Fabulous Books to Read (Spring 2018 Edition) and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Fabulous Books to Read (Spring 2018 Edition) and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Hello, dear reader and fellow book lover. 🙂 I’m excited to share my latest edition of Fabulous Books To Read with you all today. I love compiling these posts and sharing book recommendations with you all. I equally love the input you all give in the comment section of these posts and have found many, many great books there. So, thank you for participating! You can see all past Book Recommendation posts by clicking HERE.

As part of today’s post I’ll be giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card. To enter the giveaway just leave me a comment telling me one or two of your favorite books. Winner will be announced Friday April 13th. Happy reading, all!


As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner
3.5 Stars

I’m a big fan of Susan Meissner and while this wasn’t my favorite of her books, I enjoyed it a lot. She produces such strong, optimistic, courageous characters. I love the wisdom she intertwines so beautifully in all of her the story lines. As Bright As Heaven is the story of a family who experiences the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. It’s about loss, endurance, and the love of family. A great read.

The Women in the Castle
4.5 Stars

This is a WWII novel about three German women whose husbands were part of the resistance that carried out an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Hitler. The book focuses on how these women survive the war, deal with the role their husbands played, and learn to cope with the aftermath of the war. It is exceptionally written. The characters are all so interesting and I appreciated the authors efforts to portray so many dimensions of good and evil.


The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel by [Rivers, Susan]
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
4 Stars

Wow! I really enjoyed this book. It’s told through a series of letters by several different characters, journal entries and court documents. This writing style lent such a unique perspective to the story line. Set during the Civil War, the main character is married at 17 years of age and expected to run a household and farm while her husband is away at war. I immediately fell in love with her strong will, courage and tenacity. A great, suspenseful read. Well written and very thought provoking.

Rainwater by [Brown, Sandra]
Rainwater by Sandra Brown
3.5 Stars

This was a quick and easy read I enjoyed quite a lot. It’s a hysterical fiction/romance novel taking place during the depression and in the dust bowl of Texas. It was interesting to read about government programs provided to cattle ranchers during this time. I loved the hard-working, charitable main character and found the ending to be both surprising and lovely.

The Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle

I love all of Melanie Shankle’s books. This is her fourth and by far my favorite. All of her books are written memoir style and while her first three books each focus on a theme (motherhood, friendship and marriage) this book focuses on training ourselves to be happy with the small and simple things of life. She tells tons of stories from her life experience, and please believe me when I tell you she is absolutely hilarious. Her stories are so relate-able to me, maybe because we are both children of the 80’s and are now in the middle of raising teenagers. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed reading this book so much. I chuckled continually and laughed right out loud so many times. I actually read certain paragraphs to my husband that were too funny not to share. He loved them, too.

A fun, light-hearted read that takes you from laughter to powerful philosophies based on God’s love, all in the same few paragraphs. Loved it.

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
3.5 Stars

A great, quick read about a man who loses everything and sets out on a journey to walk across the United States. It’s about love, loss, personal perspective, and so many other things. I loved all of the golden nuggets of wisdom. One of my favorites…

“The ability to appreciate beauty is of God. Especially in one another. Look for beauty in everyone you meet, and you’ll find it. Everyone carries divinity within them. And everyone we meet has something to impart.”

Miles to Go (The Walk #2)
3 Stars

I really loved the first book in this series, and while I enjoyed many parts of Miles to Go…it moved a little too slowly for me. However, there were some fantastic insights into life and the ups and downs that go with it. I loved all the short quotes that start each chapter and found myself writing many of them down. Here is my favorite…
“There are times when the great cosmic architect gives us brief glimpses of the blueprint so we can do our part.”

Frontier Grit by Marianne Monson
4 Stars

I loved this short book of 12 amazing stories. Each chapter is dedicated to a different woman, giving a synopsis of her life and the legacy she left behind. It was fascinating and after finishing each chapter I found myself “googling” that particular woman’s name so I could read more about her and her purpose filled life. It’s well written, with just the right measure of flowery prose (not too much, not too little). I was very inspired by these 12 women and the author herself. Monson leaves the following as the last paragraph of the book…

“Here is an invitation to consider what type of story you are writing-and what the next chapter will be. From their examples, gather courage to use your talents and voice to build upon their efforts. The last chapter in this book is the one that will be written when you close these pages, for the story still unfolding is, of course, your own.”


Post a comment!


  1. 1
    K Malcom
    April 2, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Our family has recently discovered the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Allen Bradley. We love listening to them as we travel or as we work around the house.

