Great Books To Read this Winter (2021 Edition) + $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Great Books To Read this Winter (2021 Edition) + $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Hello everyone, and welcome to a post about books. I’ve got a great list to share with you today with a wide variety of genres. I’m finding the older I get the more curious I’ve become about different subjects and you’ll notice that in my selections this time. However, I’m always a sucker for a great novel. A little something to escape into. 😉 So, there are plenty of those as well. If you’d like to see book recommendation lists from past years click HERE.

To enter the $100 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY simply leave me a comment telling me one (or two or three) books you have enjoyed reading. I always love reading over your suggestions, so thank you in advance! The giveaway will be open until Thursday January 21st at midnight. Winner will be announced on Friday January 22nd.

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by Charlie Mackesy

My mother (the literature expert in our family) gave my siblings and I this book for Christmas. I loved every single page and want to read it over and over. It’s full of basic life truths, beautiful illustrations and so much…hope. It’s a simple story of a boy and his animal companions. It’s about friendship, kindness, courage and tolerance. It’s the most unique book I’ve read all year. I can’t say enough good about it. The beautiful phrases keep playing over in my mind. They are words to live by. Such a great, great read.


THE MASTERPIECE by Francine Rivers

I love Francine Rivers. Her Christian Fiction novels are well written, have flawed and lovable characters and always leave me uplifted and better for reading them. This particular story is about an artist and his personal assistant, both with tumultuous childhoods. It’s about redemption, love, forgiveness and second chances. Loved it.


This is a story about a very smart, super busy, career oriented mother of 3 who gets in a car accident leaving her impaired. The accident changes her whole life and views of what is really important. I loved it and really enjoyed seeing the transformation in her character.
3.5 star rating.


The Water Keeper (A Murphy Shepherd Novel Book 1) - Kindle edition by Martin, Charles. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @
THE WATER KEEPER by Charles Martin

I love reading Charles Martin novels and this book was no exception. I appreciate his dramatic plot lines, the imagery and symbolism and the bits of spirituality he adds. This particular story takes place on the coastline of Florida and is about human trafficking and a man who has dedicated his life to saving its victims. While some of the twists seemed a little coincidental and often times over dramatized, it was still a great read. I enjoyed the symbolism of water representing love.

The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy Book #1) by [Sarah Sundin]
THE SEA BEFORE US by Sarah Sundin

This was a quick, easy, Christian historical fiction read. Set in WWII times, the plot is mostly about a love story. Clean, and though a little cheesy I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Where the Crawdads Sing by [Delia Owens]
WHERE the CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens

I really enjoyed so many things about this book. I loved the incredible prose, the strength of the main character and the story line. It ended differently than I had expected and found myself a little disappointed with the last few chapters, but still give it a strong 4 star rating. The writing style was just so beautiful!

A Song for the Stars (Proper Romance) by [Ilima Todd]
A SONG for the STARS by Ilima Todd

I loved listening to this wonderful story, set in the late 1700’s in the Hawiian islands. It’s about two cultures coming together, the beautiful power of the ocean, and a sweet love story. I loved learning more about the Hawiian culture and found it a pleasant surprise to learn the author is a descendant of the main character. A great read.


Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry: Pittman, Catherine M., Karle, Elizabeth M.: 9781635618754: Books
REWIRE YOUR ANXIOUS BRAIN by Catherine M. Pittman and Elizabeth M. Karle

This book was absolutely fascinating to me. In the past couple of years I’ve experienced some intense waves of anxiety and have been eager to learn more about how to cope and manage my brain around them. An ad for this book came through my instagram feed one day and the title made me curious. I will admit that the more I read, the more anxious I became! Ha! Go figure. 🙂 It felt a lot like lifting the hood of a car and trying to understand every single mechanism and how to repair it in a single afternoon. Overwhelming for sure! The struggles I have with fear and anxiety run deep and that became very apparent to me while reading. However, once I reached the end I felt nothing but encouragement and relief at realizing anxiety is a human trait. It can be managed, handled, and often alleviated. It may take me a long time to put into practice all of the suggestions made but I feel grateful to know they are available and to understand a little bit of how the brain works. Truly fascinating. If you or one of your loved ones struggles with anxiety I highly recommend it. I’m eager to read more on the subject.

