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Top 5 Favorite Second-Hand Books | Five Fall Favorites

I’m so happy to be participating in the Five Fall Favorites linkup this year! For six days in a row, I am sharing five of my favorite books in six categories. To find the links to all the bloggers who are part of this blog tour and to see what books they are posting, visit the hosting blog. There are free books and a giveaway, so make sure to check it out. And now, let’s take a look at five of my favorite second-hand books!

When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.

Proverbs 2:10-11

1. Rainbow Garden by Patricia St. John

Rainbow Garden book cover. Girl holding sea shell in front of garden wall. Children and rainbow in the background.

“When Elaine leaves her home in London to stay with the Owen family in Wales, she feels miserable and left out. It’s only the little secret garden that she finds at the end of the rainbow that makes staying there seem worthwhile. And then something happens that changes everything.”

Patricia St. John was one of my favorite authors when I was younger (I still absolutely love her writing) and this was possibly my favorite book of hers. The personalities of the children in the pastor’s family are one of my favorite parts! There is also plenty of adventure to enjoy as well as Elaina’s emotions while going through struggles to pull at your heartstrings. The adorable little kids make this story, from Robin with his stuffed elephant he sneaks to church to quiet, sweet little Francis who steals your heart. A good story with great lessons for all ages! Our copy is thoroughly used and well-loved, with the cover off and some of the pages detached from each other.

Check it out on Goodreads!

2. The Robber’s Cave by Charlotte Maria Tucker (A.L.O.E.)

“It all happened so quickly! Horace’s ankles are locked in chains, preventing him from rescuing his terrified mother as she is dragged away by their captors. She has only seven days to return with the answer that could save her son! During her absence, Horace is held hostage in their dark cavern and wonders if he’ll ever escape. Through a risky venture he learns that God’s light can penetrate even the darkest evil.”

This is a captivating story by one of my favorite authors! It has the themes of honoring your parents and sacrificial love. While Horace the reckless youth is the main character, there is a side story of the two brothers, Enrique and Raphael. The way Raphael sacrificed for his brother’s soul is very touching. It’s not a very long read, and since it’s in the public domain, you can get it as a free download. I highly recommend this book.

Check it out on Goodreads!

The Robber's Cave book cover. Red cover with gold letters and decor.

3. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Long Winter book cover. Little boy with hand drawn back to throw a snowball at two girls. Children playing in snow in background.

“On the empty winter prairie, gray clouds to the northwest meant only one thing: a blizzard was seconds away. The first blizzard came in October. It snowed almost without stopping until April. The temperature dropped to forty below. Snow reached the roof-tops. And no trains could get through with food and coal. The townspeople began to starve. The Ingalls family barely lived through that winter. And Almanzo Wilder knew he would have to risk his life to save the town.”

This book is probably my favorite of the Little House series, and it has so many good memories for me. My Mom has read it aloud to me and my sister more than once. It’s a good read any time of year, but especially in the wintertime! There are some slang words that she skipped, but overall, it’s a family-friendly story.

Check it out on Goodreads!

4. Evangelists in Chains in Elizabeth Wagler

“Nineteen-year-old Peter suddenly finds himself in the middle of intense excitement and adventure that tax to the limit his physical and spiritual resources. As an untimely death stares him in the face, should he speak the few simple words that will bring deliverance?”

This is another book I enjoyed a lot when I was younger. I’m not sure where we got it or if it was new or used, but it was definitely used when I was reading it. Some of the pages were falling out. Evangelists in Chains is based on a true story. It’s great for both teens and adults, and I’d like to reread it again sometime. It’s been so long since I read it that I don’t remember it well, but I liked it! A friend of mine even tried writing a sequel to it back then. We both wanted more of the story!

Check it out on Goodreads!

Evangelists in Chains book cover. Man holding a book and wearing chains standing in front of a map.

5. Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman

Streams in the Desert book cover. Maroon cover with gold letters.

“Since its first publication in 1925 Streams in the Desert has become one of the most loved and best selling devotionals by inspiring generations of Christians. Enjoy this classic work and be filled with rich insight of God’s love and purpose for his people.”

