October Theme

We love comments – but not just so we can prove record numbers of blog readers! We enjoy the feedback, getting to know our readers, and keeping this conversation from being too one-sided. Our dialog with our readers goes along with the goal for this blog – that is, for it to be a productive, encouraging destination where we share and receive ideas, inspiration, and laughter.

In keeping with that goal, Olivia and I have chosen a theme for the blog for the month of October – Book Month! And you’re going to help us. Leave a comment on this post listing three of your favorite books, preferably ones we may not have heard of or read yet (good luck!:)). (We are looking for titles to add to our ‘Want to Read” list, and ones to add to yours, so, though we ALL love “Little Woman”, please refrain from listing the obvious.) We will review and compile the book list and prepare to share an awesome list of recommended books throughout the month of October!

And that’s not all. Finally we are going to make good on our promise of the blog’s first official give away. Each and every person who comments on this post with their three recommended books will have their name dropped into the proverbial hat. The Deadline for the Contest is next Monday, the 8th. Then, on the 15th of this month, we will have our drawing and that person will receive …*Trumpet Fanfare* a BOOK! (imagine that!) – one of our favorites, and one you (hopefully) haven’t read. JUST MAKE SURE WHEN YOU COMMENT THAT YOU USE YOUR BLOGGER IDENTITY OR LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS SO WE CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU’RE THE WINNER!!! Comment moderation has been enabled for this week so we can protect your privacy and keep the list of books under wraps until the 15th.

We are so excited about Book month, and have been gearing up by reading books to recommend and writing reviews that will knock your socks off. Our first review will be published tomorrow by Olivia, and we hope to have one each weekday for the rest of the month.
So, on your marks, get set – GO! Join with us and share some of YOUR favorites!

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  1. Alice says

    Am I still within my one day leeway?

    1. All-of-a-Kind-Family by Sydney Taylor–does this one count as a Pride and Prejudice book? If you haven't read it, DO. My dad read I think the whole series to Martha and I when we were quite little, and I can still tell you details about most of the adventures the family of girls had.

    2. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield–yes, this is one of the "shoe books" talked about on You've Got Mail. But it is SO GOOD.

    3. Family Sabbatical by Carol Ryrie Bring–this book absolutely must be read. Yet another children's chapter fiction book, this is the story of a family's trip overseas.

  2. Charlotte says

    Oh — I forgot about the contest part when I was leaving a comment last night. So, just for the record, my e-mail is charlotte(at)deadbeets.com

  3. Meghan says

    The Autumn's Brightness by Daisy Newman (Gorgeous book!)

    The Family that Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss (makes me want to adopt twelve children…)

    Pat of Silver Bush by L.M. Montgomery (okay…how can you have a list of favourites and not include our beloved LMM…come on…this is lesser known but LMM through and through tried and true and trust me I know my LMM)

  4. Charlotte says

    Hullo, Ladies–

    I quietly check in here from time to time after lurking (usually) at the Sense & Sensibility board. But your October challenge finally prompts me to leave a comment.

    My kids (Emma is 12, Simon is 10) and I just finished listening to "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane," by Kate DiCamillo, and we all laughed, and cried, and loved it. It's a story about a toy rabbit who moves from selfishness to selflessness — and Kate DiCamillo is just a fine, fine writer. This is the only one of her books I've read, but Emma recommends them all. I am planning to give "Edward Tulane" to my mother for Christmas. She's a big fan of "The Velveteen Rabbit," which is also lovable — but "Edward" is in some ways even better.

    Another book we all enjoyed was "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers." I was skeptical about Simon getting in to it, but he really did. We read it last winter, and he still brings it up in conversation regularly. It is, of course, the *real* story of the family in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "The Sound of Music." Their real story is almost entirely unlike the Rodgers and Hammerstein version, and most of the book is about what happens *after* they escape Nazi Austria. So many amazing things happen to them — amazingly good and amazingly bad. I don't practice the Trapp's Catholicism, but it's inspiring to see how their faith motivates and sustains them throughout.