Grace Where You Are by [Emily Belle Freeman]
GRACE WHERE YOU ARE by Emily Belle Freeman

I loved listening to this short, but beautiful book about grace. I loved the stories she used to illustrate how Jesus Christ meets us where we are at and how to accept that grace. Highly recommend.


I can’t stop thinking about this amazing story. In 2006 Charlie Roberts entered an Amish School, shot 10 of the little girls there, which killed 5 of them and then took his own life. This book is written by the mother of the shooter, Terri Roberts. She is a woman of great faith and devotion to God. It was an exceptional experience, listening to this story. She talks about forgiveness being a choice…not a feeling or an emotion, but something we have to work at. The very night the shooting took place, an Amish man came to her door offering forgiveness, kindness and love. Seeing that kind of immediate reaction to a situation that was so terrible is amazing to me. I loved listening to Terri’s own journey to forgiveness and healing. It’s an exceptional book. I was looking for something to listen to and it popped up in my search. As soon as I finished listening to it I ordered a copy on amazon so I can mark some of the beautiful passages and refer back to them. I highly recommend this one. It offers so much hope.



Post a comment!


  1. 1
    January 12, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    The Silent Patient (Alex Michaelides); The Great Alone (Kristen Hannah); The Book of Two Ways (Jodi Picoult); The Mary Poppins stories by P.L. Travers are charming

  2. 2
    January 12, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I recently finished The June Boys by Court Stevens. It’s a Christian suspense book. I enjoyed it! I also enjoyed Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Heart wrenching, but good. Thanks for the recommendations

  3. 3
    January 12, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    I loved loved LOVED Anxious People by Fredrik Bachman. Another book I recently read and loved was Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce.

  4. 4
    January 12, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    I really enjoyed When All is Said by Anne Griffin and The Guest List by Lucy Foley. They are two very different books, but, gosh, they are very good stories.

  5. 5
    January 12, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    I’m in the middle of a trilogy that I’m really loving–The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black.

  6. 6
    Cheryl Newton
    January 12, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    I have been rereading the Outlander books. Cannot. get. enough. Plus, that rough life the characters led makes the pandemic seem like a picnic. Always, always, always something to be grateful for, right?

  7. 7
    January 12, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    I love the Inspector Gamache books by Loiuse Penny. All the Light We Cannot See was wonderful. And I am trying to work my way through the Game of Thrones series.

  8. 8
    Dawn Keenan
    January 12, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    I saw a list on Business Insider of the 100 books that you should read before you die. I haven’t completed the list, but I did particularly enjoy The Handmaid’s Tale and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

  9. 9
    Jana Smith
    January 12, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    The Giver of Stars, The Gratutude Diaries and Resistence Women were all great reads.

  10. 10
    January 12, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Thank you for these recommendations, I always find something to enjoy from your lists! I need to make time to read for enjoyment, however. The last book I read was The ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Which is part of the Hunger Games Series. I enjoyed it.

  11. 11
    January 13, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Where the Crawdads Sing was an excellent book that I will read again.

  12. 12
    January 13, 2021 at 9:11 am

    A Fall of Marigolds.
    Island of Sea Women.
    The Book of Lost Friends.
    Happy Reading!

  13. 13
    Leanna Hiner
    January 13, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr, I love this series which is also a show on Netflix
    The Friendship List by Susan Mallery I love her books!
    Hideaway by Nora Roberts so many good books last year, I read almost a 100 books last year so it was hard to choose just 3

  14. 14
    Erin D
    January 13, 2021 at 10:15 am

    I really enjoyed Watching You by Lisa Jewell!!

  15. 15
    Colleen Toler
    January 13, 2021 at 10:50 am

    I always look forward to your book list every year! I recently watched The Crown and all the Princess Diana specials that have been on. I am very intrigued by the royals now so I am reading Lady in Waiting. It’s written by one of Princess Margaret’s ladies in waiting. It’s very good!

