Books I Love


rom my shelf of forever-loved books…I don’t keep every book I read because some of them don’t deserve it, but I make sure to keep the ones I love….they continue, sitting on my bookshelves, through osmosis, to fill my heart and mind with their brilliance, that’s why I keep them nearby. I need all the help I can get.

ooks I’ve read, old and new; loved, and am happy to recommend (in no particular order). As I read new, really good ones, I’ll add them to this list.  I’ve also joined Goodreads, which is a wonderful place to read reviews, and to get and make recommendations.


  • Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Anne Frank, Beyond the Diary Ruud van der Rol (Intro by Anna Quindlen)
  • West with the Night Beryl Markham
  • Heartburn Nora Ephron
  • Hawaii James Michener
  • Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
  • The World According to Garp John Irving
  • The Piano Jane Campion
  • Everything Barbara Pym has written, start with Excellent Womenpurse
  • Anything by Gladys Taber but most especially Best of Stillmeadow
  • A Good Man in Africa William Boydpurse
  • A Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein
  • Einstein’s Dreams Alan Lightmanpurse
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain Charles Neiderpurse
  • The Passion of Ayn Rand Barbara Brandon
  • Enchanted April Elizabeth von Arnimpurse
  • Elizabeth and Her German Garden Elizabeth von Arnim

  • The Help Kathryn Stockett
  • Charms for the Easy Life Kaye Gibbonspurse
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
  • A Short Guide To A Happy Life Anna Quindlenpurse
  • Schindler’s List Thomas Keneally
  • Abigail Adams Charles W. Akers
  • Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
  • Bridget Jones Diary Helen Fieldingpurse
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Source James Michener
  • Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand (pronounce her name ein)
  • The Accidental Tourist Anne Tyler
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • East of Eden John Steinbeck
  • A Woman of Independent Means Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
  • Love in the time of Cholera Gabriel
    Garcia Marquezpurse
  • Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
  • Little Women Louisa May Alcott
  • The Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldonpurse
  • Portrait of a Marriage Nigel Nicholsonpurse
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Choprapurse
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  • The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
  • The Prince of Tides Pat Conroy
  • Postcards from the Edge Carrie Fisher
  • Marjorie Morningstar Herman Wouk
  • My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin
  • Stieg Larsson series starting with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Pillars of the Earth Ken Folletpurse
  • Pollyanna (of course) Eleanor H. Porter
  • A Year in Provence by Peter Maylepurse
  • A Fire in the Mind Joseph Campbell
  • Like Water for Chocolate Laura Esquivel
  • Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys Georgia Morris
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Mortonpurse

Old books are fun to collect…

Some old children’s books
have wonderful drawings…
CHILDREN’S BOOKSAndrew Lang’s Fairy Books, starting in 1889
The Poky Little Puppy 1942
The Tale of Peter Rabbit 1902
The Country Child 1931
Tootle 1945
The Saggy Baggy Elephant 1947
Scuffy the Tugboat 1955
Pat the Bunny 1940
All-of-a-Kind Family 1951
Green Eggs and Ham 1957
The Cat in the Hat 1960
The Littlest Angel 1946
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish 1960
The Very Busy Spider 1985
Good Night Moon 1991

love old garden books, but if I could only have one, by far, this is the one! It’s called the “Western Garden Book” but the west includes Colorado and Lake Tahoe, snowy areas and deserts, coastal and inland…so limiting this book to the West is so unfair to everyone else in the USA! I have this book at my house in New England and in California; it has the best photos and descriptions; it’s a huge plant encyclopedia; everything is alphabetical; I give it 5 stars! Get it on Amazon… you will love it!

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480 Responses to Books I Love

  1. Sharol Phinney says:

    I love all my Gladys Taber books, and also books by Daphne Du Maurier, Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer, and from my childhood, A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy.
    And lest I forget, all the various books of yours that I’ve collected over the years.

  2. Mary Beckstrom says:

    Have you ever read the Mitford Series? The most wonderful stories of human life. Far more my most favorite and I love all the books in this series! I think there are about 7 or 8 books in the series. I have them all.

    • Elaine Tuohy says:

      Hi Susan! I have read a number of your favorites and wonder if you have ever read “The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter” mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert? It’s a wonderful series of books written from Miss Potter’s point of view, with her animal friends very involved in the plots. Not scary or ‘murdery’, just cozy and interesting! I love them! Start at the beginning with “The Tale of Hill Top Farm”. Happy reading!

  3. Betsy Yopp says:

    I love your beautiful hand lettered books ! I do not see any mention of the books by Georgette Heyer: not the murder mysteries but the Regency period ones. Just think of them as Jane Austin with a giant giggle! Beautiful writing and just plain fun: best fun to start with The Grand Sophy and Frederica. Love your list and your followers lists and have added a lot to my list from them.

  4. Dee says:

    I just finished “My Name is Lucy Barton” by Elizabeth Strout. It’s a magnificent book. I think you would like it! The author also wrote “Oive Kitteridge, and the Burgess Boys…..also great reads.
    P.S. I have all of your books & treasure them. Thank you.

  5. I have lots of favorites also but one of my favorites is your book about your trip to England. It sits on my shelf where I can see it and look at it. When I read that book I was going through a really rough time and reading your adventures took me away from that and got me through that terrible time in my life. Thank you so much. I love your books and have for many years😊

  6. Carolyn Blodgett says:

    I recently (two weeks ago) discovered your blog and am hooked. I too, am a life-long reader and recommend the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. Charming, and mostly true, story of friendship between two and then later, three friends (Tib joined the group) that lasted a life time.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for your recommendations Carolyn — I think you’ll find many kindred spirits here in the comments! Nice to meet you!

  7. Joan Barnes says:

    A Fine Romance kept me company today as I faced the anxiety of a medical procedure. Your words buoyed me along with a giggle here and a touch of wisdom there. Thank you for bringing me along on the Atlantic crossing with your prose and beautiful artwork. How reassuring to be returned to the nest and familiar comforts with more A Fine Romance to read!

    • sbranch says:

      I read to escape too, I’m thrilled it helped a little, because those things are always scary. Thank you Joan! Hope its all over and you have a wonderful day today!

  8. Elaine Tuohy says:

    Ooops! Don’t forget the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear and anything by Gene Stratton Porter!

  9. If you haven’t read it already, I recommend a book by Bill Bryson about his adventures traveling about England, “Notes from a Small Island.” He wrote it about 25 years ago, but it is laugh-out-loud funny and just plain wonderful.

  10. Beth Barnat says:

    I like a lot of books you like.
    “Heidi” is my all time favorite book.
    When I was little, I read it 10 times!
    I still have that book.


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