Thursday, February 4, 2021

My List of Most Beloved and Beautiful Homemaking Books

"Every wise woman buildeth her house..."
~ Proverbs 14:1

Every wise woman buildeth her home library too! After all, knowledge in the areas of homemaking increases our skills and makes us much more valuable in the home. There are so many attributes that go into making a home that it is hard to create a list which doesn't include every non-fiction book ever written. Homemaking encompasses so much! However, here is a compilation of books that I have thoroughly enjoyed that provide lovely encouragement for the keeper of the home (note: many of these are affiliate links). Welcome to my list of my most beloved and beautiful homemaking volumes. I almost feel like these are little treasures I am sharing with you all...

"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Inspirational Homemaking Books

(ones that inspire to you to breathe life, love and special culture into your home)

The Family (aka Home-Making) by J.R. Miller (Victorian classic -- absolutely divine inspiration!)

The Life-Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging & Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson (I just finished this book and felt as if I could have written half the volume as it mirrored my thoughts in so many ways!)

Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life by Alexandra Stoddard (this is the only secular book in this particular category but the author does a beautiful job of pointing out the luscious little details of life that can be enjoyed and I also appreciate her historical references.)

Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping: Timeless Wisdom and Practical Advice by Miriam Lukken (This is a sweet, nostalgic look at keeping the home.)

Queen of the Home: Essays, Poetry and Quotes on the Honor, Nobility, and Power of Biblical Womanhood Compiled by Jennifer M. McBride (Poignant, inspirational essays for the faithful homemaker.)

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer (A Christian classic.)

Beautiful Handcrafted and Seasonal Homemaking Books

(books which inspire you to "create" in general... your own bath, beauty, pantry and home products and ones with pictures that inspire beautiful living for ordinary days)

The Bath and Body Book by Stephanie Donaldson

Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home by Jane Brocket (This unique book has beautiful photographs and is fun inspiration for the creative homemaker.)

Gifts from the Garden by Debora Robertson (Gloriously beautiful project book!)

Guide to Natural Housekeeping: Recipes and Solutions for a Cleaner, Greener Home by Christina Strutt (I look through this one all the time for the pretty pictures!)

Sewing Books by Tone Finnanger (These are delightful little sewing project books!)

Tinkered Treasures by Elyse Major (Sweet little craft book using ordinary supplies.)

The Country Store: Traditional Food, Country Crafts, Natural Decorations by Stephanie Donaldson The revised version is called Country Crafts -- it is the same thing.) This is one of my favorite books hands down for seasonal homemaking inspiration. I even wrote a bit about it here if you want to dig deeper.

Homemaking Handbooks

(ones that provide an encyclopedia of information on keeping the home)

Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home

The Christian Homemaker's Handbook by Pat Ennis & Dorothy Kelley Patterson

Home Decoration Books

(aka Homemaker's Picture Books!)

Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to Love the Feeling of Being Home by Liz Marie Galvan

Country Brocante Style: Where English Country Meets French Vintage by Lucy Haywood

Romantic Prairie Style: Homes Inspired by Traditional Country Life by Fifi O'Neil

Shabby Chic Books by Rachel Ashwell (I love them all)

Smart Storage Solutions: Creative Closets, Stylish Shelves & More by Country Living

(Below are older/out of-print books but still delightful to look at if you find them!)

At Home with Country: Bringing the Comforts of Country Home by Christina Strutt

Decorating with Flea Market Finds by Country Living

Decorating with Vintage Style by Christina Strutt/Country Living

Laura Ashley Guide to Country Decorating 

Restore. Recycle. Repurpose: Create a Beautiful Home (A Country Living Book) by Randy Florke (This one was interesting as it shares ideas for decoration and creating a non-toxic home. For instance, I never knew linoleum was natural and derived from flax.)

Romantic Country Style: Creating the English Country Look in Your Home by Victoria Magazine

Romantic Style: Lovely Homes, Pretty Rooms, Gentle Settings by Better Homes & Gardens

Homemaking Novels

(timeless books in which the main character is keeper of the home and is spiritually encouraging)

A New Graft on the Family Tree by Isabella Alden

Little House on the Prairie Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

I've just begun another novel in this category and do hope it makes the list!


(some of these I like to stare at for meal inspiration and some I actually use the recipes! 😂)

At Our Table (and all cookbook collaborations with) by Roxie Kelley & Shelly Reeves Smith (These are just simple recipes that have heartwarming illustrations and are very fun to read.)

Betty Crocker Cookbooks (I have all kinds of versions and appreciate them all for their basic recipes.)

Chocolate Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson (The most beautiful recipe book ever for the chocolate lover!)

Hope's Table" by Hope Helmuth (The best part is that each recipe has an inspiring picture which makes you want to cook the dinner immediately! I absolutely love it! It is one of the most down to earth one's I have seen with normal recipes which are agreeable for all of our family!)

My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours by Melissa Gilbert

Pioneer Woman Cooks Collection by Ree Drummond (Realistic recipes with colorful pictures!)

Herbal and Natural Homemaking

(books that teach you the natural way to make your home and care for your family)

Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar

Preparedness, Self-Sufficiency and Simple Living Books

100+ DIY Projects to Make with Fruit Scraps by JES (I couldn't resist adding my ebook too! 😉)

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan

Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child (A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Infant and Children) by Janet Zand (I've referenced this book in the middle of the night before Google existed in my home and I truly feel a hard copy of medical information at your fingertips for your children is preparedness.)

