111 books directly related to God 📚

All 111 God books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

By David Bentley Hart,

Book cover of The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

Why this book?

Deep ideas, indeed some of the deepest ideas possible. This is state-of-the-art theology by one of the greatest living theologians who brings together essential insights from the Hindu, Christian, Sufi, Buddhist, and other religious traditions showing how all have much more in common than separates them. Essential reading for anyone interested in the nature of consciousness, because the fundamental subject matter of theology is none other than ultimate consciousness, the source of all other forms of consciousness in the universe, including our own. Hart’s writing is lively and engaging.


Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

By David Eagleman,

Book cover of Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Why this book?

Awesomely creative think-piece. 40 very short fictional stories about what happens when you die. The framework is inspiring for anyone: coming up with 40 different answers to any one question. But they’re also just brilliant ideas and powerful little fables.


The God Code: The Secret of Our Past, the Promise of Our Future

By Gregg Braden,

Book cover of The God Code: The Secret of Our Past, the Promise of Our Future

Why this book?

Gregg Braden is an example of one who has discovered how to live the spirituality within science. In this brilliant and insightful work, he links our genetic code to biblical alphabets to prove the unity of the human race and the idea that we are all greater than our beliefs. Braden shows that deep within our genetic code, held in the sanctuary of the DNA, is the universal message that traverses humanity—all cultures, all races, all genders: the name of God. Applying this message to our lives, we can transcend our beliefs, our biases, our conditioning to create a more harmonious condition of living for all of humanity.


God's Debris: A Thought Experiment

By Scott Adams,

Book cover of God's Debris: A Thought Experiment

Why this book?

I like short books that don’t feel too daunting to read. This very readable, brief tale, described by Adams as a thought experiment wrapped in a story, reminds us how to see the world differently. Something we could all do with, to challenge our prejudices and lift us from our echo chambers. 


Don't Forget to Remember

By Ellie Holcomb, Kayla Harren (illustrator),

Book cover of Don't Forget to Remember

Why this book?

With gentle rhyming verse, Ellie Holcomb’s Don’t Forget to Remember tells how all creation reminds us of God’s love. Kayla Harren’s beautiful illustrations are more detailed than what is typical in a board book. I also recommend listening to Ellie Holcomb's song by the same title. Be warned though; you may find yourself singing it at any given moment. 


God, Value, and Nature

By Fiona Ellis,

Book cover of God, Value, and Nature

Why this book?

Many people think that modern science shows the cosmos to be an impersonal process, devoid of meaning and value. In this intricate and ground-breaking study, Fiona Ellis puts forward an ‘expansive naturalism’ that challenges contemporary atheist orthodoxy, and it led me to rethink the supposed opposition between the ‘natural’ and the divine.


Divine Action and Modern Science

By Nicholas Saunders,

Book cover of Divine Action and Modern Science

Why this book?

This book considers the relationship between the natural sciences and the concept of God acting in the world. Nicholas Saunders examines the Biblical motivations for asserting a continuing notion of divine action and identifies several different theological approaches to the problem. He considers their theoretical relationships with the laws of nature, indeterminism, and probabilistic causation. His radical critiques of current attempts to reconcile special divine action with quantum theory, chaos theory, and quantum chaos are especially interesting, though he will not convince everyone! Saunders provocatively suggests that we are still far from a satisfactory account of how God might act in a manner that is consonant with modern science despite the copious recent scholarship in this area.


God: A Human History

By Reza Aslan,

Book cover of God: A Human History

Why this book?

Whether you are religious or not, whether you like it or not, religions and God/Gods have been a part of the human civilizations as far as we started documenting, writing, and recording history and perhaps even as far as we existed. To understand the part that religion played in our history and how it had and still could have a significant effect on how we perceive the world and reality in general, it may be crucial to understand the history of religions and how they originated. Raza Aslan gives a wonderful presentation on that in this book. 


God: A Biography

By Jack Miles,

Book cover of God: A Biography

Why this book?

What kind of person is God—the God of the Hebrew Bible—and how does his personality change through time?  Here scholar and former priest Jack Miles explores with wit and insight, how God, seen as a literary character, has been constructed by various writers of the Hebrew Bible. This book brings the Bible into focus as a collection of writings that come from various times and places, each envisioning the creator whose story begins in the Garden of Eden in different ways—humanizing the texts in ways that offer new and enjoyable insights—makes reading the Bible intriguing and fun—a discovery of cultural history!


Experiencing God Study Book

By Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, Mike Blackaby, Claude V. King

Book cover of Experiencing God Study Book

Why this book?

Every time I read this workbook, I notice that a lot of people ask, “You say you hear God, but how do you hear God?” 

They do that because when I apply the practical steps the workbook teaches, I end up with a lot of stories that start with, “This is what God’s been showing me...”

I don’t know about you, but practical instructions really help me! 

This book not only shares information and testimonies, but it also teaches you how to converse with God and that's exactly what I wanted to learn how to do.

If you’ve been wanting to hear God, this book is for you!


Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

By Mary Oliver,

Book cover of Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

Why this book?

I would own this book for Mary Oliver’s poem “How I Go to the Woods” alone! Oliver’s love of nature, the way she notices the details of her surroundings, and the language she uses to describe her experiences are breathtaking. It’s easy to see why Mary Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.


Blood of a Fallen God

By Joshua C. Cook,

Book cover of Blood of a Fallen God

Why this book?

This is the first book in the Forgemaster Cycle. The audiobook features a fantastic vocal performance. Again, this is a well-realized fantasy world with a palpable history. You follow the adventures of a young blacksmith who aspires to perfect his craft in service of the fallen god of the forge. It’s an exciting adventure with high stakes and believable characters.


Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies: Devin Dexter #1

By Jonathan Rosen,

Book cover of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies: Devin Dexter #1

Why this book?

I like a little humor with my spookiness and this book has humor to spare. Just the idea of a horde of demonic stuffed animals brings a smile to my face. Rosen does a fantastic job creating a fully-fleshed out world and filling it with interesting and engaging characters. But seriously, it's the bunnies that make this shine. Even now, just writing about them brings a smile to my face.


Making Sense of It All: PASCAL and the Meaning of Life

By Thomas V. Morris,

Book cover of Making Sense of It All: PASCAL and the Meaning of Life

Why this book?

You’ll have to work to find a copy of this book, but it will be worth your while. Morris is a brilliant philosopher (PhD from Yale, formerly on the faculty at Notre Dame) who has a flair for public speaking and accessible writing. (He wrote the Philosophy for Dummies book also.) In this volume, he champions the French scientific and philosophical genius Blaise Pascal to show the relevance of Pascal’s thought to our time and to our most pressing concerns.


Oh God

By Avery Corman,

Book cover of Oh God

Why this book?

Oy, forget the mediocre movie. George Burns was perfectly cast but the reason God appears as a little old Jewish man is that he’s granting an interview to a Jewish freelance journalist, not a white bread grocery store clerk played by John Denver. This book taught me that a writer could be laugh out loud funny and still have something serious to say, something I’ve aspired to in my own fiction.


God Is Dead

By Ron Currie Jr.,

Book cover of God Is Dead

Why this book?

