On the lookout for a new book to read during the cold winter months? Our writers have handpicked a list of some of the best books they’ve read recently. They span genres and interests, so there’s sure to be something for you to enjoy!
The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton, The Pathfinders #1. Set in 1757 New York, this historical fiction novel features a generally honorable British officer who makes a desperate choice in a moment of chaos with hefty ramifications. When his own child is stillborn and the woman laboring beside his wife is blessed with twins, he exchanges his dead child for one of the healthy babes. The white mother is married to an Oneida Indian warrior. As a result, one twin is raised in each family. When the two cross paths years later, the secret is revealed. Equally centered on the parents and the grown twins, this book examines the devastating effects of shame and how just one choice can change everything. Lori Benton’s storytelling is captivating, the romance is tender, and her portrayal of difficult faith challenges is insightful. This is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a little more depth in your fiction. — Reviewed by Anna Henke.
Without Rival by Lisa Bevere. Each of us are created and designed with a specific purpose in mind, a purpose and story that only we are meant to live out and fulfill. In Without Rival, author Lisa Bevere boldly encourages women to step up into their God-given potential by denying the lies that tell us we are too old, too young, not qualified, or too late, and embrace the promises and blessings that God has already spoken over our lives. Lisa unpacks and explains scriptures in a context that brings fresh revelation and understanding about our identity in Christ in a powerful and prophetic way that is relevant for our times. Don’t settle for satisfaction in grasping only what God has revealed to others — as Christians, we can receive and hear directly from a God who communicates to us personally. Are we listening for him or limiting him? This message will stir your heart and passion to pursue God on a deeper level and to discover your unique calling. — Reviewed by Lindsay May
The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. Ruth Wariner grew up in a polygamist cult compound in Mexico, one of 42 children born to her biological father. Her childhood was marked by poverty, insecurity, and violence. In her first book, a memoir, Wariner tells the story of her traumatic childhood and how she escaped that life to build a brighter future for herself and her family. She is a clear storyteller who writes with hope and courage about a life most of us can’t even imagine. — Reviewed by Karah Hawkinson
This was just the Way: A Memoir by Ted Stamp. How many times have we uttered or heard the expression, “There but for the grace of God, go I”? In Ted Stamp’s first published book, he gives a glimpse of the other side of this acknowledgment of what many see as misfortune. A bit of roughhousing with friends while on break at his summer job resulted in a fluke accident which left the author with a life-changing injury, but it is a life-altering change God did with his heart that makes this memoir an inspirational read. The author provides an up-close and personal look at what life is like, going from an average all-American teenage boy on the precipice of leaving for college to one of the nearly 8,000 individuals in America who endure a spinal cord injury annually. Ted’s honest discussion of his life before and after his injury goes beyond the realization that a disability is simply a heartbeat away as he shares his journey of acceptance of his new normal and his transformation of faith. — Reviewed by Kandy Noles Stevens
The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw. This past August, my husband, son, and I took a road trip from Minnesota to Massachusetts. We looked at the beautiful countryside, drove through small towns and made our way on toll roads. Once we were on the toll road, the scenic views were few. That’s when I reached for the book The Bedford Boys, and read aloud to the guys as we drove eastward. It’s a historical book about the young men of Company A from Bedford, Virginia. These young men had joined the National Guard. When America entered the fight in World War II, they knew they’d play a bigger role than they had thought, but they never planned on being in the center of the storm. Company A was one of the first troops to storm Omaha Beach on D-Day, and its casualties were great. By the end of that day, Bedford had lost more than any other town in America. Alex Kershaw weaves the individual stories of each of the men together on a timeline of their journey. As I read, these men became like our brothers, our neighbors, and our friends. This is the story of Company A. — Reviewed by Kathy Banta
Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six by Jessica Buchanan, Erik Landemalm and Anthony Flacco. In 2011, Jessica Buchanan was working with an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in Somalia. On her way home from a company meeting, she and her British associate were kidnapped by Somali pirates who held them for more than three months as they negotiated a ransom for their release. Her husband, Erik, shares his desperation to get his wife back and his frustration in the waiting. As her health began to fail, Jessica wondered if she’d live to see her family again. Strange as it may seem, there are some things I’ve always wondered about when people are held captive for more than a few hours. For instance, how do they go to the bathroom? What happens when women get their periods? In Jessica’s account of her captivity she answers these questions and more and talks about the role her faith played in her survival. Reading about the rescue by SEAL team six was fascinating as was the story of Jessica’s and Erik’s reunion. It’s a tremendous account of the human spirit during the worst of times. — Reviewed by Nancy Holte