  2. 2
    April 2, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I love reading your recommendations! Some of my favorite books: A Man Called Ove, The Dry Grass of August, Lilac Girls, Fierce Kingdom, the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly, and most anything by John Grisham and Harlan Coben.

  3. 3
    Amy Medford
    April 2, 2018 at 8:58 am

    My favorites I’ve read recently are Kite Runner, Thousand Splendid Suns & The Nightingale! They’re amazing! I love your book recommendations! Thank you!

  4. 4
    Joyce R.
    April 2, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I love anything by Mary Higgins Clark. The ones she does with Alifair Burke are pretty good too!

  5. 5
    Jodi Openshaw
    April 2, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Before we were yours and Lilac Girls

  6. 6
    April 2, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Completely out the norm for me, The Orphan X books are fantastic. So so good. We’ve been reading “Goodnight stories for Rebel Girls” as a family and loving every story.

  7. 7
    Heather McCaulley
    April 2, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I love Karen Kingsbury books!! I haven’t found one of hers that I haven’t enjoyed!

  8. 8
    Kim White
    April 2, 2018 at 9:16 am

    My favorite book of all time I read as a little girl was “Ties That Bind”. I have no idea who the author was and I have not been able to find the book again, but I sure loved that book! LOL!!

    • 9
      cheltina sanchez
      April 4, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Rachel Ann Nunes has a book called “Ties that Bind” is that the same book?

  9. 10
    April 2, 2018 at 9:29 am

    I love reading and can’t wait to read some of the books on your list! They sound great. Edenbrooke will always be a favorite of min and I loved From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon.

  10. 11
    Cassie Fish
    April 2, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Two books I’ve read recently that I’ve really enjoyed are Make your Bed (Little Things That Can Change Your Life ….and Maybe The World) and God Never Blinks ( 50 Lessons For Life’s Little Detours). Absolutely love short books that are jammed packed with motivational stories, quotes, etc. Happy reading everyone!

  11. 12
    Jennifer Gasper
    April 2, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Hi, right now I’m reading The Shack, by William P. Young. I just loved the movie so I thought I would give the book a try. Be prepared to cry a lot.

  12. 13
    Erin C
    April 2, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I just finished The Mountain Between us by Charle Martin and I loved it.
    Behold Your Queen! A story of Esther by Gladys Malvern is a great telling of Esthers story.
    Our Souls at Night by kent Haruf was a quick but touching read.

  13. 14
    Michelle Tolman
    April 2, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Here are a few books I’ve enjoyed:
    Mama’s Bank Account, Unwind, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

  14. 15
    Cheryl S
    April 2, 2018 at 9:51 am

    I look forward to your book recommendation post every year. Thank you! I have put several of your selections in my to-read list. I just re-read One Second After and its two sequels by William R. Forstchen. It’s a very thought-provoking novel of what might happen if the United States was hit by an EMP. Highly recommend the series. I am also loving anything by Charles Martin. So far I have read The Mountain Between Us, (heard the movie was terrible and I have a difficult time believing they could mess up such a beautiful book) and When Crickets Cry (amazing). I am also very much looking forward to reading the latest by Lisa Genova called Every Note Played. I rarely buy “full price” Kindle books, but I have high hopes for this one.

  15. 16
    Linda S Gruber
    April 2, 2018 at 9:53 am

    I like Mary Higgins Clark and am on a MAry Balogh reading jag right now. I love historical romance and historical settings. I think I will read The Second Mrs. Hockaday next

  16. 17
    Denise Clines
    April 2, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Still Me by Jojo Moyes is my favorite of 2018 so far. My favorite of 2017 was The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.

  17. 18
    LeAnn Hubble
    April 2, 2018 at 10:11 am

    The Rent Collector
    The Light Between the Ocean.

  18. 19
    Cherise Nielson
    April 2, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I love the Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck!!

  19. 20
    Jan Truhler
    April 2, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Two of my favorites:
    The Lighthouse Keeper by James Michael Pratt

    The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans

  20. 21
    April 2, 2018 at 10:33 am

    My current favorite is the recent biography by Ron Chernov, Grant. It reads like a novel.

  21. 22
    Jodie Davis
    April 2, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I love your book posts and have read a lot of your recommendations. I would recommend reading Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan or anything by Lucinda Riley.

  22. 23
    Samantha Bringhurst
    April 2, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Some of my favorites are The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki, The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott, and Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

  23. 24
    April 2, 2018 at 10:53 am

    My favorites this year so far are: Of Mess & Moxie and Crazy Rich Asians

  24. 25
    Robin Bringhurst
    April 2, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I recently read “Mercies in Disguise” and really liked it. I am currently reading the latest JoJo Moyes, “Still Me,” a follow up to the couple “Me Before You” books and I think it’s her best yet!

