Friday, January 1, 2016

Mom's Favorite Books

Since as long as I can remember, I have always found escape in the pages of books.

Goodreads, Reading Challenges, books
Whether it was V.C. Andrews or Stephen King when I was in 5th grade or Diana Gabaldon in my adult years, my favorite past time has always been getting lost in the vivid imagery of words and writing. Even today, in the hectic craziness of parenting and homeschooling, I always end my nights by relaxing in a hot bubble bath with my Kindle, reading whatever latest novel has caught my attention.  My Goodread's Reading Challenges or reading at least 40 books a year are always met.  I absolutely love books!!!

You'll notice, this post is called "Mom's Favorite Books".. Not "Mom's favorite books to read to kids" or "Favorite books for homeschooling" or any of that.  This is about ME TIME!!   This is about trying to forget, even temporary, that you have kids and get lost in some adventure involving a guy in a kilt in the 1700's or a mystery involving a murder set in modern day Chicago.  For a short time, you can forget the mess waiting for you in the kitchen, the schoolwork that needs to be planned.

I have a very diverse taste in books so when I had to sit and debate my favorites, that was a really hard challenge. After all, I became an avid reader when I was about 10 and I'm about to turn 40, so that's nearly 30 years of amazing books.  After much deliberation, I give you my top 10 all time favorite books.

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon, Scotland, KiltOkay, okay, I admit, I cheated just a bit.. Most of these are series ;)

1.)  Outlander Series - Diana Gabaldon -  A gorgeous hero in a kilt fighting with swords. Need I say more??  Gabaldon is the female George R.R. Martin, writing very lengthy tomes that still manage to hold interest.  Even guys enjoy the Outlander series and it is quite popular with my husband's kilt group.

2.) Angels & Demons - Dan Brown - I almost put the entire Robert Langdon series but I find myself drawn to this particular book more than the others. While the movie was excellent, the book delves deeper into the story then the film did.

3.) The Left Behind Series - Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins - I have reread this particular series from start to finish probably 5 times now.   A great fictional account of those left behind after the Rapture. Way better than the movies of the same name and all of the books are amazing.

Left Behind, Tim Lahaye, Jerry Jenkins, Rapture, Jesus, Revelations

4.)  Message from Nam - Danielle Steele - This was always one of my favorite books, even when I was a teenager.   One of Danielle Steele's bests, in my honest opinion.  This is a story of a female war correspondent during the Vietnam conflict.

5.)  The Southern Vampire Mysteries (Books 1-8) - Charlaine Harris  - Note I specifically mention books 1-8.  After book 8, Harris seemed to totally throw her previously written canon out the window and there was some major character sabotage going on. These are great mindless reading but they do contain some sexual content.

6.) Mark of the Lion Series - Francine Rivers -  I've only read books 1 (Voice in the Wind)  and Book 2 (Echo in the Darkness) which is Hadassah and Marcus's stories.  Hadassah is a young slave girl ripped from her home.  Marcus is the handsome acristrocratic son whom she falls in love with. The third book is the story of a Germanic gladiator named Atretes who is important in the first two books but I haven't had the opportunity to read the third book as of yet.

Francine Rivers, Mark of the Lion, Voice in the Wind, Echo in the Darkness, As sure as the Dawn

7.) The O'Malley Series - Dee Henderson - I often get emotionally invest in books and this entire series was like that for me. A romantic suspense series, these books were a true roller coaster ride of emotions for me.   This particular series spans 7 books (8 if you count the prequel)  and takes readers through the lives of each of the 8 O'malley siblings - orphans who united together to form their own family.

Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

8.) The Hunger Games Trilogy- Suzanne Collins -  While originally written for young reads (which I am far from), this series has appeal to all ages. As always, the books are much better than the movies (Although, in this case, the movies are pretty good).

9.)  Les Miserables - Victor Hugo -  I read this book during my 11th grade English class and I fell in love.  While many are fans of the Broadway musical and the recent movie, I always loved the actual story Hugo wrote.  Val Jean and Javert are probably the best characters ever written in literature and you can be assured that when my homeschooling kiddos get to the High School years, I will have them writing a paper on the various forms of conflict found in this book. (ei: man vs man, man vs society, man vs himself).

10.)  The Bible -  Saving the best for last.  Want a book with a high re-read value? One that changes as you change, evolves as your understanding of it evolves?  This book offers so much - romance, tragedy, mystery, poetry, history, and law.  Not to mention the Greatest Story Ever Told where you play a role in the ending.  Can't think of any other books that offer that :)

Bible, Jesus, God, Greatest Story Ever Told

Now, some of you who follow my blog are probably sitting there saying "Wait a minute... You've said before that Karen Kingsbury and Max Lucado are two of your favorite authors, yet none of the books you listed are by them." Well, you would be correct.  Both are authors who I really enjoy their writing and that book after book, they rarely if ever disappoint.  I guess I put their books  into a totally different category and instead of picking my favorites, just assume everything they write is among my favorites .   I can never get enough of those two authors and my kindle and my bookshelf is filled with books by them..  :)

This blog post will be part of the "Our Must Read Books for 2016" Schoolhouse Review Crew Roundup.  Starting January 8th, Click below and find out what other wonderful book recommendations the members of the crew have.

Our Must Read Books for 2016 {Dad & Mum's Book Stand}


  1. I saw your pin and had to come over and read the post. :-) I'm a very big Outlander fan as well. :-) And I love that Francine Rivers series. Some books are just good enough to read over and over again!

  2. I love the Outlander and Mark of the Lion series too! (Do read that third one in the Francine Rivers series - it's different from the first two, but so good!)



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