Ron Currie Jr. has written some of my very favorite books that explore big ideas through a dark, satirical lens. My favorite of Currie’s books is God Is Dead, which is a collection of interconnected stories that wonders what the world—and, more importantly, humanity—would look like if God took human form…then died. Each story looks at different characters and how they have responded to the reality of God’s death, from a group of teenagers who make a suicide pact to an epidemic of parents worshipping their children in the absence of God. Each story works together to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and the purpose of life.


The Existence of God

By Richard Swinburne,

Book cover of The Existence of God

Why this book?

Swinburne is a world-leading philosopher of religion and in this book he mounts a powerful case for the existence of God. Each piece of evidence he adduces is more likely to be found if God exists than if he does not so this enhances the probability that God does in fact exist. The evidence includes the cosmological and design arguments, arguments from consciousness and morality, arguments from history and miracles and from religious experience. Making reasonable assumptions and bringing all this evidence together gives us a high probability that God exists.


Becoming Fire: Experience the Presence of Jesus Every Day

By Jeanie Miley,

Book cover of Becoming Fire: Experience the Presence of Jesus Every Day

Why this book?

Miley does similar things in Becoming Fire as Miller does in Friendship with Jesus but with her own flavor.

Every week, she camps on a different story of the Bible.

You walk a mile in the sandals of a different character each day. That way, you develop a deeper understanding of the passage than you would if you just read it once and connected with the characters you naturally understand. 

Take the story about the sisters, Mary and Martha. Everyone relates to Martha who's super busy. That's our culture these days, right? But not as many people relate to Mary who camps at Jesus’ feet wanting to take in everything He has to say. 

I certainly didn't until God Mary'd me so much so that I ended up writing a book about it.

Through Becoming Fire, God will personalize the Scriptures for you, too!


What Every Child Should Know about Prayer

By Nancy Guthrie,

Book cover of What Every Child Should Know about Prayer

Why this book?

Prayer isn’t just for grown-ups, and Nancy Guthrie invites children to experience the joy and peace that come with talking to God in her book, What Every Child Should Know about Prayer. With child-friendly language and inviting illustrations, each page in this book helps kids (and adults!) know how and why we should pray, whether we’re asking God to do something, telling him how we feel, or giving thanks for all the ways God shows us his love. As a fan of Bible-based prayers, I love the fact that every one of the lessons Guthrie teaches is rooted in Scripture, and I appreciate the simple—but oh-so-powerful—prayers she provides. I can’t wait to share this treasure with my grandchildren!


Finding God. Finding Me.: A Mom's Journey from the Pit to Peace

By Jennifer Covello,

Book cover of Finding God. Finding Me.: A Mom's Journey from the Pit to Peace

Why this book?

Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down! There have been times in my life when I was desperately searching for peace, but instead felt confused, frustrated, hopeless, and questioning my faith. This book is the story of Jennifer’s journey to find peace and how she found it, through a vital, inspiring personal relationship with Jesus. And she helped me, as her reader, to find that same kind of wonderful relationship with Him!  


How Faith Works

By Frederick KC Price,

Book cover of How Faith Works

Why this book?

When I was seeking God for some things greater than I felt I deserved, I began to search for reading material that could strengthen my faith and help me understand some of the things shared in the Word of God pertaining to faith. Well, the late Dr. Fredrick Price became my go-to-author. In this book, he really dissects some of the greatest stories pertaining to faith found in the Bible and helps his readers to get a full and complete understanding. I am recommending this book because it’s definitely an easy but informative read that you won’t soon forget.


Where You Lead

By Wahl Leslea,

Book cover of Where You Lead

Why this book?

This is an incredibly fun mystery with a great combination of action, adventure, and growing tension. The main characters are well-developed, likable, and positive role models. Eve is romantic, talkative, and doesn’t try to be like everyone else. Nick is level-headed, resourceful, and charming. Plus, he comes from a big and very interesting family.

As a history lover, I enjoyed the tidbits about the Civil War and the “virtual tour” of Washington D.C., visiting museums, monuments, cemeteries, and other historical places with the characters as they tried to solve this unique mystery. Several wonderful messages are weaved through this story, too, like trusting in God even when we can’t understand His plan and realizing that the smaller missions from God are just as important as the bigger missions.


God's Always Loving You

By Janna Matthies, Airin O'Callaghan (illustrator),

Book cover of God's Always Loving You

Why this book?

God’s Always Loving You lets children know that God is with them in every situation, whether joyous, frightening, or frustrating. Most of all, he is loving them and working to make things new. The meter is flawless, and the stanzas are sprinkled with just the right amount of alliteration to make it pleasing to read, but not a tongue twister. Toddlers will love to join in on the answer to the question posed in each scenario: God, that’s who! 


God's Great Love for You

By Rick Warren, Chris Saunders (illustrator),

Book cover of God's Great Love for You

Why this book?

This book is short, but it contains a powerful message for children: God created you and loves you - everywhere and always. Despite its economy of words, it can spark deep conversations. The text is a wonderful affirmation for children to take into their hearts. It can be savored, but can also be a quick read on those busy nights when parents are as tired as their listeners during storytime. (For reference, God’s Great Love for You is the same number of words as this recommendation.) 


A Lady in Defiance

By Heather Blanton,

Book cover of A Lady in Defiance

Why this book?

I loved the heroine’s grit! Boy howdy, no one’s going to get anything over on her. The story is both gritty and sweet. Real. Full of truth and hope and opposition. Her setting puts you right in the action and her characterizations leave you feeling like you know these people. This was the first book I read from Blanton, and I have since read a couple more. 


Dynamo

By Eleanor Gustafson,

Book cover of Dynamo

Why this book?

Honestly, this book was one that is usually outside my reading preferences. Yet once I started, it captured me. The heartache and the perseverance that was written about echoed me. Reading and feeling as though I was transported to the horse races, I could hear the cheers, taste the dust, and feel the anguish. This is one of few books that truly left an impact on me.


Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1

By Neale Donald Walsch,

Book cover of Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1

Why this book?

It transformed my life and shared concepts, ideas, wisdom and so much more that I had felt for so many years. It is what I call this book, “My Spiritual Bible.” It is my guide in this lifetime and helps me see the spiritual side of life and how to be a positive influence in this world and not allow for the little things to get in the way of my big vision for myself.


Lottery

By Patricia Wood,

Book cover of Lottery

Why this book?

I absolutely love this book. Lottery takes us on the journey of a young man who, to quote the book, “isn’t retarded.” “Because Reader’s Digest wrote retarded is an IQ of 75 or below but Perry L Crandall, well his IQ is 76. So he is not retarded.”

Perry has a kind heart but is oblivious to the ulterior motives of his family. Before his grandmother passes, she teaches him who to trust, to learn words and write them down and how to play the lottery. After his grandmother passes, Perry wins the lottery and soon his family descends on him and his fortune. 

This story makes you feel life at its core. It stirs all your hidden emotions. The true meaning of happiness, how little we really do need, and the kindness of friends.


Bound to the Battle God: A Fantasy Romance

By Ruby Dixon,

Book cover of Bound to the Battle God: A Fantasy Romance

Why this book?

Ruby Dixon is quite the goddess herself. Literally everything she writes is gold. The Ice Planet Barbarian series introduced me to Syfy romance and I’ve re-read those books more times than I can count. I particularly enjoy the Anchor and Aspect books because of the length. It’s everything I love about Ruby Dixon, but I can’t devour it in a single night. That means one, two, sometimes even three nights of a story and characters that I love. Doesn’t get much better than that. 


