Find a Great Book! Monthly Recommended Reading

Books can serve many purposes. They can provide research, entertainment, and are often a great ‘friend’ to invite to a quiet Afternoon Tea. But there are times we don’t know which one to enjoy. This page is designed to help you with a monthly suggestion for recommended reading.

Each month a new book will be featured. Be sure to check each one out. You may just find yourself creating your own home library!

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an open book using pink dried flower petals and a flower as bookmarks

Recommended Reading for 2024

February, 2024

Carrots Love Tomatoes

by: Louise Riotte

Learn the art of using Companion Planting for a healthier, more productive garden! “Plant parsley and asparagus together and you’ll have more of each but keep broccoli and tomato plants far apart if you want them to thrive. Utilize the natural properties of plants to nourish the soil, repel pests, and secure a greater harvest. With plenty of insightful advice and suggestions for planting schemes, Louise Riotte will inspire you to turn your garden into a naturally nurturing ecosystem.” – Amazon

January, 2024

The Stars Don’t Lie

by: Boo Walker

Haunted by a tragic decision he made twenty years ago, veterinarian Dr. Carver Livingston has not once returned to his Vermont hometown. Now his parents’ impending divorce and his mother’s plea for support lure Carver to a reluctant homecoming. His mission: sweep into Teterbury, save a marriage, and get out before anyone else from his past knows he was even there. Fate has other plans. It’s hard to hide from former friends. Harder still to fight old feelings for the crushing and beautiful high school soulmate whom he dreams of pursuing again. And Mrs. Cartwright, his fragile English teacher, who once pulled Carver out of sadness. She taught him to always look up and to see life’s grander perspective in the stars. Now it’s Carver’s turn to help Mrs. Cartwright find those bright lights in the dark. Against his need to leave, Carver decides to stay longer, as he, his mother and father, and Mrs. Cartwright are all at turning points in their lives. Hope is not lost. If they look up, they’ll see that tonight, the stars still shine.” – Amazon

Recommended Reading for 2023

December, 2023

From Nicholas to Christmas

by: Kyle Poehls

“Within the pages of this enchanting tale, you will be introduced to Nicholas, a skilled carpenter who possesses an unwavering dedication to helping those in need. Join him as he embarks on incredible adventures to distant lands, where he not only trades his craftsmanship but also spreads joy by sharing gifts with people from all walks of life. But everything changes when Nicholas crosses paths with a young girl named Mary. Little did he know that this fateful encounter would ignite a holiday spirit that transcends time and culture, becoming a cherished tradition celebrated by millions around the world. Prepare to be spellbound as this book unveils a secret magic, unlike anything you’ve ever imagined, that enables the delivery of gifts and Christmas miracles to countless souls. Discover a world where belief in this magic prolongs the wonder and excitement, igniting the imagination of young and old alike. Unearth the origins of cherished holiday traditions as this captivating narrative takes you on a breathtaking journey, leaving no question unanswered. Ever wondered how Santa Claus miraculously traverses the globe in a single night? How the magic of Christmas brings immeasurable joy to billions across the world? Or perhaps, the very origins of the jolly old man himself?” – Amazon

November, 2023

A Louisiana Christmas to Remember

by: Lenora Worth, Morgan Tarpley Smith, & Betsy St. Amant

“Three heartwarming, interconnected stories of faith, love, and restoration, brought to you by three Louisiana-native authors. Will a rare snowy Louisiana Christmas bring restoration and hope to the hometown and hearts of three women from the town’s founding family?
In A Louisiana Snow by Morgan Tarpley Smith, meet Mattie: A passionate visionary who learns to forgive and finds love in unexpected places…
In Restoring Christmas by Betsy St. Amant, meet Jolene: An artist and prodigal daughter who discovers love exists in the very place she once called home…
In A Christmas Reunion by Lenora Worth, meet Adale: A beautiful widow who finally dares to love again…
And don’t forget Granny, whose feisty spirit, blunt dialogue, and quirky ways play an important and endearing role.” –
 Amazon

October, 2023

Time Piece

by: Heather Albano

“If Jane Austen and Mary Shelley had locked H. G. Wells in a dungeon and revised his wildest work, the result would have been something like this rollicking steampunk time-travel adventure that still manages to be a comedy of manners. Albano’s delightful characters confront not only monsters and killer robots, but their own divided loyalties between personal happiness and the fate of their country.” – Ken Schneyer/ Amazon/Book Review

A Louisiana Christmas to Remember

by: Lenora Worth, Betsy St. Amant, & Morgan Topley Smith

“Three heartwarming, interconnected stories of faith, love, and restoration, brought to you by three Louisiana-native authors. Will a rare snowy Louisiana Christmas bring restoration and hope to the hometown and hearts of three women from the town’s founding family?
 
