Top Reads in 2011


Read lots of great books this year.

Off the top of my head my favorite authors, whose books I read this year, are Jeanette Windle and Francine Rivers.  I think I picked up one or two new ones too.  Have to look it up on GoodReads …

Her Daughter’s Dream  by Francine Rivers

Her Daughter's Dream (Marta's Legacy, #2)Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Part 2 of Marta’s Legacy series, follows Her Mother’s Hope.  This is a public library book.  After reading 100 pages and seeing how much is skipped over, just wonder if this could have been made into a longer series.  Hoping to grasp the current character soon before she slips away … it’s a monumental, ambitious work of writing!

Wow!  You really have to read all of both books.  The story is amazing!  I don’t know how she does it, but Francine always writes so much truth into her books, and shows us in very practical terms how to live out our faith in Almighty God.  This is riveting reading, never going where the reader suspects.  I feel like I was right there.  Thank you, Francine.  Wonderful!

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DMZ  by Jeanette Windle

The DMZThe DMZ by Jeanette Windle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the book I won!  Can’t wait to read it when school gets out.
I am so enjoying this book!  It is so well written.  Feels like I’m right there.

Wow, it’s been four days since I finished reading DMZ.  What can I say?  This book is excellent on many levels.  It took me to Colombia, it took me into the lives of the guerrillas, it introduced me to God, it allowed me to get inside the principal characters minds and emotions and shoes, it kept me on the edge of my seat holding my attention, it made me think about my own government (U.S.) and how we do things, it took me into the lives of the indigenous peoples of Colombia.

This is the best all around book I have read in a long time, Jeanette.  Thank you so much for writing it.  I thought waiting to write my review would make me more objective about the book, but I think it only served to make me appreciate it even more.  The characters, the story, the philosophy, the faith element, the writing itself — I cannot find anything to criticize — the politics, well that gets over my head a bit but that doesn’t spoil the story.  This book is well-written.  I would recommend it to any serious reader.

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Veiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle

Veiled FreedomVeiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely wonderful!  I loved it.  The story was so compelling and I loved how she got into Jamil’s head.  The only part I didn’t like was the ending, possibly because she wrote a sequel which I’m looking forward to reading as well.

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Shattered Dreams:  God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy by Larry Crabb

Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to JoyShattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy by Larry Crabb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How did I bump into this book in the public library?  I wasn’t looking for it … by the call number it must have been next to Francis Chan’s Crazy Love, which was on my list of books to read, recommended by a friend.

Larry Crabb is not new to me.  He’s a good author.  I just haven’t been reading self-help books of any kind for awhile.  The timing of reading this book is incredible, a definite ‘God Thing’.  I could have written this book, if I knew how.  This book is DYNAMITE!  That means it KICKS! so look out!

It’s written for those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, those who have been around the block, so to speak, not babes in Christ.  I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint of heart, only for those who have truly come to the end of themselves.  No spoilers.  Read it for yourself, and read it as if every single truth written in the book applies directly to you.  If it hasn’t already, it will.  If it doesn’t, it is because you have chosen to walk away from the truth of God.

Thank you, Larry, for being transparent enough to present these truths in such an articulate way.  Thank you for putting the Christian life into its proper perspective, for taking it out of the world’s perspective, for teaching on a much higher plane than I’ve ever heard from any pulpit or podium.  This writing puts you in a class with Oswald Chambers and other great men of God, in my book.

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Foxe’s Book of Martyrs   by John Foxe

Foxe's Book of MartyrsFoxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say?  It is humbling reading.  So glad I read it finally.

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John Adams  by David McCullough

John AdamsJohn Adams by David McCullough
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent!  all 650 pages.  All good.  man of integrity, loved his family.  Love McCullough’s writing.

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Abandoned to God:  The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest  by David McCasland

Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His HighestOswald Chambers: Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest by David McCasland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, more so the second time through, is the single most life-changing book, next to my Bible, that I have ever read.  The example which Oswald and Biddy Chambers set of the surrendered life, the manner in which it is written by McCasland, O.C. and Biddy, is incredible.  I have spent the past week in Egypt during WWI, in the YMCA hut, in the sandstorm, right there in the ministry with them.

How they ever, by the grace of God we know, and by the prayers of His children, accomplished all that they did, living completely by faith, devoting themselves to others, yet fully devoted to God and to each other, is amazing.

This particular edition of the book is a cheap one, for gifting freely, so it’s nothing to do with the feel or the look of the book.  It’s all to do with the content and the Spirit of God.

I would encourage every serious child of God to read it.  You will learn much about your own relationship with God.  And you will be challenged.

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Notable mentions:

Jack Cavanaugh’s While Mortals Sleep

Kim Gaines Eckert’s Stronger Than You Think

Jeanette Windle’s Firestorm

Jane Kirkpatrick’s No Eye Can See

Lynn Austin’s Candle in the Darkness

Francine Rivers’ Atonement Child


Ann Tatlock’s All the Way Home

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