Saturday, December 30, 2023

Brighter Winter Recommendations

I love sharing books. Yesterday my sister and a friend were at my house discussing the Brighter Winter Reading Challenges. Both went home with a stack of books. 

If you live near me, please come on over. Nothing is more fun than talking about books while prerusing book shelves. But for those who don't live near me, here are some book recommendations for the various Brighter Winter Reading Challenges.

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Books set in the continent of Africa

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (middle grade)

West With the Night by Beryl Markham (classic memior)

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series by Alexander McCall Smith (fiction, also an author who uses three names)

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (classic)

Books that center around a bookstore

84, Charing Cross Road by Helena Hanff (classic nonfiction)

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (fiction)

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (fiction)

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley (classic fiction)

Books that feature a teacher or education

Dangerous Minds by LouAnne Johnson(nonfiction)

Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (middle grade)

A Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill (middle grade)

American Classics

My Antonia by Willa Cather

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Newbery Awards or Honor chapter books

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (an author who uses three names)

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (an author who uses three names)

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell

Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

(And so many more. You can find the complete list online. My library has a special shelf with Newbery books.)

A book  which has a family unit of 4+ children as the main characters

Many children's classics depict large families. I plan to read a book to my girls for this challenge. Some examples . . .

Melendy family - Elizabeth Enright

Moffat family - Elanor Estes

Ingalls family - Laura Ingalls Wilder

All-of-a-Kind Family - Sydney Taylor

There are many other books that would fit this category - even classics such as Pride and Prejudice or Little Women.

Book by an Anabaptist author

The easiest way to find a book for this challenge is to go to the CAM Books or Christian Light websites.

Or look up self-published authors such as Emily Steiner, Dorcas Smucker, or Katrina Hoover Lee. If I hadn't just read A Fragile Heritage, I'd pick it.

What books do you recommend for these categories? I'm sure I missed some great ones!


  1. Sojourn in Africa, The Secret School, A Bookshop in Berlin, Banner in the Sky, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry...and so many more. :)

  2. You have some great choices. I'm picking up A Long Walk to Water on Tuesday. I saw it recommended on Brighter Winter IG page a couple of weeks ago.
    For author who uses three names I'm reading Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I have never read it before. Book by Anabaptist author I have so many on my shelf but I think I'm going to read one I haven't read in a few years and that one is Awaiting the Dawn by Dorcas Hoover. For a book with a family of 4+ children I chose Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott which is the sequel to Little Men. Its been on my shelf a number of years never been read so I'm excited to read this. I have to get ready for church but Lord willing, I come back with more recommendations. Have a blessed day!

  3. Thank you for the ideas! A friend recommended Alexander McCall Smith awhile back; I should look those up. For a book about a family of of four or more children, I chose the 1942 version of The Box-Car Children (available on Amazon; I downloaded from Gutenberg). It's interesting to compare to the revised (1942) edition we all know.

  4. I like that you're giving recommendations ahead of time instead of just saying at the end of the month what you readπŸ˜ƒ

  5. Books by Anabaptist authors: Plain Becky - Becky McGurrin, Bring the Ransom Alone Verda Glick( oh how I miss her!😭), From the White House to the Amish - Katrina Hoover Lee
    Books with Family 4+ Children as main characters and I'm assuming grown children count. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen, The Only Sister by Dorcas Mast (also an Anabapist author)
    I hope more ideas come to mind as I'm posting books I'm familiar with.

  6. Thank you for all of your book recommendations!
    I used your blog to order books through the curbside service offered by our library during 2020 when I ran low on titles.
    I don’t read as fast as you, but I have some children who do. 😊

    In the recent past I enjoyed and connected with your suggestion “Placemaker” by Christie Purifoy.
    God bless you and Charity for the time you put into sharing with us!

  7. You have some really great books listed there. Especially under the "families with 4+ children" categories - the Moffats, the Melendys, the Laura Ingalls books, and the All-of-a-Kind Family series are some of my all-time favorite books.

    "84 Charing Cross Road" is one of my all-time favorite books. I believe it's actually non-fiction, i.e. it really was a series of letters written back and forth between a young woman and a British bookseller.

    "A Single Shard" is very well-written. A good glimpse into life in old-time Asia.

    Love your book posts! I'll be putting up my own list of books from last quarter soon!

  8. I read "The Birth Cry" by Shirley Roland Ferguson as my author with three names.
    I want to read "The Teacher Who Could Not Read as my educator book, written by John Corcoran.
    I like suggestions of good books!

  9. I just finished a book called Solve by Christmas by Amber Schamel. It is a light read, Christian mystery, with an eternal message. I am currently reading The Heavenly Man, about a Chinese Christian man who suffered for the faith, and The Girl with Seven Names, a girl who escaped North Korea. Chris W.


I love to hear from you.


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