100 books like Courage, Dear Heart

By Rebecca K. Reynolds,

Here are 100 books that Courage, Dear Heart fans have personally recommended if you like Courage, Dear Heart. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

I bought this book, thinking it would be about Andrew Peterson’s creative process as he writes songs. Well, yeah, it’s about that. It’s also about his struggle with depression. He talks candidly about how he hid from others, wept, and thought he was worthless. And as I read his descriptions of his depression… I knew I was not alone. This is an intimate look at a singer and the darkness he battles. Thankfully, it’s not only brutal about depression, but also points to the light we have in Jesus. 

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Adorning the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Wingfeather Saga and award-winning musician and storyteller, Andrew Peterson. 
Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine each named Adorning the Dark as one of their books of the year. 

Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can’t be done alone.
 
Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a film—all in a belief that God calls us to proclaim the…


Book cover of When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend: Reflections On Life And Ministry With Depression

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

Being a Christian often means “faking it” on Sunday mornings. We’re all fine then. So often we internalize that and show a smile to the world when all we feel is shattered inside. This books gives voice to the darkness that so many Christians feel but don’t know how to express. Like the other books on my list, though, it also points to real hope. It also includes a list of resources in the back of the book. 

By Mark Meynell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Highly personal, honest and insightful. Author has struggled with depression for decades, and partly as a high-profile minister in All Souls Langham Place


Book cover of Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

This book isn’t specifically about depression, but it helped me with my depression so, so much. Much of my depression was based on thinking I had to get people to like me, I had to accomplish so much, I had to… But this book reminded me in powerful ways that it’s not about what I do. It’s about what Jesus has already accomplished. This book will help with a lot of the “other things” that can make depression worse, so you can work directly on depression without having to worry about other spiritual pressures. 

By Tullian Tchividjian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jesus + Nothing = Everything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A proclamation of Christ's sufficiency that frees us from self-righteousness and keeps us anchored through storms. Stemming from a year of great turmoil, Tchividjian details the power of the gospel in his life.


Book cover of I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

And sometimes it helps to know you’re not the only one who struggles. This is Pastor Todd Peperkorn’s struggle with depression. He writes about how hard it has been for him, including his struggle with suicidal thoughts. This is not a happy sunshiny book. It’s one that sighs and moans with pain. Peperkorn is very forward about how he’s hurt, and how Jesus has helped. As a pastor, it helped me see that I’m not the only one in ministry with this struggle! 

By Todd A. Peperkorn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Trust When Dark My Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rev. Todd Peperkorn’s autobiographical account is a gift to us, particularly those of us who are God’s blood-bought children. Peperkorn, a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor, has granted us the privilege of looking deeply into the heart, mind, and soul of a Christian in the clenches of mental illness. We are a bit unnerved to imaginethat a Lutheran pastor, called to preach God’s Holy Word and to faithfully administer the Sacraments, could possiblysuffer such a fate. He challenges all our myths. In his story we see a bright, articulate man serving his church and hisparish as God gave Him light. We…


Book cover of Beyond These War-Torn Lands

Stephenia H. McGee Author Of In His Eyes

From my list on Civil War historical fiction for Christians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve found that the most tumultuous time in our nation’s history provides a poignant backdrop for fiction. As a firm believer that all people are God’s masterpiece and are created in his image, this time period can be difficult to read. However, I also believe there is a lot of potential to see how good can overcome evil, how faith can lead to healing, and how we can be overcomers. I’ve chosen books for this list that handle history with nuance and sensitivity, showcase fierce characters, provide embedded layers of faith, and leave you thinking long after the final page. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 

Stephenia's book list on Civil War historical fiction for Christians

Stephenia H. McGee Why did Stephenia love this book?

A heartfelt and poignant tale of faith and perseverance with authentic details sure to resonate with historical fiction fans, this tale of grace and forgiveness is both tender and endearing. In many ways, reading this book was like going home. I was delighted to see the historical details during the search for Booth (something I spent months researching as I dug through the trial records for my own series). It's a beautiful story of grace and forgiveness.

