What Are You Reading, and Why? Part 2

photo courtesy of Peter Mazurek at www.sxc.hu

Today is Part 2 of last week’s blog: What Are You Reading, and Why? Today I’ll continue to answer that question we often see on facebook, and tell you about some more books I’ve read in the last year and a half. Again, some of these are oldies but goodies, and many are newer. I know some of the authors. Others I feel I know, after reading their stories.

As you can tell by both blogs, I love reading fiction, because I love “story” and the truths hidden within. They can literally take me around the world, especially if the author has done his research well. But I like to balance my reading with other kinds of non-fiction books as well.

A disclaimer to my post: I’m neither recommending or promoting any on this list. I’m merely sharing what I’ve read, hoping that some of these books might be encouraging reads for you. Thanks to those of you who shared what your’re reading in last week’s comments. I welcome you to do that again, in the comments section below, following this blog.


8. No Greater Love by Kathy Macias

Kathy can spin a tale faster than many authors can make their outline. She embraces raw truth and gritty realism, as one reviewer said. In this particular book she weaves sacrifical love into a story that deals with prejudice, racial struggles, and fear during the South African apartheid.

 9. Books by Gayle Roper and Chuck Holton

Allah’s Fire is the first in a great series involving Mid-East terrorism. Mystery, intrigue, suspense: a great-page turner. This was an older book (2006), but the duo wrote several more. I also read A Stranger’s Wishone of Gayle’s solo Amish mysteries. They’re both good writers!

10. Books by Ted Dekker

I stumbled onto some of Ted’s books last year and found them, well, difficult to describe.  So I’ll use the words from his own website: “suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.” I’ve only read his earlier books, but they are indeed “different.” I especially enjoyed two of his older books he wrote with the late Bill Bright: Blessed Child and A Man Called Blessed.  The intense subject matter and style of Ted’s books will either repel or draw some people in. I read ten of his books, including Thunder of Heaven, Blink of an Eye, When Heaven Weeps, Three, Green and Black. Be prepared for intense struggles between good and evil–spun by someone with a vivid imagination.

11. Books by Jan Caron

I reconnected with this author whose books I’d read years ago. Her delightful stories centered around an middle-age priest and his beautiful wife, a children’s author, will keep you smiling as you follow this couple through the ups and downs of living in small-town, Mitford. Recently I read A New Song and In This Mountain–and wondered why I had left off completing her wonderful series of books. I will read the rest of them.

12. Books by Jeanette Windle

I read this author’s works for the first time recently and was pleasantly surprised. Born to missionary parents, Jeanette grew up in rural Columbia and has also been in Afghanistan–two of the places about which she wove too-real tales of terror and suspense, and the heroic struggles between right and wrong. I read Veiled Freedom, and Betrayed, look forward to reading her other books.

13. Books by Mary DeMuth

I’ve read four of Mary’s fiction books: Daisy Chain, A Slow Burn, Life in Defiance, The Muir House, and her non-fiction memoir, Thin Places. Mary’s literary fiction style is captivating. And although this trilogy deals with some difficult issues like family secrets, you’ll discover God’s redemption is at the heart of her stories.

14. Susan Meisner

I’ve only read one of Susan Meisner’s many books: Widows and Orphans, but her writing is filled with suspense and intrigue as she deals with some dfficult, up-front issues for believers living in an imperfect world.

15. Books by Francine Rivers

I’ve read many of Francine’s books before and love them, but I only read one last year: the first in a series set in Jerusalem during the Jewish-Roman war and Christian persecution: A Voice in the Wind. A historical romance and inspiring tale of hardship and love.

16. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Some people think it’s a crime not to read this classic. But after struggling through it, I’m wondering if it’s more punishment to read it. Seriously, I missed this in school, so I decided to try. I did learn a lot about Russian history and the depravity of the human mind. Let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite literary challenge. And that’s all I have to say about that. :-)


If you’re still hanging with me by now, you like to read as much as I do.

6. Devil in Pew #7 by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

A harrowing, true story about a preacher’s family who wouldn’t quit–and some irate people who stopped at nothing to destroy them.

7. Car Seat in my Convertible by Sharon Hoffman

A delighful book for grandmothers packed with loving, practical, and spiritual helps from the life of one devoted grandma.

8. The Christian Mom’s Guide to Pregnancy by Erin MacPherson

No, I definitely didn’t need this one! But I was asked to review it last year along with others in my above lists. I only mention it now in case some pregnant moms are reading this blog. It’s a fun, practical, down-to-earth guide with a spiritual thread running through it all. A good kind of different book for moms-to-be.

9. The Upside of Downsizing by Karen O’Connor

I actually reviewed this in one of my earlier blogs, so I won’t do it again. Short little book with lots of downsizing helps–for your home and your life!

