Recommendations for your summer reading from a selection of newly released Christian books. These are my top ten favourites, I have chosen a mix of fiction and non-fiction, for you to view. I hope you will find something here to read, inspire, and enjoy!
New Release Christian Fiction
Some short story collections which are ideal for holiday reading, and a debut novel with an uplifting Scriptural message of hope woven into the story.
Stories from the Heart: For Older Generations by Olusola Sophia Anyanwu.
A collection of short stories by a British-Nigerian author and is based on reflections of her past life in Nigeria while drawing comparisons with how life is lived today. It is written in a very easy to read conversational style and gave a glimpse of life in Africa. The stories brought insight into the influence of a different culture on our relationships. The stories vary in length, but they all start with a verse of Scripture which adds another dimension. A different style to my usual reading but the stories were intriguing and may keep you guessing throughout. Available from Amazon UK, US
A blend of poetry and fictional short stories spanning the last two decades, which embrace in all its complexities the world that we live in. The author uses creative writing to express views on difficult and important issues, with an underlying visible faith.
The first short story, ‘Off the Beaten Track,’ broadens our horizons to look back to 2008, and is set in the Baltics which at that time was a war-torn place of poverty and trouble. A gentle reminder, through the eyes of a young girl, that there are so many places in the world where choices for women are often grim. But even there, a little kindness can bring a glimmer of hope. A great introduction to ‘Count our Blessings.’
The author does not shy away from difficult topics and the stories and poems are thought provoking and intermingled with beautiful declarations of faith. Available from Amazon UK, US
The Healing: Will a monk’s habit help unlock his true identity? by Joy Margetts
This novel is set early in the 13th century, one of the main characters Philip de Braose wakes from an injury-induced fever to find himself in a French Abbey being cared for by monks. Philip finds out that the monk who rescued him, Hywel, is a visitor to France, from an Abbey in Wales. Slowly Philip’s physical injuries begin to heal, but there is also a deeper work of healing required. The gospel is unwrapped through the relationship of these two fictional characters as they journey together. The author weaves a beautiful lesson – God can take our brokenness and bring healing, with promise and hope for the future. The book is available via Amazon UK, US. At joymargetts.com you may like to read the author’s own testimony of God’s healing and restoration power.
New Release Christian Non-Fiction
In my choice I have included some daily devotional books, a couple of in-depth character Bible studies, and some auto-biographical topical reflections. They all encourage a deeper love for the Lord and bring practical application for our spiritual lives.
Sand Between Your Toes: Inspirations for a Slower, Simpler, and More Soulful Life by Anna Kettle
This book is a collection of short devotional pieces reflecting on a verse of Scripture. Each one includes a couple of questions, to pause and sift what you have read, and then a short prayer making it an ideal daily reader. The theme, as the title implies is one of encouragement to slow down and reflect on the bigger, deeper, questions of life in a very gentle way. The background images are all from the beach and sea giving you that holiday season feel, whether at home or away, inviting you to rest a while! Available via Amazon UK, US
The Psalm 23 Life: Experiencing the love of God every day by David Knott
The author takes us through a familiar, and for many favourite, Psalm with fresh insight. Throughout each chapter there are ‘Making it Real’ sections, short reflective thoughts and questions, bringing practical and relevant application to the readings. The author expounds David’s testimony of God’s faithfulness to bring hope for our lives to be lived with the same assurance. The Psalm 23 life is an invite to live in ‘complete safety, punctuated by rest that restores our souls’ with the knowledge of God’s enduring love. A book that refreshes the spirit! Available Amazon UK, US
40 Days With the Holy Spirit: A Journey to Experience His Presence in a Fresh New Way by R.T.Kendall
R.T.Kendall is always a clear teacher on the exposition of scripture. I was looking forward to this new book, which as a daily reader is a new style for this author, and I was not disappointed. Each day revealed a different aspect of the character of the Holy Spirit, with Scriptures for further study and a short prayer at the end to reflect on for application. Although some of the teachings were familiar, other aspects were insightful and inspiring and developed my understanding of the Holy Spirit in new ways. Available on Amazon UK, US
Not Knowing but Still Going: A buoyant hope for uncertain times by Jocelyn-Anne Harvey
The author uses the account of Noah’s ark, and the flood, as the framework to explore relevant themes for us today. The message throughout the book is one of hope through uncertainty, peace through acceptance, and finding joy with faith and trust in the Lord. As Noah found favour with the Lord, we too are living in the time of God’s favour, with an invitation to respond to His grace.
Over twelve chapters, the book draws out of Noah’s story, a range of topics for spiritual growth. Each chapter closes with a prayer, as a response from our heart. And also suggests three ‘chapter contemplations’ as thoughts to take away and study or reflect on some more. There are a few blank pages for you to journal and add your notes. Available Amazon UK, US
Broken Vessels: God’s Glory through Flawed Humanity by Ken Barnes
An autobiographical account of the author’s journey of healing and restoration. There is real honesty and humility in this reflection and openness regarding past mistakes and God’s chastening. Our personal experiences may be different but there can be many similarities in the life lessons.
“God causes or allows challenging and even painful circumstances to happen to us – out of His mercy and grace, that He is big enough to make good out of painful life experiences.”Ken Barnes
Singing in Babylon: Finding Purpose in Life’s Second Choices by Jeff Lucas
“How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?”
This book explores and develops the theme of second choice lives, that life is never perfect, even for Christians. We are all living in a beautiful, but broken world. The second choices are those circumstances of life that we would not choose for ourselves and is particularly relevant at this time.
The book focuses on Daniel as an inspirational example, of not only surviving in a second choice life but someone who thrives. This brings hope and encouragement for each one of us that we can flourish and sing a joyful song, wherever God has placed us. For the full review, you may like to read Resilient Faith.
From a Mile Behind: Learning to outrun comparison and live your authentic life. by Breonna Rostic
It is so easy to get caught in the comparison trap and this book is written in a conversational style aimed particularly at young women. The issues raised are ones which we can all face, self-doubt, fear of rejection, and self-pity, which can lead to feelings of isolation. Each chapter ends with a declaration to affirm the teaching, thoughts to take away and meditate on, and a prayer. This all encourages participation and practical application to move on and embrace who God created you to be. Available on Amazon, Kindle Edition.
Some of the books I received a complimentary copy, but all the reviews are independently my own.