Book Selections

Bathed in Prayer

Writer-in-Residence Jan Karon invites Victoria readers, so many of whom are longtime fans of the Mitford series, to walk with central figure Father Tim through a collection of prayers, sermons, and inspirational passages. This volume incorporates material from each of the fourteen Mitford novels and also includes an essay from the #1 New York Times best-selling author. Reflecting upon Father Tim and Cynthia’s journey to the homeland of his ancestors, at the links below, explore “A Tour of Ireland” and sample a collection of traditional Irish recipes. Find a limited number of signed copies of the book in our online shop, and join us for a quarter of thoughtful discussion.

Come Rain or Come Shine

You are cordially invited to celebrate the long-awaited nuptials of two beloved characters in #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Jan Karon’s Mitford series. Over the course of ten novels, fans have kept a special place in their hearts for Dooley Kavanagh, first seen as a barefoot, freckle-faced boy in filthy overalls. Now, Father Tim Kavanagh’s adopted son is fully grown and ready to marry the love of his life. Find a limited number of signed copies of this volume in our online shop, and join us in the discussion forum to share reflections on the happy tale. At the Entertaining Ideas link below, “A Mitford-Inspired Wedding Feast” offers a tantalizing menu of recipes from the Victoria test kitchens.

At Home in Mitford and Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good

Victoria is pleased to welcome Jan Karon as Writer-in-Residence for 2021. To complement the essays and editorial features gracing the magazine’s pages this year, the Victoria Classics Book Club will delve into favorite titles written by the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author. We invite new and devoted fans of the Mitford series to join us in reading either At Home in Mitford or Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. Find a limited number of signed copies of each volume in our online shop, and join us for an exciting discussion of themes common to both. Plus, sample our recipe for Mini Orange Marmalade Cakes—our take on the intriguing signature dessert of the series.

Little House on the Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s own childhood inspired the nine-book Little House series, which has been cherished by generations of readers as both a glimpse into America’s frontier history and as heartwarming, unforgettable stories. Find a lovely hardback edition of the third book in our online shop. In this volume, adventures continue for Laura Ingalls and her family as they leave the Big Woods of Wisconsin and set out for the vast skies of the Kansas Territory. Peruse companion materials below, including links to our discussion forum and to a trio of scrumptious pie recipes. Don’t miss our feature about the idyllic homestead in the Missouri Ozarks Region where the author recorded her memories.

The Secret Garden

Escape into a world of enchantment and possibility with this cherished tale. Frances Hodgson Burnett invites readers to discover, alongside nine-year-old Mary Lennox, the magic hidden within a walled English garden on her uncle’s estate. Cultivating this oasis brings about healing, not only for the orphaned girl, but also for her sickly cousin Colin. Linked below, find a beautiful bonded-leather edition, a tempting teatime menu to accompany your reading, and the opportunity to lend your thoughts to our discussion forum.

Book Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Discussion Questions
Entertaining Ideas
Additional Reading 

Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales

Noted author and artist Beatrix Potter was captivated by England’s Lake District during childhood holidays spent among the quaint hamlets and misty moors. As a girl, she collected small animals during these trips and gently tamed them into pets. The domesticated creatures provided inspiration and companionship during her solitary Victorian childhood as she developed her creative talents. When Beatrix grew into adulthood, these tales were published, and her now-cherished stories and illustrations continue to enchant generations of children.

Book Title: Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales
Author: Beatrix Potter
Editor: Frederick Warne
Discussion Questions
Entertaining Ideas
Additional Reading

Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery invites readers to explore Avonlea through the eyes of her exuberant main character, Anne Shirley. When the high-spirited orphan arrives at Green Gables, she surprises everyone with her bright red hair, wild imagination, and tendency to talk a mile a minute. But with her sweet disposition and quick wit, “Anne with an e” soon finds her place among new friends. Purchase the first book in the series in our online shop, and peruse companion materials below, including links to our discussion forum and to a delicious menu of fruit-filled dessert recipes. Plus, discover the countryside and communities of Canada’s picturesque Prince Edward Island, once home to the beloved author.

Pride and Prejudice

This classic tale, consistently listed among the most popular titles in English literature, chronicles protagonist Elizabeth Bennet’s journey to love with the wealthy Mr. Darcy, considered an archetype of the aloof romantic hero. Fans of Jane Austen will adore the complete and unabridged collection of her novels—a beautifully styled clothbound hardback volume presented in an elegant slip case—featured in the November/December 2019 issue of Victoria and now available in our online shop. Companion materials below, including links to our discussion forum and to a delightful teatime menu, offer opportunities for connection. Plus, learn how one of today’s best-selling writers finds inspiration in the legacy of the foremost author of Regency fiction.

Jane Eyre

A haunting journey of self-discovery, this novel by Charlotte Brontë follows the travails and triumphs of a young orphaned girl whose indomitable spirit cannot be broken. During her tenure as governess to the children of the handsome Mr. Rochester, Jane falls deeply in love with her mysterious and moody employer, but dark secrets threaten to swallow their budding romance. Find a charming clothbound edition of this volume in our shop. Companion materials below, including a link to our discussion forum and a visit to the former home of the Brontë sisters, bring the gothic tale to life. Plus, sample a trio of dessert recipes chosen as an ode to the custards, cheesecakes, and French pastries the main character helps make in Chapter Seventeen.

Gift from the Sea, Victoria Book Club

Gift from the Sea

In this inimitable classic, Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares meditations on youth and age, love and marriage, peace, solitude, and contentment during a brief escape to the shore. “I have read this wonderful book at least once a year since 1996,” says Victoria reader Linda Chudej, “and each year the author’s words mean something different to me. No matter where I am in my thoughts about life, Gift from the Sea helps clarify my path.” This review echoes the sentiments of many others who have found inspiration in Lindbergh’s musings on the shifting shapes of a woman’s relationships. Find the 50th-anniversary edition of the book in our shop, and explore companion materials below, including discussion questions and a tantalizing menu perfect for hosting a book-club gathering. Plus, our readers share memories of treasures discovered at the water’s edge.

Little Women

In celebration of the novel’s 150th anniversary, we are pleased to announce Little Women as our inaugural Victoria Classics Book Club selection. Whether the March sisters have been your treasured friends since childhood or you will meet them for the first time, we hope that you will join us in delving into this timeless tale of unconditional love. Find a commemorative hardback edition of the book in our shop, and peruse companion materials below, including discussion questions and a peek into Louisa May Alcott’s childhood home.
And don’t miss our recipe for Rose and Raspberry–Infused Blancmange, an English berry pudding every bit as elegant as Meg’s “too pretty to eat” version that Jo presented to Laurie in Chapter Five.