On my bookshelf
They tell me writers write. Well, it would also be true that readers read. And writers must read in a variety of genres, kind of like any student at a college or university must take classes across a variety of subjects. So writers read. And it would make sense to read books in the genre in which you write, but lately, that has not been my habit. I used to--and still do read what I write. I've read some great biblical fiction by Tosca Lee and my favorite Marjorie Holmes, also stories by my friends Mesu Andrews and Tessa Afshar and Tracy Higly and by best-selling Francine Rivers and Angela Hunt. Each year more authors enter the biblical fiction genre--too many for me to keep up with! And now that I'm writing it full time, I find a dilemma. I cannot read a book written on the same subject or rather about the same person that I'm contracted to write or hope to write about in the future. It messes with my muse, I guess, but I just prefer to read those books after I'm done writing mine.
So biblical fiction, while still my favorite genre, is not what I've been reading of late. In fact, I have not read much fiction at all lately. This year has been the year for me to read devotional-style non-fiction or biblically based books of encouragement. Here are a few on my bookshelf:
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Ann visited our church earlier this year and I went to hear her speak. I'm halfway through my second time through this book and bought my own praise journal. I reached 1000 gifts to be grateful for about a month ago. I need to keep going, but I got distracted with:
90 Days of God's Goodness by Randy Alcorn
Randy is part of a group I belong to and four years ago when my dad died, he sent me this book. My Randy read it twice through already and found it super encouraging. My Randy is not what I'd call a reader in the "always reading something" class of readers, unless it's the news. But this is one book he read twice. That's rare for both of us! At the time he was reading it, I wasn't, but now I'm finding it most encouraging. I guess we take turns with our favorites!
Also read or reading this year:
Never Lose Heart by Joyce Meyer - a daily short reading that is packed with wisdom.
Blessings for the Morning by Susie Larson - similar to the above short devotional with daily encouraging words.
Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg - we are using this in our Tuesday Bible study and while I'm not keeping up as I'd like, I find the information interesting and useful.
Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow - I haven't finished this yet, but she has some good things to say about anxiety - my besetting sin.
Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman edited by James Reimann - daily reminders of what God really wants to do in our hearts.
Anything by Jennie Allen - The author and her husband decided one day that they would do ANYTHING God asked of them. I asked Randy how we would feel about answering such a calling, such a question. Her book made me ponder my answer and strengthened my faith. Giving God our Anything is not something to take lightly. Could you say yes to such a quest?
I Am Ruth by Brenda Duff, photography by Kenneth Berg. Loved the pictures in this one! Of course, this was for research, as are many more, but it was the most colorful, especially on Kindle.
Breaking Free by Beth Moore - I had done this study years ago but got the book free on Kindle last year and decided to look at it again. Worth the read!
I did read a couple of novels this year, so I'll mention them before I sign off:
The Cranbury Papermaker by my friend Maureen Lang. This is so well done! She has a new one out now called The Matchmaker's Match, which I am sure is just as good. I've never been disappointed in a book by Maureen. But this Cranbury Papermaker was delightful!
After Anne by Roxanne Henke - This story was harder to read because of the subject matter, but if you have ever known someone with cancer or had it yourself, I promise you this is a story worth reading!
And lastly, one I read for endorsement Rumors and Promises by my friend Kathleen Rouser. This book doesn't release until next year, but look for it. It's a gentle, charming read.
So that's what I've been reading when I'm not researching or writing. I'm waiting for the second draft of a novel from my son for my next fiction fix. I'm looking forward to this YA sci-fi adventure. I just hope we can share it with the world one day when it sees print.