This is the spot where the best Christian books to read will be housed. Whether it’s on my “Christian books to read (TBR)” or if I finished and loved it, it will be here. If I shared about it in an email, or I’m still thinking about it 5 books later, you get to hear about it!
Christian book reviews are my way of spreading the Good News. When a Christian book successfully accomplishes the goal of fully using the talents God gave the author, inspires me to be a better person or reminds me that I’m forgiven, and need to act like it, it’s a win. Then I have to share it with someone, and you all are the winners!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.
Christian Books to Read: My TBR
Here’s the rundown of 2021 Christian Books to read:
July Christian Book TBR
Regaining Mercy, a story of generational consequences, individual responsibility, and judging what you don’t even grasp, without any empathy at all… (let’s just say I read the first chapter over breakfast yesterday and was so mad I could have thrown the book. But Dermott! YES!)and so much more! Part of the Independence Islands series.
The Prayer Warrior: Suspense, fantasy, and spirtual warfare all wrapped up into quite an adventure, it looks like!
GodSchooling, How God Intended Children to Learn: A homeschool parents guide for a more relaxed/unschool method of teaching based on developmental readiness and not worrying about ‘keeping up’ or ‘falling behind’ arbitrary standards that change on a seemingly random basis.
Written Off: A cozy bookish mystery by Barbara Cornthwaite. Very bookish, with a bit of current events, some selfishness, and a dash of wisdom, this one’s fun, while still making you think.
Stealing the First Mate: This month’s Independence Islands Beach Read. A stellar study of the idea that no one’s perfect. Sea, sand, wildlife, and people doing the wrong things for the right reasons, mostly!
Blood Moon Redemption: A Split-time romantic suspense with a dash of humor to keep the mood light enough to handle.
May 2021 Top Christian Books I Read
Castle of Refuge is quite a story. It keeps you on the edge of your seat most of the time, and touches some really sweet places in your heart. This young lady is in a tough spot, through no fault of her own. And while she does have a few people who care about her, she doesn’t have anyone who can truly help.
Until. Until she finds herself in a castle of refuge. Surrounded by decent, compassionate people. Still afraid to trust, but recognizing she’s safe. Until the past comes knocking.
I found the sense of honor and determination of certain characters beautiful, and it left me wondering about my own honor. That’s what makes the best kinds of books, when they leave you happy, but looking for areas of your own life to bring before God for strengthening.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own. You can read about some other fantastic Christian fairytales here.
No Journey Too Far is book two, and while I’m eager to go back and read book 1, I didn’t feel lost or overwhelmed with details. It’s a gripping story, with several high hope points. There were several ‘other shoes’ that drop, keeping the pace of the story high. An Orphan ship, a World War, and a lot of interesting dynamics in this story.
I sympathized with Garth and all of the angst he has to deal with, between his two missions of finding and reuniting with his sister and his sweetheart. His strength, determination and quick thinking, and the fact that he knows his limits makes this story shine, especially when it comes to Emma’s situation.
I didn’t like Grace’s ‘adoptive’ parents, and that plotline was awkward, but I enjoyed watching Grace figure out how to be her own person, learning how to care about and for others, and be a ‘regular person’ instead of being a princess in a gilded cage.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
April 2021: Inspirational Christian Books
A tear-jerker full of hope-and healing. Yes, it’s possible to find hope in a tragic story. This tragedy, a 4 year old child lost far too soon, triggers an understandable meltdown. Fear, sadness and isolation tend to do that. And yes, Josie runs away. But you know, just like when we run away from our problems, God is waiting for her, and us.
Coincidence, fate, chance, or the hand of God? Josie ends up with Carmelita’s extended family, and is given the space and anonymity she needs, to find her balance again. And I think her encounters with Jesus, while more tangible than most of us experience, really represent well the conversations we could be having with Him.
The story is well written, and effective. I laughed a few times, and thought a lot. I would recommend it heartily.
I received a copy of this book from the author and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
I was Called Barabbas: This one is fascinating. To follow Barabbas in what caused him to be in that position of notorious, or infamous prisoner/insurrectionist. And to have his encounter with Jesus leave him a changed man? Priceless.
I loved the journey we were taken on with Barabbas. His inability to process and accept that Jesus had given his life, in Barabbas’ place, and that he could become a new person. This book could be the story of any of us, struggling with our value, our worth, our mistakes, etc.