Switched

By R.L. Stine,

Book cover of Switched

Why this book?

RL Stine's Switched isn't just a switching places story, it's a switching bodies story. And in this Fear Street installment, one of them is a killer. Yeah, it's intense. Nicole is a super normal teenager with pretty regular problems, like a boyfriend who can't get his act together and homework she can't manage, but a trip to the woods changes all of that. Next thing you know, people start to die. 

Things really take some strange twists and turns so you're in for a wild ride with this one. This is classic Stine and just a fun read, if your idea of fun is being shocked, confused and frightened with every page. What a great time!


The Rumi Daybook: 365 Poems and Teachings from the Beloved Sufi Master

By Kabir Helminski (editor), Camille Helminski (editor),

Book cover of The Rumi Daybook: 365 Poems and Teachings from the Beloved Sufi Master

Why this book?

As I approach a book, I live in a world of separation. In each of Rumi’s poems, I fall first into a well-told tale and then am whirled into a mystery where you and God, humble gnat and whole universe are reflected in each other. My heart can’t help but be remade in the process.


Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins

By Keith Ward,

Book cover of Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins

Why this book?

Keith Ward is a major philosopher and theologian. In this book, he presents a devastating critique of the simplistic arguments of Richard Dawkins. With touches of humour he deftly demolishes Dawkins’ materialistic atheism, showing how the priority of the divine mind as necessary being provides the ultimate explanation for anything to exist. Science provides explanations in terms of cause and effect, but does not explain why there is a universe in the first place or why the laws of nature are as they are. Contrary to Dawkins, belief in a divine mind does not close down scientific endeavour but inspires it. If the speculative multiverse idea were to explain the special nature of this universe, this would itself still need explanation, and would in any case be compatible with theism.


Justice

By Emily Conrad,

Book cover of Justice

Why this book?

A contemporary retelling of the story of Dinah in the Bible, Justice deals with the effects of pregnancy resulting from rape and I was overwhelmed with the way Ms. Conrad resolved the issues facing her hero and heroine. The story is well-written and fast-paced without sacrificing God’s truth and redemptive powers.


Every Voice Ain't From God

By Tanisha Stewart, Carrie Bledsoe (illustrator),

Book cover of Every Voice Ain't From God

Why this book?

If you’re looking for Christian Fiction with jaw-dropping suspense, twists, turns, and drama, this is the book. The characters are so defined that I renamed Zakari as Zacrazi because he was just that. He was the type who knew he was doing wrong and would pray while doing it. This book will have you trying to figure out the ending beforehand.


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

By Greg Wiens, Bobby Harrington,

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

Why 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.


The Complete Stories

By Flannery O'Connor,

Book cover of The Complete Stories

Why this book?

Flannery O’Connor was one of the best American short-story writers and totally obsessed with God and questions of belief. In her story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” she paints an unforgettable portrait of the Misfit, a murderous criminal tortured and infuriated by religious doubt. Without concrete evidence of God’s existence, the Misfit feels free to go on a killing spree, exacting vengeance on a deity that refuses to reveal itself. In “Revelation,” a self-satisfied believer is confronted with a vision of Heaven that looks nothing like what she’d expected. O’Connor uses shock and Gothic horror to jolt readers into reevaluating their beliefs.


Twice-Told Tales

By Nathaniel Hawthorne,

Book cover of Twice-Told Tales

Why this book?

Many works of fiction explore the core human motivations and how they guide human behavior, but perhaps none more thoroughly and incisively than this collection of Hawthorne short stories. Hawthorne’s stories undoubtedly inspired The Twilight Zone and countless other works of fantasy and science fiction that convey messages about how human desires and cultural worldviews lead people toward thwarted goals and tragic outcomes. As such, they nicely complement the analyses conveyed by the other four books I have recommended. His stories explore guilt, anxiety, and ambition, as desires for security and growth conflict with the values of prevailing worldviews and often lead to misguided or fruitless efforts of people trying to make a lasting mark on the world.


Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy

By Kaz Cooke,

Book cover of Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy

Why this book?

Every woman needs at least one practical book to read along with their pregnancy. There are several good options, but Up the Duff has the advantage of being highly entertaining and easy to read. It always made me giggle. It is a great book to have by the side of your bed all pregnancy through.


You Are Not Your Thoughts: The Secret Magic of Mindfulness

By Frances Trussell,

Book cover of You Are Not Your Thoughts: The Secret Magic of Mindfulness

Why this book?

The author of this book, Frances Trussell, explains so succinctly why the blessing of our self-aware mind can so easily become a curse for so many humans. So mindfulness and meditation is not so much about having no thoughts or making your mind go blank. Rather it is about coming to a different relationship with your thoughts. On the other side, lies a life of bliss and freedom.


Live a Praying Life!: Open Your Life to God's Power and Provision

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean,

Book cover of Live a Praying Life!: Open Your Life to God's Power and Provision

Why this book?

Live a Praying Life is, hands-down, my top pick when it comes to making a study of prayer. Jennifer Kennedy Dean understands that we want to know the “why” and the “how” behind prayer, and she tackles the thorny questions to equip us to persevere when it doesn’t look like the needle is moving. In looking at the lives of folks who’ve gone through more than a few tricky places (guys like Joseph, who thought he was supposed to be a ruler but wound up being sold as a slave), Dean warns us not to mistake God’s will for his ways, or confuse what he is doing with how he is doing it. We only see part of the picture. And, she writes, “We cannot control God or tell him how to accomplish his plan.” We can, however, partner with him to accomplish his best purposes—and the way that we do that is through our prayers.


Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

By Timothy Keller,

Book cover of Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

Why this book?

Prayer is like breath to me. I am a writer who prays best when I’m writing my prayers in a journal or on the computer. 

In every book I write, my characters pray. They are people from the pages of Scripture, so they knew the God of the Bible. To know God is to communicate with Him. Joseph probably did a lot of praying. Judah…not so much. But eventually, I think both wanted to communicate with their Creator.

In praying, the book says, the Spirit of God “assures you that you are a child of the only One whose opinion and power matters. He loves you to the stars and will never let you go.” Prayer is a connection I can’t live without because it touches God’s heart and mine.


Through the Storm: Help from Heaven When All Hell Breaks Loose

By Tony Cooke,

Book cover of Through the Storm: Help from Heaven When All Hell Breaks Loose

Why this book?

I read this book when I was going through a troubled time, and I found it to be so helpful and encouraging! Tony writes in such a way that makes me feel like God can help me overcome any situation. As believers, we are not helpless or hopeless -- God has established powerful principles and strategies to help us thrive (not just survive) in the midst of life’s hard times. He uses examples from the Bible including Jonah, Jesus’ disciples, and the Apostle Paul, who all faced storms and troubles – way worse than mine. But he shows how they all got through their troubles and how I could do it too!


Don't Quit! Your Faith Will See You Through

By Kenneth W. Hagin,

Book cover of Don't Quit! Your Faith Will See You Through

Why this book?

There have definitely been times in my life that I wanted to quit! Can you identify? I keep this book handy for days like those, and every time I grab it and read it, my faith gets renewed and I get encouraged enough to keep going. This book shows how to develop faith that won't quit – and if we don’t quit, we win in Jesus! 


On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature

By C.S. Lewis,

Book cover of On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature

Why this book?