By Cynthia Roemer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond These War-Torn Lands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?

While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.

After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher…


Book cover of Becoming a Disciple Maker: The Pursuit of Level 5 Disciple Making

Cory Hartman Author Of Future Church: Seven Laws of Real Church Growth

From my list on making disciples today the way Jesus did.

Why am I passionate about this?

Cory Hartman (DMin, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) collaboratively crafts practical tools, interactive processes, and breakthrough content for the Future Church Company, three interconnected organizations that exist to help the church embody the movement Jesus founded. I previously served as a pastor for thirteen years and founded Fulcrum Content, a gospel communication training organization.

Cory's book list on making disciples today the way Jesus did

Cory Hartman Why did Cory love this book?

What are the stages of a disciple’s optimal development? The theoretical path starts with a person not following Jesus and ends with that person helping their own disciples make disciples of Jesus. Having a reliable model that traces the course of a disciple’s development benefits a disciple maker practically, because people have different capacities, needs, and challenges at different stages as they grow.

The most persuasive and useful model yet proposed might be found in this brief book by Harrington and Wiens, who adapt to individuals the Exponential organization’s five-level typology of churches.

By Greg Wiens, Bobby Harrington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming a Disciple Maker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Becoming a Level 5 Disciple Maker is an introduction to the five levels of disciple making with a focus on how to become a Level 5 disciple maker like Jesus. The authors discuss why we should pursue Level 5 disciple making, how we can pursue it, and what we can do to assess our progress along the way.

Bobby and Greg introduce and explore the pathway to becoming a disciple maker by using this five-level framework. Focusing on helping individuals identify where they are on the disciple-making scale (levels 1 to 5) and what is needed to become a Level…


Book cover of The Shell: Memoirs of a Hidden Observer

Sam Dagher Author Of Assad or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria

From my list on people of the Levant region.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sam Dagher is a Lebanese-American journalist and author with more than 15 years of experience reporting on the Middle East and its people. He has lived in Baghdad, Beirut, and Damascus and worked throughout the region. Sam has been committed to telling the region’s stories from the ground up and in the process shedding new light on the root causes of war, extremism, and migration.

Sam's book list on people of the Levant region

Sam Dagher Why did Sam love this book?

The Shell is a peek into both the horrors and absurdities of totalitarian regimes told in the form of a prison diary kept by the author. Khalifa, a Christian by birth and an atheist, was mistaken (or perhaps not, given what I learned about the Assad regime in the course of my work) for a radical Islamist, arrested and locked up in the notorious Tadmor desert prison, more accurately a death camp. The book reveals the horrific consequences of the logic and methods of the Assad family and other dictators in the Middle East and beyond: Anyone suspected of harboring a hint of opposition to the ruler will be labeled a terrorist and traitor, crushed and turned into an example to instill fear in the wider population.

By Paul Starkey, Moustafa Khalifa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The work of a moder-day Sozhenitsyn that exposes acts of violence and brutality committed by the Syrian regime. This compelling first novel is the astonishing story of a Syrian political prisoner of conscience—an atheist mistaken for a radical Islamist—who was locked up for 13 years without trial in one of the most notorious prisons in the Middle East. The novel takes the form of a diary which Musa keeps in his head and then writes down upon his release. In Tadmur prison, the mood is naturally bleak and yet often very beautifully captured. The narrator, a young graduate, is defiant…


Book cover of Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

Leslie Bustard Author Of Wild Things and Castles in the Sky: A Guide to Choosing the Best Books for Children

From my list on there's no such thing as too many books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always loved reading to myself and others. I've been an English teacher for years. I love sharing good books and have the reputation of being a good resource, especially for moms with children. I’m happy to share everything from memoirs and history books to classics and children’s picture books. Walking through a library or a bookstore is a favorite activity, so finding not only new books but excellent books about books is always a treat. I love to understand what makes a book work well as a story, thus books that delve into the richness of a story through personal narrative or literary criticism have been favorites to keep on my shelves. 

