Summer Reading: Three Books That You Love

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We love our literature here at The Rabbit Room. Our web store is full of achingly beautiful fiction like Shiloh and The Fiddler’s Gun; rich young adult fantasies like The Wingfeather Saga and The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic, thoughtful explorations of faith and theology like The Anglican Way and Behold the Lamb of God, moving memoirs like The Last Sweet Mile and Everlasting is the Past, and much, much more.

And newly available in the Rabbit Room store is Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus – “In Slow Church, Chris Smith and John Pattison invite us to leave franchise faith behind and enter into the ecology, economy and ethics of the kingdom of God, where people know each other well and love one another as Christ loved the church.” (More on an upcoming reading group for this book in the next few days.)

But let’s dig even deeper. There are thousands of books out there, waiting to be opened. How do I weed through them to find my next summer reading? Well, I figured the community of Rabbit Room contributors was a good place to start. I asked them a single question (one that I stole from Anne Bogel’s book recommendation podcast):

What are three books that you love?

We’ve focused solely on prose (leaving poetry and comics ripe for later discussion), and we’ve tried to stay away from Rabbit Room standbys and ubiquitous classics. The result is a lineup of books that may not be on your radar—and our hope is to encourage you to pick them up and explore something new! And by the way—this isn’t a closed discussion. We want your voice too! So once you’ve read through the recommendations below, you can share your own top three in the comments section, or share freely at the Summer reading discussion in the forums. We’re dying to hear your favorites!

 

Historical Fiction

  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy: The jacket calls it “an epic novel of violence and depravity that attended America’s westward expansion.” Not appropriate for all readers, but one of my favorite novels.  —Thomas McKenzie
  • The Bull From the Sea by Renault: A great work of fiction set in Ancient Greece. —Eric Peters
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: This is the best book in the world. Everyone should read it. I’m writing in Gus McRae for president. —Pete Peterson
  • Lust For Life by Irving Stone: A superb fictional biography of Vincent Van Gogh. —Eric Peters
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: This 1948 gem by Dodie Smith (yes, that Dodie Smith, author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians!) is an enchanting summertime read. A father with writer’s block who takes a 40-year lease on a crumbling castle in the English countryside, an older daughter who wants to live in a Jane Austen novel, a pair of wealthy young Americans who inherit the estate next door, and a younger sister who ‘captures’ everything in her journal all adds up to a witty-but-tender coming of age story. Some of the most lyrical prose I’ve encountered. (Don’t cheat yourself with the subpar 2003 movie version.)  —Lanier Ivester
  • Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice: I know some people might consider this book edgy, but I find it beautiful, respectful, and an insightful imaginative exploration into the mind of the young Jesus. —Chris Yokel
  • Godric by Frederick Buchner: One of the most beautifully-written novels my eyes and heart have ever touched. So very insightful. If for no other reason, it’s worth the read for Elric’s demon-blasting antics. —Dave Bruno
  • In This House of Brede by Rumor Godden: A successful London businesswoman walks away from everything she’s ever known to take orders in a Benedictine monastery. This is a cloistered epic, spanning several years of the very human lives of nuns and the forces that affect them (including Vatican II). Truly a book to quiet the soul, and based upon the author’s three years of research living near Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire (a stint which eventually led her to convert to Catholicism). —Lanier Ivester
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson: Robinson is a ridiculously good writer, and this is a beautiful book. What happens when the economy of grace meets the hard-bitten economy of take what you can get? —David Mitchel
  • My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok: A look at the artist’s life. —Eric Peters
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: Full of great characters and great scenes, and has one of the most moving endings ever. –Pete Peterson
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt: Seventh grade is a rough year for anyone, but for Holling Hoodhood, 1960’s turmoil and Wednesday afternoon Shakespeare lessons make it nearly unbearable… at first. There’s a lot of humor and a whole lot of heart in this middle-school page-turner. —Jonny Jimison

 