C.S. Lewis is widely known for his children’s book series, The Chronicles of Narnia. His list of publications is, however, much longer. This little volume of essays gives a reader (or a writer) insight into how the form of a story shapes its meaning. For instance, he writes about stories for children and how some authors mistakenly think that children are only interested in childish things. He compares that to people who have the gift of being able to access the child that is still in them and speak with them in a shared experience. 

Of science fiction, he shares the difference between an author who is a creator of worlds, and one who rearranges alien props to make a pedestrian story appear clever. The key is a story that makes contact with the reader.


If God was a Banker

By Ravi Subramanian,

Book cover of If God was a Banker

Why this book?

If God was a Banker is Ravi Subramanian’s debut book and my personal favorite among all his works. The story centers around a multinational bank in India and an array of exciting characters that make up its management cadre. A heady mix of aspirations, passions, jealousy, and alliances result in the characters pushing boundaries of convention and sometimes even legality. The twists and turns that consequently emerge make the book a gripping page-turner.


Don't Give Up: Faith That Gives You the Confidence to Keep Believing and the Courage to Keep Going

By Kyle Idleman,

Book cover of Don't Give Up: Faith That Gives You the Confidence to Keep Believing and the Courage to Keep Going

Why this book?

It’s far too tempting when we go through rough patches in our lives to want to give up. When we long for something and pray for years and still wait, quitting sounds like the best option. I nearly quit writing after twenty years of trying to break into publishing because I didn’t think I could take any more rejection. 

In this book, Idleman points out that some people come to Jesus expecting Him to make life easier. But life is hard. Idleman says, “One way we know we’re running the race marked out for us is the presence of regular, unexpected challenges.” 

Joseph could relate to that all his life. I can too.


Who are You?

By Joan and Roger Bradfield, Melanie Fitch (illustrator),

Book cover of Who are You?

Why this book?

An oldie but a goodie. This is a lovely book about every child being unique and interesting. It builds in that each child is special and only that child can live the life they are given – nobody else. It involves school, names, playing, food, as well as self-image. A great book for younger children with a fantastic message.


Criss Cross: A Holly Novel

By C.C. Warrens,

Book cover of Criss Cross: A Holly Novel

Why this book?

I read this series in one sitting and only came up for air after I closed the last book. Wow… So, I adore Holly. Her quirks are endearing and her pain is deep and understandable. She’s a survivor, not without deep, deep scars. I found myself cheering for her to start the journey toward trust and friendship. Watching her go from not trusting anyone at all to having a sweet father/daughter relationship that eventually develops warmed my heart.


Time Out

By J. Cassidy,

Book cover of Time Out

Why this book?

Although this book is only 16 pages long, it tells a story that could easily have been a novel, which is that she is capable of condensing something so dense down to so few words without making it feel like anything was left out. Here we see a rather fantastical time travel tale, but one that, although at first seems quite light-hearted, ends up being one of the darkest of such tales I've ever read...and the most thought-inducing.

I loved this book and have a very difficult time reviewing it without giving too much away, but if you've got a spare thirty minutes (you know, for you slow readers), I'd highly suggest you pick this one up immediately.


A Contract With God

By Will Eisner,

Book cover of A Contract With God

Why this book?

Will Eisner not only invented the term “Graphic Novel” but he innovated much of the art and craft of comix. He is one of the pioneers whom I have studied to learn how comix work. Contract is also amazing because it deals with Jewish New York of the mid 20th century which is where my parents grew up. I connect to the tales of how to balance being American while celebrating my Jewish heritage, and the many challenges that came with living amongst other cultures in the “Melting Pot."


Is God a Delusion?

By Eric Reitan,

Book cover of Is God a Delusion?

Why this book?

Philosopher Eric Reitan offers a spirited rebuttal to Dawkins by arguing that belief in God isn’t necessarily irrational or harmful. In particular, Reitan defends the progressive faiths that are based on universal love rather than sectarian division and superstition. I especially enjoyed Reitan’s discussion of atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell, who compared religious faith to a belief in the existence of a “celestial teapot” that travels around the sun in an orbit so distant that it could never be observed by telescope. You can’t disprove its existence, but doesn’t it seem ludicrous? Can you explain how it got there?   


Marriage: Sex in the Service of God

By Christopher Ash,

Book cover of Marriage: Sex in the Service of God

Why this book?

The marriage vows say, “until death do us part.” In our divorce culture, that commitment often doesn’t translate into “happily ever after.” That being the case, we must ask ourselves, is it worth getting married? Before we answer that question, we must first ask, what is the purpose of getting married? It is not primarily about sex! Christopher Ash presents the radical concept that marriage is a union for us to effectively get God’s work done. I have found that in helping couples rebuild a broken marriage, they need this understanding.


What was particular helpful in counseling sexually broken and sinful people, was to understand that therapeutic spirituality doesn’t address the heart, the heart that is deceitful. Jesus clearly states that “For out of the heart come all the evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person” (Matt. 15:19, 20). No other book on marriage defined its purpose for me than this one book



The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life

By Os Guinness,

Book cover of The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life

Why this book?

I have counseled 100s of pastors from across the U.S. from many different denominations, and more often than not, they were serving in ministry for what they could personally gain. I see that danger as an occupational hazard. The Call gives the clearest definition of what the call of God truly is. I was able to understand that in my own ministry, as Os Guinness states, I have nothing to gain, nothing to prove, and nothing to lose, except to hear from my Lord, “well do, good and faithful servant.” In all service and love of others, this is the motivation I must have, not only as an author and counselor, but as a friend, a parent, and a husband.


Appalachian Patterns: Stories

By Bo Ball,

Book cover of Appalachian Patterns: Stories

Why this book?

Tight, vivid writing about the poorest people in America in the richest country in the world. There is dignity and warmth of two sons caring for their blind father, and there is God in also every life, for better or worse. I have to read this book at least once a year to remember what hard times and resolutions are. Every word seems to matter.


The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering

By Vaneetha Risner,

Book cover of The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering

Why this book?

Between suffering from polio as a child, post-polio syndrome as an adult, betrayal, the loss of a son, and a husband who left soon after – Vaneetha Risner has endured unimaginable suffering. For that reason, her honest words about suffering have left an incredible impact on me as I’ve endured my own. She doesn’t “preach” to us as if we need to get our act together, but she writes with compassion, honesty, and comfort as one who’s been there. Despite having every reason to be angry and bitter at the people who have hurt her and God himself, she is full of wisdom, grace, and joy, and shares about the hope she has that has enabled her to endure. 


Farmer Joe's Hot Day: A Scholastic Canada Reader

By Nancy Wilcox Richards, Werner Zimmerman,

Book cover of Farmer Joe's Hot Day: A Scholastic Canada Reader

Why this book?

As a kids’ storyteller, I’ve often used this book, and it bears telling even without its gently comic pictures. When Farmer Joe complains of his daily toil, his clever wife tricks him into becoming so uncomfortable that, once returned to normal conditions, he will never complain again! The story carries a message about positive attitude, without being didactic. Best of all, kids can chuckle along with Farmer Joe’s wife, understanding her trick while hapless Joe does not. Kids, in my experience, love to be smarter than at least one grownup in a story, and this book delivers that in spades! 


You're God's Girl! Coloring Book

By Wynter Pitts,

Book cover of You're God's Girl! Coloring Book

Why this book?

