It’s easy into today’s climate to fixate our attention on the media, social networks, or the latest numbers from the CDC, and we wonder when the volcano is going to blow. With politics and pandemics swirling hot lava around our feet, we might feel a little too indifferent or even neglectful to read anything that doesn’t pertain to our country, but I believe reading outside our year’s circumstances will help all of us gain some much-needed perspective. So, after you read Scripture and get some solid ground under your feet, you might also enjoy reading though these books.
Of course, the first book I list deals with some questions many believers are asking these days. And yes, the answers can feel heavy at times. Yet, Dr. Mark Hitchcock remains humble and relies heavily on Scripture to support his interpretations. The book gives readers a grounded framework from which to see through to the end and a hope to cling to despite what may fall.
The next book on the list is a great one to read with your kids, especially if they are under 12. My sister sent me this book because Rabbit Room Press published it, and hello, that has to make it automatically good, right? Correctamundo. Jennifer Trafton’s whimsical imagination whispered of Peter Pan, Narnia, and a little Alice in her wonderful wonderland. Phrases caught me sideways and made me pause in appreciation or laugh with delight. Embarrassment described as making Henry “glow colors inside, as if a sunset was buried in his bones,” and “orange was such a rude color,” don’t you think? And we learn in the end that “…if there’s nothing scary, there’s nothing to be brave about, and a knight must be brave.” Join Henry, a not-so-ordinary-artist, and see what adventures befall him in a not-so-ordinary day at school.
I didn’t expect to get sucked into this story, but David Wilkerson’s experiences unfold with such vulnerability and miraculous intervention, that the reader can’t help but feel invested. Even though God’s promptings happened almost 60 years ago, Teen Challenge still impacts lives today. Although the specific details are mostly curbed, many of the violent and sexual situations these New Work teens lived are alluded to in various sections of the story, so I’d refrain from young reader access. The power of God’s work and man’s obedience will inspire you and motivate you to pray, to listen, and to step out in bold faith.
Although my favorite Lynn Austin novel thus far is A Woman’s Place, I enjoyed the mysterious elements and historical background of If I Were You. Bits and pieces reminded me of Kate Morton’s novel, The Secret Keeper. The plot and dialogue captivate more in the first half of the novel than the second, but the character development and philosophical implications of being known and having a place to belong make the reader question what they might otherwise dismiss as altogether “wrong.” If you are looking for a fun and safe fictional read, try this one.
One of my all-time favorite authors is Charles Martin. So, naturally, his novels will almost always make my best book list. Passionate about eradicating slavery and sex trafficking, I felt a thunderous applause in my spirit when Martin tackled this backdrop for his latest novel: The Water Keeper–so good! If you don’t get sucked in and swept away, I will be amazed. Again, this book is more for adult readers.