I have very eclectic taste in books…the books and authors I list here are a random sampling of some work that has had a powerful influence on my life:
The Mitford Series: This is a lovely series of novels set primarily in a mountain community in North Carolina, and centered around the events and characters in the life of a 60 year-old Episcopalian priest…not your average novel hero. The stories are humourous, spiritual, thoughtful, sweet, at rare moments poignant and touching…great reading you can get lost in. http://www.mitfordbooks.com/
Anything by Kathleen Thompson Norris http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Norris Although this author is from a by-gone era, and consequently some of the story lines will seem quaint to today’s reader, the detail in her stories and the emotions she so richly bestows on her characters make them relevant to today. Many of these books have had a profound message for my life. The Story of Julia Page, The American Flaggs, The Heart of Rachel, Mother…these lovely old-fashioned novels portray strong women who had significant life struggles to work through, and work through them they did. You can find many of these books on Amazon or Alibris, and many are available in digital format for free.
Frances Mayes books, Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany. These beautiful love stories of Italy and an old and consuming Italian estate are part travelogue, part journal, part culinary guides. Although these books have been available for several years now, I continue to occasionally re-read them for the beautiful story of a woman who finds new love in an unexpected place.
Anything by C. S. Lewis
Jane Austen novels, particularly Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice.