It’s been a little while since my last book recommendation post. The weather's perfect for an afternoon of cozy reading with a hot drink. And I've read a few books recently that I think you’ll love. (Click on the title for a link to buy them.)
Shelby Pearce is out on parole after fifteen years behind bars for murdering her brother-in-law. She’s looking for a fresh start in the small town of Valleysburg, Texas, but starting over isn’t easy for an ex-con. I haven’t read a lot of Christian suspense, but after this one, I may have to. Twists and turns everywhere. You’ll love it.
This is a story about a man, his two daughters, a former wife, and a younger wife. And they all have secrets. Every time I thought I knew what was going on, there was another surprise.
The Final Race: The Incredible World War II Story of the Olympian Who Inspired Chariots of Fire by Eric T. Eichinger and Eva Marie Everson (2018)
If you’ve seen the movie Chariots of Fire, you’ve heard of Eric Liddell and his famous race. But do you know the rest of his story? He went on to be a missionary in China for a number of years. I know you’ll be inspired by his incredible faith and obedience.
You can read Hudson Taylor’s autobiography, but his one from the series Christian Heros: Then and Now was excellent. It’s shorter than Taylor’s book and give a great overview of the man who is known for bringing Christianity to China. I chose both of these biographies because I love how similar their stories are. Also, if there was no Hudson Taylor, Eric Liddell probably wouldn’t have ended up in China. Tylor is a hero of the faith and we even named our son after him.
This is a book I could read once a year and still learn something each time. It’s all about changing your habits. The author claims that we aren’t really the problem when it comes to habits, it’s our system. Once we have a system for change, we can replace bad habits with good ones. This book is very practical and very helpful.
Didn't See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences by Carey Nieuwhof (2018)
Pastor Carey Nieuwhof wants to help you avoid and overcome life's seven hardest and most crippling challenges: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and emptiness. I loved this book! So much helpful stuff In here.
Just months after the Bright family arrived in Philidelphia, the 1918 Spanish Flu reached America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. When this book was recommended to me, I had just read The Orphan Collector and wasn’t interested in another Spanish Flu story, but instead of being so sad it felt punishing, this book was filed with hope and characters I such I could be friends with in real life.
Abilene Tucke’s father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Manifest is just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But when Abilene she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler, she and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, go on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt. This is middle grade historical fiction at it’s finest. And I know because it’s what I write, so I’ve read my share. It’s not brand new, so it’s kind of hard to get ahold of a physical copy of this book. I suggest the library or, if you like audiobooks, the Audible version is wonderful.
Colleen Hill is recently retired, and determined to fill every minute with activities and adventure. Her daughter, Melody is the exact opposite, mostly calm and contented. When Colleen befriends a troubled teen, both she and Melody shift their priorities in order to reach her. I love this book so much and I know you will too. And if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself wanting to learn how to make soap by the end.
It’s the early 1960s and Elizabeth Zott’s all-male team at Hastings Research Institute fail to see her merit as a chemist. But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. This was by far our book club’s favorite pick over the past year. It’s funny, heartwarming, and so well-written.
I happen to have advance copies of these books and I can’t wait for their release.
Songs for a Sunday by Heather Norman Smith (releases 2/7/23)
I’ve read all of Heather Norman Smith’s books and she’s a wonderful storyteller who creates characters we can all relate to. Though I haven’t finished this one yet, I love it so far. It’s a split-time story which takes place today and the 1960’s.
Trauma therapist Kaley Colbert decides a ski trip with her church
singles’ group seems like the break she needs from her stress at work. However, when she learns that her last client was murdered hours after their meeting, she wonders if the notes she’s receiving from a possible stalker are a sign of real danger.
If you've read any of these books, I'd love to know what you thought about them.