book week: favorite faith-based reads

Today’s book week topic is books about faith.


I have to be honest with you: I’m not crazy about Christian books {they can get a bit cheesy}. I’m not crazy about self-help books, either. At this point in my life, if I’m going to read, I want a well-written novel that sweeps me away to another time or place with interesting characters that I grow to love and miss dearly when the story is finished. I suppose that makes me more of a read-for-entertainment-reader rather than read-for-growth-reader.

However, I do value the wisdom and perspective of chrisitan authors and have found a handful of books that have made a huge impact in my life.


So here are my favorite Christian books:


I’ll add commentary about each one, because even though I said I don’t always love Christian books, these are truly great:

1. the voice bible // This is a brand new translation of the bible that helps both new readers and the seasoned bible-scholars read scripture with a fresh perspective.   “Scripture is presented not as an academic document, but as an engaging story. The intention of the scholars and authors who collaborated on The Voice is to enable readers to hear God speaking, to experience His presence in their lives.” {from the voice website} This is the bible used at our church and I really like how it reads as a story, without taking away the integrity of scripture. Click here to learn more.

2. love and respect // Men and women approach life differently, see things differently, hear the same comment differently and this book helps decode those differences in a really practical way. Ryan and I did this book/dvd series several years ago and it has made a difference in how we understand each other. As a society, we put a lot of emphasis on love, but this book shows that for men respect is just as important. A must read.

3. i will carry you // Angie’s blog was the first I read and I completely fell in love with her and her family. This is the story of God’s faithfulness through unimaginable grief. You’ll cry. But in a good way.

4. so long insecurity // I probably could have filled up each of these spaces with something by Mrs. Moore. She’s just incredible. I wish it were not so, but insecurity is such an issue with women and this book is truly a way to find freedom.

5. inside out // Beware: this book will make you look at the ugly parts of yourself that you like to keep hidden. It will pull them right out and make you address them. You will not like what you see, but you will love the results if you allow yourself to dig deep. My best friend and I did this together – I highly recommend going through the questions with someone you know well, who loves you even when you admit ugliness and who can help identify some areas of weakness. It was invaluable to work through this with K.C.

6. jesus calling // A daily devotional with simple, but poignant thoughts with scripture to back them up. You can download the app and read from your phone if you’re lazy like me and prolong getting out of bed each morning for as long as possible.

7. jesus calling for kids // Same as the above, but worded for school-aged kids. I probably get more out of this one each day than the grown up version. Also comes as an app.

8. the jesus storybook bible // What is it about this bible that makes me cry every time I read a story to the kids? It’s beautifully written, beautifully illustrated. Hits on all of the major bible stories, but always comes back around to the fact that Jesus is part of it all.

Those are my picks for favorite christian literature. What are yours?

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82 Responses to book week: favorite faith-based reads

  1. Nanwv January 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Best book in the Christian author genre is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I fell in love with the main character. I sat on my moms porch in the Mts of Colorado and read it out loud to my husband. It made such an impression on me, that all these years later I can still picture us together on the porch. I also read Perettis “oath” that summer-on the same porch. Liked it too. This Present Darkness and Piercing The Darkness were very exciting and entertaining and scary. Old books.

  2. Katja January 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    I’ll read anything by Dee Henderson. I love the combination of suspense and love without the smut in non-Christian novels.

  3. ashley@marriedlane January 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I cry every time I read the Storybook Bible to my kids, too! And here I thought it was just the pregnancy hormones… glad to hear I’m not the only one!

  4. Heather January 17, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    I absolutely LOVED the book The Hiding Place. Yes, it’s a book about the holocaust, but even more about God’s grace. Have a box of tissues nearby… and I mean a box, not just a little travel pack.

  5. Jodie January 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    “Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive” by John Eldredge. Used a highlighter often in that one.
    Also, since we’ve been going to ECC this past year, I’ve enjoyed being introduced to ‘The Voice Bible’. It is great!

