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
    April 2, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    My current favorite book that I’ve read recently is Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan

    • 2
      Erin R.
      April 5, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Ooh, I have this in my Kindle but haven’t gotten to it yet. I’d better get on the stick.

  2. 3
    Sally Smith
    April 2, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    My recent favorite is The Midwife of Hope River.

  3. 4
    Nan Painter
    April 2, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    My recent favorite is America’s First Daughter that you recommended.

  4. 5
    Ann Vance
    April 2, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I can’t believe I added how many books to my “to read” list?! These all sound great! Two books I am really enjoying right now are the new one by Gail Miller and AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER.

  5. 6
    Jamie Spalding
    April 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I haven’t started reading it yet, but my friend has recommended “Okay for Now” by Gary D Schmidt. It is supposed to be a inspirational and fun read.

  6. 7
    Bryce Gerald
    April 2, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand

  7. 8
    April 2, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    The reviews for The Women in the Castle have been very good.

  8. 9
    Michele Alexander
    April 2, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    I read Behind Closed Doors on vacation. So suspenseful and I had to take breaks to get away from the action for a bit.

  9. 10
    Jackie Mitchell
    April 2, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    A few book favorites: Watership Down (I didn’t want to read it, but my husband practically forced me to at least try it, and it was so awesome!), Enchanted by Orson Scott Card, also Ender’s Game by him, Pride and Prejudice (have to say it), Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim (It’s a rough subject, and sad, but I had to read it out loud with the accent sometimes; the language just drips off your tongue slow and thick like honey), What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle and I’m going to quit now because this is getting long! Love books, love authors, love reading! Love your posts about reading! Very fun, thanks for the fun recommendations!

  10. 11
    Jane Nelson
    April 2, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    I loved the book “Left To Tell” by Immaculee Ilibagiza. A true and inspiring story.

  11. 12
    April 2, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Cutting for Stone
    A Fine Balance

    • 13
      Shannon Walker
      April 4, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Cutting for Stone is so good!

  12. 14
    April 2, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    My favorite book is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. An oldie but a goodie! Thanks, Jamie, I love your blog and use it often!! I always look forward to your book recommendations….and your cookie recipes. 🙂

  13. 15
    Barb Powell
    April 2, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    I also enjoyed BENEATH A SCARLET SKY by Mark T. Sullivan; my very favorite book, though, is COMING HOME by Rosamunde Pilcher. Her book THE SHELL SEEKERS is also an excellent read.

  14. 16
    Ashley Dickerson
    April 2, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve been on a middle-grade kick lately and I just read and LOVED The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Katina Yan Glaser.

  15. 17
    April 2, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Just finished Mommy Burnout by Dr. Sheryl Ziegler. And I really liked the SLCO library readers choice Confessions of a Domestic Failure. Also Devotion: an epic story of heroisn, friendship and sacrifice by Adam Makos (I actually listened to it on BCD and really enjoyed it.)

  16. 18
    April 2, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I love the Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and book recommendations!

  17. 19
    Suzanne Wright
    April 2, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    I loved reading Lilac Girls, Before We Were Yours, The Great Alone,
    A Book of a Thousand Days, The Boston Girl, and The Whole Town’s Talking. I too love Susan Meissner and my favorite to date is Secrets of a Charmed Life. Have you read The Bridge Across the Ocean from her as well? Both were great!

  18. 20
    Christie Ferguson
    April 2, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    The Rent Collector

  19. 21
    April 2, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Recent favorites:
    -Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson -simultaneously practical and inspiring to the uttermost. Definitely a life-pivot author for me!
    -Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer – favorite middle grade/YA fiction author. Top notch characters who overcome real world, gritty circumstances by their character, integrity, attitude, and upward will and intentions. I think you’ll really like this author. Check your library.

  20. 22
    April 2, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Fredrik Backman: My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry.

  21. 23
    Paula Branco
    April 2, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Best book I’ve read in quite a while

  22. 24
    April 3, 2018 at 4:29 am

    My favorite book of all time is These is My Words by Nancy E Turner. Another great read is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.

    • 25
      Amy Medford
      May 7, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Yes to both of these!!!!

  23. 26
    Jen B.
    April 3, 2018 at 5:39 am

    I’m currently enjoying Brad Meltzer’s The Escape Artist. Love his books.

  24. 27
    Carol Mitchell
    April 3, 2018 at 7:39 am

    A book that I just finished reading a couple of months ago was “Lilac Girls”. This is a historical fiction book but based on a true story and on real events that took place during WWII. It follows the lives of 3 different women/girls and what their lives were like what happened to them.