    I could go on with Read-Alouds We Have Loved, but I think instead for my third choice I'll tell you about one of my all-time favorite cookbooks: "The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook." I love it because it covers nigh anything one might want to make with flour, from quickbreads through pastries to pasta, and many points in between. (There's even a chapter of fun stuff, like playdough, at the end.) For each category, it first gives a basic recipe. It explains what kind of ingredients are called for, what each of the ingredients *does* in the recipe, and what kinds of substitutions you might make. And it encourages and empowers you to experiment and have fun. After the basic recipe, each chapter includes many variations, and the book shows you how each of the variations relates to the basic recipe (even when they look very different). I think it's worth reading even for those who avoid gluten (though prob'ly something to borrow rather than buy, in that case) because it explains just what the gluten is doing in each kind of baking or cooking, which is great background information to have before diving into the world of GF cookery. Oh, and the book's rhubarb and strawberry-rhubarb pie recipes are, hands down, the best ever.

  5. Analisa VanOostrum says

    Hey it's Analisa! I am leaving my three favorite books! they are: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Di Camillo, Tangerine by Edward Bloor, and Bloomability by Sharon Creech.
    Love to all,

  6. Sarah says


    What a great idea!! I can't wait to see all the book recommendations!!! Here are my book suggestions:
    Sorry it took me sooooo long to comment :)

    1.)Blink ~by: Ted Dekker (this is the only book of his that I like. Some of his other books get a little weird.)

    2.) Unveiling Islam -
    Ergun Mehmet Caner and
    Emir Fethi Caner. This book is written by two former Muslims, who got disowned by their family whe they became Christians.

    3.The Shannon Saga~ Tracie Peterson
    City of Angels Book 1
    Angels Flight Book 2
    Angel of mercy Book 3

    Sorry this is more than 3. I couldn't help it. I have more recommendations if you every need more.

  7. peregrin says

    I would like to recommend:

    1. Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

    2. Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett

    3. The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead (the first in a great fantasy trilogy)

    BTW…under "Leave your comment" you've written "So leave your's right here"–the punctuation fairy asks you to delete the unnecessary apostrophe. ;)

  8. Katie says

    Oh!!! This sounds like fun! I love books. My favorites are
    - The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

    - Persuasion

    umm… mind is drawing a blank!

    let's see.. what have I read more than once……

    - Jo's Boys

    I'll be back tomorrow

  9. Kelerr says

    Well, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog the last few weeks (came across it via the Sense & Sensibility message forum) but have never commented. But you're after my heart now with books so I MUST participate!

    As an English teacher, English major (BA/MA), books are pretty much my life! Here are a few that I think are amazing:

    The Giver, by Lois Lowry – I read this with my 8th graders

    Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult

    Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert (a really interesting memoir about a woman who spends a year in Italy, India and Indonesia)

  10. sarah beth says

    me.me.me. I am responding at this moment.
    -leaves to scan my bright blue bookshelf-

    /returns after quite awhile/

    Gone Away Lake- Elizabeth Enright

    They Loved to Laugh- Kathryn Worth

    Left Alone- Francis Carr

    Those are a couple of my favorites. My mind keeps drawing a blank, other than "Little Women" of course. LOL

    I love what you're doing, Trina & Olivia! This is so much fun ::Smile::

  11. Trina says

    we have 8 entrants already – that's over 24 great titles to share with you in less than one week's time! And that's 8 people who have a chance to win the drawing. Who else will respond?

  12. Joanna Holden says

    Well, you sure are stretching me to pick three favorites, But I'll do the best I can. Since I got to preview Elise's post I know what she said and I approve of all of hers and since we don't want doubles I'll do different ones:)
    The book that I could read at just about any time and never tire of is "Sanditon" by Jane Austen and another Lady (that's what it says honest)and then comes my favorite author and it was very hard to pick one of his to say as a favorite, at this moment I'll say the "The Earth Trembled" by E.P. Roe and for my third and final one (which is subject to change at any time)I'll say "The Little Minister" by James Barrie.
    I guess that I have to stop there.

  13. Elise Michelle Holden says

    It is very hard to narrow down to just three books, BUT I have finally succeeded in picking out three of my many favorites: MY all-time favorite is "An Old Fashioned Girl" by Louisa May Alcott, next comes "That Printer of Udells" by Harold Bell Wright, and last but not least "A Loyal Lass" by Amy E. Blanchard. I think this post is long enough to last till next years book drawing:) So until next year! :)

  14. Serena says

    OOOOOHHHHHH! Books! One of my favorite subjects. Good timing, too–I straightened my bookshelves today, so have a clear view of each title. Now to decide which three to recommend…

    "Till We Have Faces" by C. S. Lewis (you've probably heard of this, but I am, for lack of a better term, a die-hard CSL fan, and hadn't heard of it until a few years ago).

