Perhaps it is not the most, ah, intellectual, to admit my love for fiction, but it is true nonetheless. I like stories. I like writing them, reading them, and talking about them. My friend Meg and I can talk for, ahem, hours about fictional characters.
I love that somewhere in my imagination there lives a girl named Paris, who has brown hair and wears torn jeans and talks with her hands. She has a story of redemption that is pieced together from real stories that I’ve heard and my fingers almost itch to finish writing it out.
And not only that, but I love fairy tales and parables. Ones that whisper and swirl stories from other lands. Places that exist only in my mind, but can be translated onto paper. Places that have castles with 67 stone steps, little girls who have been saved from monsters by a King who loves, and warriors who raise their banners to the only true Ruler of All.
I sometimes joke about the many fiction books that leak into my reading lists. I read many, many nonfiction books to glean information but it is fiction that makes me smile. I don’t read it to critique, I simply read it for pleasure.
So. I’m going to share with you the fiction books I read last year. Some are re-reads, some I disliked, some I loved. And I hope you’ll be inspired to read a few novels this year. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, by any means, but they were the ones that left a lasting memory.
Books I Read:
When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley: Contemporary. The story of a woman caught in an abusive church and her journey to freedom. It contains pieces of romance and a thread of mystery. The writing was lovely. There were some parts that I struggled with but overall, I enjoyed it.
Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary DeMuth: Set in 1979. A small town, an abused girl, an unlikely friendship, and a God who crawls right into the middle of our darkness to lead us to light. I also reread Wishing on Dandelions, the sequel. They are both favorites of mine.
Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengi: Fantasy. A parable wrapped up in a fairy tale. A princess, a battle for her heart, and the undeniable truth that it is only in death of our sinful nature that we can truly live.
The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson: Fairy tale. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with a Christian twist. Gotta love Melanie Dickerson.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Yes. I reread it. (and it’s just as good the 15th time as the first. Maybe better.)
Books I Read Aloud:
The Widow of Larkspur Inn , The Courtship of the Vicar’s Daughter, and The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark: Historical. adorable, funny, light and breezy reads set in a small town in England. My husband got a kick out of them.
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Children’s. Oh, yes, and we loved it. Every single chapter.
The Kincaid Brides Series by Mary Connealy: Historical. We read them all because they were kind of funny but, to be honest, they weren’t the best books. (She does have some cute ones, by the way, these just weren’t my favorites.)
Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer: Historical. Very cute. We both liked it. Typical historical romance in some ways but excellent writing and enjoyable twists.
Roses for Mama by Janette Oke: Historical. One of my favorite books. I read it as a teen and I still love it. (so I made my husband listen to it. In my defense, he did say he liked it.)
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers: Historical/Allegorical. Oh. So good. Still. No matter how many times I read it. I know some people struggle through the graphic nature (Angel is an abused child turned prostitute) but I, honestly, think it’s real life and we better face it. (and, oh, the glory of the redemption.) I think my husband might have cried a few places. Shhh! Don’t tell.
The Grandma’s Attic Storybook by Arleta Richardson: Children’s. We love Grandma’s Attic. I read stories here and there throughout the year. They were some of my favorite’s as a child and my husband really enjoys them as well.
What was your favorite novel from last year?
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