  25. 26
    April 2, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I loved Frontier Grit! I love these posts you do, as I always find something I have not read but want to.

  26. 27
    April 2, 2018 at 11:33 am

    I have so many favorite books. I recently read Cutting for Stone and loved it. I also love the Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penney.

  27. 28
    April 2, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I loved Lilac Girls and the quilting mysteries by Elizabeth Craig.
    I’ve got to get my hands on a book or two from Melanie Shankle!

  28. 29
    April 2, 2018 at 11:43 am

    My very favorite book is The Time Traveler’s Wife. I’ve read it several times. 2nd is a long list but to choose one…The Light Between Oceans. (Both of theses books were made into movies that did not do them justice).

  29. 30
    April 2, 2018 at 11:45 am

    I recently read Murder, She Barked by Krista Davis and really enjoyed this cute cozy mystery.

  30. 31
    Cheri Houchin
    April 2, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Enjoy just about everything from Charles Martin

  31. 32
    April 2, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I love to read and almost always have a book with me. I really enjoy the books by Carolyn Brown and Sara Richardson.

  32. 33
    Sheila Lehmenkuler
    April 2, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve been reading Rosie Clarke, WWII novels set during the London Blitz. Lots of about shop girls, Pub owners, relationships, American soldiers, easy fast read.

  33. 34
    Mrs. T
    April 2, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I just finished reading To Be Where You Are, bY Jan Karon and loved it. Any of her Mitford series of books are my favorites. Another favorite author of mine is Jamie Langston Turner. Some Wildflower in My Heart is one of my favorite books by Turner.

  34. 35
    April 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Lilac Girls, The Nightingale, A Walk Across the Sun

  35. 36
    April 2, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    The Right Time by Danielle Steel

  36. 37
    April 2, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    my favorite book:Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box.
    recommend it to everyone.

  37. 38
    April 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I recently read the Orphan Train. Loved it. One of my all time favorite books is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

  38. 39
    Kimberly Crawford
    April 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Love your reading recommendations & anxious to start reading them. A friend of mine gave me The Message when my father passed away & I was having a difficult time. It’s a tiny book & easily read in a few hours but it was a great help to me at a time I needed it.
    The same friend suggested Frontier Grit so I’m looking forward to reading that next.

  39. 40
    Kimberly Crawford
    April 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    I look forward to your reading recommendations. I recently read The Message. It was given to me by a friend when my dad passed away. It’s a little book & easily read in a few hours. It was a great help to me. I’m excited to read Frontier Grit as it was recommended by the same friend.

  40. 41
    Kathy McIntyre
    April 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    A couple of my favorite books are—- all the walk series. Love the easy writing style of Richard Paul Evans
    Before We Were Yours- such a great read!
    Then lastly My Name
    Is Resolute, powerful read!
    Thanks Jamie for your recommendations and your recipes!

  41. 42
    Jen H
    April 2, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    A very interesting book I recently read is A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  42. 43
    Molly Hoskin
    April 2, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    The Orphan Keepker, Nightingale, Lilac Girls, Still Me, and Little Fires Everywhere. Loved them all.

  43. 44
    Deborah Stofer
    April 2, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    My favorite book is “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrick Backman. I loved the old character in this book, a curmudgeoun who learns to love others again, and why he was that way to begin with. Beautiful story.

  44. 45
    Margaret Matlock
    April 2, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Always look forward to your book posts! I have read 4 of the list and put 2 on my library hold list. So far this year I have read-“The Last Letter” , “Once in a Blue Moon Lodge”, The Box Maker’s Son” ,”The Library at Edge of the World”.

  45. 46
    Margaret Matlock
    April 2, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    So far this year I have read-“The Last Letter” , “Once in a Blue Moon Lodge”, The Box Maker’s Son” ,”The Library at Edge of the World”.

  46. 47
    April 2, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I love the Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley and anything by John Grisham.

  47. 48
    Gayle Shepherd
    April 2, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    I love these posts and have added a couple to my reading list. I loved Pillars of the Earth.

  48. 49
    Elaine Adamek
    April 2, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    My favorite book is “Roses” by Leila Meacham. Novel about 3 generations of a family in Texas. Had not read in a while, could not put this book down once I started reading.

  49. 50
    Colleen McClure
    April 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I just recently read The Immortalist by Chloe Benjamin and found it very thought-provoking.

  50. 51
    Allison Evans
    April 2, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Lately I’ve loved Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins and Force of Nature by Jane Harper.

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