Wholesome Book Recommendations in Honor of Grandma

Wholesome Book Recommendations

Photo by Lisa Schmidt

My grandma turns 90 years young on June 8. During a recent conversation with her via FaceTime (yes, my 90-year-old grandma has an iPad AND uses it!), she told me about the book she’s reading. Long story short, she doesn’t really like it. Grandma humorously mentioned that some of the books in her assisted living home’s library are “not appropriate for senior citizens.” So I asked Grandma what kinds of books she likes to read, and she said, “A good love story. Stories about a good man and a good woman and how they are being good parents to their kids.”

After our conversation I began hunting for good books to potentially gift to my grandma on her birthday, books that she can also donate to her assisted living home’s library once she’s read them. I took to social media and asked for book recommendations on the CatholicMom.com Facebook page. Wow, what a response! One woman agreed and wrote, “I hope someone is squirrelling this away for a good article on Christian reading! Good to have it in one printable place.”

Hey, great idea! 

So if you, too, are looking for wholesome, good, and enjoyable book recommendations for your 90-year-old grandma (or any adult female), consider this a good place to start. The list is organized alphabetically by author’s last name. And please, don’t be shy — if you have more suggestions to add, please share away in the comments below.

Wholesome Book Recommendations:

Wendell Berry — The Port William series, especially “Hannah Coulter.” Port William is a fictitious town in Kentucky that serves as the backdrop for many of Berry’s short stories and novels.

Sandra D. Bricker — The “…Never the Bride” series:

Wanda Brunsetter — All of Wanda’s novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life.

AnnMarie Creedon — AnnMarie is the author of the Catholic romance novel, “Angela’s Song” published by Full Quiver Publishing.

Bette Lee Crosby — For a love story, start with “Passing through Perfect.”

Ellen Gable Hrkach — Not only is Ellen a fellow CatholicMom.com contributor, but she’s also a best-selling author of five books and co-founder of Full Quiver Publishing. (P.S., After reading my Facebook post, Ellen offered to donate books from Full Quiver Publishing to my grandma’s assisted living library. Thank you, Ellen!)

Ruth Livingston Hill — From one Facebook commenter: “Her books are old, but good. They are numbered. You can tell she became a better writer the higher the number. But are written in her [my grandma’s] era. Might be bring back nice memories.”

Jan Karon — The Mitford Series came highly recommended by several commenters.

Karen Kingsbury — Another popular author recommendation on the CatholicMom.com Facebook page.

Stephanie Landsem — A Catholic wife and mother, Stephanie has written a beautiful Biblical fiction series called Living Water. Read the CatholicMom.com review of the series here. (P.S., After reading my Facebook post, Stephanie donated the first book in her series to my grandma’s assisted living library along with some bookmarks. Thank you, Stephanie!)

Amanda Lauer — Amanda is another Catholic author published with Full Quiver Publishing. Her debut novel, A World Such as Heaven Intended, is a historical romance story.

Beverly Lewis — Lewis has written several series centered around the Pennsylvania Amish.

Betty Neels — Neels’s writing career was born when she heard a lady in her local library bemoaning the lack of good romance novels. 134 books later …

Janette Oke — Another highly recommended author who has written several series including the Love Comes Softly series.

Traci Peterson — Has written over 100 titles within various genres: Christian fiction, historical novel, novella, and nonfiction book.

Francine Rivers — Her books contain Christian themes, including inspirational romance novels. “Redeeming Love,” based on the story of Hosea and Gomer, was highly recommended.

Ann B. Ross — For a humorous read, check out Ross’s “Miss Julia” series. One commenter wrote, “I’ve never laughed so much as when I’m reading Miss Julia’s latest escapades!”

Kim Wright — “The Unexpected Waltz” was enthusiastically recommended.

More suggestions to add? Please share away in the comments!

Copyright 2015 Lisa Schmidt
Photo: Lisa Schmidt 2015. All Rights Reserved.


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  1. One of the series I recommend to everyone who asks is The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, and everyone who tries it loves it. For the most part it’s about life and people in Botswana, with a little mystery-solving (without the car chases, explosions, and gunfire you get with other mysteries). These are well written and easy to read, but definitely not “fluff.” I always come away feeling refreshed.

  2. Terri Sinclair on

    What a great idea! I could have used that for my Mom–it got to be quite challenging to pick out books for her, and she was an avid reader all of her life, but couldn’t abide by any cussing or questionable circumstances. One of my favorite authors is Lisa Wingate–especially her book Tending Roses, as well as most of her others–very good reads, and wholesome. Also Richard Paul Evans–wish he had written more of his magical and heart-warming stories! Wonderful!

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Terri! Those look terrific. My late grandfather was a rose gardener, so the Tending Roses series looks promising for Grandma.

  3. How could I forget? Jane Austen. All her books are romances and portrayals of strong women who held to their convictions.

  4. Karen Valentine is a Catholic author whose books about the New England town of Dorsetville and its parish priest and the community are so warm, funny and have great endings.

    Some of the titles are: Grace will lead me home and On a wing and a prayer.

    They are very enjoyable!

  5. If your grandma likes good love stories, she might like books by Elizabeth Camden. There’s a little bit of heat in them, but never anything inappropriate. Very well done characters and terrific very detailed historical settings. These books don’t shy away from moral dilemmas and sinful behavior, but the moral center of these books are Christian. But not preachy.

    Also have started to read “The crown” by Nancy Bilyeau. Great book, having a hard time putting it down!
    Also, books by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt….there was a post here not too long ago wherein I rediscovered Mary Stewart and others…..

  6. Also wanted to add the James Herriot books, starting with All Creatures Great and Small. Hilarious and touching accounts from the life of a country vet in England before, during, and after WWII. And his courtship and eventual marriage add just the right touch of romance.

  7. Thank you so much for mentioning my novel, A World Such as Heaven intended, which won the 2016 CALA (Catholic Arts and Letters) award. The second book in the Heaven Intended series, A Life Such as Heaven Intended, was published April 1, 2018. Look for A Love Such as Heaven Intended in early 2019.

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