What Books Would You Suggest for Someone Recovering from Surgery?

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I’m just now reaching the point that I can focus on something for a short time without falling asleep.  This recovering from a major surgery thing is EXHAUSTING! 

I’d love to take advantage of this rare opportunity to read, but I need suggestions!

My criteria: No science fiction, No Cheesy Romance, Non Vulgar

What books would YOU suggest for someone recovering from surgery?


60 thoughts on "What Books Would You Suggest for Someone Recovering from Surgery?"

  1. Beth Ann says:

    Water for Elephants
    And any Kristin Hannah books. I really like her lately.

  2. Sonya says:

    My only suggestions are ones that would make you laugh and that might hurt! I’ll still suggest Jon Acuff’s books (Stuff Christians Like & Gazelles Baby Steps & 37 other things Dave Ramsey taught me about Debt).

  3. Jackie Green says:

    No sci-fi? That leaves my suggestions out 😉

  4. Kristin says:

    Have you read “The Shack”? It’s an amazing book.

    I’ve also enjoyed some by Katrina Kennison recently – Mitten Strings for God and The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir

    Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (which is now out as a movie) was a good/easy read also (in the romance/life category – but wouldn’t call it cheesy)

    1. Emily Giffin’s Something Blue is even better, it’s the next part to Something Borrowed.

  5. Harley Mom says:

    Anything by Lori Wick and Dee Hendersen. They are both Christian romance writers that infuse biblical truth into their stories. LOVE THEM!

  6. Krissy says:

    Anything by Charles Martin (When Crickets Cry is my favorite)

    Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher (about girls, but I think all women should be aware of the pressures for girls)…another book she wrote that I loved is Another Country about aging and family issues…I am not a huge non-fiction person, but I loved these two books.

    Real Simple magazine? Pretty much anything from Beth Moore (I am working on So Long Insecurity right now)

    Hope your recovery gets better and easier by the hour!

  7. Amy says:

    Check out the Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross

  8. SaraSkinny says:

    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is really good. I just read In the Woods by Tana French and that was amazing. It’s about solving a murder in Ireland and she uses A LOT of detail when she writes. It wasn’t something I thought I’d like but once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

  9. Jessica says:

    I adore Jen Lancaster and her books… Bitter is The New Black, I think is the first in that series. They’re really fabulous. 🙂 They did make me laugh a lot though…

  10. MollyH says:

    I just finished People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks – very good! It’s written as a series of vignettes telling the story of a sacred Jewish prayer book, and how many people risked much to preserve it. It’s in the realm of ‘historical fiction’. I also really liked “The Passage” by Justin Cronin. I wouldn’t call it ‘sci-fi’, but it’s set in the future and about how a colony of survivors cope with the world after a major crisis. It’s long, but very very good and engaging.

    1. I don’t love scifi, but I definitely recommend The Passage, too! My husband and I both tore through it (all 700 pages).

  11. Amy C. says:

    Did you finish The Pioneer Woman’s book yet? I second the recommendation for Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. She is one of my favorites. The book is better than the movie.

  12. Ruth says:

    Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Praying for you!

  13. Amy S says:

    The Help by Kathryn Stockett was wonderful! Any Jodi Picoult books – but especially 19 Minutes & The Pact.

  14. Katie says:

    Anything by Elisabeth Elliot, Sarah Sundin and/or Jane Austen.
    Lori Wick and Dee Hendersen, as previously suggested, are great reads too!

    Also recommend ‘Radical’ by David Platt and ‘Crazy Love’ by Francis Chan.

  15. connie ashenfelter says:

    If you haven’t already, “crazy love” by francis chan is a MUST read. i am going through it for the 4th time..it is seriously life changing.

  16. Emily says:

    Monk books – By Lee Goldburg – all about an OCD detective. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton was good too.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Alexander McCall Smith has a great series set in Botswana called the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I have tons of mystery type authors I can suggest by Laura Childs, Andrew M Greeley’s Irish series, Rhys Bowen Molly Murphy (historical mystery) series, Mercedes Lackey 500 Kingdom series is fantasy, not science fiction, and a funny outlook on fairy tales.

  18. You’ve been given some great suggestions, however if your concentration is as difficult as I have found mine to be after big surgery, may I suggest Karen Kingsbury, a Christian fiction writer. She writes series and I would suggest the Baxter series which follows a family through many trials and triumphs. Easily available through the public library. I think you would find the stories relatable and gripping (enough to keep your attention)

    I’ve thought about you often, recooping with four busy little boys around. Just the noise alone must be hard at times. You’ve given me courage as I cannot take pain meds either and I am facing some surgery this summer and have been fretting about the pain. I’ll remind myself that you toughed it out with a far bigger surgery than I will be having.


