Good Books I’ve Been Reading – How About You?

Big books, little books, kindle books—I love books, and I love reading. Last year I shared with you some of the books I’d been reading, and why. There’s nothing like God’s word to read for our growth, our encouragement, and to know God deeper. But God has also used Christian authors to both inspire and encourage us. I’ve read about 50 more books in the last twelve months. Here are some of the ones I recommend for your reading pleasure.


1. Books by Susan Meissner The Girl in the Glass

I discovered this author last year and quickly tried to find everything she had penned. I’ve missed a few, but these are some of my favorites:

  • Why the Sky is Blue
  • Windows to the World
  • The Shape of Mercy
  • In All Deep Places
  • The Remedy for Regret
  • A Seahorse in the Thames
  • Sound Among the Trees
  • Girl in the Glass                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Susan’s characters are believable and memorable, and I love how she blends the past with the present in a contemporary, yet literary style. Her Christian themes include love and loss, redemption and grace, sacrifice and mercy–all hidden within the pages of well-written, lyrical prose. She’s a great story-teller. I met Susan this year at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference, and found this award-winning author is as warm and authentic as her books,  as good a teacher, as she is an author. I’ll be watching for more of her books.

2. Books by Deborah Raney – Hanover Falls SeriesI also discovered Deborah’s books this year and was captivated by her stories. I immediately tried to catch up on as many as I could find.

  • A Vow to Cherish
  • A Scarlet Cord
  • After the Rains
  • Beneath a Southern Sky
  • Almost Forever
  • Forever After  

  • After All

Deborah’s books are filled with real, family relationships–and the struggles they face. Love and betrayal, faithfulness and forgiveness, romance and mystery–and so much more weave through these strong Christian fiction books. Another great story-teller, I love her tender, yet compelling style that draws you in to every character. I also met this award-winning author this year at ACFW and loved her easy smile and bubbly personality. One of her books, A Vow to Cherish, was made into a motion picture movie. Grab your kleenex for that one! I’ll be reading more of hers!

3. Books by Karen Kingsbury – Coming HomeAnother of my favorite authors, I’ve almost caught up with the rest of Karen’s books that I’ve been reading the last few years.

  • Longing
  • Leaving
  • Loving
  • Coming Home
  • Unlocked

I’ve enjoyed Karen’s easy style and believable characters, but especially her themes  of family relationship struggles. Always filled with romance and adventure, her bestselling stories are quick reads with lingering messages. I especially liked Unlocked, which dealt with issues concerning an autistic teen.

4. Books by Susan Mae Warren Shadow of Your SmileI found one of Susan’s books this year and quickly fell in love with her amazing writing style and compelling romantic adventures. I’ve just started reading this award-winning novelist’s books and plan to read more.

  • My Foolish Heart
  • The Shadow of Your Smile
  • Flee the Night

Her stories are hard to put down, and her characters will linger long after you’ve read her books. I love the suspense and strong Christian themes of her fiction. She is a master story-teller, and her stories include real and challenging conflicts.

5. Books by Joel Rosenberg – I’ve mentioned his books before, but they are absolute must reads if you want to get a heartbeat on what’s coming soon in current events. A communications advisor and New York Times bestselling author, Joel has the uncanny ability to write about things even before they happen. In fact, after you read them, you’ll wonder if it’s really fiction. I’ve caught up with most of his books now and finished reading these last two:

  • The Tehran Initiative
  • Implosion – a non-fiction book that gives a sobering picture of what America might expect to happen in the future.

5. Jerry Jenkins – I read a couple of this author’s older books recently and thoroughly enjoyed both of them. In fact, Riven was one of the most powerful books I’ve read in a long time. Jerry is a great, versatile writer.

  • The Youngest Hero
  • Riven

6. Terri Blackstock  – Terri continues to be one of my favorite authors, and I need to catch up on many more of hers. I only read two last year.

  • Evidence of Mercy
  • Last Light

7. Josiah for President by Martha Bolton – Josiah for PresidentA delightful, humorous, and sobering story about an Amish man and his run for the presidency–at first without his knowledge. Martha is a talented writer of several genres, but I loved her first novel debut. I hope she writes more!

8. The Reunion  by Dan Walsh – A powerful story of redemption, forgiveness, and grace involving a couple of Viet Nam veterans. A great read.

9. Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. I’ve read several of Francine’s books, and she remains a favorite. I thought I had already read this powerful book–a “modern” Hosea story about God’s overpowering love and forgiveness. However, as I sifted through the pages, I realized I had somehow overlooked this classic. If you haven’t read it, you need to.

10. Waiting for Sunrise, by Eva Everson – The first of Eva’s novels I’ve read, though I’ve enjoyed several of her non-fiction titles. This Southern story deals honestly with hard issues involving family dysfunction and mental confusion, but weaves a strong theme of love and forgiveness through its pages.

11. Arms of Deliverance  by Tricia Goyer – I like Tricia’s writing, especially her books set in World War II era. This is a poignant story of love and forgiveness and God’s amazing grace. I’ll be reading more of Tricia’s books. She’s a prolific writer.

12. James Scott Bell – I read a couple of his older books this past year. Powerful and compelling, his books are suspenseful page-turners, and he is a skilled writer. I’ll probably read more.

  • No Legal Grounds
  • Nephilium Seed

Non-Fiction Books

Time or space won’t allow me to list all of the books I’ve read, but those are among the many that kept me intrigued in the last year. I read more fiction than non-fiction, but here are a few of the non-fiction books I read, without lengthy comment.

1. Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back, by Josh Hamilton and Tim Keown – A powerful and sometimes painful biography about the life of Josh Hamilton–and his struggle to the the pit of despair and his journey to find hope and joy. A must read.

2. Through My Eyesby Tim Tebow and Nathan Whitaker – I enjoyed this biography covering Tim’s brief life so far and grew to admire this young man’s strong faith in a faithful God. I bogged down a little with all the football plays–even though I enjoy sports, but it’s an inspirational read.

3. One Thousand Gifts by Ann VoskampOne Thousand GiftsIf you were to pick one book to read this year, this would be my pick. I love Ann’s gift with words, her love of family, and her simple faith in God. She’s an extremely talented writer, yet down-to-earth and dedicated.




What Are You Reading?

Not included in this list are the books I’ve reviewed on my blogs this year. I’ll try to keep you posted through the year on some good reads. What are you reading?

 It’s Your Turn to Comment

I’d love to hear what you’re reading. Please add your comments below. You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. Feel free to email this Christian blog to someone or to re-post on FacebookTwitter, or other social media, using the buttons below. 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 through e-mail at the top of this website page/sidebar.

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15 Responses to “Good Books I’ve Been Reading – How About You?”

  1. Mary Cathryn/SC on February 18th, 2013 9:49 am

    I am reading a book by Susan Howatch, GLITTERING IMAGES, that is well-written and challenging. The major theme addresses how we show our glittering image to others instead of our true, innate self and how we let the opinions of others matter more to us than the opinion of God. The main character is a minister.

  2. Twila Chambers on February 18th, 2013 10:33 pm

    I have been reaeding books by SQ Eads, an author I grew up with in Bisbee, AZ. Her own love of God is evident in the delightful and authentic characters she places in her stories. In her latest book, Murder by the Book, she ventures into mystery and had me really questioning just how it could possibly have a “happy ever after” ending. Twists and turns throughout put her right up there with some of the best mystery writiers I have read. All of her books can be found on Amazon under the SQ Eads name.

  3. Sharon Smith on February 19th, 2013 5:55 am

    A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. It’s an old book and absolutely one of the best I’ve ever read. Wish I had read it before now.

  4. trisha noren on February 19th, 2013 4:00 pm

    my latest reads…
    “Soul Detox” by Craig Groeshcel
    “the Christian atheist” by Craig Groeschel
    “Christianity Lite” by Glen Berteau
    “good to great” in God’s eyes by Chip Ingram
    GREAT READS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    All For Him,
    melbourne, fl

  5. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 20th, 2013 10:37 am

    Thanks for sharing that Mary Cathryn. It sounds interesting.

  6. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 20th, 2013 10:38 am

    Thanks for sharing about those mystery books, Twila! Sounds intriguing.

  7. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 20th, 2013 10:39 am

    Thanks, Sharon! Sometimes those old ones are the best ones!

  8. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 20th, 2013 10:40 am

    Hi, Trisha. Thanks for your recommendations. They sound like books to check out.

  9. Margaret Osborn on March 10th, 2013 1:56 pm

    Thanks, Becky, for the booklists. Always looking for another great book! If you’d like a great page turner, read “Now They Call Me Infidel”, a non-fiction book, by Nonnie Darwish.

  10. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on March 10th, 2013 3:24 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion, Margaret!

  11. Michele G. on March 24th, 2013 10:50 pm

    Thanks for compiling this list of religious fiction books! I am excited to check out quite a few of them! I was lucky to come across a fantastic book recently by author Jay Allan Luboff entitled, “Harry Pond Looks Homeward: The Spiritual Adventures of an Ohio Farm Boy” ( I found this book to be entertaining and fascinating. It explains the idea of “light realms,”guardian angels”, and our shared road towards spiritual growth. The book follows Harry Pond, a Vietnam Vet returning home for the first time in three years. It’s a battle between good and evil as Harry and his sister Becky try to save the farm from those who want the land for all the wrong reasons. They take on this mission with help from guardian angels, ascended masters, and show the reader that good always prevails! This book really is for those with inquiring minds and open hearts 🙂 Hope you will give it a read!

  12. Gail Schuppenhauer on March 25th, 2013 6:43 am

    Hi Rebecca,

    After I saw the winner of The Moses Quilt wasnt me..I went online and purchased two copies….. one for me and one for a friend too.

    You see when I read the info about The Moses kind of took my heart away. Now I have to tell you, normally, I dont read very many fiction books.

    I have been reading it and love it..I believe it is because of all the history it contains. The second copy is for a friend of mine who is to soon be moving from here in PA. She will be moving to Kentucky. I want to give this to her as a going away gift..I hope I can constrain mysrelf and not give it to her sooner.

    I throughly enjoy every one fo your e-mails. Thank you.

    Gail Schuppenhauer

  13. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on March 26th, 2013 9:42 am

    Thanks for stopping by, Michele!

  14. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on March 26th, 2013 9:43 am

    Gail, I’m glad you are enjoying the book. Thanks for stopping by and commenting and for your encouraging words.

  15. Kathi Macias on March 26th, 2013 10:22 am

    I don’t see an email for Gail Schuppenhauer, but wanted to say thank you for the kind and encouraging comments about my most recent release, The Moses Quilt. Blessings to you, Gail, and to your friend who is moving to Kentucky!

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