In 
A Louisiana Snow by Morgan Tarpley Smith, meet Mattie: A passionate visionary who learns to forgive and finds love in unexpected places…
 
In 
Restoring Christmas by Betsy St. Amant, meet Jolene: An artist and prodigal daughter who discovers love exists in the very place she once called home…
 
In 
A Christmas Reunion by Lenora Worth, meet Adale: A beautiful widow who finally dares to love again…
 
And don’t forget Granny, whose feisty spirit, blunt dialogue, and quirky ways play an important and endearing role.”–
 Amazon

September, 2023

Live in Grace, Walk in Love

“Beloved and bestselling author Bob Goff provides you with a year’s worth of inspiring, unexpected, humble teaching on grace and love that will prepare you for the day ahead. Built on Bob’s trademark storytelling and unique way of helping us to see things in a new way, Live in Grace, Walk in Love takes us through an entire calendar year of meditations on how we can step out in love and confidence in every aspect of our lives.
Each of the 356 daily devotionals:

  • Include full in-text Scripture references
  • Are 1-2 pages; great to read on your own or with a family!
  • End with thought-provoking questions to encourage journaling and prayer

Start each day with these small nuggets of wisdom, or finish your day focused and inspired. This beautiful hardcover book also makes a great gift.” – Amazon

August, 2023

Me & Miss Henrietta

by: Crow Johnson Evans

“The best of friends are often found in the most unexpected places. Lillian and Miss Henrietta become friends despite their rock-throwing, bone-chilling introduction. Even though Miss Henrietta doesn’t like children and Lil isn’t too sure about meeting the old woman, their lives become entwined in their Ozarks backwoods adventures. Whether dealing with dreadful Aunt Bertha or dancing for tips at the Farmers Market, their friendship deepens and expands their way of looking at life. Together they make sense of the world they are faced with and find a sense of kinship neither anticipated.” – Amazon

Crow is a friend, and an amazingly talented woman and writer. In Me & Miss Henrietta (#ad), she not only brings the characters to life, but she also brings life to the characters. This book is delightful, heartwarming, and enjoyable to read!

Miss Henrietta is introduced to us in Crow’s book Flights of Fancy (#ad). Laura Castoro, author of A New Lu and Icing on the Cake, describes it as: “Lyrical with a touch of magical realism, Crow Johnson Evans’ writing carries the reader along and away to a world where the miraculous is part of everyday life.” Both books are a perfect for settling in with an Afternoon Tea!

July, 2023

Sourdough Cookbook for Beginners:

A Step-by-Step Introduction to Make Your Own Fermented Breads

by: Eric Rusch & Melissa Johnson

Sourdough bread is iconic for its crispy crust, airy and springy crumb, and unique tangy flavor—and it all begins with a fermented, yeasty concoction called a starter. While the process may seem extensive, The Sourdough Cookbook for Beginners, brought to you by the owner and creator of Breadtopia, will show you how easy it can be to whip up a delicious array of artisanal sourdough breads with just a few ingredients, simple tools, and a little bit of patience.

This sourdough cookbook pairs simple instructions with tutorial photos, covering the first 6 days of bringing your starter to life and helping it thrive. Explore the science of how sourdough starters make bread rise along with how to prep your kitchen, plus tips and tricks you may have seen on Breadtopia. Then, try your hand at dozens of crusty artisan-style breads, flavored pan loaves, pastry, pizza, and even unique baked goods you can make with the leftover starter!
– Amazon

June, 2023

What Can I Bring?

by: Taste of Home

From time to time, we have all asked this same question – ‘What Can I Bring?’ This fun cookbook has your answers!