  19. Kim says:

    I agree with Elizabeth, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series….fast funny reads…One for the Money is the first one and you have start with that one.

  20. Crystal says:

    I just read Water for Elephants. It’s one of my new favorite books.

  21. Carole says:

    I have to second Karen Kingsbury – LOVE her books! Also, The Help is great…I couldn’t put it down.

  22. Leisha Norwood says:

    5 Conversations You Should Have with Your Son is Vicky Courtney’s new book. Her stuff is always great! Blessings on your continued recovery.

  23. Charity says:

    Water for Elephants is EXCELLENT! The Kite Runner, The Help, Hunger Games Series, The Midwife’s Confession & Unbroken are all really good as well! Heal quickly! =)

  24. Anne says:

    Lance Armstrong- Its not about the bike my journey back to life??? (Im not sure about the English title)

  25. Kaia says:

    The last two books I read were Gone With the Wind and Mistaken Identity. Mistaken Identity is a true story, but good read! And I liked Gone With the Wind too.. good read, just didn’t like the ending! (I’ve never seen the movie, so not sure if it’s the same). I also recommend Lori Wick-she’s one of my faves. And L.M. Montgomery-she wrote the Anne of Green Gable series.

  26. Lauren says:

    The help
    Major Pettigrew’s LastStand
    Hunger Games Trilogy

  27. Suzy says:

    I read “The Help” while recovering from my TT last year. Loved it!!!

    Keep up with me, Ted, and our Fab Four at four-by-two.blogspot.com.

  28. EmilyE. says:

    Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Trust me…amazing. You have to fight through the first 50 or so pages, but then you’re HOOKED!

  29. Sara says:

    Heaven is for Real. You will LOVE it.

  30. The Red Tent by Anita Diamont
    Anything by Jodi Picoult
    The Mortal Instruments (series) by Cassandra Claire
    The Harry Potter series if you haven’t read them already
    The Twilight series if you live in a hole and haven’t read them
    The Percy Jackson series- think Harry Potter crossed with Greek gods & goddesses
    The Artemis Fowl books- 11 year old criminal mastermind meets a hidden world of dwarfs, fairies, etc
    Alex Cross novels by James Patterson
    Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell
    Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
    Wicked- the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

  31. Danielle Barton says:

    Red. Green. Black. White (all by Ted Dekker) All Joel Rosenburg books (Start with The Last Jihad) All Bodie Thoene books – She has several series. They’re all fabulous! (:

  32. Danielle says:

    I absolutely LOVED “Choosing to SEE” by Mary Beth Chapman. An amazing story of faith through all sorts of trials of life
    I also read a Christian series of books that is called: The Sister Series. By Vonette Bright. Wonderful books.

  33. Janice says:

    Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. It’s about a woman who has a car accident and ends up with a brain injury which causes her to have left neglect, her brain doesn’t register anything on her left. This is the first book I have read in three years (I just finished college, while working full time) and it was well worth the wait.

  34. Sarah says:

    I really enjoyed Robin Gunn, Sisterchick books. They were light hearted and fun to read!

  35. Lana says:

    I love anything (except maybe Lacuna) by Barbara Kingsolver. The Hunger Games are good, a bit futuristic, but not sci=fi. The boys will be reading them, probably, in junior high. If you haven’t had time, the Harry Potter books are awesome!

  36. Angie says:

    Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

  37. Marianne says:

    Long time, no talk! You’ve been in my thoughts & prayers and I hope you continue to recover well!

    I just read Water for Elephants. It was good, not as amazing as I feel people make it out to be, but I did like it a lot. Before that, I read Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch & LOVED it!!! I can’t think of anymore off the top of my head, but I’ll dig through my collection and see if what other must-reads I find.

    Hang in there pretty lady! If you need anything at all, I’m just in Carmel, so don’t hesitate at all! I mean it!

    Hang in there, pretty lady! If I can help in anyway, I’m just in Carmel, so don’t hesitate at all! I mean it!

  38. Adele says:

    I am glad to hear you are recovering well – albeit slowly. My prayers are with you. 🙂

    As for reading – if you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice, there’s a 3 book series by Pamela Aiden that tells the story from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. She writes with the same wit as Jane Austen. They are a fun read.

  39. The Winter Garden by Kristin Hanna is the BEST book I’ve read all year. I’ve recommended it to several people and they all loved it too.

  40. Jen McDougal says:

    I just finished Chris Fabry’s book “June Bug”. It was a great story. I also read Tina Fey’s new book “Bossy Pants” and liked it too. Feel better soon!

  41. Inge says:

    Anything by Jodi Picoult or Kristin Hannah or Jennifer Haigh. Other books I Loved: “Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and “The Secret Fan”.

  42. Helen says:

    The Mitford Series….light, heartwarming. Good stuff.

