The Emotionally Healthy Woman
Geri Scazzero (Zondervan, 2014)
I read this book while I was bringing up our kids. It really helped me to meet God daily on a deeper level through listening to him using ancient Christian practices like lectio divina. It also got me thinking practically about my role within our family and what I needed emotionally. It helped me to be more assertive and voice my own needs as well as looking after my immediate family.
Comfort in the Darkness
Rachel Turner (BRF, 2016)
This book is just what I have been looking for: a way to connect with my child and God at night time that helps us to create together a new understanding of the night. My adopted son hates the night time so bedtimes can be long, drawn out and painful for all of us. I have started to share this book with him and it has inspired such imaginative, precious, uplifting conversations. I cannot express enough how much we needed this injection of truth, positivity and peace in our lives.
I had thought perhaps that the book might be faddy, and wondered how it could possibly meet us in the very dark place our evenings have become, but it has met us and brought us a little bit of hope and peace. Things are still tough, but it has encouraged me that we can find God’s presence in our evenings, even when things are at their darkest.
The book is made up of reimagined Bible stories, questions, prayers and activity ideas. I recommend this for any family to share together.
Craig Greenfield (Zondervan, 2016)
A challenging and provocative read; uncomfortable and inspiring by turns. The author and his family moved from Australia to live in the slums of Cambodia and later to the eastside of Vancouver where the poor, the forgotten, the addicts and the no-hopers hung out. Their aim was to bring the hope of Jesus by living in the community and building relationships for the long haul rather than charity from a distance. Extraordinary.
J Meade Faulkner (Wordsworth, 2021)
I love beautifully written old books, and wasn’t disappointed by this haunting tale of a village torn apart by smugglers, treasure and shipwrecks. Set in a fictional Dorset village in the 18th century, it follows the adventures of John, an orphaned boy who is offered shelter by a publican who has lost his own son.
This story is full of danger, disaster and intrigue, partnered with friendship, loyalty, love and terrible loss…as well as gain.
If you love old-style writing (the book was written in 1898), packed with good old-fashioned biblical content and issues that make you think, you will love this book.
The Memory Collector
Fiona Harper (HQ, 2018)
The Memory Collector’s storyline is an intriguing one that centres on extreme hoarding and the damage it can do to those around you. It brings in family dynamics circling this subject, and the lasting impact it can have on lives. It is also a refreshingly wholesome romance. As Fiona is a Christian author, though, what struck me more than anything was that I see in her book a blueprint for other Christian authors to study writing for mainstream readership, while retaining our Christian integrity. It is peppered with whispers of God, which form part of the characters and are underlined by Christian values. Harper’s acknowledgements end with: “And, finally, all honour to my God and Saviour for being the master storyteller.”
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