28 answers

Book Recommendations for Book-Loving Mom

Hey Ladies,

So my husband & I just decided to renovate our house (going from a 2 fam to a 1 fam) instead of selling it. I'm so excited b/c this is what i really wanted to do! Anyways, my husband told me, that the spare room can be turned into my library/study room!!!!!! I'm stoked b/c I've always wanted my own library! I have a small amount of books of my own (and my kids have a TON already) but I"m wondering if any of you could recommend some really great books for me to add to my collection!

I already have: all 7 Harry Potter books/ The Alchemist & The Magician/ Eragon, Eldest & Brisinger / the 4 from the Twilight Series / The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Series / The Chronicles of Narnia / The Children of Hurin / Bringing Down the House / Shepherding a Child's Heart / Bringing Up Boys / Destined to Reign / Can You Keep a Secret? / The Tales of Beetle The Bard / Life in the Word Devotional / and tons of diff. magazines - National Geographic, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun. I also have tons of 'family books' like crafts to do with kids, etc.

I'm not into anything creepy or gory. I love adventure, romance, comedy, drama, true stories, and I enjoy learning about other countries (especially from my background). I've been in "KID BOOK" mode for so long that I have no idea what's out there & what's good.

Any advice / titles would be wonderful! THanks so much & Happy Reading~!

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So What Happened?™

Wow! I can't believe how many responses I've recieved so far! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I can't wait to get started on the library (will be done before march!!!) and now people will know what to get me for b-day & christmas gifts! lol Again, I can't express how helpful you've all been to get me back 'in the game' with my reading material. Both my boys are reading on their own now & although I'll always read at bed time to them - now I get my time in too - and a comfy/cozy place to relax while reading. Any other titles/authors you can think of - please keep 'em coming!!! Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers

Based on some of the young adult fantasy you listed, I'd recommend Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and the Bartemaeus Trilogy (Forget the author off the top of my head.)

If you want some adult fantasy recommendations, or if you like victorian or 18th C novels I could offer a ton more suggestions--let me know!

The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers is a great series. It is about werewolves and vampires but is mostly a love story. Very few gory parts but does touch on life lessons, divorces, parents, high school love, heart break, friends and family dying. Excellent books, easy reading.

I would HIGHLY recommend the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon... here is a link...


The books are addictive and fun and everyone I know wo has read them LOVES them...


More Answers

I have enjoyed John Saul books - some can be a bit creepy, but in a mysterious way, not the gory way. I haven't read all his books though, so maybe some could be?? I didn't like "The Homing" by him as much - cause it was about bees... but the other ones I've read were good so far! I think he's in the realm of the Stephen King without the gore... so more along the Lord of the Rings level, but not "fantasy" style either. More mysterious type.

I know that Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steele are great authors for romance books.

I also loved "Look me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's" as a true story by John Elder Robison (Sp??). interesting.

I love Karen Kingsbury. She is a Christian fiction author that is not preachy, but very emotional.
"Karen's books are regularly bestsellers and include the Firstborn Series, Redemption Series, Red Glove Series, Sunrise Series, and the series dear to her heart, 911 Series."
Another set to look at is the House of Winslow series by Gilbert Morris. which has over 40 books. To quote:
" House of Winslow Series: Gilbert Morris
Epic in scope, Gilbert Morris' HOUSE OF WINSLOW series is nothing less than the compelling story of the forces and people that shaped American history. Following the Winslow family line from Gilbert Winslow’s voyage across the ocean on the Mayflower, the series views the most important moments of history through the eyes of characters living the experience first hand. As well, the series is rich with spiritual journeys as the many characters each must struggle with their own individual faiths. "
Have fun reading!

Based on some of the young adult fantasy you listed, I'd recommend Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and the Bartemaeus Trilogy (Forget the author off the top of my head.)

If you want some adult fantasy recommendations, or if you like victorian or 18th C novels I could offer a ton more suggestions--let me know!

I am a fellow book-loving mom, and a few of my favorites are: What Dreams May Come, White Oleander, East of Eden, Siddartha and Memoirs of a Geisha. I am a huge fan of Stephen King, but you said you don't like any horror. He actually has some really great ones that aren't gory/scary in the slightest. Drop me a line and we can compare books, I'd love that! Happy reading, and congrats on your library, you must be psyched!!

It looks like you already read one of the Sophie Kinsella books, but I would recommend all of them... the Shopoholic Series and Undomestic Goddess and Remember me? I have read all of her books and enjoyed them.

I see you enjoy photography so I would sugggest for a magazine, "Photographic". It's a terrific magazine. I love it. My favorite author is Lisa Scotoline. She writes wonderful mysteries. I hope I have been some help and have fun. : )

I love anything by Jodi Picoult or Sophie Kinsella!

