books, family

Many Happy Returns!

Well, yes, it’s the day before the actual b-day but we’re celebrating today. Sunday works well for everyone to get together. I have all my kiddos home except my London boy and his sweet wife. We’ll see them in May when we head across the pond.

I’m resting after leading worship this morning in church. The crew is running around making a nice supper – I’m not allowed to lift a finger although I just had to give my opinion on the angel food cake (No, you can’t try to take it out of the pan right after you take it out of the oven – it has to hang upside down on a pop bottle for an hour or so… don’t worry it will still taste great 🙂

We’re having a barbeque (despite the snow… there are rumours of 10 degrees and rain coming this week – that’s 50 degrees for those south of the border)

Tenderloin steak, sweet potatoes, corn, carrots and peas – as well as a seafood bubbly bake (scallops, lobster and haddock in a creamy sauce)  – an early b-day present from sweet friends at church. Then angel food cake, strawberries and ice-cream for dessert.

Best of all – family. We’ll sing – because it’s MY birthday and that’s what I like most of all. Oh you should hear their harmonies … it’s so sweet it would make you cry.

Two years ago, on my birthday, I asked all my bloggy friends to share their favourite children’s books – it was such a fun post – and I had so many answers.

This year,  if you would be so kind,  (and because I KNOW you want help me celebrate the day of my birth!),

tell me the titles of books that you would read at least twice and maybe even more – in other words your “Happy Returns” – the fiction books that are your old friends – the ones that make you smile, laugh, cry or just feel contented.

It could be a children’s book or a classic or a recently published novel. 

I have so many books that I enjoy re-reading – I get more out of the second, third and fourth read. Here are a few of my recent re-reads.…

  • The Annotated Anne of Green Gables – so many notes and interesting quotes about PEI, the time period and LM’s life.
  •  Elizabeth Goudge’s The Eliots of Dameroshay  – I love this trilogy. Her characters feel real to me. I think I could recognize them walking down the street.
  •  The Wind in the Willows –  Ratty, Mole and Toad make me laugh!
  • Mrs. Mike – a sweet romance with the adventure of living in the far north.
  • The Melendy family – a lovely childhood series set during the WW2.
  • Betsy-Tacy  – one of the sweetest scenes in this book is when Tacy’s little baby sister dies and 6 year old Betsy climbs up the tree to sit with her and comfort her.
  •  Here’s a gem that I’ll leave you with – I wonder if any of you have ever read it?? Larkrise to Candleford – a lovely story that I have read many times!


Favourite books – yes I do talk about them a lot. Reading happens to be one of my favourite topics.

Humour me…   

It’s my birthday



24 thoughts on “Many Happy Returns!

  1. Thank you Jeanne! I read The Heaven Tree Trilogy a few years ago but I forget what it was about – I do remember that I enjoyed it very much. So I think I’ll try it again. Thanks for the reminder.I haven’t read Raising Demons but I’ll look it up at the Library.I was thinking I didn’t mention Kirsten Lavensdatter – that’s a great re-read for me. And With Fire and Sword – which your older boys might like – it’s gory with Tartars and war and all – but I loved the story – I skimmed the gory parts but my boys and my husband loved the book. It has everything – war, romance, faith, valour,humour, glory. it was written by a Nobel Polish author – whose name I can’t spell 🙂


  2. Kathie–Sorry this is belated–but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!Favorites to re-read…The Chronicles of NarniaL.M. Montgomery’s books (of course!)Gene Stratton Porter’s booksElizabeth Goudge’s booksThe Phantom Tollbooththe Jeeves and Bertie stories by P.G. Wodehouse (actually, I prefer to re-listen to these on audio)another audiobook–John Cleese reading The Screwtape LettersLittle WomenThe Secret GardenG.M. Hopkins’ poetryRaising Demons by Shirley Jackson (hilarious! one of my most frequent re-reads–portions at least)Marguerite Henry’s booksI really want to read Edith Pargeter’s The Heaven Tree Trilogy again–you’d love it.Blessings, Kathie!!~Jeanne


  3. Islandsparrow says:

    Jody you and I have very similar book reading tastes!Scent of Water is one of my all time favourites of Goudge. She treats depression/mental illness so sensitively.I also loved Laddie although I haven’t read it for years.I don’t think I’ve read The Cutters. I will try to find it at the library – also Arbor and MacAuley. I’ve read Hidden Art so many times that it fell to pieces and it was the reason my husband and I went to L’Abri after Bible College. Susan wasn’t there then but I met one of her sisters and her brother. I also polished Edith Schaeffer’s silver tea service. "My meager claim to fame" 🙂


