Just when you think you’ve read all of your favorite author’s books, you sometimes find a new gem. As you mature, books that didn’t interest you when you were younger suddenly become golden. It’s a glory-hallelujah kind of moment! Here are some gems by my favorite girlhood authors that I’ve discovered (or rediscovered and enjoyed more fully) as an adult:
- The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery: If you’ve never read The Blue Castle (our June read-along), it’s a pretty big departure from Green Gables and Avonlea. There’s a bit more spice. It’s funny; irreverent at times; and grown up. Interestingly, it’s the only book Montgomery wrote that was intended for an adult audience. You’ll be laughing from the first pages, spitting mad a few more pages in, and cheering soon after that.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen: This is the Austen book most readers appreciate more the older they get. I read Persuasion in college, but it didn’t really resonate with me at that age. Once I was older and married, it quickly became one of my favorite books. Austen wrote this novel in the latter part of her life, and the story deals with an older heroine and a long-lost love.
- An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott: My mother always said this was her favorite Alcott book. I had no interest in it as a young girl. I didn’t want to read about love . . . until I was older! It’s absolutely lovely and is one of my all-time favorite books. Alcott’s A Rose in Bloom (the sequel to Eight Cousins) is another treasured story that I didn’t fully appreciate until I was more mature.
- These Happy Golden Years (and Little Town on the Prairie) by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Do you remember when Laura and Almanzo first met? I do! Do you remember what Almanzo and Cap Garland did to save the town from starvation in The Long Winter? If you read the first books in this series in elementary school, don’t discount the beauty of the “grown-up Laura books” in the series. Her storytelling is captivating and their love story is endearing.
- Keeper of the Bees (and The Harvester) by Gene Stratton-Porter: If you’ve read A Girl of the Limberlost (our August read-along), Freckles, Michael O’Halloran, or The Happy Garden, then you know Stratton-Porter’s books remind readers of simpler, more innocent times. If you want to delve further into her work, Keeper of the Bees and The Harvester are gorgeous “grown up” stories. Daughter of the Land, although it isn’t as popular and light-hearted as her others, is probably her most mature work. I found it unforgettable.
Though these authors are lesser known, I highly recommend their books if you enjoy old-fashioned books with old-fashioned values:
Strawberry Acres by Grace S. Richmond is the story of four siblings who inherit a large house and acreage out in the country, after living in cramped quarters in the city. They have little to live on and must learn to make ends meet. The sister does her best to make the house into a home, and the brothers work to make a living on the farm. It’s a quaint book with a sweet love story.
Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster is hilarious! People compare Daddy-Long-Legs to Anne of Green Gables. You can read this novel in an afternoon or two. My parents read it out loud on a road trip and laughed themselves through half of California and Nevada.
Now it’s your turn. What other old-fashioned or “new-old” titles would you add to this list?
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Kindred Spirit Book Club Facebook group: If you love to chat about favorite books with other book-lovers, then please join us on Facebook for weekly discussions! We’re discussing The Blue Castle as our June read-along.
This week’s Bookish Activity: Press flowers or leaves between books.
If you missed the other articles in this summer series, you can catch up here.