Fantasy / Sci-Fi

  • The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery: People are always asking me which is my favorite of L.M. Montgomery’s books, and it’s a question I honestly can’t answer—it would be like choosing between my best friends. But supposedly The Blue Castle was Montgomery’s own favorite, and, knowing her as I do, I can see why. So much more than a “girl finds out she’s dying so she makes up her mind to actually live” story; so much more than a “grownup fairytale”—but it’s both of those things. And it’s absolutely beautiful. —Lanier Ivester
  • The Book of the Sandman and the Alphabet of Sleep, Rien Poortvliet and Will Huygen: You may know Poortvliet from his gnome books, but this is by far my favorite work of his. This is a heavily illustrated book for adults and children, which begins as a mock-telling by men who traveled to an Italian mountain side to document a rare bird. Their journey leads them to a remote village where a loose plank of wood inside a cabin loft leads to the discovery of the Alphabet of Sleep and the Book of the Sandman. I can’t recommend this book enough. —Joe Sutphin
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: A great, all-around story brimming with originality and creativity. Gaiman’s imagination is ridiculous and it spurs me on to be more unconventionally creative. —Jamin Still
  • The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis: This book is about a bus excursion by the inhabitants of Hell (a grey, dingy town that goes on for endless miles) to the outskirts of Heaven, and how the Bright Spirits from Deep Heaven come down to try to convince these souls to come into Heaven. “But there is always something they insist on keeping, even at the price of misery.” —Ron Block
  • Lilith by George MacDonald: This is a profound, dreamlike little fantasy book, packed full of themes of redemption that make me think, imagine, and reimagine. I’ve read it many times and periodically return to it because it’s such a deep well. —Ron Block
  • The Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull: An absolutely engrossing story of a brother and sister who discover that their grandparents’ farm is actually one of only a handful of sanctuaries around the world for fabled creatures, good, bad and otherwise. Packed full of adventure, mystery, magic, , twists, scares, thrills, and an exhaustive list of fabled beings, my son and I could not put it down until we had finished all 5 books. Easily one of my favorite fantasy series ever. —Joe Sutphin
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle: As the world seems to have moved on from believing in fairy tales, the last lonely unicorn sets out to discover what happened to the rest of her kind, and receives help from a bumbling magician, a feisty maiden, and a lazy prince along the way. This story captivated me as a kid, and it still holds up when I need a little lyrical prose, some memorable characters, and a reminder that maybe there’s still a little magic in this old modern world. —Jen Yokel
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: Richard Mayhew, a bored young businessman, appears to be the only one who can see an injured girl named Door in the street. When he steps out of his ordinary life to help her, she leads him into adventure in the terrifying world of London Below… yes, a parallel world under the streets of London. Just creepy enough to play along the fringes of horror (because Neil Gaiman), but overall a fun fantasy adventure that broke me out of a fiction reading slump last year. —Jen Yokel
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Seriously, the book is probably even funnier than the famous film. The whole premise — that the author is editing an obscure fairy tale down to “the good parts” — is ridiculous and awesome. —Jen Yokel
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy: This book is a master class in sparse writing. Nameless characters, a scorched earth, and the dread of encountering others create a deeply personal, terrifying and strangely hope-filled apocalyptic story. Imagine The Walking Dead without zombies. —Russ Ramsey
  • The Song of Albion trilogy by Stephen Lawhead: Narnia for adults with a strong Celtic sensibility. —Chris Yokel
  • Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin: This book defies description. There are swords, flying horses, ice ships, New York City, a cloud wall (whatever that is), a priest named Mootfowl, a plot to build a bridge to Heaven, an apocalyptic hellscape, and many more strange things that I dare not spoil. Absolutely baffling and brilliant. —Pete Peterson

 

Faith and Theology

  • Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning: No one preaches the Gospel better than Brennan, and this was his best book. —Thomas McKenzie
  • After You Believe by N. T. Wright: It lives in the long shadow of its predecessor Surprised by Hope, but this book is at least as important, showing how the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the promise of New Creation, leads to the formation of both common virtues (prudence, temperance, courage, justice) and distinctively Christian virtues (humility, mercy, charity, chastity). It also contains some of Wright’s best writing. —David Mitchel
  • For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann: The best description of the Sacramental life of the Church I’ve ever read. A faith-deepening, and faith-expanding, experience.  —Thomas McKenzie
  • Playing God by Andy Crouch: In this book, Crouch attempts to “redeem the gift of power.” He does an amazing job. This would be a good book to read or reread for Christians, as we approach November and the power of American politics. —David Bruno
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis: Lewis gives an enlightening and humorous look at the inner workings of the human heart and the subtleties of the Tempter.  An elder demon, Screwtape, writes letters to a younger, more inexperienced tempter. Screwtape’s growing frustration is amusing and his thoughts on temptation are enlightening. —Ron Block
  • Telling the Truth by Frederick Buchner: A refreshing, beautifully written look at the gospel. —Jamin Still