So it’s probably confession time. I haven’t actually read this book from cover to cover. But I have read excerpts of it, both in my hardback copy and online. A friend of mine sometimes sends me quotes from it. It’s a great collection of encouraging thoughts, and I’d like to read through the whole book someday. It often seems like the reading for a particular day fits well with life that day.

Check it out on Goodreads!

And there you have it! Five of my favorite secondhand books. Some of them are crumbling and have loose pages from years of wear and hours of reading enjoyment.

Let’s Chat!

Did you see any books you’re interested in? Any that you’ve not heard of before? Any that you’ve already read?

Until next time, find a good book to read and enjoy some cozy fall reading!

In Christ,


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  1. I love Rainbow Garden! And wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve read The Long Winter. Maybe it’s time for a reread. Streams in the Desert is another one I’ve read and really liked.

    1. Yes, Rainbow Garden is such a fun story! It definitely sounds like you are due for a reread of The Long Winter, Rebekah. Maybe this winter, but let’s not talk about that yet. I want fall to last a long time! Springs in the Desert is such a good compilation, and I’d like to read it straight through sometime. Maybe next year, but let’s not talk about that yet either. 🙂

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  3. CutePolarBear says:

    The Long Winter, as one of the Little House books, has to be one of my favorite recommendations today! I second Rebekah, though–it’s been a while since I read it. It definitely deserves to be reread, although there’s that ever-growing TBR stack over there …

    The Robbers’ Cave looks intriguing! Gotta love free public domain books. 🙂 *Adds to that tall stack*

    CutePolarBear/Hanna Kraft

    1. Yay, another fan of the The Long Winter! And yes, my TBR reread stack would probably not stand if I tried to make one.
      Oh, free public domain books are the best! The Robber’s Cave is so good and not terribly long, so hopefully it won’t be enough to topple your stack. 🙂

  4. Ruthann Fernandez says:

    All the Little House books…*😍heart eyes* I’ve read them so many times. And my music teacher, years ago, gave me a copy of Rainbow Garden and I loved it! I also remember reading it aloud to my younger sisters and they loved it too:)

    1. Yes, the Little House books are so fun! They’re especially good read-aloud stories. I love her writing style. That’s so special that you have memories of reading Rainbow Garden to your sisters, Ruthann!

  5. Lydia Coral W says:

    I am getting SO many recs from this blog already!! Other than The Long Winter, which I love, and agree it’s one of the best, I haven’t read any of these. But I’m going to go look for them right now!

    1. Oh, yay! I love it that I can introduce you to some of my old friends, Lyds! And yes, The Long Winter is so good.

  6. More great recs I NEED to read because everyone recommends them ;D Robber’s Cave particularly attracts me… and Long Winter was ALWAYS my favourite LH book!! So cool that it’s yours too 🙂

    1. The Robber’s Cave is so good! And it’s also not that long of a read, especially for an older book. Aw, that’s so fun that The Long Winter is your favorite too! 🙂

  7. We actually have the Rainbow Garden on our shelves! I think we read it as a family together, but it was a long time ago (lol, time for a reread!) I also love St. John’s Star of Light. She’s so good at her Gospel/Scripture analogies.

    1. It’s time for me to reread a lot of these books too, Lily. 🙂 And yay for another Patricia St. John reader! Star of Light is really good. I love Treasures of the Snow too. Did you know that there are movies of Treasures of the Snow and The Tanglewood’s Secret? Also, some families made a movie of Star of Light, and you can watch it on YouTube. It’s not professionally done, but we enjoyed it and it stuck almost perfectly with the book.

  8. Kate Willis Hoppman says:

    I was so excited to see someone else loved Evangelists in Chains! Totally made my day. 😀 It’s long been a favorite of mine, and the idea of a sequel sounds amazing.

    1. Oh, high five! That’s so neat you love Evangelists in Chains too, Kate! It’s not a book I hear talked about very often. Yes, I really wanted a sequel. 🙂

  9. Those are so pretty!

    1. Thank you, Sarah! Well-loved books have a beauty all their own.

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