As a reader, I love it when a really good book challenges me and especially when it gets into my head and won’t leave. I love when a character lives in my mind for months after I’ve finished a novel.
I just picked up Broken Angel, by Sigmund Brouwer. Talk about challenging. This book will challenge how you see the world around you. And of course Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers is a completely different kind of story than Brouwer’s, but will also test your thinking. I love a book like that. I love for a book to not only entertain, but to make me think a little harder about life, faith and the things that matter most. That’s why I like to read books in both the mainstream and literary markets, as well as books about faith and Christianity.
I especially love titles that are a bit more literary. Lisa Samson, Amy Tan, Mary E. DeMuth, Elizabeth Berg and Sue Monk Kidd are a few novelists I like who are literary, but not inaccessible. I wish Sue Monk Kidd would write another novel. Right now I’m trying to finish The Gathering, by Anne Enright and I’m looking forward to reading Embrace Me, by Lisa Samson. I’ve already heard amazing things about Samson’s new novel.
The latest novel I really love is Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen. I’d heard it was about witchcraft, so I thought I wouldn’t like it. The market is already flooded with books about pretty girls who are witches in their spare time. Garden Spells is more magical and who wouldn’t enjoy a book with an apple tree that throws apples at passersby?
Sure, I also like to be entertained as much as the next person when I read. Right now I’m reading a great little mystery by my friend Cara Putman called Deadly Exposure. If they are well written (and this one is) I like reading books that are on the shorter and entertaining side.
That’s why I even like some chick lit and also historicals. I enjoyed The Trophy Wives Club, by Kristin Billerbeck and Nice to Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers. The Trophy Wives Club is a funny, but touching book about a woman who starts going to a Bible Study for divorcing women. I love this Christian book that really gets it right when it comes to women going through divorce. Nice to Come Home To is a general market book that is on the chick lit side, but is a witty, modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility. For historicals, I love Kim Vogel Sawyer, always a sweet love story, and in the general market I really liked Chances, by Pamela Nowak and The Notorious Mrs. Winston by Mary Mackey.
Sometimes I find a historical book that is a little more than I expected, which is why I am now a fan of Jane Kirpatrick. The latest book in her Change and Cherish series is A Mending At the Edge. I endorsed this book for Ms. Kirkpatrick and highly recommend the whole series if you are looking for a more complex story and a really strong female protagonist. I read the whole series in a few weeks and was sorry when it was over.
So there you have it. There doesn’t seem to be a point to this blog post except for the pondering of my reading soul. What about you? What are you reading this summer? Do you like to read for entertainment’s sake or do you like a novel that truly challenges your mind and your imagination.
Send me your reading recommendations. What should I take on vacation? Of course, I should throw a little recommendation out to you that Ruby Among Us might be a good vacation read for you! But that would be shameless self-promotion. Well…too late.