Goodness, Beauty, and Truth: A Fiction Book List for Adults - Sarah Mae
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Goodness, Beauty, and Truth: A Fiction Book List for Adults

I go searching and searching for book lists for adults on truth and beauty and goodness and I seem to only find (mostly find?) book lists for children. Which is great and all, but I want to fill my soul with rich stories and beautiful words too, and I don’t want them only to be classics.

So I did what we do in the modern age and I asked Facebook this question:

I’m looking for books that are filled with truth and beauty and goodness. I’d like fiction, and they don’t have to be Christian. What I’m not looking for: Crude talk, detailed sex scenes, lot’s of unnecessary cursing. Hard stories are fine if they inspire the soul. What do you recommend?

Here’s what Facebook (or rather my awesome Facebook friends) gave me as recommendations. Enjoy!

As with anything, use your discernment! I have not read all these books!

Goodness, Beauty, and Truth Book List

(In alphabetical order by author)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows  and Mary Ann Shaffer  

Hannah Coulter by Wendall Berry (several recommendations)

Jayber Crow by Wendall Berry (several recommendations)

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (several recommendations)

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (A favorite of mine)

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

The Yearling by Patricia Reilly Giff (I was told about this one, “Trust me”)

Father Melancholy’s Daughter by Gail Godwin 

Pilgrim’s Inn by Elizabeth Goudge

Sisterchicks on the Loose! (Sisterchicks Series #1) by Robin Jones Gunn  

Thorn in My Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs

The Mitford Series by Jan Karon (several recommendations)

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Reading with Patrick by Michelle Kuo

The Curate’s Awakening by George MacDonald

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

The Father’s Tale by Michael O’Brien

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers (several recommendations)

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (several recommendations)

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield 

Like a River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani  

Words by Ginny L. Yttrup 

And my personal favorite, the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis, my favorite of the three being Perelandra. Be still my heart!

Authors Recommended

Karen KingsburyFrancine Rivers, Julie Klasson, Laura Franz, Lynn AustinKatherine Reay, Charles MartinBarbara KingsolverKathleen GrissomSusan MeissnerFannie FlaggKatie Ganshert, Erin Hilderbrand,

Happy reading!

Oh, and for more helpful lists, check out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s site!


P.S. I’ll keep adding to this list, but go ahead and comment with your recommendations!

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  • Megan

    Thank you so much for doing this!! I am constantly surprised by the amount of sex and language in books people recommend to me. This is so needed!

  • Naomi Jones

    Susan Branch’s memoirs so not fiction but darling and reads like a story. I like to start out of order with the first published: A Fine Romance (it’s about her travelling to England).

  • Theresa Hofstetter

    Thank you for this list! It is so needed. It is hard to find these books, and I am finding it is hard for good clean books to find their audience as well.

    My husband Donald Hofstetter has written two novels, and is working on a third. They are stories of good people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Inheriting the Missing and the Windcatcher’s Cave.

    I am saving your list and am excited to see that most are new to me.

  • Alicia San Nicolas

    Oooh- C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald! I’m particularly fond of anything by George MacDonald, whether it was written for adults or children.

  • Amy Tilson

    I totally forgot about Like a River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart. It’s a hard story, but so gently handled and the characters stayed with me for weeks. Willa Cather’s books are also some of my favorites – My Antonía, Oh, Pioneers.

    Thanks so much for this list. I don’t read much fiction simply because I can’t find much worth my time to read for your very reasons.

  • Tanya Ludwig Bouwers

    Charles Martin … can’t recommend his books enough. I eagerly await his next release.

  • Amy @ Hope Is the Word

    City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

  • LeeAnn

    My recommendation is not fiction but so delightful and personal. 84, Charing Cross Road and the equally delightful sequel, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. By Helene Hanff. You will not be disappointed!

  • Stephanie Feehan

    Susanna Kearsley- Historical, mystical fiction with a touch of romance (not too detailed I didn’t think) usually set in Scotland or England.

  • Stephanie Feehan

    Elizabeth Musser and Connilyn Cossette are both excellent Christian fiction writers

  • jennypowell

    Susan Garlough Brown has written an excellent series of which the first is called “Sensible Shoes”. Fourth in the series comes out in Feb.! Fiction but with spiritual disciplines to deeper your Christian walk. Highly recommend!

  • Alida

    Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley. It’s about a Quaker minister written by a Quaker minister. It is laugh out loud funny.

  • K

    Now this is my cup of tea. Thank you!
    Elizabeth Gaskell. She is not Jane Austen, she is something like but something else and wonderful. Appropriate and instructive for young ladies and very entertaining for all.
    Wives and Daughters
    North and South
    Cousin Phillis.

    The Swallows and Amazon series by Author Ransome. Read in order. All ages.

  • Kylene Moss Grell

    Mary Stewart books! She is my favorite author and they are all very clean. I put an asterisk next to the Merlin Trilogy because there are a few things in there that I wouldn’t be comfortable with my teenagers reading

  • Alexia Slauson

    Caroline – Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller

  • Marianna Dollyhigh

    The O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson! Soooo good! I also love anything by Kristen Heitzman.

  • Stephanie Feehan
  • Jennifer Spead

    I’m so glad someone else mentioned George MacDonald – he has so many excellent novels and was an inspiration for CS Lewis and Tolkien. I recommend all of his adult novels as well as his “children’s” fairy tales (Princess and the Goblin series, At the Back of the North Wind) which are way too deep to catch all the meaning as a child. Another writer from the Lewis-Tolkien connection is Dorothy Sayers, the first female graduate from Oxford and author of the Lord Peter Whimsey mystery series. Hilarious, lite fiction. Enjoy! Thanks for this compilation!

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