Leslie's book list on there's no such thing as too many books

Leslie Bustard Why did Leslie love this book?

This is the perfect book of books lists for me, as Sarah Clarkson is a kindred spirit but also more well-read than I am. I loved reading about her life of reading and her journey of discovering books. She loves many of the books I have loved, and because of this, I could then find books I had to discover. This is a cozy, happy read, with a list of books I was glad to agree with or search for at the local library. 

By Sarah Clarkson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Book Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle’s delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast?

If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl.

Books were always Sarah Clarkson’s delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie children of Narnia, and the wise Austen heroines, she discovered reading early on as a daily gift, a way of encountering the world in all its wonder. But what she…


Book cover of The Midwife of Venice

Gina Buonaguro Author Of The Virgins of Venice

From my list on women in Renaissance Venice.

Why am I passionate about this?

My goal as a writer is to revive lost women’s stories through historical fiction. After co-authoring several historical novels, our last mystery set in Renaissance Rome, we decided to set the sequel in Venice. When we decided to split amicably before finishing that novel, I had spent so much time researching Renaissance Venice that I instantly knew I wanted to set my first solo novel there and focus on girls and women whose stories are so frequently lost to history. So began a quest to learn everything I could about the females of 15th and 16th-century Venice, leading me toward both academic and fictional works of the era.

Gina's book list on women in Renaissance Venice

Gina Buonaguro Why did Gina love this book?

This evocative novel tells the story of a Jewish midwife making her way in a very Christian Renaissance Venice. Along with all Jews confined to the ghetto at night by doge’s decree, Hannah is not permitted to help Christians with her medical knowledge. However, when her husband is taken to Malta and sold as a slave, Hannah finds that certain laws can be broken, for the right price.

By Roberta Rich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Midwife of Venice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not since Anna Diamant’s The Red Tent or Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book has a novel transported readers so intimately into the complex lives of women centuries ago or so richly into a story of intrigue that transcends the boundaries of history. A “lavishly detailed” (Elle Canada) debut that masterfully captures sixteenth-century Venice against a dramatic and poetic tale of suspense.

Hannah Levi is renowned throughout Venice for her gift at coaxing reluctant babies from their mothers using her secret “birthing spoons.” When a count implores her to attend his dying wife and save their unborn son, she is…


Book cover of Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life's Experiences and God's Faithfulness

Cheri Swalwell Author Of Sisters in Christ: Defeat the Enemy One Powerful Prayer At a Time

From my list on how to build a Sister in Christ relationship (and why you want one!).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had other Sisters in Christ, but it wasn’t until God introduced me to an amazing woman that I truly started to understand what it meant to be a Sister in Christ. A Sister in Christ is someone who encourages you, speaks the truth in love, and always points you back to God’s truths. She laughs with you, cries with you, and simply loves to do life with you. Sisters in Christ was born from this amazing friendship. To have this type of relationship is truly a blessing from God that needs to be shared in a community of fellow believers. 

Cheri's book list on how to build a Sister in Christ relationship (and why you want one!)

Cheri Swalwell Why did Cheri love this book?

This book is amazing. I love how the author not only explains the reasons behind mentoring and the importance of mentoring and how God instructs older women in Titus 2 to mentor younger women, and older men to mentor younger men, but the reason behind mentoring.

This book reminded me a lot of Sisters in Christ especially how the author broke down Titus 2 as talked about above. I loved the stories and quotes shared by real mentoring relationships woven throughout the book. This made it more personal and also got me more excited.

I have been following this author’s blog for years and this book just felt like a giant hug from a friend. 

By Janet Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mentoring for All Seasons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Realize the value and blessings of participating in mentoring relationships during all stages, ages, and seasons of life.

Women often don't think they know enough to be a mentor, or fear rejection if they ask someone to mentor them. Others don't think they need mentoring. However, throughout the Bible, God calls spiritually younger and older women to learn from and teach one another.

Mentoring for All Seasons helps answer questions like these:
- What is mentoring?
- How do I find a mentor?
- Why does God want us to mentor one another?
- What are the blessings of mentoring?…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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