    (Oh, dear, this is hard! I'm in agonies. Really, only three?)

    "The Ordinary Princess" by M. M. Kaye

    "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

    I believe I'll have to do a post on my blog about my favorite books. It is very hard to not mention at least a dozen others here.

  15. Natalie_S says

    Nope, not complaining. I think it's a really, super, incredibly great idea. I just don't like waiting, and I've read more than three books that I think other people should read and probably haven't. (I guess maybe I could use my own blog to tell people about them if they're really that great though instead of pestering you -especially when I should be finishing up my packing). Anyway, since I'm rapidly approaching the "babble endlessly because I'm too tired" stage I think I'd better say good night.

  16. Heidi says

    What a great idea! It just so happens that I finished reading a great book just minutes before checking your blog. I guess that it will have to be in the three I recommend.
    My favorite books are
    1)A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I know this might fall into the obvious category, but it honestly is my favorite book. I've read it over and over and each time I re-read I discover new and interesting tidbits I missed before.
    2)Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. This was my favorite book/series since I was eight, and I re-read them over and over. There are twelve books in the series chronicling the adventures of six children who spend there holidays in the lake district of England in the 1930's
    3)The book I finished today was Who Gets the Drumstick by Helen Beardsley. The true story of the movies Yours Mine and Ours, this book is very humorous and should belong right next to Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth.
    I can't wait to see everyone's favorite books and thanks for having such an interesting blog.
    Love, Heidi

    p.s. my e-mail is heidi@alpineacct.com

  17. Trina says

    well, if we get enough complaints, maybe we will re-work the whole idea of Book month…we are still getting kinks worked out, and are open to opinions, so speak up!

  18. Aunt Marilyn says

    Okay, 3 of my favorite books, that's difficult to name only 3! Here they are:
    "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures" by Anne Fadiman; "Endurance, Shakleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing; and "What Child Is This" by Caroline Cooney.
    (I must add that my two favorite books of all time, besides the Bible are: To Kill a Mockingbird and Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary :)
    Love, Aunt Marilyn

  19. Overeager Natalie from over Commontricks way says

    You mean we have to wait to see all the wonderful books people have recommended? /me goes to read first post more carefully…wailing ensues.

    Btw, I'm going out of town, so happy early anniversary! It just happens that your anniversary is two days after my birthday too! Quite celebratory all the way around.

    P.S. Can we submit more than one list?

  20. Trina says

    whoo-ho! three of our most faithful commentators have already given us their lists – AND had their name dropped in the hat. Keep them coming!

  21. Natalie_S says

    Hurrah! I'm first!

    Ok, here's my list of awesome books that I bet you haven't read.

    To say nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (a really amusing, slightly sci-fi twist/tangent on the old classic Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) by Jerome K. Jerome which happens to be a thoroughly entertaining read in it's own right.)

    Manalive by G k Chesterton. If you haven't read it this is essential Chesterton. If you haven't heard of Chesterton I'm sure I should even be here /jk.

    A Woman of no Importance by Oscar Wilde. Not sure why I'm putting it here except that it's the one Oscar Wilde play I keep coming back to. It gives you a lot to think about -love, honor, ambition, forgiveness, etc.

    Oh, can I sneak a fourth (ok fifth) in?
    The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain. It's about Christianity in the first century as seen by a Greek sculptor whom Joseph of Arimathea hired to create a chalice for the Grail. Lots of traveling and excitement. Other main character is the Apostle Luke.

    Ok, I'll stop -for now.

    This sounds like a bunch of fun!

  22. Will says

    I don't believe it is even possible for me to only list three favorites…So how about I just give you three books that I recently have read that I really enjoyed…

    Give Me a Break- John Stossel
    Deliver Us From Evil- Ravi Zacharias
    Rifles for Watie- Harold Keith

    Sorry the first two are non-fiction, that seems to be what I have been reading lately…