If you like creepy books, try reading any of Dean Koontz or Stephen King. They are great authors. I like both but rarely have time to read. Good Luck with the room remodel.

I would HIGHLY recommend the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon... here is a link...


The books are addictive and fun and everyone I know wo has read them LOVES them...


Lucky for you getting a library! As for book recommendations, I love Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic series), Karen Kingsbury (usually tearjerkers), Mary Higgins Clark, Wanda Brunstetter (Amish) and Cindy Woodsmall (also Amish). I hope I gave you a few good suggestions, good luck.

Hi C.!

I'm so glad you posted this, I am a very similar situation and I can't wait to hear all the recommendations you get !

I just had to write back because I was so surprised to hear our similar our lives were! We are also renovating a house (even though we just purchased it) to make it our dream house (well, almost!) We debated long and hard to get it because of all the things we wanted to change to it, but we are both so excited to be able to really make it our own. But the best part, is that like you, my husband agreed to turn one of the spare bedrooms into my "office/library", and build me bookshelves to put all my books! This has always been a dream of mine to have a room all to myself surrounded by books...my little peace haven!

We also have 2 boys, although 2 y-old and 6 months (but some day soon, they will be 4 and 6!), and I love St-Bernards - even though we don't have one! But we are planning on getting a Bernese Mountain dog in the Spring...which of course isn't the same but a good compromise since my husband likes hunting dogs and we now have an English Setter.

Anyway, I'm so sorry for being so off topic here, but I just wanted to say that I am excited for you!


I am always looking for good books to read. The latest that i have gotten into is a series about an Amish family and in particullar one person as she grows up and deals with different thngs in her life. I can't remember what the author's name is but the books are: The covenant, The betrayal, the scrcrifice, the prodigal, t he revalation. There are many other books by this author but i found this series of books to be one of my favorits.

My shelves are full of Jane Austen books and Luanne Rice. I love the classic look to the Jane Austen and she is by far my favorite author. Happy reading!

If you like courtroom/family drama's then I would suggest anything from Jodi Piccoult. Start w/My Sister's Keeper. If you like that, you'll like her others. I love fiction, so, that I my suggestion. I'm sure you'll have a tons of suggestions and everyone has different tastes. Most of my friends love Jodi Piccoult and we all like different genres. Also, If you like fiction, I would suggest reading We were the Mulvaney's by Joyce Carol Oates.

Based on what you've already got, I'd recommend The Belgariad and The Mallorean. Both are fantasy series by David Eddings, 5 books each, wonderful tales with great family values. Very much epics! Also try Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc up through Fearless Fourteen. These are fun and just slightly suspenseful. Jersey Girl as incompetent bounty hunter, with some great romance. I saw that someone recommended Laurell K Hamilton's series, and I'll go along with the Anita Blake series, but only the first three or four. They started out with a smart, sassy tone, with just the right amount of erotic tension. I loved them and could hardly wait for the next installment. Unfortunately by the fourth or fifth one, they'd become gory and kind of revolting - psychopaths, finger amputations, bad guys breaking children's fingers, lots of violence and torture. Nearly broke my heart to stop reading them but I did. The other series with Merry is pretty much just S & M, like some of the Anne Rice stuff she did under a different name. Try the Sookie Stackhouse series for lighter vampire fare, by Charlaine Harris. It's the series that new HBO show True Blood is based on. Good stores with humor and creativity. Dorothy Gilman's 'The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax' series is charming as well. Elderly woman embarks on new career as spy - like Mrs. Marple if she did karate. All Agatha Christie's are a terrific addition to any library, too.
Happy reading!

Hi C.,

I tend to read non-fiction and poetry when I have time, but really love fiction. I feel behind in my reading, too, so I only have a few (and tried not to go too "dark")...Some moms already made some great suggestions, so I'll just make a few based on what you like:

"Eat, Pray, Love", by Elizabeth Gilbert;
"Reading Lolita in Tehran", (loved it) by Azar Nafisi;
"The Kite Runner", by Khaled Hosseini;
"Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden;
"The Law of Love" (complete w/ companion CD of music), or "Like Water for Chocolate", by Laura Esquivel;
"The Time Traveller's Wife" was highly recommended, as was "The Red Tent", and "Water for Elephants" (haven't read yet!);
"Galileo's Daughter", by Dava Sobel;
"The DiVinci Code" by Dan Brown;
"The Venetian's Wife" by Nick Bantock, as well as his Griffin and Sabine series;
"Possession", by A.S. Byatt;
"Seabiscuit", by Laura Hillenbrand;
"Ahab's Wife,(The Star Gazer)", by Sena Jeter Naslund (one of my favorites);
and my own personal favorite historical fiction book, "The Mists of Avalon", by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
"Through a Glass, Darkly" was one I liked years ago- can't remember the author.
There are so many wonderful books out there...Above all, if you're building a library, you'll definitely want to put classics in there (too many to list), stories and works your kids will read again and again.