In addition to recipes, you will also find: (Description as found on Amazon)

  • 360+ Potluck-Perfect Dishes. Each recipe in this colorful collection feeds a group and travels well. Best of all, every dish comes together easily with common ingredients, includes step-by-step directions and features prep and cook times.
  • Party Foods Chart. Not sure what to make for the barbecue or tailgate? Wondering what you can bring to the brunch on Sunday? Turn to the handy chart on the back cover flap. Organized by event, it offers suggestions for rave-worthy bring-a-dish contributions.
  • “Bring It” Tips. Scattered throughout the book, these ideas help you make the most of your contributions. Keep foods at the right temperature on a buffet, pack up the car with ease and help the hostess with these smart ideas.
  • Special Slow-Cooker Chapter. Slow cookers make it cinch to bring a hot and hearty dish to a party. Turn here for delish recipes that take advantage of your favorite appliance.
  • Chapter of Large-Yield Dishes. When you need to contribute to an extra-large event (think church supper, family reunion or pancake charity breakfast), you’ll want to check out this popular chapter. The recipes in the Big-Batch Dishes chapter are perfectly sized for a crowd…some even serving up to 50 hungry diners!

May, 2023

Growing Your Own Tea Garden: The Guide to Growing and Harvesting Flavorful Teas in Your Backyard

by: Jodi Helmer

“Growing Your Own Tea Garden is packed with inspiration and practical instructions for cultivating and enjoying delicious teas from a variety of plants in your own personal tea garden. You don’t have to be an avid gardener: Author Jodi Helmer, a food and farming journalist, provides all the information you need to plan and plant a healthy, bountiful backyard tea garden, with nine suggested garden designs and useful cultivation advice. She shows you how to choose the right crops for your soil and climate, starting with the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and going on through a survey of tisanes (aka herbal teas). Explore a directory of over 60 ingredients, including medicinal herbs like milk thistle, chickweed, rugosa rose, burdock, and more, with notes on their active properties and purported health benefits.” – Amazon

Other Book Recommendations

The Secret Book of Flora Lea

by: Patti Callahan Henry

When a woman discovers a rare book that has connections to her past, long-held secrets about her missing sister and their childhood spent in the English countryside during World War II are revealed.” – Amazon

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World 

by: Bob Goff

“Can a simple concept shift your entire world? Bob certainly thinks so. When it comes to loving your neighbors, rather than focusing on having the “right answers” or checking the “right boxes,” what if you decide to simply DO love? To shamelessly show love and grace to those around you? What would that look like?” – Amazon

Craft: An American History

by: Glen Adamson

“A groundbreaking and endlessly surprising history of how artisans created America, from the nation’s origins to the present day.” – Amazon

Yarn Hooking

by: Carol Rennison

“15 colorful, whimsical rug hooking projects, complete with traceable outlines and full-color charts.” – Amazon

April, 2023

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

by: Barbara Kingsolver

When Barbara Kingsolver and her family moved from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they took on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. Concerned about the environmental, social, and physical costs of American food culture, they hoped to recover what Barbara considers our nation’s lost appreciation for farms and the natural processes of food production.” – Amazon

March, 2023

The Farm Made Essential Skills Book: Handmade Projects from America’s Farmers

by: Patti Johnson-Long

“Not too long ago, handwork skills such as sewing a quilt, crocheting a washcloth, or embroidering a pillowcase were handed down from one generation to the next. Candle- and soap-making, blacksmithing, basket weaving, natural yarn dying, and repurposing were all time-honored traditions that were essential to the farm’s microeconomy and long-term success.
While many of these traditional skills have been lost to the convenience of today’s modern economy, they are still alive and thriving among America’s farmers. The Farm Made Essential Skills Book showcases fifty authentic projects from farms all over the country. Hailing from New England, the Deep South, the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest, each farm-made project represents its region’s unique array of raw materials and end products.”
– Amazon

February, 2023

A Secret Gift

by: Ted Gup

In hard economic times like these, readers will find bestselling author Ted Gup’s unique book uplifting as well as captivating. Inside a suitcase kept in his mother’s attic, Gup discovered letters written to his grandfather in response to an ad placed in a Canton, Ohio, newspaper in 1933 that offered cash to seventy-five families facing a devastating Christmas. The author travels coast to coast to unveil the lives behind the letters, describing a range of hardships and recreating in his research the hopes and suffering of Depression-era Americans, even as he uncovers the secret life led by the grandfather he thought he knew.” – Amazon

January, 2023

You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream

by: Holley Gerth

“We all long to live with more purpose, passion, and joy. Yet in the middle of our hectic lives, the God-sized dreams that have the potential to lead us into all God has planned for us are the ones that tend to get lost. With her intimate, approachable style and constant encouragement, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Holley Gerth invites women to rediscover the desires God has given them–and then dare to pursue them.” – Amazon