  16. 16
    January 13, 2021 at 10:53 am

    I haven’t read a whole lot in the past year. It’s difficult to do when kids are home all day. However I have enjoyed The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P Kiernam and The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff.

  17. 17
    January 13, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Before we were Yours, Necessary Lies, Fall of Marigolds, Woman in the Window are all great ones!

  18. 18
    Colette Jaussi
    January 13, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
    Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

    I read these books while on a long plane ride, the flight attendant came up to me and said, “ I just have to know what you are reading. You haven’t taken your eyes off the book the whole plane ?? ride!” Ha ha!
    Edenbrooke is my favorite out of the two.

  19. 19
    Becky Lucas
    January 13, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    I loved “Left Neglected” – I thought it was such a fascinating and sad disease.

    Books I have loved reading are by Ruta Septys – set during WWII but are little known events.

  20. 20
    Cheryl Sarges
    January 13, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    You always choose some of my favorite authors. I tried to broaden my horizons and read Dean Koontz’s Devoted, but it wasn’t for me. I started reading Nora Roberts’ Year One but it wasn’t for me either.
    I did enjoy John Grisham’s first two novels in the Jake Brigance series A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row and am waiting for A Time for Mercy from the library. I also loved Jean Grainger’s trilogies The Star & the Shamrock & The Robinswood series.

    • 21
      January 13, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      What was it about Devoted by Koontz that you didn’t care for?

  21. 22
    Robin B.
    January 13, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Smacked by Eilene Zimmerman, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, We Hope for Better Things, The Rural Diaries, Wish you Were Here, The Day the World Came to Town.

  22. 23
    Erica B
    January 13, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins is a fun classic (mystery).

  23. 24
    January 13, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    I enjoy detective novels, and the have started to read the Maigret series from Georges Simenon. It deals with crimes solved by a French police officer named Jules Maigret. They are set in the past, the 1950s-60s. I have finished the first, titled Maigret, and enjoyed it very much.

  24. 25
    Geri-Lou Auger
    January 14, 2021 at 6:40 am

    I’m Still Your Mom by Debb Pitel

  25. 26
    January 14, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks Jamie! I get great ideas for my “to-read” list from you.
    I read “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey last winter and it was perfect for the season.

  26. 27
    January 15, 2021 at 8:05 am

    I found a couple of mystery writers I enjoyed during 2020: Steve Cavanaugh and Owen Laukkanen. Both have several books in a series, which I always love finding if I’ve never read them before. Right now, I’m reading a lovely book called “The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride.” With all his family and friends gone, 100-year-old Murray McBride is looking for a reason to live and finds it in Jason Cashman, a 10-year-old boy with a terminal heart defect and a list of five things he wants to do before he dies. I’m about halfway through, and, so far, it’s a feel good book.

  27. 28
    January 15, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Hmmm….it’s hard to pick just one. Some good ones I’ve read this last year include ‘The Library of Lost and Found’ by Phaedra Patrick, ‘Finding Chika’ by Mitch Albom, ‘Love Life and See Good Days’ by Emily Belle Freeman, and ‘The Book of Lost Names’ by Kristen Harmel.

  28. 29
    January 15, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve been reading the Proper Romance Steampunk Series books by Nancy Campbell Allen. I’ve read Beauty & the Clockwork Beast and Lady in the Coppergate Tower and have two additional books to read after that. Good, clean, and a bit of a version of a fairy tale.

  29. 30
    January 15, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    I enjoyed Where the Crawdad Sings, Edenbrooke and Catch Me If You Can. I look forward to your lists. Thank you!

  30. 31
    Ashley Reece
    January 15, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    I recently read the Peter and the Starcatchers series. It’s written for kids, but I still enjoyed it.

  31. 32
    January 16, 2021 at 2:29 am

    I have now read the Prelude to Glory a couple of times. Love learning about the Revolutionary War.