Have fun!

Hi! I recommend the historical books by Allan Eckert. He writes them like a novel but it is actual history. They are about frontier life, and he researched records from everywhere. These are detailed but are well written and fast paced and exciting. The best one to start out with is probably "The Frontiersman". The next set I would recommend is the "Dune" series. It is science fiction and people have compared it to "The Lord of the Rings" of the science fiction world. There are thirteen in the series now and they made 2 movies of it for TV / sci fi channel. I also like anything by Bill Myers - he writes Christian novels that are adventure mysteries and are very exciting and they are clean. The last I like is most books by Clive Cussler - he writes adventure stories that involve marine science (recommended to me by my Coast Guard father-in-law). The movie "Sahara" was based on one of his books. You can get most of these at a library or through interlibrary loan, and if you like any, Amazon has good deals on used books. Have fun reading!

Ok, so you're a fantasy fan! And vampires. Here are some choices for that genre:

All of Anne Rice's books! Fabulous fantasy, well written great long series! One series about Vampires that starts with Interview with a Vampire. And one series about witches that starts with The Mayfair Witches. She's fabulous, and not super gory.

For a gorgeous romance set in ancient Scotland, read Diana Gabladon(not sure of spelling) in her amazing saga of a woman who "falls" through time and is forced to marry to save her life. Of course, he is her soul mate...the rest is amazingly written history. I can't remember the first title, but any bookstore/Amazon site will have know what it is. (P.S. WAY better than the Twilight series!)

For an amazing non-fiction memoir, read The Glass Castle. It's short but eye opening and reads easily like fiction.

That's a start for you! Have tons of fun! Happy reading!

I have read a series of books by Dianna Gibaldon that are fantastic -there is 6 books so far with another due out this year, The Outlander series. The first one is set around 1600ish I think and its a love story. The first one takes a little to get into, but once your past the first 50ish pages your hooked.

Debbie Macomber is my favorite author with the Cedar Cove Series where you come to know the whole town with all different characters. The romance in her books make for an awesome read. You should look on her website.
I also love Nickolas Sparks books. Good Luck

OK I know it sounds a little teen-ish, but I recently read the Twilight series on my maternity leave. How I read 4 books with a newborn and a 2 very close to 3 year old, I am not sure.....But I found them to be very well written. And VERY addicting. And looking at the list that you have in your post, we seem to have the same taste in books. Also, if you go to amazon.com and look up books that you have already read, it will create a list of books with similar themes for you. Based on the what other members have bought. That is how I found the next series that I read. Good Luck!

The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers is a great series. It is about werewolves and vampires but is mostly a love story. Very few gory parts but does touch on life lessons, divorces, parents, high school love, heart break, friends and family dying. Excellent books, easy reading.

I just finished reading "Multiple Blessings" about the sextuplets from Jon & Kate Plus 8 by Kate Gosselin. It's a brand new book and when I called Barnes & Noble to ask about it the girl said that they can't keep it on the shelves. Excellent and fast reading!

My favorite authors are Mary Higgins Clark and Catherine Coulter. C. Coulter writes historical fiction novels which I don't read. She has an FBI Thriller Series that I've been reading for years. www.catherinecoulter.com

Nicholas Sparks is great for romance. Sue Grafton for mystery.

I've heard Eat, Pray, & Love is excellent. My co-workers are avid readers and have been discussing what they've been reading so I've been making a list of recommendations.

You can also read reviews on amazon or barnes and noble web sites.

If you like romance/fantasy/mystery/sexy books, then you can get it all in one with books from Laurell K. Hamilton. She writes two big series, one is the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, and the other is the Merry Gentry, Fairy Princess series. Both amazingly awesome. Let me know if you try them. Good luck book hunting.

Anything Jodi Picoult...she is great!!!

I LOVE the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I read this series 10 years ago - the books are about a time traveling woman named Claire and a lot of Scottish history since books #1-#5, I think takes place in Scotland & England, #6 & #7 take place in the US during the 1800's, I loved these books so much I actually planned my honeymoon around the interesting locations in the book and went to scotland. I am presently reading them all again!!!

The books are as follows in order
1. Outlander
2. Dragonfly in Amber
3. Voyager
4. Drums of Autumn
5. The Fiery Cross
6. A Breath of Snow & Ashes.
7. Hopefully coming in Fall of 09.

Happy Reading!!!

I have to agree with Heather. I love Debbie Macomber and the Cedar Cove series. There are 8 books in the series and a Christmas book to read when the first eight are done. She is also coming out with a 9th in September. I have read atleast 30 of her books and loved all of them.


I am reading "Twilight" right now and am absolutely glued to it and I've heard the rest of the series is great too. :) Happy renovating.

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