What books are "must reads"?


I am starting bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy (6 months!:eek: ) I have decided that I would like to catch up on some reading while I can rather than staring at the computer or TV for hours upon end a day.
What are the books that you consider must reads?
Here are a couple on my list:

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo
  2. Gone With The Wind
  3. A Love Divine (a novel about Joseph of Arimathea)


Anything by Jane Austen, but *Pride & Prejudice *and *Mansfield Park *are my favorites. I also like The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible, both by Barbara Kingsolver. If you want something fluffy that doesn’t really mattter, both novels that Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Pradaand Everyone Worth Knowing) has written are fun little reads.

  1. Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset (winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in the 1920’s). A magnificent novel and deeply Catholic.

  2. Father Elijah, by Michael C. O’Brien.

  3. The Story of a Soul, the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

  4. In This House of Brede, by Rumer Godden; a beautiful novel of an English Benedictine (women’s) monastery.

Happy reading - and God bless you in your time of rest (been there, done that :wink: )and with a happy and healthy delivery!


In the novels section I’d include
Little Women
To Kill a Mockingbird
anything by Jane Austen
The ‘Master and Commander’ series by Patrick O’Brien

In Catholic books
Story of a Soul
The Secret Diary of Elizabeth Lesuer
Heros of God (9 lives of Saints and Blesseds)

That should get you through a month or so!


Looks like you are seeking novels?

Wuthering Heights - Bronte
Jane Eyre - the OTHER Bronte

Little Women AND Little Men - Alcott

A recent Novel I liked (it made me CRY) was “Peace Like A River” - author’s name escapes me…


anything by C.S. Lewis - especially The Great Divorce.

My favorite secular novel…Catch22. A bit salty, but hilarious.


Are you looking for classical novels? One very long novel that will take you awhile to digest but is an excellent read is Les Miserables by Hugo. This is one of my all time favorite novels, but it is very long.

Another great but long novel is Thomas Wolfe’s(Not Tom Wolfe) Look Homeward Angel. This is my favorite novel.

I like a lot of Charles Dickens work, such as Little Dorrit and Bleak House.

Too bad you don’t live next door to me, I could load you down with classic novels.:smiley:

If you like horror then Stephen King is the way to go. I have only just read the first book in his Gunslinger series but I am planning on getting the rest. They might be good.

I like Radcliffe the gothic novelist. Her books are also nice and long, so they could take up a lot of time.


I Love Catch 22 but the first time I read it I was unprepared for the fact that it follows no linear order. The story hops back and forth in time. Very, very funny, though.


Thank you for the excellent suggestions. I am adding them to the list now. Please keep them coming - we’re talking 6 months!:banghead:


I know that a lot of people don’t like Amazon.com but the company has one thing that I love. If you find a book that you like, on the page depicting that book will be a section called books that are similar. this feature has really helped me in branching out my reading.

what kinds of books do you like?

Tolstoy’s Anna Karenia is a good book.


Ohhhhh been there done that… I had bedrest for 6 months too!!! I am so sorry!!! I can tell you what not to do… don’t read medical books describing everything that can go wrong with babies, don’t sit in front of the TV all day (no lie… I was reduced to singing commercial jingles!!! *The velveeta melts smooth… the cheddar clumps…)

*Yes, get some good books, find a craft that can be done reclining, make your pet your best friend, get a drawing pad to draw on…


Hm, going from what you listed already, here’s what I’d recommend…

Rafael Sabatini - Scaramouche and Captain Blood to start, they’re great swashbuckling adventures much like Dumas’.
Horace Walpole - The Castle of Otranto - the first gothic novel! Love, death, taboos, giant helmets falling on people!
Bram Stoker - Dracula
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus
James Branch Cabell - the Poictesme novels. Pre-Tolkien fantasy, and again, much swash is buckled.
William Hope Hodgson - The Night Land. Adventure, romance, and the foundation of the Weird Fiction and Dying Earth genres (Lovecraft, Vance, et al). Okay, I’m a little biased toward this one (Mirdath is a character), but not enough people have read it! :smiley:
Honore de Balzac - short stories. They’re short, but there’s a lot of them. More decadent than the previous, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Fritz Leiber - the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser books (stop before Knight and Knave, it was horrible). Trashy, pulpy sword-and-sorcery fiction has never managed to be as good or as fun as it was the first time.
Charles Palliser - The Quincunx. It’s zombie Dickens! Seriously, I can’t think of anyone who’s managed to be more like the other Charles than this author – he may be even more Dickensian than Dickens himself.


Don’t know if you are one of those people who is against any story involving witchcraft, but I just adore the Harry Potter books. They are not just for kids!

I also love The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It is fictionalized telling of the story of Jacob and his wives from the women’s point of view, and some of it is strongly pagan, but I think it is a beautiful book.

I loved The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis) when I read them to my daughter. There is a lot for adults in those books, too. A nonfiction work by Lewis that I really enjoyed was Mere Christianity.

Don’t know how you feel about reading English history for pleasure (I love it!) but Alison Weir is my favorite author. She has written a lot of wonderful biographies of the women in English history, like Elizabeth I, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the Six Wives of Henry the VIII (along with separate volumes about his children and about him as King). Some of her other topics include the Wars of the Roses and the Princes in the Tower. Mostly late medieval and Renaissance period.

For a craft: I like counted cross stitch. I am the least “crafty” person in the world, but even I can’t screw up too badly with making x’s and counting! :stuck_out_tongue:


The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings - JRRTolkien
Narnia series by CSLewis
Space Trilogy by CSLewis (probably one day per book of the trilogy as they are children’s books)
any of the Cat Who books by Lillian Jackson Braun
any thing by Agatha Christie (or any of her pseudonyms)
All Creatures series by James Herriot

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head that haven’t already been mentioned.

I will pray for you and baby as this would certainly drive me nuts to have to stay on bed rest for the next six months!

Brenda V.


THE ROBE by Lloyd C. Douglas (one or two places I didn’t agree with - ex - Christ’s miracle of the loaves and the fishes was “sharing” - but in all a very, very good book. Excellent! :thumbsup:

QUO VADIS by Henryk Sienkiewicz


Introduction to the Devout Life (St. Francis de Sales)
The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien)
Ender’s Game Series (Orson Scott Card)
Witness to Hope (JPII Biography)
Confessions (St Augustine)


The original Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov.

Some by Arthur C. Clarke (the godfather of Sci Fi in my mind):

Childhood’s End
Rendezvous with Rama (and the sequel - Rama II or something like that)
Songs of Distant Earth
The 2001 series


Oooh! Good suggestions. I have already read and love some of them (like the Red Tent and Narnia) but there are a bunch that I haven’t heard of and are making my mouth water!
Thanks, guys! This list is almost making the next six months seem exciting with so many good books to get through!
My sister works at our local public library and we can check out books online so I plan on asking her to deliver them to me every so often.
You guys are lifesavers!:stuck_out_tongue:


I try to read a classic every summer; this thread is a big help!

My all time favorite is . . . And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmeyer. Well written and well researched.


Glad to help. I love books. My mom gave me a $100 gift card to Overstock.com for Mother’s Day, and I spent the whole thing on books! I call it “mind candy for Mama.” I love my children, but I need something adult and just for me.

Once at one of my kids’ RE classes, I mentioned in the parent discussion group that I read English history for fun, in the context of talking about the changing definition of a certain word. One of the other moms later asked me where I find the time, with four kids and one on the way. I told her that my housework really suffers! I just need that time and the stimulation. I think lots of books will be a big help in getting you through a long bed rest! You can kill so much time that way!

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