This is a lovely coloring book for girls and tweens! Each page is an affirmation or scripture verse from the Bible that the reader can color in. The illustrations are detailed with thick and precise linework. A really neat addition to this book is that the coloring pages can be ripped out! I personally love this element of the book because it gives the reader a sense of ownership to their own completed page. Simply hanging up a finished page can give a girl feelings of pride and self-love! This is a great coloring book to help a girl build her self-esteem and be reminded of truth found inspired by the Bible. I recommend the book to be done with your closest girlfriends! 


Filthy Crown: A Single Dad Age Gap Romance

By Eleanor Aldrick,

Book cover of Filthy Crown: A Single Dad Age Gap Romance

Why this book?

This book was the first work I’ve ever read by this author, and to say I was blown away is an understatement! It’s an age-gap romance with daddy kink. That being said, I don’t normally read daddy kink, but it didn’t take away from how good the book was. It actually made it spicier, which I loved!


Stormbringer: The Elric Saga Part 2

By Michael Moorcock,

Book cover of Stormbringer: The Elric Saga Part 2

Why this book?

Elric of Melnibone is an anti-hero. He is a bad guy who worships a god of chaos and delights in doing bad things. Pressured by family, a sense of duty, and a deep devotion to both his lover and his friends, he begins to question his life and his culture up until now. The lack of caring weighs on him as he vacillates between a world of evil and chaos and a world of law and goodness. 


Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

By Mark Batterson,

Book cover of Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

Why this book?

Mark Batterson writes, “If you press into God’s presence like never before, you will experience God like never before.” This small book has led me back to a richer prayer life again and again. I’ve prayed through it many times and have given away countless copies to others. Each day Batterson invites a new way to look at prayer and a practical way to start a morning devotion time all grounded in scripture. As a writer I love the focus on creativity and honoring ideas. He writes, “I don’t type on a keyboard, I pray on one.” 


Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

By Sarah Young,

Book cover of Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

Why this book?

Sarah Young writes as if Jesus is speaking to the reader, “All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to my hand for strength and direction.” This book speaks to me, especially in difficult years. It brings me to an awareness of God’s comfort and love for me. Simple, short daily readings are based on scripture. Sitting with this book in the morning is like spending time with Jesus. 


Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David

By Eugene H. Peterson,

Book cover of Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David

Why this book?

Eugene Peterson writes, “Morning prayer anticipates the day in hope.” This gentle book of Psalms and prayers is a gem. Each day has just a few sentences from Eugene Peterson to take me deeper into the Psalm or scripture passage. The thoughts are reassuring and peaceful, helping me start the day with a focus on God. 


Some Wildflower in My Heart

By Jamie Turner,

Book cover of Some Wildflower in My Heart

Why this book?

Some Wildflower in My Heart reminded me that people are the way they are for a reason. Margaret, the woman who seems to have a heart of stone, had a child and young adulthood of trauma.

As I followed Margaret through the story, I found that looking deeper into a person can reveal treasures I did not know existed. Margaret lived through tragic events and she rejects God because she feels he let her down. 

I understood her anger with God and when her heart softens, because of a relationship she forms with an authentic Christian coworker, I see it is a genuine realization and not some unbelievable event an author is trying to force on me. 


Footsteps

By DiAnn Mills,

Book cover of Footsteps

Why this book?

This book is a little different from the others I’ve recommended in that the heroine is not a victim of child or sexual abuse but abuse nonetheless when her children and husband disappear. She must come to understand and trust in the depth of God and His redemptive grace, mercy, and forgiveness. 


Friendship with Jesus

By David L. Miller,

Book cover of Friendship with Jesus

Why this book?

I love how this author puts you smack dab in the middle of a scene from the Bible and lets you experience it for yourself!

I was thinking about how I wished I could be baptized by John the Baptist, but how was that going to happen?

That's when my seminary teacher assigned this book. I opened it to the first page and God blew me away by making a seemingly impossible dream come true.

I got baptized by John the Baptist 😳. . .and you can, too!!

Are you looking to have some personal experiences with God? You’ll have some as you read this book.


A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

By W. Phillip Keller,

Book cover of A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

Why this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite books.

Why?

First, I love sheep. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I identify with all of Jesus’ examples about those simple creatures.

And I get that I need as much of God's help as they do.

Second, I love the way Keller applies the gospel to his life as (a shepherd) in helpful and practical ways that help readers more fully understand what Jesus meant by what He said.

Just talking about this book makes me want to go back and read it again.

If you’re a dog person, Keller also wrote a similar book called Lessons from a Sheep Dog. That’s a good one, too! (Please don't tell my sheep dog I recommended the sheep book over of the dog book. ☺️)


Comparative Study Bible

By Zondervan Publishing,

Book cover of Comparative Study Bible

Why this book?

I never understood how cool it was to read more than one version of the Bible until I lived with a friend who had a bookshelf full of them.

As I wrote my papers for seminary, I used every single one.

The Message always makes me pick up another to compare the passage. Often, I choose the King James because it's more literal. The writers of that version aimed to translate the Bible word for word from the original languages.

It's not that the translations say anything different like they've sometimes been accused of doing. No, it's that the Amplified Bible's list of synonyms partnered with the word pictures in the Message expand on the simplified words of the Contemporary English version makes it easier for us to understand.

Reading several versions helps me come to a new and deeper perspective.

Try it and see what you think!


I Am That

By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,

Book cover of I Am That

Why this book?

I love this book!  I’ve returned to it many times over the years. It’s my rock. It contains a series of questions and responses of students in dialogue with the well-known Indian sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. His teachings are direct, down-to-earth, and very timely, in that they address matters of continued importance to all of us: the nature of reality, suffering, mind, body, agency, fear, happiness, peace…and pretty much every truth you can think of!  It’s 550 pages of unadulterated wisdom.   


Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America

By James C. Turner,

Book cover of Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America

Why this book?

Turner asks a great question. How did the United States go from being the deeply religious society of the Puritans and the Founders to a culture of widespread unbelief, especially among the well-educated? His astute analysis of 19th-century America explains why and how agnosticism and atheism gradually became socially acceptable alternatives to faith. As Turner sees it, attempts to “explain” God and fit the Divine into a more rationalistic, scientific, and anti-mystical framework, and the deadening hand of dogma, helped pave the way for a culture resistant to the very idea of God.


The Chosen: I Have Called You by Name

By Jerry B. Jenkins,

Book cover of The Chosen: I Have Called You by Name

Why this book?

The Chosen book is good, and Jerry Jenkins’ many titles including the blockbuster Left Behind series are worth reading, but this is a backdoor to the multi-season film series, The Chosen by Jerry’s son, Dallas Jenkins. Life doesn't turn out as we imagined, and when much that is precious has been marred, your tender heart longs to honor the holy and sacred. To know that God sees you, loves you and your child unconditionally, and never forsakes you. The Chosen is heart-mending, faith-building, and life-changing. Download the free app on your phone for the world's largest crowd-funded project, and enjoy The Chosen over and over. Family-friendly.


The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

By Rick Warren,

Book cover of The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

Why this book?

With the powerful use of language, this book explains how everyone in this world is born for a purpose. There are 40 chapters in the book required to be read over 40 days’ time. I like the concept of reading one chapter a day and reflecting on the knowledge before applying it. The message of the book is to keep God at the center of your life in order to fulfill your true purpose.


