I chose to go with a Christian fiction theme. That is kind of the focus of my whole blog….
The librarian in me rebels at the idea of a single one-size-fits-all list for those who haven’t yet tried Christian fiction. I want to sit down with one reader and find out what makes him or her tick — favorite authors, genres, and themes; reason(s) for branching out into Christian fiction; etc — and THEN point to a personalized list of books. Since that’s not possible here, I’m going to do the next best thing, and go for a broad sampling with (hopefully) something that’ll appeal to (most) everyone.
First, a few recent favorites of mine, with links to my reviews.
- A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert
- All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti (Note: My review goes live at Edgy Inspirational Romance today. Please stop by the blog and say hi!)
- Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
- Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry
Next, I’ll round out the list with a smattering of titles by a few of the best known authors in Christian fiction.
- C.S. Lewis. The Chronicles of Narnia would be an obvious first choice, but The Screwtape Letters is a fun and entertaining read too.
- Karen Kingsbury. This author has such a huge selection of wonderful books, it’s impossible to recommend just one. Among her most recent is Fifteen Minutes, which sounds great, though I haven’t had the chance to read it myself yet. Or… one that I did read and really enjoyed was Unlocked.
- Frank Peretti. Probably best known for This Present Darkness, my introduction to this author was through the audiobook version of Prophet. Think action, intrigue, and spiritual warfare.
- Ted Dekker. If you’re into action/suspense/thrillers with unexpected twists… start here. Outlaw recently won a Christy Award and sounds like it’d make a great jumping off point for those new to this author’s work (though I still need to read this one). Then again, I have read Eyes Wide Open and loved it, so maybe that’s the one I should include in this list?
- Francine Rivers. Redeeming Love is a must read. A classic historical romance and a personal favorite. And if you like that one, there are plenty more by this talented author to choose from.
- Dee Henderson. Okay, I confess, I haven’t read anything by this author yet myself. (Hangs head in shame.) Thing is, I really need to because I love Inspirational Romantic Suspense, and that’s totally her thing. I know her O’Malley series has been hugely popular, and since there’s a prequel, Danger in the Shadows, that won the prestigious RITA award, that’s where I’m tempted to start reading her books.
So, what do you think? A good sampling? Any other authors/titles you would’ve liked to see on this list of recommendations for someone new to Christian fiction? Please comment. I know I found it hard to stop at ten!
Update: Can’t get enough? I found a few more top ten lists on this theme from Kate at Too Read or Not Too Read, Abbi at Christian Novels, and Rissi at Dreaming Under the Same Moon. Check them out too for more great reads in Christian fiction!