When people ask what I read my answer is, “things with words.” Fantasy, mystery, romance, self-help, theological discourse, political musings… put it in front of me and I’ll probably read it.
That said, there are a few authors whose books I’ll go out of my way to find.
1) Jennifer Friess – She gets to be #1 on my list because I love her as a writer, but I also just love her. She’s been my BFF since about forever and she’s the only who inspired me to start following my muse again. Her books are sweet and fun, charming and romantic and you should read them!
#2) James Somers – Mr. Somers’ Descendants series is a recently discovered obsession. He, too, seems to enjoy exploring the idea that God’s creation just might be a bit more complicated than we think. His books are an exciting, quick, sometimes fairly scary read. Extra bonus: at the time of writing this, book one is free for Kindle!
#3) Dean Koontz – I absolutely adore the way Dean Koontz can scare the snot out of me with a terrifying description of the impending violent end of the world and then, at the end of the book, leave me feeling hopeful. Plus, there’s almost always an awesome dog in his books. I love dogs! The Taking, in particular, truly changed the way I view life and our place in the universe.
#4) Anne Rice – The woman has written just about every type of book that can be written. I love that you can almost see the course of her own personal spiritual journey reflected through her writings. Like half of the known world, I fell in love with Lestat and his vampire comrades, but I have to say I think that the Christ The Lord books were my favorite. I’ve never seen such an extraordinary portrayal of Jesus as both man and Messiah.
#5) JK Rowling – I’m pretty sure everyone in this universe and any other has read the Harry Potter series. It was just that good. The characters and the story have layer upon layer of meaning but, for all that depth, it’s just fun to read. Plus, JK is truly just a great person. I’ve never heard or read an interview with her that wasn’t full of love, hope, and encouragement. She is generous and talented and I kind of want to be her when I grow up.
#6) AJ Jacobs – I’ve been a huge fan of AJ’s since I read The Year Of Living Biblically several years ago. But I went up and over, all the way to star-struck when he actually, personally responded to one of my blogs (that happened to be about him). See my Lazy Hippie Mama page for my all-time favorite endorsement. I have learned so much from reading his books, and I’ve laughed a lot too. Not everyone can make a commandment against blended fibers entertaining but AJ does it with brilliance.
#7) I’m not certain that it’s possible to read a Jan Karon novel and not feel just a little more in love with the world. It seems I’ve actually lived in Mitford for some portion of my life and I have literally found myself asking, at times, “What would Father Tim do?” It doesn’t matter what your favorite genre is. You need to read at least one of the Mitford books. My favorite is Light From Heaven.
#8) Jean Hegland – Her book Into The Forest literally changed my entire worldview and was one of the influences on my wanting to write novels of my own. Her writing is beautiful, and powerful, and it will draw you in from the very first page.
EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS AUTHOR:
When I jumped on the Nanowrimo bandwagon in 2013 my then 9-year-old daughter jumped with me and wrote her first book: The Weirdest Family. Her book is a dreamscape of aliens and hermit crabs and general silliness. It’s not Hemingway. It’s all that is wonderful about being a imaginative little 4th grade girl. Holding her finished book in my hands was one of the proudest moments of my life! If you want to remember how you thought when you were a child, you should read this book!