Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Top Books

This is my good friend, Judy Gann, who is a children's librarian, and also an author. She knows a thing or two about books! Just about everyone in my life reads.

My whole world is full of books. I taught reading as a teacher and a mother and it was a special joy to me when a child first understood the words that danced on a page. Being the daughter of a functionally illiterate man whose dream was for me to go to college, his dreams are not only fulfilled, but have exploded and multiplied and has been passed on. I never dreamed I would influence the publishing market in any way. But I do, in my way, like my friend, Judy (and Carrie! Hi, Carrie!)But secretly every person who has learned to read, or reads a book that I have influenced, is a triumph for me (and my dad.)

Reuters had an article today about the Top 10 Favorite books of all time. Wow. I'm not sure what criteria was used or who voted (I didn't vote) but it was interesting to see the results. Are your favorites here? My all time favorite ,book is number one. I've marked with an X if I've read it and with a * if I loved it.

X10. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
9. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
8. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
X*7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
6. DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
X*5. The Stand by Stephen King
X4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
X*3. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
X*2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
X******1. The Holy Bible Influenced by Jehovah God, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

I belong to an online book club that reads Christian fiction and then discusses the books. As a Christian book reviewer I reviewed over 700 books(published) and probably have read 3 times that amount to pick the books for review. I cannot even imagine the number of books I've read in my lifetime. Then, I've been a Christian acquisitions reader and freelance editor where I get to work on and read fiction manuscripts. I've read a lot of good fiction in that process, and this was a hard question but Shellie on that list posed this question to us:

"I'm trying to get some ideas of good books that teach deep spiritual truths in a variety of different genres. I couldn't think of a better group to ask than this book club one.
I would like to know your favorites from the following genres (new or older books.)"

Wow, what an important question. I still am wondering how to approach this question, and frankly, compile my own list. Can you give Shellie some suggestions? Note her criteria--"teach deep spiritual truths." Here are the genres.
Any suggestions?

1. Christian Romance

2. Christian Mystery

3. Historical Fiction

4. Holiday Story

5. Legal Thriller

6. Women's Fiction

7. Christian Classic

8. End time fiction

9. Christian Biography

10. Political Thriller

11. Medical Thriller

12. Biography

If you have any suggestions, leave us a comment.

(I need something to distract me from pizza. I am on veggies and fruits, oatmeal and yogurt for a few more days. Sigh.)


Anonymous said...

I'll have to put my thinking cap on, and I've misplaced it somewhere!!

One book did leap to mind, and I hope I remember the title correctly (I'm horrid at remembering titles, but not the authors!), for Political Thriller I recommend Gideon's Torch by Chuck Colson and Ellen Santilli Vaughn (I'm almost positive she's the co-author). Well written, good concept, deals with deep spiritual truth.

As for Christian classics, where do you start?! This set of books remains some of my favorite reads: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. But most likely for this genre she's looking for something a little meatier and Lewis' Mere Christianity continues to be one of my most recommended books.

Okay, I've got to go gnaw on some fruit, take more anti-inflammatories, and pray to make it through this work day!

Hmm, do you think one of those fruit pizzas is on my eating plan? I know they're made with cookie dough, but they're covered in fruit. That ought to work, right? LOL! Crystal, I feel your pain!!


Anonymous said...

For Christian Mysteries, I recommend N. J. Lindquist's Manziuk and Ryan mysteries, Shaded Light and Glitter of Diamonds. She doesn't write 'em fast enough to satisfy my greedy eyes, but they're worth re-reading while I wait!


Pam Halter said...

Legal thriller: James Scott Bell's newest book, The Whole Truth. Right now, it's 15 on the best seller list.

I'd also like to add a suggestion for a fantasy series: Dragons in Our Midst by Bryan Davis. Truly excellent fiction, totally Christian. It's written to a middle grade audience, but adults everywhere love it, too.

Christine Lindsay said...

Up here in Canada the majority of Christian ladies that I know all agree that no one comes close to Francine River's Mark of the Lion series. I guess you would put that into the Historial Fiction category. In that series she sweeps the reader away like I haven't been swept away by any other Christian writer--although there is a non-Christian writer who has done that for me. Just for interest that writer is M.M. Kaye who wrote Far Pavilions and Shadow of the Moon. I also agree with Crystal, that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the greatest books ever written. It's in my top three of favorite books. And of course, no one can beat C.S. Lewis's Narnia series--that's a classic, and so is Mere Christianity.

Anonymous said...

Women's Fiction: Do I really have to choose only 1?? Karen Kingsbury, Gayle Roper, Liz Curtis Higgs leap immediately to mind. I like my chic lit entertaining and well-written, with real characters who wrestle with real spiritual issues . . . not just throw Scripture quotes around willy-nilly in conversations, and please, no namby-pamby Christians who read like they wouldn't know trial, wrestling with issues, etc. if issues and trials jumped up and bit them on the leg.

Okay, now I'll go back to wrangling office paperwork . . . the tax man cometh!!


Terra said...

I just completed reading a thriller "My Soul To Keep" by Melanie Wells, and loved the heroine who cracks jokes about herself, while the dangerous plot continues. Someone kidnaps a child that she loves, and the ride begins.
My favorite author in all genres is C.S. Lewis. Wow, the 3 sci-fi/fantasy novels beginning with "Out of the Silent Planet", his nonfiction "A Grief Observed" and more.
I enjoyed this question and the comments.