The first Christian novel I ever read was Love Comes Softly by Jeanette Oke. My mother had borrowed the book from a friend, and I asked to read it when she was done. I was fifteen-years-old, and I fell in love with Marty, Clark and little Missy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of other Christian fiction. During that stage in my life, most of my reading included books like The Thornbirds or Stephen Kings Pet Cemetery. Yuck! I wasn’t following God at the time, and I wonder how my thinking would have changed if I’d read uplifting, wholesome novels instead.
Years later, after I became a Christian, I found myself in a Christian bookstore, and I had money for ONE book. My husband was in college and we were POOR. A can remember standing in front of the shelves of Christian fiction and thinking, I have no idea where to start.
I picked up a copy of Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene and turned it over in my hands. I never heard of this author before, and I had never read a World War II novel before either. It looked promising but I was still unsure.
“That’s a really good novel,” a woman also standing in the aisle told me. I believed her, and I read it. It’s still one of my favorite books!
Looking back, it was other people sharing books and giving recommendations that changed everything for me. My reading habits changed. The type of books I read changed. I fell in love with Christian fiction, and I’m now a published author of 45 books. How amazing is that?!
People talking about Christian fiction made a HUGE difference in my life. And when you share about Christian fiction it can make a big difference in others’ lives, too.
People are more likely to read a book because a friend recommends it than for any other reason. So I have to ask … are you talking about Christian novels? Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Post a question on your Facebook page like: “What are you reading?” Then share what Christian novels you have recently enjoyed.
2. Next time you have coffee or lunch with a friend, share about some of the books you’ve enjoyed.
3. Join a Facebook group for readers. Last year I started a closed, private Facebook group called, “Avid Readers of Christian Fiction.” A closed, private group means you have to request to be added. (This helps to keep out spammers!)
We have the best discussions. Recently, we’ve talked about our favorite Biblical Fiction and our favorite mail-order bride stories. We also don’t allow “self-promotion” during the week, which means it’s all fun discussions about books. If you’d like to join go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvidChristFicReaders/
4. Consider starting a local book club with friends. Choose a book to read each month and get together to discuss your thoughts!
I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy being among people who are reading! I love hearing about new books, and I also love sharing ones that I enjoyed!
Now … how about you? Answer these questions:
1. What novel are you currently reading?
2. Name two other novels you greatly enjoyed this year.
3. What’s next on your to-be-read pile?
I’m currently reading An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers.
A few other novels I greatly enjoyed this year: A Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers, Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck, and A Light to My Path by Lynn Austin. (I’ve loved many more, too!)
Next on my to-be-read pile is A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
Your turn! I’d love to hear!