A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "a Course in Miracles"

By Marianne Williamson,

Book cover of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "a Course in Miracles"

Why this book?

This is probably my all-time favorite book, and it is one that I can rely on as a pick me up when my faith is low, or the road gets hard. It is based on A Course In Miracles which is a more elaborate spiritual text and not the easiest to read. Marianne has a talent for making convoluted spiritual principles relatable and personable. She has been teaching these principles for decades, and this is one of the first books that put her on the map as a spiritual teacher. It’s beautiful writing and a powerful message.


Hard to Be a God

By Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky, Olena Bormashenko (translator)

Book cover of Hard to Be a God

Why this book?

Can a society as mired in misery and oppression as ours be helped by a few well-intentioned “progressors” from another world? You land in secret, wielding godlike powers (remember Clarke’s Third Law: any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic) and possessing a perfect understanding of sociology and historical dynamics, only to find how hard it is to be a god. What would you do?


No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

By Reza Aslan,

Book cover of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

Why this book?

Aslan writes engagingly and urgently about Islamic history from a contemporary Muslim-American perspective. He grounds his account in academic scholarship but does not let it overshadow the excitement of the rise of a new world civilization. Aslan attends to the potential within Islam for democracy and for greater rights for women and rejects the bigotted “clash of civilizations” model that sees Muslims as always outsiders in Western society.


Wee Bees and The Bee Attitudes

By Marcia Papa,

Book cover of Wee Bees and The Bee Attitudes

Why this book?

An adorable book for younger children to learn proper values that help to spread kindness to all including themselves. Teaching kids to be nice, caring, and considerate will help them identify ways of being kind to their family, friends, and those around them.


First Among Sufis: The Life and Thought of Rabia al-Adawiyya, the Woman Saint of Basra

By Widad El Sakkakini, Nabil Safwat (translator),

Book cover of First Among Sufis: The Life and Thought of Rabia al-Adawiyya, the Woman Saint of Basra

Why this book?

A book about a saint of the eighth century, whose life and declarations offer an in-depth and clear portrait of the Sufi path. Her miracles were casual and instrumental, her encounters serve for all of us as material for reflection, and her sayings are beautiful and transformative of the mind. Two examples: “I will not serve God as a laborer, in expectation of my wages.” And “Lord, if I worship you from desire for Paradise, deny me Paradise; if I worship you from fear of Hell, cast me into Hell.”


The Daniel Fast Cookbook: Meal Plans and Recipes to Bring You Closer to God

By Cindy Anschutz,

Book cover of The Daniel Fast Cookbook: Meal Plans and Recipes to Bring You Closer to God

Why this book?

Nourish your body and your faith with recipes and devotions for the Daniel Fast. In the court of King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel was pressured to worship false gods and eat forbidden foods―but he stayed true to God, eating no meat, wine, or choice foods for weeks. Follow in Daniel’s footsteps and draw nearer to God with The Daniel Fast Cookbook. This meal plan and recipe book guides you through a partial fast, consuming only what the Lord has naturally provided―and experiencing Him like never before.

Two Daniel Fast meal plans come with dozens of plant-based, gluten-free recipes for tasty, fast-friendly food. Daily devotions help you lean on prayer and scripture when fasting becomes challenging. With The Daniel Fast Cookbook, you can focus less on figuring out the rules of the Daniel Fast―and more on growing in faith.


I Don't Like Koala

By Sean Ferrell, Charles Santoso (illustrator),

Book cover of I Don't Like Koala

Why this book?

Koala is the most terrible! He has a terrible face. And terrible paws. And terrible eyes that follow you everywhere! If you love to make up voices, you will find that Adam's repeat of "I don't like Koala" is subversively fun. Unleash your inner naughty child! When Adam receives Koala as a gift, he thinks there can be nothing more terrifying. His parents don't understand and all attempts to ditch this crazy stuff toy come to nothing. And then one night, Adam worries there might be something even more terrible than Koala. This one is absolutely brilliant as a read-aloud.


Faith of the Fallen: A Sword of Truth Novel

By Terry Goodkind,

Book cover of Faith of the Fallen: A Sword of Truth Novel

Why this book?

I like books that entertain, but also inspire me on how to better live my life. Faith of the Fallen (Book 6 of the Sword of Truth series) is a riveting story right from the first sentence. It’s full of homilies that sync with my worldview on how to live with yourself, and how to live with others. “Your life is your own. Rise up and live it,” argues against passivity. “Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent” is a call for justice. The author echoes the philosopher Hannah Arendt in saying, “Evil is not one large entity, but a collection of countless, small depravities brought up from the muck by petty men.”

Above all, Faith of the Fallen is a gripping, action-filled story.


Hinds' Feet on High Places

By Hannah Hurnard,

Book cover of Hinds' Feet on High Places

Why this book?

This book is an allegory that shows life as full of struggles and doubts as we make our way to our spiritual destination. I fully related to the main character, Much-Afraid, and her insecurities. This book helped me to focus less on my fears and more on trusting a loving God who wants to help me to overcome my insecurities and fears.


The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life's Perfection

By Michael A. Singer,

Book cover of The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life's Perfection

Why this book?

What I love about Michael A. Singer’s The Surrender Experiment is that it really shows us just how much life is serving up for us, every single day. In fact - that’s how I discovered it in the first place! A friend recommended one of Michael’s other books to me (The Untethered Soul) but I mistakenly read this instead. 

Michael is a professor turned spiritual teacher and author. The Surrender Experiment is all about his journey, having made the commitment to simply trust in the flow of life. He chronicles how he created the framework within his life to live this way, what unfolded for him as a result, and the beauty of it all. 

The reason why I recommend this book as being complementary to Stepping Beyond Intention and for anyone looking for guidance in personal development is that it opens your eyes up to just how much is out there for you. It’s about showing you how to get out of the way of what life is trying to give you. 

It’s very easy to get caught up in trying to dictate how something should show up for you. The Surrender Experiment reminds us that we need to be open to all of the ways something can happen for us.


Fear Of Mum-Death and The Shadow Men

By Wallis Eates,

Book cover of Fear Of Mum-Death and The Shadow Men

Why this book?

Wallis Eates is the master of picking scabs and upturning stones to see what scuttles beneath. And often among all the dirt and bugs, she finds such amazing treasure. In this book, she has such vivid and detailed memories I found myself staring into her wonderful pencil marks and time travelling back into the mind of my own little self and feeling all the fear and awe of those years. I was going to write, it's like happening upon someone’s secret diary, but it's so visceral, it's more like being Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap and suddenly, wonderfully finding yourself in someone else’s body for a minute.


Faith & Lettering: An Inspirational Guide to Creative Lettering & Journaling

By Krystal Whitten,

Book cover of Faith & Lettering: An Inspirational Guide to Creative Lettering & Journaling

Why this book?

Faith and creativity come together in this gorgeous, colorful journal by Krystal Whitten. Filled with gorgeous illustrations, tutorials, and spaces for you to create, this journal will inspire you from start to finish. Whether you work in it daily or pick it up when you need some quiet time, you’ll find yourself feeling renewed creatively and spiritually.


I Am Eve

By Nicolina Martin,

Book cover of I Am Eve

Why this book?