  4. Happy Birthday Dear Kathie! I’m sorry that I’m belated about this, but I’ll still share my favorite "Happy Returns" books.First, may I say that I, too, have read Larkrise to Candleford and I really love it although I’ve only had one reading of it. It was a borrowed book.Here’s my list:"The Cutters" By Bess Streeter Aldrich"The Girl of Limberlost" by Gene Stratton Porter "Laddie" by Gene Stratton Porter (she’s a favorite author of mine)"For the Children’s Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay"Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living" by Robert Arbor"The Scent of Water" Elizabeth GoudgeThat’s enough for now.Again, best wishes for a Happy Year!Jody


  5. Happy Birthday, I noticed I’m late but that’s because we live in the west coast.(mirk) So is this the big one???I would reread,’The Secret Life of Bees" Amish Grace,and A Severe Mercy. I like reading but I only read on holidays. Most of my books are family related, personal growth, or devotionals etc.I hope you had a great day.


  6. Oh goodness, happy birthday to you. I do wish I could particpate in the sing song. I love to sing.. . . alto. Harmony is deeply ingrained in my roots.Oh, what would I love to read again. I do enjoy Rosamunde Pilcher very much .. any thing my her and (turning around now to look at my book case) .. .I do also enjoy Maeve Binchy .. to find one particular book, I can’t say .. I doubt I’ve ever read a book twice.


  7. A very Happy, happy birthday to you. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since I first saw you at you in pictures from your big birthday bash!! I’m sure you had a wonderful celebration yesterday and I hope you continue celebrating all week. We’ve decided that as we get older and wiser our celebrations need to be longer!!Now to books. I just finished and adored Anne and The Wind in the Willows. I would read them again. I want to get my hands on more Goudge. I’d love the trilogy..I love books.. to hold them, to read them, to escape to other times and places. I’d re-read Lord of the Rings, the Narnia books, many of the Goudge books. I’m thankful that you’ve pointed me to wonderful books I’ve missed in my life! Blessings…


  8. Happy Birthday! Thank you, Lord, for another year of grace and gifts and more of You!A book we re-read every year: Little Pilgrim’s Progress.We are very much still in process, in pilgrimage.May your next year of the journey be one of much joy!


  9. my dear friend….it’s your birthday. how i wish i was there to join in.the first book that popped to mind? a book you introduced me to: the little white horse. i’ve been craving the lovely words and the pink geraniums. how can i tell you thank you for all the good you’ve poured into my life – from books to phone calls to prayer.i send so much love.t


  10. Oh my! So many choices… let’s see…The Door in the Wall, The Trumpeter of Krakow, The Treasure is the Rose, James Herriot’s books about the life of a country vet in Yorkshire, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Narnia books, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! I love any book written by Elizabeth Enright. And I agree with your choice of the Melendy family books.


  11. My absolute favorite book to re-read is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The first time I read it, I was about 13 years old but there is so much more to the story than I could grasp as a young teen. Still, I loved it then and I love it even more now.


  12. Happy, happy birthday! Two books I have returned to multiple times: A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken and Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. I read A Severe Mercy for its beautiful descriptions; Till We Have Faces for its haunting, mythopoeic language and symbolism.


  13. The Mitford Series is always fun to read….It reminds me of my growing up years in a southern small town manse.I love to read Pride and Prejudice again and again as well.


  14. Lori says:

    Happy Birthday! Although I am not a blogger myself (yet) I have enjoyed visiting you (and your site) a few times. Sounds like you’re having a great day (and fabulous food) with your family. God bless you wonderfully in the year ahead.I love to read and devour anything by Penny Vincenzi, Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve – and although I don’t re read a book too often, Fortunes Rocks by Shreve is one I would like to read again. She has a compelling writing style and often tackles moral issues that really get me thinking. Her books are usually set along the coast in the eastern States, one of my most favourite areas to visit! Lori


  15. A very happy birthday to you! It sounds like an awesome celebration. :-)Though an avid reader for most of my life, I have rarely been inclined to re-read books. There is one which I’ve read repeatedly. It is Winter Solstice, by Rosamunde Pilcher. I think much of the book’s appeal is the faraway (from me) land which is the setting of the story. Her vivid descriptions of the area itelf brings it to life in such a way that I truly feel I am part of the story.


  16. My absolute favorite book to re-read is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The first time I read it, I was about 13 years old but there is so much more to the story than I could grasp as a young teen. Still, I loved it then and I love it even more now.


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