Ah fall, what a great time to grab a cup of tea, a big fluffy blanket, and a good book. Need a suggestion of what to read? As writers, we also love to read so we have some great recommendations for you.
“Fierce faith. Hilarious joy. Think it’s not possible? It is.” Who doesn’t want fierce faith and hilarious joy? In this book, Susie unlocks the door to powerful prayers and an intimate walk with God. As she delves into Biblical stories of Ruth, Naomi, and others, she relates their very real circumstances to our own lives. Through her writing, my heart is encouraged as she takes me to a deeper understanding of who God is and how much he loves me.
If you’re a note taker and an underliner, you will want to have a pen and paper ready as you read this book. Each chapter has challenging questions, an opportunity to write your own prayer, and study questions. In typical Susie style, this book will challenge your prayer life. Read it alone or study with friends. You will be blessed and hopefully discover “fierce faith and hilarious joy.” – Reviewed by Cindy Dullum
As we head into fall and then the holiday season, our space – in all spheres of life – can start to feel more than a little cramped. Closets seem fuller than ever, the kids have more toys than they know what to do with, and our schedules are packed tighter than the stuffing in Aunt Betty’s turkey. But isn’t that just life in the 21st century? Maybe it doesn’t have to be. I love the unique challenges and practical strategies Unstuffed offers for unloading all the things weighing us down – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially – and how the book reveals a new way of looking at all that STUFF. – Reviewed by Jen Spiegel
“Heartbreaking seasons can certainly grow me, but were never meant to define me”. In an age where we can’t seem to escape the pressures that comes from social media, this book is all about living loved when you feel less than, left out, and lonely. Lysa writes about navigating rejection in our lives and living loved by a God who created each of us uniquely with a God-placed desire for relationship. One of my favorite things about the author is the way she shares gut-honest personal stories and inner thoughts that make you want to scream “THANK YOU! ME TOO!!” Filled with rich biblical stories and scriptures, Lysa illustrates how God can use some of our most painful times to grow our relationship with him. Grab some girlfriends and go through this book together for some awesome discussion, community, and spiritual growth. – Reviewed by Lindsay May
In Nor Forsake, we’re introduced to Libby Abbott, a beautiful young woman whose life is in an uncertain place. Her writing career hasn’t taken off as she hoped, her marriage is on the rocks, and the faith of her childhood has become a dim memory. As Libby’s life slides toward bottom, she rediscovers the rock that is higher than herself, and everything begins to change.
Presley’s fiction is real and honest. The relationships, emotions, and faith experiences of her characters are true to life. There is no fluff. Just real life, real hurt, real faith, and real love. Nor Forsake, and Presley’s other novel, Stones of Rememberance, are available on Amazon or on her website, www.juliepresley.com – Reviewed by Karah Hawkinson
I’ll Cross the River by C. Hope Flinchbaugh
This book will change you. It’s a fiction book based on real-life situations in North Korea and China. A young woman ventures out for 10 weeks of evangelizing in rural China. She walks from village to village, accompanied by another young woman, camping in the wilderness along the way. As she travels, she faces persecution and has what she believes to be prophetic dreams about a baby boy. In the meantime, a pregnant mom in North Korea is starving, almost to the point of death, and watching her children starve under the government’s strict rationing of food. Her husband has already lost his life to starvation. Is she willing to risk her life and that of her children by crossing the river into China where help, and food, awaits her? I’ll Cross the River is an incredible story of faith and courage. It’ll bring you to your knees. – Reviewed by Nancy Holte
The whole premise of this book started when a 3rd grade teacher decided to change her classroom atmosphere. She realized there was much more to her students than what meets the eye. She asked her students to finish the sentence, “I wish my teacher knew ______,” and what resulted created a changed heart and a movement. This book is a must read for anyone who works with children. Schwartz discusses how many unseen factors impact the lives of children in and out of our schools. Although the primary audience is for teachers, anyone who works with children would benefit from reading this book. Her writing gives insight on how to provide love and support to children dealing with everything from grief to food insecurity, from relocation to self-confidence issues. The discussion and ideas offered are at times,simple and practical but could be life-changing for students.This book would be an excellent gift for your child’s teacher. Reviewed by Kandy Noles Stevens
Navigating through the post-college, mid-twenties stage as a “single” can be interesting, as I follow God’s leading, as well as my desires, to prepare for life’s next stages and meeting my future spouse. Gary Thomas’ “The Sacred Search” is an insightful book filled with practical wisdom, provoking readers to consider their personal “what’s” and “why’s” for life and marriage to help determine who they are looking for. The premise and the many thoughts he shared were enlightening and encouraging to me; I could hardly put it down! If you’re a Christian single or want to glean talking points as you converse with single friends, I would recommend this read! – Reviewed by Kristen Ostrem