Wednesday 12 December 2018

My Top Ten Reads for 2018

If you’re pedantic and fussy about details, you will notice that my list includes more than 10 books. I’ve read more than those listed, but I couldn’t leave any out from this list. I won’t say anything if you don’t.
These titles are presented in no particular order of preference. Read them all!

Searching for Healing – From the New Age to Jesus by Julie Mellor
 published by John Mellor Ministries
This powerful testimony walks the reader through the author’s search for healing, and the many New Age practises she tried to find it. As an atheist, she had no intention of ever considering God or Jesus as an option, but the Holy Spirit had a way of bringing her to face what she had been ignoring—her need of the true healer.

Sitting at the Feet of Rabi Jesus – How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spanger and Lois Tverberg
 published by Zondervan (also Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus and Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus)
This trio of books make fascinating reading. As western Christians, we often read the Bible through our post-millennial, Western lens, and we often misunderstand what it was that the Jewish listeners of the First Century would have heard. Highly recommended reading as part of your Bible study.

Hell on the Doorstep – Hope beyond Black Saturday by John and Jan Graham with Meredith Resce published by Golden Grain Publishing
While I am technically the story editor, and minor contributor to this work, it is not my story. The day Jan Graham first shared it with me I said to her, ‘you have to write a book’. Neither John nor Jan are writers, and so I helped them craft this biographical account of how they responded when the Black Saturday bushfires were on their doorstep.

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar
Published by Tyndale House Publishers
This is the third novel by this author that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed. Tessa Afshar writes Biblical Fiction and it is outstanding. Land of Silence tells the story of the woman who had suffered for 12 years from bleeding and was healed, but that part of the story is not revealed until near the end. Most of the story introduces us to her and her family, set in First Century Jerusalem. The characters are engaging, and the plot well crafted. I highly recommend this author.

All Made Up by Kara Isaac
Published by Bellbird Press
This is the second novel I’ve read by this Kiwi author. Always want to support our regional Christian fiction authors—but it wasn’t a trial. I’m not a particular fan of the reality TV shows, though I’ve been known to watch an episode or two. This novel is set in the middle of a reality romance show – Falling for the Farmer. Set in Australia, and then out to Toowoomba Qld. If you like light romance, you’ll like this.

The Catching Kind (Brew Ha Ha series) by Bria Quinlan
Published by Rogue Giraffe Books
I really enjoyed the wit of this writer. Bad boy athlete is forced into a media-stunt with sweet-heart author, posing as a couple. His popularity is supposed to gain her visibility in the media, her much-loved clean-teen romance is supposed to gain him respectability. Then they are supposed to call it quits…but you know what is bound to happen.

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England series) by Roseanna M White
Published by Bethany House Publishers
I read a number of Roseanna White’s books this year. Roseanna was one of our sponsors for last years’ Omega Writers’ Conference, so I thought I’d best check her out. I was not disappointed. This particular novel set at the start of World War One, is a bit ‘Downton Abby’ in nature. Roseanna has historical novels set both in England and in the USA. I’ve really enjoyed her writing so far.

With you Always (Orphan Train Series)  by Jody Hedlund
Published by Bethany House Publishers
This is also not the first novel I’ve read by this author. I’ve read a number set in medieval England, but this one is set in the frontier years of the US. The days when the railroad is pushing further west, and railroad towns are popping up. The main character is the eldest sister of a family of orphans, living in poverty in the slums of New York. She applies and is chosen to head out to a new railroad town to take on a job, forced to leave her siblings behind. Lots of drama and romance ensues.

Regency Brides series by Carolyn Miller (Miss Serena’s Secret, Winning Miss Withrop)
Published by Kregel Publications
I love the fact that one of our Australia authors is making waves in the international market. Carolyn’s work stands up as good as, and sometimes better, than anything you will read from the US market. I have her books on pre-order, so that will tell you how much I enjoy them. Besides, I’m an Austen tragic. What’s not to love about well-written Regency Romance. And Carolyn writes well.

Unhinged by Amanda Deed
Published by Rhiza
Amanda Deed is a solid Australian writer, and her work is set in Colonial Australia. This series, ‘Unnoticed’ and ‘Unhinged’ is a unique idea, where Amanda has taken the classic fairytales and set them in Colonial Australia. ‘Unhinged’ has another fascinating twist. Her retelling of Beauty and the Beast – our beast does not have a physical deformity, but Amanda has chosen to explore the drama of a man who experiences periods of dark depression—and in an era where mental illness was not understood or treated well.

To Say Nothing of the Dog (S.F. Masterworks) by Connie Willis
Published by Bantam Books
I’m not even sure how I came to buy this book, as it’s not in my usual Christian Fiction or Christian inspiration field, but I loved it. It is a time travel for a start with, and you will know I enjoy time travel from my own novel ‘For All Time’. But this was funny, quirky, and kept me on the edge for the whole book. Scientific time travel in the future, sent two people back to live in the past to solve a mystery. Oh the things that could go wrong, and the knock-on effects for future events. I loved it.

This list has been compiled by me - Meredith Resce - author and avid reader

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