I was fifteen when I got my first job, and for years I had kept a long wish list of books I wanted to read.
I’m pretty sure I spent my entire first paycheck at Barnes and Noble.
Honest confession: I still have a long wish list full of books. ;) How about you? I’d love to know what books are on your wish list this Christmas season in a comment below.
If there is anything I love finding beneath the Christmas tree with my name on it above books, I haven’t met it yet. If you’re a book-lover like myself, you probably know a few fellow bibliophiles and you may be wondering what titles to snag for them for Christmas. Or maybe you want to add another title or two to your own wish list!
Look no further—here are my favorite Christian books that I’ve read this year, categorized for your browsing pleasure. :)
The Best Contemporary Christian Fiction Books
The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter
I began reading this book expecting it to be a variation of The Runaway Bride. Oh the mistakes I make when I don’t read the back cover before cracking open a novel! Not only does this book have very little (if anything) in common with the movie, it’s much better. I really enjoyed this look at small town life meets paparazzi mob all because of amnesia impacting not one, but two weddings. I highly recommend this book to fans of Hallmark movies, but Denise does a great job of weaving in an excellent Christian overtone without being preachy.
Her One and Only by Becky Wade
Another contemporary Christian romance novel I read and loved this year, Her One and Only is another outstanding title by my new favorite contemporary author, Becky Wade. She beautifully blends humor and depth without ever allowing the plot to sag. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Such an intriguing premise, also, to have a female security officer (read: bodyguard) be half of a leading couple. Fans of this genre will surely fall for Becky Wade’s Porter Family series.
The Best Historical Christian Fiction Books
A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
I am a huge fan of Roseanna M. White’s, and I’ve read all but one of her books. A Name Unknown is in my opinion her best book yet. Set in a new time period for her, pre-WWI England, this book lacks none of the historical robustness I’ve come to expect and look forward to in Roseanna’s novels. The depth of the spiritual conversations were actually my favorite part, though, as Rosemary’s journey to Christ (spoiler alert!) unfolded. Amazing, amazing book that would make a thick brick of a gift under a Christmas tree. I highly recommend the beginning of this new series.
The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah Ladd
I could not guess the ending to this plot! As a writer and editor, that is a rare occurrence and a happy one. I love not knowing what is going to happen next, and Sarah Ladd’s book did that for me. Set in England (one of my favorite settings), The Curiosity Keeper mixed mystery with deep struggles of a hero and heroine dealing with so many family problems I lost count—which is so real life, is it not? I related so well to both hero and heroine and loved how they remained independent while falling in love. A sweet, sweet story that will not disappoint.
With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin is an exceptionally talented author who tackles a difficult time period with seeming ease. She writes excellent novels set during the WWII era, with servicemen and women often on the front lines, no less! Which has to be quite the research knot to untangle. But the result is a joy to read, and I didn’t even know I was a big WWII fan before reading Sarah’s books. This book—any book by Sarah, really—would be perfect for the history buff on your Christmas list.
The Best Young Adult Books
Unraveling by Sara Ella
The second in a brand new series by Sara Ella, Unraveling takes on the challenge of being a second book in a series of three and performs beautifully. Whereas most second books fall flat in terms of plot and sorta serve as being a “bridge book,” Unraveling contains a robust story all its own and heightens the intensity I came to expect from Sara Ella in Book One, Unblemished. Not overtly Christian (although the author is). I highly recommend this book and series to all young adult readers intrigued by fantasy titles.
The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill
Stephanie Morrill is a talented author I love getting to call a friend. I have read and own all of her books, and The Lost Girl of Astor Street is definitely a new venture from her. Her first historical novel, she does an outstanding job weaving in historical accuracy without overwhelming readers. The plot is deep and made me think, which always makes a book a favorite on my shelf. I can’t wait to read more by Stephanie Morrill, and I hope there are more Piper books! Snag this book for the teen (or twenty-something!) on your list.
The Best Christian NonFiction Books
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller
Timothy Keller is one of my new favorite nonfiction authors. I’ve read a few of his titles by now, and I’m never disappointed. His theological depth succeeds in making me think without overwhelming me (or talking over me, something I can’t stand in theological titles). Read this book to be challenged on your view of marriage.
Counting Grains of Sand by Natasha Metzler
Natasha is an anointed blogger and author, and I had the privilege of helping her edit this, her follow-up to Pain Redeemed. Natasha writes in a way few others come close to and always, always touches my heart. The spiritual challenges of her journey through infertility and adopting older children is painful but a blessing to read about, and I treasure this book.
Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors
I had the privilege of reviewing this book for Kindred Grace right after reading Katie’s first book, Kisses from Katie. Both books convicted and inspired me and were easily my favorite reads of 2017. Don’t read unless you’re ready to be changed.