  32. 33
    Michelle Tolman
    January 16, 2021 at 9:27 am

    I really liked Where the Crawdads Sing. I also read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – so good. I knew a little of the racial inequalities in our justice system, but this was a powerful reminder that we still have a long way to go.

  33. 34
    Brooke Showalter
    January 16, 2021 at 11:59 am

    I’m really enjoying the Seaside Cafe Mystery series from Bree Baker. I’m on book 3!

  34. 35
    January 17, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    How The Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior

  35. 36
    January 17, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    My favorite books of late have been listened to on Audible while driving: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell, and The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. All great stories, beautifully narrated

  36. 37
    January 18, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Thank you for this list! I’m always on the lookout for a great book to devour. I’m currently reading, studying, and being joyfully challenged by is John Piper’s book “Reading the Bible Supernaturally.”
    As for fiction, I’m reading the final book in Andrew Peterson’s WingFeather saga so I can stay in touch with what my grandchildren find so fascinating!

  37. 38
    January 18, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Several of the best and most worthwhile books I’ve read recently are In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park, You Are Worth It: Building a Life Worth Fighting For by Kyle Carpenter, and Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students by Andrew Pollack.

  38. 39
    January 18, 2021 at 9:43 am

    “More Than a Body” by Lindsay and Lexie Kite and “Intuitive Eating” By Evelyn Tribole. I almost never read nonfiction but I have struggled with being comfortable in my own skin for far too long. I have a big birthday later this year and my hope in starting a new decade is more self-love and acceptance.

  39. 40
    Deena Sinclair
    January 18, 2021 at 10:18 am

    I really loved reading Where the Crawdads Sing. Thank you so much for posting this – I was looking for some more ideas!

  40. 41
    Polly Gregory
    January 18, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Right now I am reading Kingfisher by Clair Poulson. A favorite I always enjoy rereading is the Earl’s Betrothal by Karen Tuft. I will be reading next A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost.

  41. 42
    Cindy Hackett
    January 18, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    I loved reading Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner.

  42. 43
    Jen Robertson
    January 18, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you Jaime!! I love your book recommendations and look forward to them. This year has been harder to find time to read with my kids home all day, doing remote learning, but I have had more time to read out loud to them. We just finished Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Such a sweet book!!! My mom introduced me to the Enchanted, Inc series by Shanna Swendson. These are a light, easy read, but I really enjoyed them.

  43. 44
    Karin Smith
    January 18, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    My Lady Jane – so fun, 3 authors, don’t remember their names
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

  44. 45
    Michelle J.
    January 18, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    I enjoyed The Printed Letter Bookshop and The Nightingale!

  45. 46
    Sharon M
    January 19, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    I am on a binge of Laura Snelling series but I love going through your lists and presenting these lists to my bookclub. Thank you for keeping us up on current reads.

  46. 47
    January 20, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for your book recommendations! I’ve been looking at them every year for the past 3 or 4 years. I had lots of time to read this last year (one perk of a crazy year) and one book I LOVED was Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong (you probably recommended it!) I read it once, then read it to my teenagers. I also enjoyed the Mountain Between Us (still need to watch the movie) and The War That Saved My Life.

  47. 48
    Jen Petersen
    January 21, 2021 at 12:29 am

    I recently read and enjoyed reading Forgiven! How fun we both read the same book. I always enjoy your book lists. This one was no exception. Thank you for sharing it! A couple of books I have enjoyed are Soot and Slippers by Kate Stradling, A Mother’s Choice by Kristen Fischer and Atomic Habits.

  48. 49
    January 21, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve been rereading the Outlander series (she’ll get the next book out one of these years and I want to be ready, LOL!), and the Sebastian St. Cyr series of mysteries by C.S. Harris. I try to carve out an hour in the evening to read and relax from the day.

  49. 50
    Suzanne B
    February 11, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Camino Winds (john Grisham), Second Chance Summer (Morgan Matson), Secrets Never Die (Laurie L.C. Lewis), American Dirt (Jeanine Cummins), All the Little Lights (Jamie McGuire), The Family Next Door (Sally Hepworth), The Next Thing on my List (Jill Smolinshki), and After I Do (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

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