One of my favorite hobbies is reading. I love laying on my bed listening to the rain pound the windows while I take in the words of some great author. I love laying out by the pool, soaking in the rays and turning the pages of some great book. I love having my toes in the sand, listening to the waves of the ocean while I drift away into some other world.
I like reading in bed. I like reading on the couch. I like reading at the gym while I ride the bicycle machine. I like reading under trees. I like reading on park benches.
My bookshelves are packed full, and yet I want more books. I like the feel of a book in my hands, the turning of the pages, the look of the cover. I like putting them on a shelf when I finish them. I like reading them again years later or finding just the right one to let a friend read.
I recently joined Goodreads — a website that lets you rate the books you’ve read and read recommendations from others. It’s pretty neat. In the last couple years, I’ve read over 100 books. That’s not much compared to some people, and it’s a lot compared to others. I have at least 25 on my to-read list, and I have a feeling I’ll be reading a lot more in the next year. My favorite type of book, whether fiction or non-fiction, to read is Christian. I love how God speaks to me through Christian authors.
So with all this reading going on, I thought I should share with you my TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS. Because ya’ll are my friends (even if we’ve never met), and I always tell my friends about my favorite books. I want them to read them too, so we can talk about them! And so they can share in the happiness that book gave me.
So, in my opinion, here are the top 5 Christian books you should read! (Not including the Bible, because come on — that’s a given.)
1. Redeeming Love.
Author — Francine Rivers. Fiction.
This is the only book other than the Bible that I’ve read more than once. And I would read it again. It’s the retelling of the story of Hosea and Gomer from the book of Hosea in the Bible. It’s set in 1850, and it’s a powerful story of God’s redemptive love (hence the title), as well as His healing and constant pursuit of us as His bride.
2. Mark of the Lion series.
Author — Francine Rivers. Fiction.
Yes, this is technically three books. But this my blog post so I can do what I want! 🙂 I would read these books again too! Each book is about a specific character, but all three of their lives intertwine and you will see each character in all three books. These books are set around 79 AD, which makes each character from the generation that came after Jesus. It’s incredible to think about what life would have been like back then. These books were a real eye-opener for me, and helped me understand the Bible better.
Author — Sara Hagerty. Non-Fiction.
I just read this book a few months ago, and I loved it. This woman’s story shows us all that God is for us and loves us even when we question it. Sara talks about dealing with infertility — years of longing with an empty womb — and her journey of adopting. This book reminds us of hope, healing, and how God turns every bitter thing sweet. If you’ve experienced loss of any kind, I especially recommend this book to you.
4. Baxter Family Series.
Author — Karen Kingsbury. Fiction.
You thought counting a three-book series as one was bad … This is technically a 23-book series. I know — who has the time for that, right? Well, make time my friends. This series walks us through the lives of the Baxter and Flanigan families. I can guarantee you will be able to relate to more than one character throughout these books. I fell in love with the Baxter family, as well as their neighbors the Flanigans. I encourage you to start with the first book of the first series — Redemption — and slowly work your way through these books. I know 23 sounds daunting, but take your time, and I really think you will get to the point where you don’t want to stop reading. If you are new to the series, here’s the list of books in order. (I love that this author loves alliteration as much as me!)
Redemption Collection: Redemption, Remember, Return, Rejoice, Reunion
Firstborn Collection: Fame, Forgiven, Found, Family, Forever
Sunrise Collection: Sunrise, Summer, Someday, Sunset
Above the Line Collection: Take One, Take Two, Take Three, Take Four
Bailey Flanigan Collection: Leaving, Learning, Longing, Loving
Final Book: Coming Home — My absolute favorite book of them all! (But it won’t be as good unless you’ve read the rest of them!)
5. The Shack.
Author — Wm. Paul Young. Fiction.
This book was really popular back when I was in college, so maybe everyone’s already read it. But it is one of my favorites, and if you haven’t read it yet I encourage you to do so. It’s about a man whose daughter was abducted and murdered, and how he gets a life-changing experience four years later at the exact same place she was killed. The thing about this book was it opened my mind to what God is like and who He is. It gave me a new perspective and really made me think deep about what I believe.
There are two books that have the potential to hit my top five list soon! I’m currently reading these books: The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst and Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. I also have several books on my To-Read List, and any of them could shift my top five ranking.
What’s your favorite Christian book? Share in the comments.