10. Let the Crow’s Feet and Laugh Lines  Come by Dena Dyer

Dena’s book is filled with lots of fun and encouraging advice as you go though life’s changes.

11. Books by Pam Farrell

Pam and her husband, both relationship specialists, have written many great books for women and couples.  The one I read last year (and also reviewed in a blog) was 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband.

12. Living with Less So Your Family Has More by Jill Savage

Jill offers some great advice–and very timely in today’s economy.

13. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Reading this classic devotional has almost become a ritual for me each year. I think this was the third or fourth time. But I always find fresh and encouraging helps for my Christian walk.

14. Steve Sandin

Steve compiled a couple of books from his own research that are outstanding: great gifts or resources for your library: Jesus Really Said It (all the words of Jesus in a short, gifty book) and Make the Right Choice (from the book of Proverbs, categorized by helpful subjects). Very helpful.

15. Books by Carol Kent

I blogged about one of hers last year, Between a Rock and a Grace Place. But if you’ve never heard her family’s story involving a son in prison, you need to start with her first book. And I need to catch up on her most recent one. A true woman of God who knows what it means to hurt.

16. Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo

I also blogged on this after I read it. A powerful child’s testimony about his near-death experience and trip to heaven. No matter how you feel, it’s worth a read.

17. Outlive Your Life by Max Lacado

One of my all-time favorite Christian writers, Max challenges believers to live large and invest in treasures in heaven by embracing the world in practical, compassionate ways.

18. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I’m currently 3/4 of the way through this New York Time bestseller. It’s a true, powerful “World War II Story of survival, resilience, and redemption” (the subtitle of the book). The author of Seabiscuit relates the unbelievable circumstances of some men who survived the cruel terrors of war.

That’s enough! I won’t bore you with the books I read on writing, blogging, etc. last year related to my particular field. I hope some of these above books will challenge you and encourage you if you choose to read them. Next week, I’ll return to my regular inspirational/devotional blogs.

By the way, I have no idea who is reading my blogs, except the ones who comment, of course. And I’m not asking you to fill out a survey. But if there are some subjects/kinds of blogs you enjoy or need more, let me hear from you. You can e-mail me on my contact page here if you prefer. I blog to give encouragement, to challenge you in your spiritual life, and to help you find a deeper intimacy with God. But if what I write doesn’t encourage you, then I’ll work to make it better. I would like to hear from you.

It’s Your Turn: What Are You Reading?

Now, it’s your turn. What have you been reading…and why do you read? Would you share with us in the comments below? Your words might encourage someone today! You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. Feel free to email this blog to someone or to re-post on social media, using the buttons below. If you’re reading this via newsletter you can always “share” my blogs from the large buttons at the end of each blog on my website here: If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And if you’d like to, you can sign up for my blog/newsletter and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar. Your e-mail address will never be sold or given to anyone!

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    2 Responses to “What Are You Reading, and Why? Part 2”

    1. Michelle Erickson on October 4th, 2012 11:26 pm

      im a girl, 19 years old, and have been reading your books: daily in your presence, and daily in His image since the very day i became a christian. i still remember becoming a christian. it was only a few days before my 13th bday. i became a christian in 7th grade, december 16, 2005, my bday being dec 19, 1992. but as a christian i have had encounters from both books, where God has talked directly to me and like on one page where it says “everlasting father”, “my child, one day death will sever the ties of your earthly father”. this was God talking to me directly, my dad died when i was 17…i saw him die as he was dying. horrible night. but i also know another page, “do not be afraid when i send you out as my representative, others need to hear of My love, and you must tell them.” again, i have a calling God has spoke directly to me through your book to help those in need and to bind the wounded, encouraging the weary, challenging the prejudices of others. i am not lying about any of this…there are many books i can just ask a question to God and open the book to any page and he gives me rhema, a personal word from his heart to mine. if anyone wonders if God still speaks to people some days, YES!!!! He talks to me directly several times a day, but only recently have i tried to get a response and He is silent. but i have been trying to add you(rebecca barlow jordan) about this…your books are amazing, i can quote any message from your book without even looking. God has talked to me DIRECTLY through your books and i would like to talk to you about some things if you ever get the chance!! i am a born again christian. and i am not lying. please message me one day, my facebook is private but i recently sent a message, im michelle but i go by mickie erickson. thanks and God bless!:)

    2. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on October 5th, 2012 11:24 am

      Michelle, thanks for sharing your powerful testimony, and for your kind words about my books. I am so grateful that God has used them to bless and help you. You mentioned that recently it seemed God was silent. This past blog might might be helpful to you regarding that: http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/why-is-god-silent/. Keep growing in your faith, and keep sharing His love! And you may or may not have read the two blogs on ways that God speaks to you. You can find them here: http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/8-ways-god-speaks-to-us-today/ and http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/8-ways-god-speaks-to-us-today-part-2/

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