Nicolina Martin is an excellent indie author who hits all the genres I love with this book: post-apocalyptic/dystopian, romantic suspense, dark romance, action. I love this book because the characters are well-developed and interesting, the world-building is excellent, and the story is engrossing. This book pulls you in with its drama and storytelling and the reader is left more than satisfied by the happily-ever-after romance. 


A Passion Most Pure

By Julie Lessman,

Book cover of A Passion Most Pure

Why this book?

Julie is my go-to author for great characters, a heart-rendering romance, and a plot that keeps you turning pages. Her expertise is characters. After I read this book, I felt like all the characters were my best friends. The romance and passion are over the top for a Christian novel, but not too far. If you like family sagas, this is a great book to start. Julie is just one darn good author.


I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life's Essential Daily Habit

By Matthew Kelly,

Book cover of I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life's Essential Daily Habit

Why this book?

If all the other books I’ve recommended are like going on a good spiritual retreat, I Heard God Laugh is like hanging out at a backyard barbecue with your favorite neighbor. That’s not to say that Matthew Kelly isn’t a spiritual master (he is), but he writes in a colloquial, friendly style, preferring personal anecdotes and homey little parables over explicit callbacks to Scripture and other Christian mystics. That’s not to say his approach isn’t solidly rooted in the Christian tradition; it is, but here his aim is to encourage the reluctant pray-er by stripping away anything that might get in the way and offering lots of encouragement. Kelly’s approach is most similar to my own; we both have a heart for helping people to begin their conversation with God. As he says, “Once the conversation has begun, it can lead anywhere.”


To The Victor Go The Myths & Monuments: The History of the First 100 Years of the War Against God and the Constitution, 1776 - 1876, and Its Modern Impact

By Arthur R. Thompson,

Book cover of To The Victor Go The Myths & Monuments: The History of the First 100 Years of the War Against God and the Constitution, 1776 - 1876, and Its Modern Impact

Why this book?

The author meticulously follows the globalist movement from its ideological beginnings around the same time as the American Revolution until today. Contrasting the intentions of the founders with the schemes of today’s elites serves to sharpen the reader’s appreciation of why America could be special. If half of this book is correct, we’ve lots to be concerned about.


The Shack

By William P. Young,

Book cover of The Shack

Why this book?

This book is a great, inspirational read that presents God in a highly relatable way. The loving relationship among the divine members of the Trinity is delightful and attractive. The book tackles some hard questions and offers some wise answers to life’s disappointments and pain, although not as deep as I would prefer. I really liked the emphasis on a relationship with God instead of pat answers.


The God of All Small Boys

By Joseph Lamb,

Book cover of The God of All Small Boys

Why this book?

James is sent away to live with his mill-town relatives in this nostalgic, coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of Dundee during WW1.

Some summers were made for growing up…

Dundee, 1917. When his father goes to fight in the war, 11-year-old James is sent to live with his mill-town relatives and his cousin, Billy. At first, James feels lost and alone: his cousin hates him, the school bully is after him, and he is worried about his father’s safety. Gradually, he finds a new world of friendship, freedom, fun, and The God of All Small Boys, in a summer that will change his life forever...

I found this story both funny and sad, and altogether emotionally gripping. Highly engaging, and full of historical details of Dundee during the First World War – a sure favourite for middle grade readers.


Wild Thing

By Dandi Daley Mackall,

Book cover of Wild Thing

Why this book?

As an author ready to write my own horse book series with a Christian message many years ago, I gleaned much from reading some of Dandi Daley Mackall’s Horse Gentler series. This first one impressed me the most because it portrays the main character, twelve-year-old Winnie Willis, close to the age of Skye Nicholson, the main character in my own series. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. The book is good, safe reading for tween and teen horse lovers. 


How to Use the Power of Prayer

By Dr. Joseph Murphy,

Book cover of How to Use the Power of Prayer

Why this book?

This book is a “granddaddy” of the New Thought movement. Murphy writes clearly and concisely, with principles in easy-to-follow steps for many issues. Examples: self-healing, fulfilling one’s desires, and happy marriage. I love this book and return to it repeatedly because of its clarity and many pertinent examples with “regular” people Murphy helped. The anecdotes help encourage the reader to do the steps Murphy recommends. The book teaches me that often the simplest prayer or affirmation is enough and the immense value of constancy. Most recently, this book helped me strengthen my prayer practice in healing a leg injury and gave me renewed confidence in spiritual healing. 


Trust in the Goodness of God

By Mary L. Kupferle,

Book cover of Trust in the Goodness of God

Why this book?

This book is a series of short essays, each of which can be a prayer or affirmation itself. They read like perfect affirmations: “Let the Goodness of God Take Over,” “God’s Abundance Is Yours Now!” “Choose to Believe the Best,” “There Is Nothing to Fear!” Several months ago, I was feeling extremely lonely. At random, I opened to Kupferle’s essay “God’s Abundance is Yours Now!” and read, “God is the infinite source of your supply.” I kept repeating this affirmation. Two weeks later in the gym, another woman greeted me, reminding me that we’d met in the gym many months earlier. We quickly discovered much in common, as well as a wonderful mutual admiration. Since then, we’ve gotten together many times and continue to enjoy and help each other. Kuperfle works!


Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret

By Howard Taylor,

Book cover of Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret

Why this book?

After the death of our daughter, shortly after birth, I felt abandoned by God and lost all desire to serve in any form of ministry. This book, above all others that I have read, helped me personally and spiritually to not only move on with my life, face new and challenging adversities, but to return to ministry; a ministry that has drawn in thousands from across the U.S. and from twenty-five foreign countries for a week of intensive counseling.


Resistance

By Jaye L. Knight,

Book cover of Resistance

Why this book?

I felt instant empathy for the two main characters in this book. The half-human Jace is hated and feared only because he is half ryrik, so I felt great sympathy for him, having been hated by those I loved. It hurts so badly, which made me hurt for Jace. Another character who later befriends Jace lives in a dangerous situation and faces terrible persecution in an especially memorable scene. It made me wonder if I could be as steadfast in her place. Both encourage me to be courageous in difficult situations.


Bob the Artist

By Marion Deuchars,

Book cover of Bob the Artist

Why this book?

With simple and stunning illustrations we see long-legged Bob the bird learn to celebrate himself with a relaxed and creative flourish. Once seen, you will never forget those wonderful knobbly knees! Bob’s adventures cleverly and accessibly introduce art appreciation in a whole new way as he celebrates not only his own individuality but that of great artists too.


Dark Reign

By Amelia Wilde,

Book cover of Dark Reign

Why this book?

Psychological games and manipulation are two of my favorite dark romance tropes, and Amelia weaves both into this steamy release from Dangerous Press. Twisty and sexy, Dark Reign keeps readers on their toes and delivers a satisfying cliffhanger to boot. I couldn’t wait to dive into the second book, which landed even better than the first.


Adventures of Tom Sawyer

By Mark Twain,

Book cover of Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Why this book?

When I read this book as a young teen I admired the freedom the young characters had to be absorbed in their own worlds, and, as a result, constantly getting into scrapes and suffered scolding. Much later I re-read this and was struck by the comic magic of Tom and his friends, assumed to have died, returning to witness their own funeral. Here the boys who were constantly found wanting are now being praised without reservation. This reveals the see-saw action of the adolescent self: one moment teens see themselves as wonderful, beloved, treasured, and at another cast down, and always they carry around an “imaginary self” where they cannot escape concern about how people see them. 


