Mommy on Fire readers spoke – we DO need good book recommendations that don’t permeate the soul with negativity, ungratefulness, or sadness because we don’t measure up to an unattainable ideal.  Not to mention that life is simply too short to read bad books.

Below you’ll find titles I have personally read and love – who’s characters have stayed with me well past the end of the book and who’s plots forced me to think and expand my wee little mind ever-so-slightly. Below you will find a list of my personal favorites that I can endorse because I’ve read them all.

I received so many reader responses from the  Mommy on Fire community on Facebook that I will be posting those on Monday – I tried to put them all together but realized over 1,500 words was a bit much for one post – even for this word-lovin’ girl.

Here’s 20 Books To Rock Your World:

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger – An absolutely beautifully written work of art.  A must read for sure!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – This book amazed me! Much of what we know in the medical world is a result of fast-growing, unique cells extracted from this young, African American woman from the south in the 1950’s.  Riveting!

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – You want an alternative to 50 Shades of Grey?  Here’s your romance, sisters – Bible-style!  I resisted Christian fiction for a long time but after my friend, Katrina, said I must read this, I acquiesced and I’m beyond grateful.  This is a page-turner!

Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers – A work of historical fiction on the lives of Aaron, Caleb, Jonathan, Amos and Silas.

A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity by Francine Rivers – Her female partner to Sons of Encouragement written about Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – Another work of historical fiction based around World War II and the small community of Guernsey Island.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese – RIVETING.  There’s not much else to say about this one.  Beautiful book!

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller – I love his hilarious, conversational style and his perspective is spot-on.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – Great read based around a friendship that continued through the Japanese “work camps” in the U.S.

Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line (Focus on the Family Books) by Abby Johnson – If you are passionate about crisis pregnancy or are curious to read about the politics of abortion, you’ll want to read this.

This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes by Marilyn Berger – I read this while traveling to Ghana last year and it was quite timely – Rick, a Jewish doctor, has selflessly given his life to the people of Ethiopia – his commitment and perspective is inspirational.

The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg – That still small voice?  It’s actually an echo.  Awesome book about listening to God’s direction in a fresh and contemporary light.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – Classic!  My book club picked this a while ago and I didn’t think I would like it but I most certainly did!  The characters will haunt you – the mark of a well-written novel, eh?

The Used World: A Novel by Haven Kimmel – Author of Zippy (another great read)  – Great novel with authentic and real characters.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excessby Jen Hatmaker – For seven months, Jen focused on only seven of each category:  she ate only seven different kinds of food for a month, wore only seven articles of clothing for another, etc.  Her lessons on excess in our society is humbling but not in a condemning way.

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis – Katie is wise beyond her 22 years – with an innate passion for Uganda, she moved there after high school graduation and has now adopted several girls from Uganda.  Very inspiring – scripture throughout!

The Red Tent: A Novel by Anita Diamant – LOVE this historical fiction piece based around Rachel, Leah, Jacob, and their maidservants.

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist – I adore Shauna’s “straight-up” approach and conversational writing. She’s hilarious yet teaches the reader rich lessons on living in faith through sharing her own human frailties.

Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist – More of Bittersweet!

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand – This author of Seabiscuit shares the truth behind the story of Louis Zamperini, a pilot during World War II, whose plane crashed in the ocean and he survived. His story of survival and endurance will move you!

 It’s not too late – I can still add your recommendations to the list posting on Monday!  What books have lingered with you?

Have a wonderful weekend, Friends!

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