Who doesn’t love a good book?! Something to snuggle up on a cold, Fall day and waste (in a good way) the day away. This time of year is perfect for such a book. I’ve always loved losing myself in a story and it’s pages. We’ve all had those books that you can’t put down. You know what I mean. Even though you’re exhausted, you still stay up until the wee hours of the morning hoping to find out how the story ends or you find yourself sneaking in a few pages between the daily responsibilities of life.
Last year, I decided I needed to take more time to read. Of course it would be difficult since there’s never a dull moment around here but this was something I knew I needed to do…for me. So challenge accepted! I started keeping track of all the books I read and before I knew it I had a variety of genres — heartwarming ones, easy-to-read ones, faith promoting ones and make-me-cry ones. For some reason or another these books stuck with me, which is why I want to share them with you, especially if you’ve been on the lookout for a good one.
Me Before You
By Jojo Moyes
I’ll be straight up honest with you: this is a tearjerker but oh, so good! Love is a powerful thing and this book illustrates this in such a way that you can’t help but wonder what you would do if you were in the main character’s — Louisa Clark and Will Traynor — situation. Louisa, or Lou, takes on a job caring for Will who became wheelchair bound after an accident. Will was the type that lived quite an adventurous life before his injury and for this reason, he finds it very difficult to have any motivation for life. When Lou first comes to care for him, Will doesn’t make it easy for her and at times is downright mean but as she continues to try to make the most of it, they develop a relationship where their worlds come together in such a way that is powerful and heartwarming. Which is why when Lou finds out that Will has something planned that will alter both their worlds, she is bound and determined to show him that life is worth living.
It’s actually been a few months since I read “Me Before You” but it is still one I think about regularly because of how much it affected me. It is THAT good. And for those of you who do read it and want more, I was looking through Good Housekeeping the other day and saw that Moyes’ sequel to this book just came out. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
The Undaunted: The Miracle of The Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers
By Gerald L. Lund
My sister-in-law actually asked me if I had heard or read about “The Undaunted.” She proceeded to tell me this historical fiction book is about some of her ancestors and that was enough for me to want to check it out. I’ve read Gerald N. Lund’s “The Work & The Glory” series (more good books to read) so I knew I’d enjoy reading it and his character development.
It follows a group of Utah pioneers (men, women and children) who are asked to go on a mission to the Four Corners area of the country and settle the untamed territory. The journey they take is captivating and at times difficult but because of their faith in their purpose they press forward. These Latter-Day Saints were asked to give up the comforts of life for wagons and cold winter nights. That would be a lot to ask for anybody but they believed in what they were asked to do and knew the Lord would provide.
Don’t let the 800 pages scare you. You’ll fall in love with the characters quickly and not be able to put this book down.
The Selection Series
By Kiera Cass
Now for a fun and easy to read series. If you haven’t heard of “The Selection” series, you have now. 🙂 They’re a little fairytaleish — queens, kings, and princes but worth the read if you’re looking for something to take you away from the world for a little bit.
It follows the life of a girl, America Singer, who is selected to compete in The Selection – a competition comprised of 35 girls who are trying to win the heart of Prince Maxon. However, she becomes torn between two loves — her childhood friend and the country’s prince. She quickly learns that life as a competitor isn’t what she expected and finds that she will have to decide on what she is willing to give up.
A simple, clean plot and a series that didn’t take too long to read is just what I needed when I came across this trilogy. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to dedicate to reading so this was perfect for me when I had a few extra minutes. Definitely a good book for a mom and daughter to read together as well.
Hope Unseen: The Story of the U.S. Army’s First Blind Active-Duty Officer
By Captain Scotty Smiley
I’m a military wife so I try to steer clear of military books for the simple fact that they are usually to tough for me to read. I’m an emotional wreck anytime I see or hear a movie, video or story that talks about America’s Soldiers and their families. So of course when my husband bought this book I didn’t have any intentions of reading it. I just couldn’t put myself through the heartache of what Scotty Smiley and his wife, Tiffany, went through. In the end, I told myself I had to read it because this was a man who had sacrificed so much for his country and had the faith and strength to overcome tragedy. I’m so glad I did.
In the spring of 2005, Scott was serving as a platoon leader in Iraq when a roadside bomb left him badly wounded and totally blind. After finding himself in Walter Reed Hospital, Scott would find himself becoming angry and depressed (as anybody would if they found themselves in a similar situation). He felt like all of his hopes and dreams were never going to be fulfilled and that he wouldn’t be able to take care of his wife anymore. But with the help of his wife and the love they shared, Scott triumphed and became the Army’s first blind active-duty officer. “Hope Unseen” is definitely a feel-good story!
Life As We Knew It
By Susan Beth Pfeffer
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if the earth, sun or moon fell out of orbit? Well, this young adult science fiction novel is the first book in the “Last Survivors Trilogy” and takes you into a world that will never be the same when an unimaginable event occurs. Miranda is a 16-year-old girl who lives in Pennsylvania with her mom and brother. Miranda lived a pretty normal teenager life until an asteroid hits the moon, bringing it closer to the Earth and causing a string of events that leaves Miranda and her family fighting for their lives. “Life As We Knew It” will leave you wanting to find out how the family will survive and hoping that help will arrive before it is too late.
This book was intriguing to me since I have maybe wondered once or twice what would happen if such a disaster occurred, what I would do to survive and how I would protect my family. It also made me think I need to stock up on my food storage again. 🙂
By Kristin Hannah
Oh man! This book is all about friendship. Not just any friendship, a friendship that lasts a lifetime. We’ve all had one. A friend who has been with you through thick and thin. A friend who knows absolutely everything about you and still loves you. “Firefly Lane” follows such a friendship between Kate Mularkey and Tully Hart who became friends in 8th grade. Even though they are complete opposites, their friendship takes them through high school, college, motherhood for Kate and a professional career for Tully. It’s a powerful story that so many of can relate to and that is why I LOVED this book. It’s a heartwarming story of love, loss and forgiveness. A must read for anyone looking for the perfect book to read this Fall.
Heaven Is Here
By Stephanie Nielson
There is something to say about a story that is just so good you want everyone to read it. That’s why I’m saving the best for last. I loved this book because I am a sucker for feel-good stories, especially true stories where the strength of the human spirit is stronger than the human flesh. The author and whom this story is about, shows once again how having some faith, hope and love can help us overcome tragedy in ways that we didn’t think were possible.
In 2008, Stephanie and her husband, Christian were in a horrific plane crash. Christian burned more than 40% of his body, while Stephanie burned more than 80% and was in a coma for 4 months. In “Heaven Is Here,” she recounts what her life was like after the accident, the long and difficult road to recovery and how it changed her. The amazing thing to me is she never lost hope. Yes she had difficult, horrible days — emotional and physical trauma — but she always kept her sense of humor, optimism and faith. She’s an example of strength and courage to many of us who may find us in difficult times. And that is why I have this on my list of “snuggle up” books. I read this book several months ago and I still think about her story. A woman of faith can move mountains!
Now I’m on the hunt for some other good books. Do you have more that you’d add to this list? I’m always up for suggestions.