It’s towards the end of the book, but my favorite scene was Barabbas and Paul’s heart to heart conversation. This is absolutely beautiful, these two men who were very definitely NOT CHRISTIAN when Jesus encountered them, coming to grips with the fact that Jesus forgave and accepted them both.
Speaking of Paul, the one small issue I had with the story is the idea of Paul being married. (1 Cor 7:8) Supposedly his father in law took his wife and kids and disappeared when Paul became a Christian. A well done and believable plot, but not Biblically accurate.
I found the Cornelius thread of the story great as well. Getting a look at his before and after possibilities was fun! Note, book two is just as impressive!!
I received a copy of this book from the author, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
March 2021 Top Christian Books
Heart Pressed: A Romeo and Juliet style family feud on the Independence Islands. With a couple of matchmakers who are uninformed on the impossibilities involved. You can read my review, and learn about the rest of this series here.
Moonlight School: Okay, I am officially in Awe. This book is fantabulous! And that the backstory is true, is even better. Taking the time to make it more than possible for adults to learn to read, in a respectful way, making accommodations with both time and teaching materials to treat them as adults and not children, took a lot of courage, planning and effort.
The story in this book, well, Lucy could be any one of us, whom life circumstances left us wanting to be invisible. Having people who care, and an appropriate challenge placed before us can have amazing results, as in Lucy’s case. She’s an inspirational heroine, having to be pushed past her insecurities, to becoming someone she could be proud of.
Getting to ‘know’ the mountain people, both respecting their traditions, personality struggles and honor, and wishing more for them, was so well done.
Finley James and Angie and Wyatt stole my heart from the beginning, and never let it go.
I would recommend this book to anyone 14+ and say it might even make a good family read-aloud with middle schoolers.
Topics include a missing/stolen child, superstitions, ‘iffy’ business practices, incredible faith, perseverance, prejudices, and the power of learning to read.
I received a copy of this book from #netgalley, and chose to review it here. all thoughts are my own.
Brimstone 1: is a fun story. It’s a secret race to space, to meet an incoming alien artifact, sent in response to scripture being broadcast into space. There’s enough mystery that you’re a good way through before you really know who’s ‘good’ and who isn’t. There’s a hint of romance, without being the main focus.
Science fiction at it’s finest, because it honors God instead of pretending he isn’t there. This book is well written, entertaining, and includes scripture. Conversations and choices occur, with a reference to ‘because of _‘ with a scripture reference so you can look it up. I loved this, because it ties everyday actions to God’s Word, and encourages us to do the same. And somehow, the author does this without it feeling preachy.
I am looking forward to the sequel. This one is satisfactory in its ending, but leaves just enough clues to know that book two is coming, and it’s going to be good!
While it isn’t written for teens, I would recommend it to anyone 14+ to read with a trusted adult, as it might lead to some important discussions related to viewing materials, getting caught up under a charismatic leader whose goals are less than honorable, what it’s like to be a mole when it hurts the ones you care about…
I received a copy of this book from the author, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
February 2021 Inspirational Christian Books:
The Hope and Glory Trilogy from Elizabeth Camden is my reward for cleaning out my email inboxes 🙂 (I filed/deleted 24k emails!) The Spice King, A Gilded Lady, and Prince of Spies take place in high society D.C. during the start of the 1900s, revolving around a sibling group, the fledgling ‘packaged food/food safety industry’ and D.C. politics.
This trilogy is absolutely amazing!! They should go to the head of every Christian books to read list. There are some deep subjects like doing the right thing no matter what it costs you, and protecting loved ones, and looking out for the wellbeing of others. And there are 3 fun romances, one for each book/sibling, of course. For the most part, the romance isn’t the focus, it’s a natural progression of their interaction in the story.
I learned quite a bit of the history of the time, and found the characters inspiring, as they dealt with the kinds of challenges we do today.
I’ve just finish the Redeeming Love Companion Study It’s been years since I’ve read Redeeming Love, and I enjoyed revisiting old friends, and gaining more insight into this particular allegory/Biblical retelling. If you like Fun women’s devotionals, I recommend reading this one!
The Redeeming Love Companion Study is a powerful book. The well-chosen excerpts are perfect launching pads for some deep study. 6 weeks, 3x per week, 10-15 minutes each, with a bit of the original story, the author’s backstory, and up-close encounters with Biblical truth and characters. This book is painful, and yet full of life and hope. It definitely applies to us today, as much as ever.
