Every reader’s idea of “PG” material may be different, but perhaps you are looking for a book or audiobook with good writing, memorable characters, and a strong sense of place or time. A redemptive story that avoids explicit language, violence, and graphic sexual situations. Maybe you’d like to read something that leaves you uplifted with a renewed sense of hope in humanity and community. Something good coming out of something bad or a positive change within the inner life of the character.
“PG” Fiction often goes by other classifications such as “Clean Reads”, “Inspirational”, “Christian Fiction”, “Gentle Reads”, or “Feel Good Fiction”. Labels like these may make you automatically think of “fluffy” plotlines, unrealistic situations, perfect people, and a religious message. While some of that can be true, many of those descriptions don’t necessarily apply. These types of books are not necessarily lacking in depth. Not all subject matter is light and cheery; bad things happen, life happens, but the stories leave the reader with a sense of hope and redemption.
Check out the titles below to find your next “PG Fiction” read:
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Spanning decades, generations, and America in the 1940s and today, this is a fun-loving mystery about an Alabama woman today, and five women who in 1943 worked in a Phillips 66 gas station, during the WWII years. Like Fannie Flagg’s classic Fried Green Tomatoes, this is a riveting, fun story of two families. In print and eBook formats.
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
It’s easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won’t go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that’s sixty years old. Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich, provincial comedy in which mysteries and miracles abound. The series includes 14 novels.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures. Also available as an eBook. And check out the eAudiobook, narrated by Tom Hanks!
A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries…and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she’s made. Listen to the eAudiobook or download the eBook.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey–a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island. This title is on Audiobook and we even offer this as a book club kit!
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
Step into the world of Victorian London, where wealth and poverty exist side by side. This is the story of two long-lost sisters, whose lives take different paths. In 1912, 20-year-old Tilly Harper moves to London to become housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls–orphaned children living on the streets, selling violets and watercress to survive. Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by Florrie–a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.
The No 1. Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
This series contains 21 titles with another coming in November 2021! Mma “Precious” Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Chosen as a Top Ten Mystery by the Organization of Independent Booksellers, U.S.A., The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is that rare novel that imparts a sage wisdom while inspiring hearty laughter and lasting smiles. Available in print, eBook, and we highly recommend it as an eAudiobook because of the excellent narrator.
The Quilter’s Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Elm Creek Quilts Series includes 21 books. Sarah, struggling to find a job and a sense of place in her new town, finds herself learning how to quilt from a cantankerous old woman who also teaches her about the deep love that can exist between friends. Also available as Audiobook.
Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Chi Chi Donatelli and Saverio Armandonada meet one summer on the Jersey shore before World War II. Chi Chi is a talented and ambitious singer-songwriter working in a local blouse factory looking for her big break, while Saverio, a singer already on the rise, is fronting a touring band and has the good looks and smooth vocals that make success seem assured. It isn’t long before Saverio becomes Tony Arma and he and Chi Chi form a duo; together they navigate the glamorous worlds of nightclubs, radio, and television. eBook available for download.