Our book club has a number of moms who are recovering from surgery, on bedrest, nursing babies, or are dealing with a heavy burden. Many of them have requested book recommendations that would be light and wholesome reading for those times when we are tired, hurting, nursing, or just in need of a little retreat.
Here are some of our favorites:
84 Charing Cross Road
This is something light, funny, sweet, true, adorably bookish, and easy to read since it is just a collection of letters. You can read our review here.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Of course I am going to recommend our book club namesake book! Please do read our review, however, so that you are warned of the sad parts and prepared for some of the other things.
The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde hit it out of the ball park with this one. Ridiculous but also ridiculously funny. If laughter is good medicine, this should be prescribed! You can read our review here.
The Awakening of Miss Prim this lovely novel follows an intelligent modern woman on her journey into old Western civilization and faith. This is one of our favorites. You can read our review here.
Right Ho, Jeeves
In the same category as Earnest, this one is classic British humor. You can read our review here.
All Creatures Series by James Herriot
James Herriot is funny, sweet, light, and like a little vacation into the English countryside. The miniseries is equally delightful. When you are finished reading, treat yourself to the 1978 television series. You can read our review here.
The Scarlet Pimpernel
This book is not high art. But the concept is so brilliant that it has inspired real and fictional heroes for more than 100 years. We recommend reading only the first book and then enjoying the Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour miniseries/film. You can read our review here.
My Life In France
A true story this hilarious and interesting memoir by Julia Child promises to take your mind on vacation to France! The audio is particularly winsome. You can read our review here.
This beautiful and healing story starts out with a baseball injury and a hospital convalescence. Two Jewish-American boys from different sects begin as rivals, become friends, and are ultimately nurtured by the mentoring of each other’s father. It is a story about religion, pride, parenting, healing, and love. You can read our review here.
The Pleasures of Reading in An Age of Distraction
A book about books and reading which is interesting and well worth reading. You can read our review here.
A powerfully good story told in diary form, this book is always popular in our book club circles. It is a favorite of Elisabeth Elliot, Kay Arthur, and Joni Eareckson Tada, and one of Diane’s too. You can read our review here.
The Catholic Table
A book about healing, feasting, and fasting, this book helps the reader accept the season that God has called them into and helps them to look at their bodies and habits as something made for worship – even when they are not whole or as healthy as we want them to be. You can read Sara’s raw reflection about the book here.
The Princess Bride & As You Wish
Did you grow up loving The Princess Bride? Did you know that that goofy and wonderful movie was based on a book? The book is a bit different… and… not entirely appropriate for younger readers, but generally hilarious. Carey Elwes’s book As You Wish is just as much if not more fun with all of his delightful stories about the making of the movie. You can get all of the details here and here.
My Sisters the Saints
In October 2014, I (Sara) was struggling under the weight of a heavy cross to bear. I had lost three babies in miscarriage, was struggling against neurological disease, and was trying to make my peace with the fact that trying to have more children was too dangerous for me. I was not in a great place. Campbell’s story is different than mine, but she and I have walked similar paths. In this powerful little book, I was reintroduced to these saints in a new way, as she was, through her crises. In each chapter, Campbell chronicles a significant life challenge that she experienced as she tried to renew her relationship with the Lord and walk with Him. In each chapter, she is suffering. But in each season, the Lord’s mercy invades her experience. Each time, the messenger of His mercy is the writing and example of a sister in heaven. You can read our full review here.
Sometimes binge reading a beloved author is the best medicine. Some of our favorites for this kind of author include Louisa May Alcott, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Gene Stratton Porter. We do not have a page for Porter yet (although one is coming soon), but you can find reviews of two of her best here: Keeper of the Bees and Freckles.
There is no shame in binging on children’s classics when you are trying to be gentle with yourself. Especially if you are nursing or on bed rest, chalk it up to “pre-reading”! Here is a list of some of our favorite little girl classics… just the thing that I am often in the mood for when I am tired or unwell.
Here are a few books that we have not had a chance to review yet but would love to recommend.
In Defense of Sanity is a carefully curated collection of Chesterton essays. We read one essay per week in our book club, but they would be ideal for waiting room visits, short nursing sessions, something to read before drifting off to sleep, or something to pair with a cup of tea. Many are funny. Some are poignant. All are brilliant. We do have a lovely reading group for this book! Join us at PPPS: Chesterton Book Club.
At Home In Mitford is the first of a delightfully wholesome series of books that nurture while they entertain.