Stories that Matter

Talking Books

Okay, let’s talk about books. We love them. Reading them. Writing them. For those of us who write them, the challenge comes in trying to keep up with our always growing TBR pile, right? I struggled with this for a long time, but this past year I’ve read a lot of really good books. Have you?  Without giving it too much thought, list the BEST five books you’ve read recently, not ever, but like in the last year! And briefly, why do they rank on your bestseller list?

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  1. Brenda Anderson on October 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Let’s see, my favorites recently would be: The Chair by Jim Rubart, Breaking Night by Liz Murray, The Queen by Steven James, The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson, and Fallen Angel by Major Jeff Struecker & Alton Gansky.

  2. Anne Payne on October 26, 2011 at 11:13 am

    My top 5 favs this year so far, in no particular order are: The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen (regency & gothic together- oh yeah!), Deadly Ties by Vicki Hinze (she brought out the horrors of a terrible trade in our society), A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason (I love CSI so I knew I would love her books), Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (the BEST book I read so far and a roller coaster of a ride!!!), The First Gardner by Denise Hildreth Jones (so emotionally gripping on so many levels – beautiful!!), and The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus (I picked this one purely because of the cover and was not disappointed! It was lively & fun and made me laugh out loud :)) Wow, after reviewing my list, I picked mostly contemporary rather than historical and that is not my norm…weird!

    Thanks for posing the question Cathy. It really made me think about the books and why I liked them so much. There are a bunch more in my TBR pile and I have not read some that I have heard great things about, like yours 🙂 But will remedy that soon!

  3. Sherri Wilson Johnson on October 26, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I just read two books by Robert Whitlow (Life Support and Life Everlasting) that really held my attention all the way through both books. That says a lot! I ususally get bored with books — either a few chapters in or right in the middle. I have been known to put them away and never finish them. These books had great characters and description and suspense. I like that!

  4. Cathy West on October 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I love how everyone is reading across genres. That’s awesome!! I just finished The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner and really enjoyed it. I have just started Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman. I think the best books I have read this past year have been The Help, Rooms, Just Between You and Me, and The Swan House. I can’t say, aside from The Help that I have read anything recently that has stuck with me. Oh, wait. Sarah’s Key. Yes, that one definitely stuck with me. It was not a happy read, but it was one I won’t soon forget.

  5. Michelle Sutton on October 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Hmmm…let’s see. There may be others that would make my list that I simply haven’t read yet so I don’t know if I would bump other books to slide them on this one or not. Regardless, of the 104 books I have read this year my top five would be… tada…

    Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan
    A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman
    Dance of the Dandelion by Dina Sleiman
    The Heiress by Susan May Warren
    Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith

    What do they have in common? Well, they are all historical fiction for one. It’s my favorite genre. I can’t help it. There is something about historical fiction that just grabs me. Also, they are daring. Each story delved into an area that is not typically touched on in Christian fiction. Ironically four of the five touch on domestic violence, now that I think about it. All but Bathsheba.Not that I thought about it until just now. They all deal with issues pertaining to sexuality. All of them. Desire that is somehow forbidden or for some reason seems wrong even though it seems right, too. They also deal with guilt. Major guilt. And a sense of unworthiness. Bottom line? I think this is what many people feel at times (even Christians) but so few books truly touch upon.

  6. free2soar on October 26, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I’m loving “Yesterday’s Tomorrow.” So, that’s the first of five.

    The next four…

    “Our Witchdoctors are too Weak” by Davey and Marie Jank
    “Radical” by David Platt
    “Natural Hospital Birth” by Cynthia Gabriel
    “Joshua” by M.D. Meyer (I had the privilege of reading this book before it went to print.)

    My reading reveal my eclectic interest.

    • Cathy West on October 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      Oh, thanks!! I like your reading list!

  7. Casey on October 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Ohhh you just have to ask a hard question like this don’t you? And one I can’t resist either. Okay, I’m gonna try…

    In no particular order are 5 favorites from this year:

    To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer (because of the WAY she writes, incrediably engrossing)
    The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz (again, because of how beautiful the writing and story)
    A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman (AM.AZ.ING book!! Loved it!!!)
    Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer (just the kind of book I love to read. I don’t find them often)
    Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes (she writes the kind of books I want to write. :))

    My top ten list is going to be haaaard this year. Like every year. 🙂

    • Cathy West on October 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      I am reading A Hope Undaunted at the moment, so have got to read A Heart Revealed next, as I keep hearing great things about it! I guess I am in the minority with Dry As Rain. It wasn’t as enjoyable a read for me as Crossing Oceans. Oh well, I guess it just proves again how subjective the publishing biz is and we all have very different tastes!

  8. Koala Bear Writer on November 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Top of my list so far is the last book I read, The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead. And Solitaria, by Canadian novelist Genni Gunn. For nonfiction, I really enjoyed Abby Sunderland’s account of her solo attempt to sail around the world, Unsinkable – it was inspiring.

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