Friday, August 02, 2013

Books Where Houses Become More

Okay. Because I cannot say no to my sweet friend, Kristi, I'll answer her request for a list of my favorite books which center around (or at least mention in some detail) fixing up a home. 

These are the books I grabbed off my shelves, first. Happy sigh... love, love these.

(Follow these links and you'll find reviews of these books.)

My all-time favorite of this genre?  Mary Emma & Company. I've probably read this 15 times, no exaggeration. This book always inspires me to stop my lazy ways! Much of Ralph Moody's series centers around making a home and raising a family in hard times, stuff which never ceases being relative.

Second on my all-time favorite list? Return to Gone Away. You may want to read the earlier book, Gone Away Lake---both books whisk me away and stay in my head for days (the story takes place not too far away from my home, thus making it more special).

Third is Thoughts of Home, a compilation of essays from House Beautiful Magazine and is another book I've read umpteen times. Its sequel, If These Walls Could Talk, is a bit more somber (dare I say depressing?), but some of the essays are equally lovely as the earlier ones.

A Year on Ladybug Farm. Filled with delightful women and a huge house out on an old southern farm. This is my favorite of the 3-book series.

Things Left Unspoken. Very real small-town characters and a mystery are included in this fixing-up-a-house book.

Jill And the Applebird House. Here's a synopsis I copied from Alibris: "After her mother breaks her leg, Jill derives and carries through plans for fixing up their newly purchased vacation home because she feels responsible for her mother's accident." You can find it more inexpensively here.

Oh! And of course, my friend, Clarice's, lovely book-- Wren Bay: The Story of Making a Home. I'm still reading this slowly because Wren so inspires me that I must jump up after a couple pages and go and clean or decorate something!! :)

So! There you go. Just a few books to get you started in case you, too, enjoy books which inspire you to fix-up and decorate your home.


Oh! And since it's now August, you'll find some great new coupons at and as well as other places!


Storybook Woods said...

Oh my gosh you are still reading Wren :-) Well I do hope my novel is a book to be savored xox Clarice

Debra said...

Clarice-- Yes! That's exactly what I'm doing -- *savoring* your wonderful book. And really, seldom has a book inspired me so much after every single page that I just can't sit there anymore, but rather, I must jump up and be creative! Which makes it a very special book, indeed! :) Blessings, Debra

Stephanie Stevens said...

Oh my goodness, i will have to get some of these. Books that center around place are my favorites, and when I think about writing fiction (one day) a house is at the center of all my ideas! Two other home-themed books i love are Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge and The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill. Have you read those?

Debra said...

Hi Stephanie! Do let me know if you read any of these soon, ok? I've read The Enchanted Barn a few times and yes, that's a perfect one for this genre! I've had Pilgrim's Inn recommended to me before--guess it's about time that I read it! :) Thanks for commenting.... Blessings, Debra

Tracy said...

Grace Livingston Hill has a few home-centered books:

The Enchanted Barn
The Honor Girl
The Challengers

Debra said...

Tracy--thanks for adding to the list! As you know, I do love GLH. :) The Spice Box is another book which speaks of house-repairing--I keep meaning to reread this one! Blessings, Debra

Rosemary said...

Great list, Debra. You probably already know that Elizabeth Enright wrote another book called The Four-Story Mistake which centers around a quirky house in the country. Have you read it?

Yellowhouse Grandma said...

Thank you so much Debra! I will have to print these out and look for them! I already looked up Gone Away Lake and see she wrote a book I have and have enjoyed reading, Thimble Summer. I think I will check at the local libraries first. But love getting books from thanks for all the ideas!

Storybook Woods said...

Thank you xox Clarice

Debra said...

Rosemary--oh yes! I love The Four Story Mistake and the whole "Saturdays series." I reread those nearly every year, in fact. I didn't add it to this list, though, because the family pretty much gets settled-in at the beginning and then the story goes off in different directions, not really in ones about fixing up the house. But again, I *love* those books!

Yellow House Grandma--All of Elizabeth Enright's books are amazing to me! She may even be my favorite children's author, in fact, she and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Eleanor Estes. I'm sure you'd enjoy the Gone Away books. :)

Clarice--You're very welcome!

Thanks, Everyone! ... Debra

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Dear Debra, Thank you for this! There are a few books here that I've never read and will now track down! And perhaps it's time for a reread of Emma and Company which you introduced to me quite some time ago!