I am regularly astounded by the vast numbers of people reading books I’d consider as closely related to garbage as books can get. Ladies’ book clubs no longer feature Classic Literature from the Great Masters like Dickens, Hemingway or Steinbeck. Instead, along with tea–sipping and cucumber sandwiches, women serve heaps of profane, vulgar and illicit stories under the guise of “wholesome entertainment.”
Contrary to what some may think, however, there are those of us left in the world who prefer quality writing, good plots, wholesome humor, inspirational messages, encouragement and overall “make-you-feel-good” types of books.
I love books whose characters come to life in such a way that you miss them when the story is done. Some authors have a knack for taking a reader inside the thoughts and very beings of the people in their stories. Although, we know these fictional persons are not real, they “feel” real to us and it’s often hard to say goodbye.
Here are my top faves for authors who can make you laugh, cry and ponder, while inspiring you to cherish the memories of your own true life story, count your blessings, learn to have levity during the trials of life, and pretty much just be glad that you opened the pages of one of their books:
- Jane Kirkpatrick—her main genre is historical fiction; so, if you love learning about our nation’s past through the telling of a fictional story, she’s your gal. Gathered from personal journals, documents, interviews, research, etc…Kirkpatrick weaves the lives of various peoples from eras past into stories of hope, suffering, excitement, joy, sorrow, and daily life travels. My favorites are all trilogies: Kinship and Courage, Tender Ties, and the Change and Cherish series.
- Adriana Trigiani—growing up in a large Italian family myself, many aspects of her tales (based on the lives of her own ancestry) make me feel like I’m attending a Family Reunion. A main theme running through Ms. Trigiani’s books (as well as the previously mentioned author) is one of strong, independent and resourceful women, who are not afraid to go against the tides of time in order to survive, to follow dreams, to raise families and to accomplish their goals in life.
- Donna Vanliere—my all-time favorite of this particular author is called, “Angels of Morgan Hill.” The story takes place in 1947, regarding a small town where racial tensions are high. Several crises bring two families together, perhaps risking lives. Vanliere also has a Christmas series from which many television movies were made. A running theme among them includes hope, perseverance and the idea that small gestures of love can truly make a difference in the world.
- Jan Karon—The Mitford Series. Get it. Read it. Laugh your head off. Basically, it’s about the life and times of an Episcopal priest, his wife, family and community. It’s the community part that will have you in stitches. Easy reading that will leave you wanting more.
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.