I heart books. They are some of my best friends.
I can tell you where I was when I read them the first time and why I treasure each one.
I have been thinking a lot about books lately because I am heading to my first ever writer’s conference in a few weeks with my friend Andrea. She is seven chapters into her first novel and I am tagging along for the ride.
And since I’ve been thinking about books, I thought I would share with you a few of my all-time favorites. At least the ones that fall into the Christian fiction genre.
I read the first book, “A Voice in the Wind” while I was on Christmas vacation in high school. My parents then spent the rest of the trip driving me around Florida in search of the second and third books.
Why I loved this series:
First of all, I am a history buff. And Francine Rivers brings the 1st century to life . This novel puts flesh and bone on the early Church and paints a riveting picture of life almost 2,000 years ago. It honestly transformed how I see the New Testament.
Secondly, Mrs. Rivers started her career as a romance novelist. After she came to faith in Jesus, she vowed to write for God’s glory. And she can write a really good love story.
Romans. Pagans. Jewish slaves. Socialites. Gladiators. Lions. Depravity. Love. Courage. Selflessness. Power. Hope. Darkness. Transformation. It’s all there in beautifully crafted layers.
I could not put this book down. And it is one I could re-read over and over again. I’m kind of jealous of those of you who get to read it for the first time. Savor it. Take in each word slowly. Because it is that good.
It is a story of redemption. Second chances. When all hope is lost, our God is bigger.
The publisher says it this way, “Left for dead, Larson Jennings, returns home badly burned. His obviously pregnant wife Kathryn is losing their ranch. Disfigured beyond recognition to most–Larson is determined to save his family.”
If you have read any Ted Dekker’s books you know that he writes some dark and trippy things. This book is not dark. But it is trippy because it deals with the idea of multiple possible outcomes. Two lives intersect-a young graduate student who can suddenly see the future and a young woman from the Middle East trying to escape a predestined future. The results are thrilling!!!
The reason I love this book is because Mr. Dekker takes you on the adrenaline packed adventure of a well written story. What’s amazing to me is that while he keeps you on the edge of your seat, reading furiously, he also shines a light on what life is like for young women in the Middle East. On top of explaining the conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims. But because his execution is flawless, you don’t even know it is happening. It’s like chocolate chip zucchini bread in book form. Except instead of vegetables, you are feasting on history.
This is the last book in a series that I read for the first time in college. (Did that make sense?) I think it is really odd that it is my favorite because the entire Glenbrooke series is about young women the in their 20’s except this one. It tells the story of a wife and mother named Genevieve.
The others books in the series were delightful. This one feels raw and real. It is about dreaming again. And God’s redemptive power when all hope seems lost. As a young girl, I saw my mother’s life in the main character. And I related to the daughter as she watches God make beauty from the ashes of her family. If there were ever a book of Robin’s I would like to see as a Hallmark movie-it is this one.
“After 26 years of marriage, ‘all the doors to her heart were shut, and all the shades were pulled down tight,’ and she’s withdrawn from her faith (Crosby).
Growing up, my parents were notorious for listening to sermons on road trips. Painful. So when my dad popped in a book-on-tape as we headed to North Carolina, my sister and I threw a hissy fit. Then we begged him to keep driving once we arrived at Grandma and Pop’s because we were captivated by the story. Which he did.
This book changed how I saw the spiritual world. It enriched how I read the verses about spiritual warfare. Where Paul says that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.”
It also changed the way I pray.
I love this book because it offers amazing insights into the heavenlies and explores what might be happening all around us. All the while telling a really great story. Keep in mind as you read that it is a fiction. A possibility. An imagining of the spiritual world. Designed to open our eyes to schemes and plans of the one whose goal in life in life is to steal, kill and destroy us.
Whew. That was harder than I thought. And I feel like I’m throwing a party and had to leave some dear friends off the guest list.
What are some of your favorite Christian fiction novels?
Why did they make an impact on you?
I’m always looking for new books so let’s spread the wealth!! And please don’t worry-if your favorites don’t fall into the Christian fiction genre, there will be many more lists to come.
Love, Love, Love
The Girl Who Lives In My Head