    PS. Forgot to mention the “Gooney Bird Greene” chapter books with my other kid books suggestion. These are fun too. :)

  6. Janneke M January 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Last year I was on a spiritual journey to find more love in my life. I was very close to wanting to run away from everything (life just gets too overwhelming sometimes and when you don’t know how to cope, this is the solution). However, after some soul searching and some help and support from people in a better place than I, I found my heart softening and my ability to love grow. That’s when I found this book: Doing What We Came To Do – living a life of love by Ardeth G Kapp

    It was AMAZING for me and is one I will read again and again.

  7. TCobb January 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Have you read Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene? And have you read The Ezekiel Option by Joel Rosenberg? If you love fiction that sweeps you away in the story and that is not one bit cheesy, you’d likely love these! I’ve bought extras at the used bookstore to loan to friends…and every single time I have loaned these out, whoever has borrowed them comes back looking for the next book by Thoene or Rosenberg!

  8. Laura Stotz January 18, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers is absolutely one of the BEST Christian fiction books ever! It is based on the Book of Hosea. I have since read many of Francine Rivers’ other books (historical series books are very good) but Redeeming Love is the best. If you haven’t yet read it, GO GET IT!!!

  9. Lindsay January 18, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    I’m so glad you chose the Jesus Storybook Bible! I also LOVE that one!! I tell everyone who has kids it is a must have. Even a minister’s wife like me gets sooo much from every story. :)

  10. Jenna January 18, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 By W. Philip Keller… I could read this every month for the rest of my life and just savor the love of our Shepherd. The perspective of a shepherd to his sheep is such a beautiful story, told verse by verse of what the history and meaning is behind the words.

  11. Tanya H January 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    For children- Daughter of a King. Even for boys. This is one we took to church with us when our kids couldn’t listen the whole time. It makes me tear up too. :)

  12. Myrna Eisenlauer January 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I just finished reading Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker – great suspenseful novel. Not your usual “predictable” fiction.
    Also have to reccomend Dave Ramsey and his Financial Freedom books. Life changing, although really just good common sense!

  13. Liz G. January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Just stumbled across your blog, and think I’m in love!

    I’d have to add to your list:

    “The Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne — great book on counter culture living; I found it really challenging and inspiring

    “Out of the Saltshaker” by Becky Pippert — my all-time favorite; destroys negative connotations about “evangelizing” and shows how to love and be a light in everyday situations and relationships

  14. Dawn January 19, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Also enjoyed Redeeming Love and some of the series by husband & wife writers, Thoene & anything by Dee Henderson. A few of my other favorite authors are Lynn Austin, Melody Carlson, Tricia Goyer, Jan Karon – the Mitford series, Maureen Lang, Louise Gouge, Sharon Foster, Terri Blackstock, Irene Hannon, Noel Hynd, & Kim Vogel Sawyer.

    All historical fiction, edge of your seat type mysteries or see yourself in the mirror fun novels… maybe 1 or 2 cheesy moments here and there but that’s just because there are cheesy moments in life and it fits the plot. All the books have made me want to get to the end as soon as I could and then be sad when I got there and then wish it wasn’t over quite so soon. It’s hard to say good-bye to friends in real life and well-written fictional ones. :)

  15. Julie Chen January 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    So fun & encouraging to see that you love the Jesus Storybook Bible! I am actually the designer of that book (look on the copyright page :) It was a THRILL to work with Sally & Jago. The favorite book I’ve designed to date. I loved concepting each piece of art. Now when reading my Bible, I picture Jago’s art in my mind if pertaining to that story.

  16. jennifer breen January 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    The book the has moved me recently is “Kisses from Katie”, it wil change your heart and draw you closer to God!

  17. Gretchen February 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    My favorite Christian book is Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning. It helped me overcome a lot of my self-hatred and doubt.

  18. Catherine Weidenbach May 11, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    I must suggest a book that has truly been, for me and countless others, a life changing book of devotions entitled “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. This man was dedicated to knowing Jesus Christ and we are so fortunate he was willing to share with us his wisdom and insight which I believe could only come from a faith that is indescribable and being filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

  19. Christa @ BrownSugarToast December 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    just came back to this series to look for new books to read in 2014. we just bought The Jesus Storybook Bible for our kiddos for Christmas. I love how it makes me think about Bible stories in a new way. And I’m adding Jesus Calling to my “to read” list. Thanks for the suggestions!!


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