I’ve been reading Christian fiction and nonfiction a long time… Honestly, I read my way through life. But most of my friends don’t. Especially my friends with kids. It’s hard to find that time to unwind. But I manage to make time to read. I won’t go into my opinions on TV, but let’s just say in our house the rule is that we try not to watch a TV show or movie that demonstrates or supports a lifestyle that goes against the calling we have received in Christ. Writing it out sounds so religious I want to vomit, but I get negatively influenced super easily, so I have to know my own limits. That rule really narrows our viewing options, but I have found it to give our minds new wings to soar past a bunch of crap the world throws our way. I’ve got one mind to fill. It only has so much space… And I’ve begun preaching. I digress.
The point is, I love reading Christian fiction and I apply the same rule in reading to the rule we have about TV. I really try and stay away from books that aren’t written by people who walk with Jesus. Not because people who don’t know God can’t write, but it’s because we either operate under the mind set of the Spirit which is life and peace; or the mind set on the flesh, which is death (Romans 8:6). Whose voice is inspiring and counseling people? That’s a good question for me to ask. Hear me clearly, I also wouldn’t recommend every book in a Christian bookstore. Some people can handle more than I can.
So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite (I consider some of these my very favorites) Christian fiction authors to offer you for your summer reading ventures–you’re welcome.
Great Christian Fiction Authors for Summer Reading
1. Grace Livingston Hill: Do you have a Kindle? Or at least a Kindle app on your android or iPhone or iPod? Because if you don’t, you need to at least get the app, and then purchase every single one of her books. Best news ever: her books are completely FREE on kindle. True story. She’s like a mix of L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) and F. Scot Fitzgerald. She wrote over 100 books and they all are just delightful. I like a happy ending. Grace Livingston Hill is my girl, because every single one of her books delivers the happiest of happy endings. Seriously. I cry in every book. I soar to new heights with Jesus. I literally journal her character’s words. She writes her own poetry and her words are just the most lyrical, lovely lines I’ve ever read. She’s clean, Christian, historical/romantic fiction at its finest. GO BUY THEM! Where to start amid her hundred options? Here are some of my favorites: The Enchanted Barn, Kerry, Matched Pearl, Happiness Hill…the list goes on.
2. L.M. Montgomery is an obvious choice for the most obvious of reasons: she invented Anne. THE Anne. With an E. The most darling and imaginative literary creature I’ve ever met. I read her other stories and I’ve only fallen further into my obsession with this beautiful mind of hers. Please read them or at least listen to them, and don’t think because you’ve seen the movies you know the story. What a tragedy that would be! Read, my friends. You have only seen the fringe of Anne if you’ve never read her story.
(Y’all at this point you either think I’m nuts or a complete fool… I’m a little of both I guess, but I also am very normal and partake in normal conversation. I just get a little dramatic about books. Just a little.)
3. Allison K. Pittman: She’s alive. That’s the difference between her and the previous two authors. And she’s one of the most entertaining and well-written Christian historical fiction options out there. I have read all of her books. My favorite are her sister wives series: Forsaking All Others and For Time and Eternity. You just can’t go wrong when you write about a a Brigham-Young-era-Mormon who converts back to Christianity. You will weep. You will feel. You will be grateful to believe in monogamy.
4. Lynn Austin: She’s “the shiz” of Christian fiction. Seriously. If you know anything about Christian fiction, you know her name. She’s worth knowing. She’s worth reading. She’s got both present-day and historical fiction. Wins for me (this is like picking a favorite child and it literally pains me): The Refiner’s Fire series; Three of the most tender, precious, unique stories of three women in the middle of the wreckage that was The Civil War. Again, you will cry. You will feel. You will love.
5. Siri Mitchell: Girlfriend is a genius. Like, really smart. Her books are all historical fiction and I love them, but I’ve occasionally been a little bit bored by all of the detail. But she’s still really intelligent. My pick: Love Comes Calling. It made me laugh, not cry, actually. But it’s a good, pleasant story. You’ll like it.
6. Julie Klassen: Do you like Jane Austen? (And if you haven’t actually read about Darcy and Elisabeth, having only seen their onscreen movie, I will include you in this question, although I am hoping you feel ashamed of yourself… They are the capstone of all literary couples and cannot ever be replaced) Then you will like Julie Klassen. She’s got several great, less-intense-than-Austen books that will satisfy your Pemberly-itch–with Christian fiction flare. I loved The Apothecary’s Daughter.
7. Lisa T. Bergren: She’s been around for a while. In my opinion, she and Klassen write well, but not to the standard of Pittman, Dotta, Mitchell, and obviously no one can write like Grace Livingston Hill or L.M. Montgomery. (And I cannot write even one fictional book so I have little room to truly criticize, and I applaud their novels and their efforts) Whatever Bergren may lack in writing is completely made up for in plot line. If you have a teenage daughter obsessed with the Hunger Games and Divergent or Twilight (or if you yourself are obsessed) then her young adult fiction is for you. Have I read it? Absolutely. Am I young adult? That’s debatable. The Remnants are her books that are post-apocalyptic in nature, and I have the first and only published of the three in that series in a bag waiting to be read. The River Time series she wrote is what I would bet is an answer to the Twilight saga, and I actually really loved them. But her other historical fiction novels that are noteworthy are The Grand Tour series.
8. Jessica Dotta: I’m so proud of this new author. She’s blazing a trail in Christian historical fiction and I applaud her every effort. (Yes, I’m ridiculous and know way too much about this genre. Yes, I’m a little bit ashamed. But look at all of the wonderful books I just recommended to you! Judge not, lest ye be judged. I’m sure you have a bizarrely weighty knowledge of a random subject as well. And if not, then you should. Life is short. Stretch to the weirdest portions of your mind and be comfortable there.) Anyway, back to Dotta. She’s written two books so far, and I’ve only read one of them and I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on her second book. I’m third in line at the library but I’m too cheap to buy any more books. So I wait. Her book Born of Persuasion is like Jane Eyre except less creepy. It’s marvelously written, and horribly engrossing. I ran six miles listening to it on audio. I may or may not have wanted to run six more. Read her for yourself.
And I’ll cap my Christian fiction author list there. I could go on and on. One day I may add to this list. It is not exhaustive. It doesn’t do the authors justice, or portray accurately what their stories have meant to me over the years. But I will conclude thus: I know it’s a nationally propagated lie that any mom gets to sit by a pool and read while her children peacefully and lazily play without her assistance. But, maybe you can find time to build your own towel-fortress pool-side, and cocoon inside of it long enough to enjoy one of these books. They are worth reading. Enjoy, friends!
Who are some of your favorite Christian fiction authors or books?
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