Oscar The Ferry Cat

By Molly Arbuthnott,

Book cover of Oscar The Ferry Cat

Why this book?

This is a charming book with beautiful and vivid illustrations. It is quite an adventure for the main character, Oscar the cat as he gets lost and ends up on a ferry. The different and strange characters that he meets along the way make for a wonderful and interesting ride!


Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense

By Paul David Tripp,

Book cover of Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense

Why this book?

Sometimes life doesn’t go as we’d hoped or expected; sometimes it’s filled with layers of difficulty and struggle, and sometimes it’s flipped upside down with tragedy. And I’ve experienced all three. Out of nowhere, death, illness, job loss, etc, can change our lives and challenge our view of God, ourselves, and the world. But despite all the pain, confusion, and disappointment, we have hope.

Paul David Tripp wrote with personal experience about how we can learn to trust God in the midst of suffering. He’s helped me cling to God's promises in my trials, face my pain with honesty, and persevere with the hope of the gospel.


Information is Beautiful

By David McCandless,

Book cover of Information is Beautiful

Why this book?

Big data can be beautiful and visualisations make for a wonderful coffee-table book. In Information is Beautiful, David McCandless turns dry-as-dust data into pop art to show the kind of world we live in, linking politics to life expectancy, women’s education to GDP growth, and more. Through colourful graphics, we get vivid and novel perspectives on current obsessions, from maps of cliches to the most fashionable colours. A testament to how the power of big data comes from being able to distill information to reveal hidden patterns and discern trends. 


Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

By Ruth Haley Barton,

Book cover of Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Why this book?

I love Barton’s personal and practical approach to a key cluster of spiritual disciplines in this accessible overview. She explores how to encounter God in Scripture and in prayer, how to practice solitude, self-examination and discernment, how to honor the body and keep sabbath. Individual chapters are framed by an introduction to spiritual formation and book-ended by combining them into a single rule of life. Think of this book as a fresh update of Richard Foster’s classic, Celebration of Discipline. (See her Transforming Center website for more.)


Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way

By Stephen A. Macchia,

Book cover of Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way

Why this book?

This is the most “how-to” book on the list. Whether we are reflective about it or not, our character will be shaped and our lives transformed into something—the only question is In what way? and For what end? John Stott once said that “Spirituality is not a condition into which we can drift.” Steve’s book teaches you how not to drift through life. 

Steve’s ministry (Leadership Transformations) helps Christian leaders and laypeople live renewed and beautiful lives. This book walks you through a process of self-reflection and intentional choice to create a “rule of life”—an intentional rhythm or pattern of our days that primes us for spiritual growth and attentiveness to God.


Freethunk

By Jeff Swenson,

Book cover of Freethunk

Why this book?

This is a very daring collection of cartoons. (And Jeff actually sent me a signed copy of it!) It includes cartoons previously published in Freethunk! The Complete Edition: Cartoons from 2000-2007, but also includes cartoons from 2008 and 2009. Mention of anything specific will be a spoiler, but... 'Let there be light' involves God and a lightbulb...


Naming the Animals: An Invitation to Creativity

By Stephen Roach, Ned Bustard,

Book cover of Naming the Animals: An Invitation to Creativity

Why this book?

What if creativity was not a talent given to a chosen few, but an invitation extended to us all? What if the desire for beauty was not gratuitous in life, but central to our faith? Drawing upon the biblical account of Creation and the witness of a myriad of creative thinkers, this book asserts that all of us—from plumbers to painters and meteorologists to musicians—were made in the image of an imaginative God. In that light, Naming the Animals encourages us to see creativity as an essential part of God’s design for partnership with humanity. This is a great introduction to the Art and Faith conversation.


Made to Create with All My Heart and Soul: 60 Worship-Through-Art Devotions for Girls

By Lauren Duncan,

Book cover of Made to Create with All My Heart and Soul: 60 Worship-Through-Art Devotions for Girls

Why this book?

This book is so fun! It invites the reader to create art in response to a truth about who you are! The activity book engages its reader in creativity and artistic expression after reading a devotion and scripture verse. Personally, I adore any book where its sole purpose is to remind the reader who God created them to be! It is an empowering read and is really hands-on. I would recommend this book for any girl who is creative at heart, and wants to grow their faith with Jesus! It's another great resource to have on you so that your child can do the activities with a group of their closest girlfriends. 


The Stormcaller: Book One of the Twilight Reign

By Tom Lloyd,

Book cover of The Stormcaller: Book One of the Twilight Reign

Why this book?

The first book in The Twilight Reign starts off an epic fantasy series of war, loyalty, sacrifice, prophecy, and Gods with their own agendas, to whom their chosen champions are game-pieces to be used in a conflict in which mortals have only a partial understanding. The hero, Isak, is a young man born to be a violent warrior, a tool of prophesy and the Gods, but he never stops struggling to be more than what he was made, and to make himself master of his own fate. This is a satisfyingly rich fantasy world to plunge yourself into.


Tales of the Klondyke: The God of His Fathers

By Jack London,

Book cover of Tales of the Klondyke: The God of His Fathers

Why this book?

My mother read Call of the Wild and White Fang to my brother and I whilst still children. Well, those tales stayed with me over the years despite forays into Science Fiction, Religious Dogma, psychology, historical fiction, and fantasy. As an older boy I returned to the works of Mr. London and read Martin Eden, The Sea Wolf, and many of his short tales. Tales of the Klondyke are perhaps the best of them and so take my prize as number one on my list. (Though I had an argument with myself over Voltaire’s Candide and Other Tales and Aeschylus' Tragedies) for the top spot.

Each tale in this collection whilst imagined strikes me as true in every way, sure a little drama is added but I suspect that those heroes just trying to survive existed. And so, in a way I have come full circle, and this is my favourite collection of short tales.


Living a Life of Fire: An Autobiography

By Reinhard Bonnke,

Book cover of Living a Life of Fire: An Autobiography

Why this book?

This is an amazing story of a life well lived for the gospel. It is amazing how God can take the ones that people would have never thought possible to do the impossible for his kingdom. This story is so amazing that could have only happened by the hand of God and it keeps you passionately engaged thinking about how God uses his children.


Divine

By Karen S. Kingsbury,

Book cover of Divine

Why this book?

Best-selling author Karen Kingsbury brings to light the ugliness of child prostitution but in a contemporary setting. Experts say reading fiction, especially those books that deal with darker subjects, can boost your mental health. Kingsbury’s portrayal of her main character and the trials she goes through in order to heal from childhood trauma is one such book.


A Passion Redeemed

By Julie Lessman,

Book cover of A Passion Redeemed

Why this book?

Julie Lessman’s tagline is “Passion with a Purpose” and she delivers this so well, especially in A Passion Redeemed. This story also deals with abuse toward women, (even though the heroine is an adult not a child) and the remarkable power of God to deliver, redeem and heal victims of such atrocities. 


Don't Push Me

By D.A. Bourne,

Book cover of Don't Push Me

Why this book?

D.A. Bourne weaves a story of Christian Fiction and overcoming racism during a time it’s at an all-time high. We all know racism is a touchy subject a lot of people don’t like to talk about, but it’s a sad reality many face every day. This story surrounds autoworkers and their families who find themselves faced with racial conflict that tests their faith, patience, ability to forgive, and all the things they’ve always believed in.