I received a copy of this book from #NetGalley, and chose to review it here. all thoughts are my own.
I got sidetracked by my advance copy of The Great Sex Rescue, and put everything else on hold for a few days. I highly recommend everyone read this book, and you can read my full review here. Sheila Gregorie surveyed 20,000 women, to see how the teachings in the top Evangelical Christian marriage books have had harmful consequences in countless marriages. She shows that we can expect so much more good!
Somebody, Someday: A Journey of Homelessness, Faith, and Friendship is somewhat out of my comfort zone, but it was well worth the trip.
Joye had her purse stolen. Butch found it, or at least enough of the contents that he was able to mail it back to her. He’d never done anything like that before, but this time, he did. They ended up exchanging letters for 25 years.
These excerpts from Butch’s letters and Joye’s notes and commentary is a very powerful read. It takes about 1.5 hours, but is best read over a few days, or it would likely be overwhelming.
There’s so much more involved in homelessness than just lack of a permanent dwelling place. Many other ‘norms’ and ‘rights’ are missing, too. Even basic human decency can be denied. But there’s also so much room to see kindness at its best.
This book will not leave you the same as when you started it. You’ll probably look at the world, and your options a little differently!
Anyone, whether that be a social worker or a missionary, struggles with how to help the disadvantaged. Sometimes the best help is not to radically change a person’s culture to ours, but to be there for them in theirs.
I received a copy of Somebody, Someday from the author, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
Here’s my January, 2021 List of Christian books to read:
1. Make Me Like Jesus: The Courage to Pray Dangerously is a challenging book, convicting in many ways, but full of hope. Full review here.
2: Started: the Redeeming Love Companion Study (6 weeks, 3 lessons each)
4. Rooted is a story of one small act of kindness and its impact. Historical fiction.
Christian Book Reviews: Fiction
Thornton Trucking Company Trilogy is a tricky trilogy to read. It deals with some difficult subject matter, but does so with grace. There’s disapproval of the sins, without condemnation. There’s redemption and hope, and there are a few threads left untidy, because that’s what real life is like. I just finished book 3, and What a finale!! I would definitely add this to your Christian books to read list, with the following disclaimer of sensitive issues:
There are a few words I wouldn’t use, but not many, and not just for effect. There’s premarital activity, human trafficking, and people struggling with inappropriate viewing habits. Never explicit, but clear, and to good purpose. I really like how “real” the characters are, and the reasons for their struggles, but especially the believable growth!
A Christmas Romance Collection: This is a set of 6 Christmas romances, and while I didn’t get to finish all of them in december, a couple of them really stood out to me:
Finding Love in Big Sky Montana by Angela Ruth Strong was hilarious! There’s some “be still, you don’t need to defend yourself” and some definite lessons in accepting our value from God, before we look to those around us.
A Christmas Homecoming by Kimberly Rose Johnson was a fun, sweet story of an ‘ugly duckling’ discovering the lies she’s believed since childhood, and fighting them.
You can find lots of other amazing Christian Christmas stories here!
Christian Book Reviews: Nonfiction
Over Christmas, I finished reading Unraveling Fairy Tales, a 10 week (x5 days each) devotional based on some favorite fairy tales, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially teen girls and young adults who would benefit from some grounding, and women who’ve been through a lot and need a reminder of God’s love. You can read my full review, and some other great Christian fairy tale retellings.
Beyond the Behavior: 4 Steps to Capture & Influence Your Child’s Heart, Beliefs, & Behavior is one of the most helpful Christian books to read if you’re a parent, or if you spend much time with kids. Especially the ‘sensitive’ ‘overly emotional’ type.
Lindsay reminds you first, of some important Biblical truth about God’s position, and yours as a mom (or any parental person) Then she gives you practical steps to short circuit some meltdowns, and equip your precious kids to handle their big emotions.
The brain science lessons are fascinating, and truly helped me understand a few things in my own life, and about several loved ones as well as changing how I deal with my elementary son.
What Is On Your Christian Books To Read List?
I’d love to hear what’s on your Christian Books to Read list. Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned?
Do you need a reading challenge to help you pick what you want to read this year, or a do-it-yourself faith and fiction devotional to help you grow with each book you read?