Posted in Books

The Twilight Saga (In Defense of Popcorn Fiction)

The Twilight Saga CollectionThe Twilight Saga Collection by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Books are supposed to educate and enlighten and broaden the mind. They are supposed to help us understand ourselves and those who have nothing in common with us except our humanity. Books let us travel to distant lands, help us remember the past and envision the future, and they remind us to appreciate our present.

But dang it, they’re also here to entertain us. We don’t belittle television shows for amusing us and allowing us to escape from reality and forget out troubles of hour and half hour increments of time. While we can be music snobs, I think everyone can admit to singing along with catchy popular songs when you can’t escape them, even if we rolls our eyes while belting out the words. So why do we as readers label some books or series or entire genres of fiction as completely unworthy of our time? We call them trash because we see nothing of literary merit in them. But why does every book ever written have to hold some nebulous literary merit? Continue reading “The Twilight Saga (In Defense of Popcorn Fiction)”

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Shelter in Place

Shelter in PlaceShelter in Place by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In my opinion, Nora Roberts is one of the most underrated authors ever. Yes, she’s incredibly popular, but her work is relegated in people’s minds to chick-lit and breezy, mindless beach reads. There’s so much more to her work than that, especially her more recent novels. There’s a depth to her prose and characterizations and descriptions that is overlooked by those who belittle her work and believe that she just writes fluff. I’ve never come across another author who can make me care as deeply about her characters or make me feel their joys and sorrows more deeply. Continue reading “Shelter in Place”

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Christy

ChristyChristy by Catherine Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is billed as the first Christian fiction novel. Before this point, an author’s faith might be woven through their work, but that didn’t put it in a different genre. Thanks to Marshall’s novel, an entirely new genre was born and has now split into multiple subgenres. The biggest awards for Christian fiction remains the Christy Awards in honor of this book. If there is any classic of the genre, it would obviously have to be this book, which meant it was something that I really needed to read. Continue reading “Christy”

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My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed this hard while reading.

Tudor and Elizabethan history have always been incredibly interesting to me. I took all of the classes on the period I could while in college. As someone interested in the era, I’ve always found Jane Grey’s short reign one of the saddest things ever, and I absolutely love the fact that a trio of authors decided that history is stupid and we have every right to change it to suit us. While obviously this is a dangerous stance to take in reality, I think it’s perfectly acceptable in fiction. And these ladies did a marvelous job of completely destroying history as it stands and restitching it into a pattern that not only pleases them but will have readers rolling in laughter as they consume the tale. Continue reading “My Lady Jane”

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The 49th Mystic

The 49th Mystic (Beyond the Circle #1)The 49th Mystic by Ted Dekker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ted Dekker will always have a very special place in my heart. His books have inspired me and shaped my faith since I was a teenager, and I’ll always be grateful to them for the way they revealed truth to me in new and vibrant ways. His books will always have a shelf in my house. I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear that Dekker was returning to the world of the Circle, the series that impacted my faith more than anything else outside of the Bible I’ve ever read. Continue reading “The 49th Mystic”

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Heart on the Line

Heart on the Line (Ladies of Harper’s Station, #2)Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do believe that Karen Witemeyer is my favorite author in the Christian historical fiction genre. She has this balance of faith and humor that I just love. While I’ve enjoyed all of her books, I think the Ladies of Harper’s Station series is my favorite of her work. The idea of a town made up entirely of women, and run by those women is an interesting concept, especially in the Wild West era of American history. Continue reading “Heart on the Line”

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The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

The Undoing of Saint SilvanusThe Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rating: 3.5 stars, rounded up.

I went into this novel with a bit of hesitation. I’ve read many of Beth Moore’s Bible studies and been touched and illuminated them over the years. This book is Beth’s first attempt at writing fiction. I’ve always loved her writing style, which is full of character and makes reading non-fiction more fun. But I can only imagine how difficult transitioning from writing Bible studies to writing fiction must be, and to keep yourself from sounding preachy when you’re so used to, well, preaching. Continue reading “The Undoing of Saint Silvanus”

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