or speak. However he was inside screaming, “I’m in here and I hear and see you, but I can’t make anyone realize that.” He has a spiritual life with God because He’s the only one that knows and hears him. It is a beautiful story of how he is finally heard and how he lives a meaningful and productive life. I read it in 3 hours straight! I couldn’t put it down. Hope you will read and enjoy these two recommendations.
    Happy Reading!

  17. Lauraine Snelling writes a series called the Red River of the North….I think there are about 13 books…you’ll get hooked! Spirit filled reading!

  18. I highly recommend Francine River’s Redeeming Love also. I think you will also enjoy her latest two books in her series Her Mother’s Hope. Her books are so full of redemption and always point you to our Savior. I need you warn you though, they are difficult to put down once you start, so be prepared to possibly stay up in the wee hours of the morning in order to finish them. :)

  19. Hi Tracy: finding myself laughing at your post… I would love to be more like you.. but I am a reader.. so I make myself wait (most of the time that is) until I go to bed and then I read to my heart’s content!! :) .. that way, I am getting a lot done during the day!! Check out Rachel Hauck…Beth Webb Hart… and Lisa Wingate… all amazing christian women who can write!!! Really Write!! Love their books… go to a website called “SouthernBelleView” great reading ideas.. I usually order my books from amazon or!!

  20. Traci~

    This is so crazy! I literally just sat down at my computer to email you about wanting to see if you would want a FREE book! My jaw dropped when I started reading this post!!

    My friend and I have written a book called, “Peace with Food: Eat What You Want. Never Diet Again. Live a Happy Life.” We have worked on this book for 4 years and it has changed our lives! The book is packed with our own personal stories about how we used to hate our bodies, shove food in our mouths when no one was looking, and our love/hate relationship with exercise and our weight. The book takes you through the process of how we overcame the pull of dieting, and how we were able to lose weight, in peace. The awesome thing about it is that the concept is transferable to other areas of your life. Many people have said it is like reading a book about “the girls next door” …which is probably true because we are very honest and transparent in sharing our story :)

    Not only that, but your friend Layla (from the Lettered Cottage) has agreed you let us use one of her posts in our book, so she will be published in there as well! I am mailing her a book soon too!

    I felt so compelled to share this with you after being a huge fan of yours since I started following you 5 years ago. I could always relate to your posts (I LOVE DIY projects), but I especially related to your frustrations with food and weight. I knew once we finished the book, I had to send you a copy in hopes it could help your life as much as it has ours.

    The book will be published on Aug 14, 2015 but I wanted to send you a free galley copy if you are interested! We are also working on a “bible study guide” that coincides with the book. We hope to publish that later this fall!

    If you are interested in the book, email me an address I could mail it to. I’d love to send you a copy either way, in case you know someone that may benefit from it.

    Love your blog, your posts, and “your story”! I talk to my husband about you and your family all the time!! Keep up the good work! God is smiling :)


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