 

History

  • The Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare by Doug Stewart: The astonishing true story of a young man who forged several original Shakespeare manuscripts. He finds himself in over his head when, against all odds, the hoax not only fools people but goes viral. Hilarious, tense and tragic, all at the same time. —Jonny Jimison
  • Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb: Israeli agents hunt down a surviving Nazi in Argentina in the 60s. All the suspense, drama and gadgets of a spy thriller – but this actually happened! I couldn’t put it down. —Jonny Jimison
  • A Magnificent Catastrophe by Edward J. Larson: One of the great historians of our time (Larson’s book on the Scopes Trial, Summer for the Gods, won the Pulitzer) writes about the fascinating dramatis personae — Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Burr — heated rhetoric and thick intrigue of the first truly contested presidential election in American history: 1800. —David Mitchel

 

Essays and Memoirs

  • Bill Peet: An Autobiography by Bill Peet: A gorgeously illustrated book on Peet’s childhood, young life and frustrating career working under Walt Disney. A fascinating and insightful read that holds up to many, many rereads. —Joe Sutphin
  • The Areas of my Expertise by John Hodgman: Never have I laughed so hard than when reading this fictional almanac. Probably not for everybody, but it should be. —Jamin Still
  • A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis: One of the greatest intellects of our generation writing from the gut about his own real-time sorrow. Raw, full of unanswered questions, and from the heart. He originally wrote A Grief Observed under the pseudonym “N.W. Clerk”, and the story goes that when some of Lewis’s friends read the book, it made them think of him, so they bought it for him hoping it would provide some comfort. (Sounds borderline implausible, but what if it’s true?) —Russ Ramsey
  • The Real World of Technology by Ursula Franklin: Franklin is a German Quaker, relocated to Canada, where she established herself as an experimental physicist and alchemist at the University of Toronto. This is a collection of essays from her Massey lectures. She explains why we feel uncomfortable with technology but also why we like technology. Read this book and the lights go on. —Dave Bruno
  • Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard: A collection of stand alone essays, which contains what my be my favorite bit of writing in the world—her essay called “An Expedition to the Pole.” This book reads like a collection of really good, but a little quirky B-sides from her more well known books. But man, is she a skilled writer. —Russ Ramsey
  • Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller: Kind of a Christian “On The Road”. I’ve never been on a cross-country road trip, but I’d like to imagine it would be like this. —Chris Yokel

 

Now it’s your turn: What are three books that you love?

Profile photo of Jonny Jimison

Jonny Jimison is a talented cartoonist and graphic novelist. In addition to a long history of web-based cartoons, he's the author of Dragon Lord Saga series of graphic novels, including Martin & Marco and The River Fox. Jonny lives and works in Jacksonville, Florida.


38 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Pete Peterson

    Pete Peterson

    @pete

    I know some people might consider this book edgy, but I find it beautiful, respectful, and an insightful imaginative exploration into the mind of the young Jesus.

    @chrisyokel, I think you can only call this book edgy until you’ve read it. It’s fantastic, and Rice is so careful and orthodox in the ways she depicts things. I loved it.

  2. Profile photo of Lisa Eldred

    Lisa Eldred

    @firstcrusader

    Jen, I knew we were friends for a reason. 😀

    My three additions:

    Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset: A young woman in medieval Norway deals with faith, politics, and consequences. Also, my phone has learned “Lavransdatter” in autocorrect, which is just awesome.

    How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer: Tracing the intersections of philosophy, science, and art in western civilization, from the Romans to the 1960s.

    The Farthest-Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks – Out of print now, unfortunately (I know because I’ve looked for my niece), but this is a fairy tale about a girl who vows as a child to visit an impossible-to-reach mountain and to marry a prince. This is quite probably the book I have read the most in my entire life.

    Honorable mentions:

    The Gormenghast novels by Mervyn Peake
    House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

  3. Profile photo of Josh Duncan

    Josh Duncan

    @joshua-duncan

    In the theology category I recommend Everywhere Present by Fr. Stephen Freeman. A great, short reflection on the immanence of God, heaven, etc.

    Whereas the last one was short, my choice for history is long (over 700 pages): Fr. Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene. Fr. Seraphim was an American born Orthodox monk who was converted out of the Hindu influenced mysticism of 1960s California. He was a tremendous genius, but his life outshone his intellect.

    When it comes out I’ll be recommending Ember Falls by S.D. Smith. The guy can write a good story.