When There is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook by David Werner (the same concept from above regarding preparedness. Hard copies of health information may be priceless one day.)

Jenny of ELEFANTZ: The Homemakers Heart magazine issue 1...

Titus 2 Magazines 

(beautiful Christian homemaking publications with lovely full-color pictures just like a regular magazine - very tastefully done)

Seasons at Home Magazine from Joyous Home (more details here)

Girlhood Home Companion by Remembrance Press 

And finally, I can't let this article end without including a digital magazine for you! The sweet Jenny of Elefanz has put together an online magazine (that can also be printed out) for homemakers. It is just beautiful and I know all of you will love it -- plus it is FREE! Please visit here for The Homemakers Heart: The Digital Magazine for Home Loving Women.

"...nothing decorates a home like books. There they are, waiting to decorate the mind, too!"
~ Gladys Taber

Though I have many more books on my shelves, these are my most favorites! Some I appreciate for the pictures, some I appreciate for the information and others are pure homemaking encouragement and inspiration! I will be adding more books to the list as I continue to read them. What are your favorites that I didn't include and why?
Happily homemaking,

(This is a part of our Romantic Homemaking Series.)


  1. It has been delightful to browse through your bookshelf!

  2. I have some of these books, and have enjoyed them on my homemaking journey. I love books that are inspirational.

    1. Yes indeed! And I like how you called your homemaking a journey as it certainly is...
      ♡ JES

    2. Thank you so much for those wonderful list. I was about to ask you if you have book recommendations. I love your posts/quotes. I look forward to begin some purchases!

  3. Oh wow, how delightful! I already own a few of these, and I have read a few more...but there are many books on this list I've never read, and how fun it will be to see which ones are at my local library! Thank you for putting this together.

    1. I'm sure half will be found at the library at least! ♡ JES

  4. This is beautiful, Jes! They are treasures, indeed!


  5. I love Keepers at Home Magazine. I've been reading it for several years now. There's always encouraging articles that are Biblically sound.

    1. Yes, that is a good old fashioned conservative magazine... I have many back issues! Thanks for sharing! ♡ JES

    2. So do I! I have several back issues from when I first starting to subscribe. Then I got a bunch of free copies from various moms in my old homeschool group in Santa Barbara. Some were from the early 90s. I'm 60 years old and I still enjoy getting KAH in the mail.

  6. Darling Jes, I have a number of the same books (and others I also wondered if you had) - how inspiring they are each in their own way. Reminded me just how unique all our homes are and how uniquely made each of us are. There's sure to be many ideas and delights within those titles to delight every individual woman.
    And thank much.

    1. So very true!... and you are welcome.
      ♡ JES

  7. The first Tightwad Gazette started my journey into smart homemaking so it's a favorite. Then my friend gifted me an Emily Barnes and Frugal Luxuries. I was hooked and have been ever since! I have several books on your list and look forward to reading a few more. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Emilie Barnes is another great motivator! Thanks for bringing her up! I never heard of Frugal Luxuries... I will look into that myself! Thank you...
      ♡ JES

  8. How exciting to know your favorites and to see that some are the same as mine, and to discover so many new ones!
    I had just been wondering if you had a list of books (fiction) that you enjoy and recommend.
    Thank you, Jes, for sharing this lovely list!💗💗

    1. Book lists are fun! I probably should include the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. Those are classics!

  9. What a lovely list! So many are my favorites too!I love all of the different sections! I love Seasons at Home Magazine and I have two projects in two of the magazines. 😊

    1. I loved that magazine! So beautifully done... Too bad they aren’t publishing new issues! Which projects were yours?

    2. I have a recipe box tutorial in Issue 5 (the one with tulips on the front) and a simple pincushion tutorial that my daughter and I did in volume 6 Issue 2. We were supposed to do more but I got really sick. 😭 I still really want to learn to do silk ribbon embroidery like they always showed in their magazines. 😁😍

    3. Love, love!!! I too had hoped to learn the ribbon embroidery... I tried a few times but no overnight success... that would make a great learning project for me... thanks for the reminder!
      ♡ JES

  10. Wow, that was quite a list. Thank you so much for putting together this list - can’t wait to check them out.

    1. You are quite welcome fellow homemaker 🤎 🕯

  11. Thank you Jes for sharing this list. I love to read, especially about homemaking, so I am looking forward to reading these. Thank you again. Your blog is lovely. Blessings ~

    1. Excellent! And thank you so much for the encouraging words Candis... ♡ JES

  12. I have read soooo many of these, and have owned many of them as well. I have a book problem, Lord help me!!! Thank you always for so much loveliness!

    1. I have your same affliction dear Steph 📚 ♥️

  13. Oh, what a beautiful list! I'm always looking for the next homemaking book that is both practical and lovely. You've got some good one's here. I have many of them that you list...mostly the oldie but goodies! Many I've never heard of but they look wonderful. I'll definitely be making a shopping list!

    1. Thank you! It looks like we have the same taste in books then! I hope you find something here that inspires you! I tried to categorize them so that you could find what interests you easier... Thank you for visiting here today! ♥️ Have a lovely week!

  14. Ooooohhh, I had asked you for a list of your favorite books, and you really delivered! Thank you so much! I can see already that some will be for me, and some I will give to my daughter. Thank you! Stacey

    1. You're welcome and I do hope you find something to love and treasure ♥️


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