    • 28
      Carol Mitchell
      April 3, 2018 at 7:40 am

      The author is Martha Hall Kelly

  25. 29
    Rose Popwell
    April 3, 2018 at 10:06 am

    A great read I found was The Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series. A four book series.

  26. 30
    April 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I just finished Suspect by Robert Crais. My dad recommended it. It has a dog in it. I’m a sucker for dogs. One of my favorite books ever is, The Help.

  27. 31
    April 3, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    A favorite I just read is called Saving CeeCee Green. Funny & touching at the same time!

  28. 32
    April 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    “927 Days of Summer: Around the World in a VW Van” by Brad and Sheena Van Orden

  29. 33
    Holly Boulette
    April 3, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    A couple of my favorite books are The Book Thief, Wonder, and The Nightingale.

    • 34
      Amy Medford
      May 7, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      The nightingale! One of my top favorites for sure!

  30. 35
    Heidi D
    April 3, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    I finished reading The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher recently and really liked it! It is a cozy book. Her writing is so descriptive and the characters were well developed. It is set mainly in England and switches between WWII era and the 1980’s. I don’t see it in your GoodReads list so please read it. 🙂
    Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple is another book I enjoyed very quirky and funny with an interesting delivery style.

  31. 36
    April 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I am fascinated by books in the World War II era and recently enjoyed The Nightingale and The Bakers Secret. They are about European women and it was good to see this history from another perspective.

  32. 37
    April 3, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    My all time favorite book is Christy by Catherine Marshall. I enjoy Catherine Ryan Hyde books. Just finished the Another Man’s Treasure book series.

  33. 38
    Debbie Penney
    April 3, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Wolf hunt by paige tyler

  34. 39
    Ruth Dejam
    April 4, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Just finished Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I just loved it. Then to find out it’s based on some truth is astounding. Now I’m going to have to read up about Georgia Tann.

  35. 40
    Celeste Herrin
    April 4, 2018 at 3:54 am

    Heaven is for Real is one of my all-time favorites!

  36. 41
    cheltina sanchez
    April 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    A recent favorite of mine was “Kisses in the Rain” by Krista Lynne Jensen

  37. 42
    Shannon Walker
    April 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    My favorite recent read is Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridege. I also love Louise Penny’s 3 Pines series.

  38. 43
    Dawn Zeigler
    April 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I always enjoy your book recommendations, and I’ve already downloaded one of these! The best thing you ever suggested was Corrie Ten Boom’s Hiding Place. I love to read about history!

  39. 44
    Peggy M
    April 4, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    You’ve given me quite a list. Thank you.
    The latest book is The Orphan
    Master’s Son.

  40. 45
    Jennifer Petersen
    April 4, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Love when your book lists come out! I recently read a Susan Meissner book too! The girl in the Glass. Another book I have read recently and really enjoyed the nuggets of wisdom was The Last Lecture.

  41. 46
    April 5, 2018 at 8:59 am

    I just finished reading “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate. Such a good read.

  42. 47
    Erin R.
    April 5, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I recently read The Philsopher’s Flight and loved it. I also just finished Ready Player One (long waiting list at the library!)and it was great fun. Anyone who grew up in the 70’s or 80’s will have a blast with that book.

  43. 48
    April 5, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I really love “The Awakening of Miss Prim” and one I read recently “No Time on My Hands”. Your recommendations look fun.

  44. 49
    Laura M.
    April 6, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Classics: Island of the Blue Dolphins; The Giver
    Read Recently and Love: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand; “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain

    Love your book reviews! Can’t wait to pick some of these up!

  45. 50
    April 6, 2018 at 8:34 am

    My favorite is the Work and The Glory series.

  46. 51
    April 7, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I have read three out of the five books in the “Lineage of Grace” series by Francine Rivers. Each book is a historical fiction based on women from the Bible (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary). They have been powerful reads bringing these stories to life and making connections I have never made before. Highly recommend it!

  47. 52
    April 9, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Well, for kids, I love “Room on Broom” that is a pre-school board book! Recently, I’ve loved the Ladies of Ivy Cottage, by Julie Klassen, which is 2nd in a series. The third one has yet to be published, but I’m anxiously awaiting!

  48. 53
    April 9, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    My kids got me hooked on Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans, I just read the first three books in two weeks.

  49. 54
    Marisela Zuniga
    April 10, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    so i recently read my first colleen hoover book and i loved it ends with us and hopeless! both were amazing! also a new favorite is ryan’s bed by tijan meyer

  50. 55
    April 11, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Thank you, Jamie, for the wonderful recipes, the chance to win, and these book posts. I, too, have enjoyed many books recommended by you and from others’ comments. I would like to recommend the author Roseanna M. White and the book, A Name Unknown. All books by her that I’ve read so far have been great! I also enjoyed Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.

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