  43. Heidi says:

    Still Alice – fiction, but very interesting read about Alzheimer’s

  44. leah says:

    aww stink. i was gonna recommend you go through the chronicles of narnia in the order they were written, but then i saw your “no sci-fi” clause…

  45. Jackie says:

    Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (True Story)
    Loving Frank (about Frank Lloyd Wright)
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    Angelas Ashes by Frank McCourt & he has several more
    The Help

  46. Heather says:

    I loved reading through the comments to get ideas for my own reading!

    I have been on a big nonfiction kick. I would second the reccomendation for “Heaven is for real” especially since you have young boys I think his sweet perspective of heaven will mean even more.

    Another current fave is Ann Voskamp’s “one thousand gifts”. It’s not one to read straight through in one sitting but it’s so amazingly written and life-changing that I would get it and read it a chapter between some of your fiction options. It’s really really good.

  47. I really liked Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis HIggs. The romance is a little cheesy, but it’s a Ruth retelling and I thought it was great.

    Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
    Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
    Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
    The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
    Blessings by Anna Quindlen

  48. Amy says:

    One of my guilty pleasures is reading juvenile fiction books — things that my daughter read in 6th grade or so. Entertaining, easy to get into, not too heady, not risque. I really enjoyed “Confessions of a Closet Catholic” (ironically about a young Jewish girl) and “The Tale of Emily Windsnap.”

  49. Stacey says:

    Heaven is for real

  50. Amy says:

    The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

  51. Jill says:

    Her Mother’s Hope–Francine Rivers (it’s book #1 in a two part series)…AWESOME
    The Help is great…just finished it. Kind of tough to get through the first little bit, but then it gets really good.
    Francine Rivers series “A Lineage of Grace”…5 little novellas about the women in the lineage of Jesus…awesome books!
    Karen Kingsbury is always a good choice too!

    Glad to hear you’re recovering well…we’ll keep praying for you!

  52. Carrie says:

    Hey Jen! I hope recovery is going well and that all of your guys are handling having you out of commission well! Lord bless that great husband of yours! Here are my suggestions for reading!

    My favorite fun fiction series is the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. They are fun little detective stories that don’t take a lot of mental energy but are very well written. There’s something like 10 in the series. (HBO also did a mini-series of some of the stories that was fun to watch. My hubby even enjoyed them!)

    If you’ve never read “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck, you should! 🙂

    “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbra Kingsolver is great fiction.

    A couple of non-fiction that aren’t exactly ‘light reading’ but are AMAZING-

    “Grey is the Color of Hope” by Irina Ratushinskaya. She was in a women’s prison camp in Russia and this is her autobiography. SOOOOOO good!

    “The Age of Kali” by William Dalrymple. This is like a travel-log written during his 10 years in India but blends in ancient and recent history of the region. Sounds a little boring when I put it like that, but it really is fascinating! (I read it while I was in India, so I might be a little biased!)

    Some have suggested Crazy Love (which I think you blogged about reading, right?) I liked his book Forgotten God even more than Crazy Love. Talks about the Holy Spirit and is fantastic!

    Happy reading and recovering!

  53. Lori says:

    Definitely recommend Heaven is for Real – especially with boys of your own – amazing quick read.

    I also loved Mary Beth Chapman’s Choosing to See.

  54. jessica says:

    The Help – hands down awesome book. I saw someone else listed it as well. It is hard to get into, but is such an amazing book.

    The Glass Castle and Half Broke horses – both true stores, both fast reads, both quite enjoyable

  55. Terri says:

    Karen Kingsbury is a fantastic Christian author. Her books are very easy to read, quick to finish, but always convey a very deep message. I download them onto my phone which is much easier to hold, works well in the dark, and then I can read texts if needed, and/or answer calls. When recovering from surgery, I would text when I needed something!
    I am praying for you, and hope your recovery is fast. You must be so excited to be rid of, hopefully, all of that pain!

  56. Megan says:

    I saw some others recommend The Help and I, too, would recommend it. Also, Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I also just finished Laura Bush’s autobiography and really enjoyed it. I read Water for Elephants this springand loved that too.

    Praying for a swift recovery!

  57. mackenzie pankratz says:

    Redeeming Love
    by Francine Rivers
    “In this splendid retelling of the biblical story of Hosea, bestselling author Francine Rivers pens a heartbreaking romance between a prostitute and the upright and kind farmer who marries her; the story also functions as a reminder of God’s unconditional love for his people.”….from amazon

    good luck with the rest of your healing

  58. Jen, hope things are going well for your recovery. I don’t know if you are in to reading any animal stories but the book A Dog’s Purpose is wonderful. I know you are most likely looking for some inspirational stories and stuff but if you want to break it up you might enjoy that one.

    Take care and happing healing. 🙂

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