  4. Sillyoldbear

    In the theology category I’m planning to read again “Our heavenly father: Sermons on the Lord’s prayer” by Helmut Thielicke. These sermons are “special” (if one can say so), cause they took place in Germany in the last months of World War II.

    And for the essay category I think about “Levels of life” by Julian Barnes. It isn’t a christian book, but really touched me in some parts.

  5. Sofia

    Here’s one: The Nazarene, by Sholem Asch. A novel of the life of Jesus so well written that I felt as though I had been dropped into the first century via Dumbledore’s pensieve.

  6. Profile photo of Emma Chmura

    Emma Chmura

    @emmaj

    I’m rubbish at choosing favorites, but if I had to, <i>Surprised by Joy</i> would be near the very top of the list. Sitting down with a literary hero and hearing the story of his life? Yes, please. Oh, and that bit at the end about Whipsnade and the wallabies…it is cherished among my word-treasures. Sublime.

    <i>Holy the Firm</i> was the first time I encountered Annie Dillard. The way she used language was like nothing I’d ever encountered before. Spare, and yet so pregnant with beauty. Maybe the literary equivalent of an incredible dancer in a very plain, simple costume.

    On the hilariously ridiculous end of the spectrum: <i>Leave it to Psmith</i>. P.G. Wodehouse in rare form, even for P.G. Wodehouse.

  7. Esther O'Reilly

    The Heaven Tree trilogy, by Edith Pargeter: Historical fiction of the highest order. Pargeter weaves a strikingly beautiful tale about the life and legacy of a great stonemason who pours his soul into the construction of a cathedral as conflict flares on the English/Welsh border.

    Witness, by Whittaker Chambers: At times an unbearably sad, but achingly hopeful story of a man straining for the voice of God as he strove to be true to his conscience. Every American needs to read this book. Not only does it uncover the real story of communism, it offers a glimpse into the salvation of a man’s soul.

    The Chosen: For some people, their “desert island” Potok novel is the aforementioned Asher Lev, but for me it’s The Chosen, hands-down. His first novel and in my opinion his greatest. Every aspiring writer should read the first chapter, which sets the stage with a more-intense-than-usual baseball game, then read it again.

    Honorable mentions: The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street and Q’s Legacy, by Helene Hanff. Many folks who loved 84 Charing Cross Road don’t know that Hanff wrote two follow-ups sharing “the rest of the story” after 84 put her unexpectedly on the map. Duchess is her travel journal upon actually visiting England for the first time, and Q’s Legacy unfolds the background for her lifelong love affair with books. Both wonderful little gems that had the good fortune to be published before the age of blogging, when it’s likely her work wouldn’t have attracted nearly as wide a fanbase.

  8. Profile photo of Kathleen Mahoney

    Kathleen Mahoney

    @wonderseeker

    When you grab a pen to jot down a book on your hand and end up grabbing a page! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

    My favorite historical fiction to date: The Zion Chronicles and The Zion Covenant series by Brock and Bodie Thoene

    Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

    A Winkle in Time, A wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet

    …..and I just relaized this is more then three…..why must one count her favoritate books? 😉

  9. Profile photo of Emma Chmura

    Emma Chmura

    @emmaj

    K. I wrote this once but then my post disappeared, so forgive me if the original reappears and I’ve posted the same thing twice.

    I’m rubbish at naming favorites, but Surprised by Joy would definitely be at the top of my list. Sitting down with a literary hero to hear about his life story? Yes, please. And that part at the end about Whipsnade and the wallabies…it is cherished among my word-treasures.

    Holy the Firm was the first time I encountered Annie Dillard’s prose. Her use of language…it was like…maybe like an incredible dancer in a very simple costume.

    On the ridiculously hilarious end of the spectrum: Leave it to Psmith. P.G. Wodehouse in rare form, even for P.G. Wodehouse.

  10. Profile photo of The One True Stickman

    The One True Stickman

    @theonetruestickman

    This falls in a general fiction category (neither historical, fantasy, or sci-fi), but Arthur Ransom’s Swallow & Amazons series is one that I have loved since reading them out loud as a family growing up. They’re British adventure stories of four sibling sailor/explorers on school holiday and the escapades which ensue. Try and find the Godin editions, they use the author’s original artwork and eschew bad cover design of others. Splendid reads that reference a variety of other adventure story cannon and are mostly responsible for the sailboat parked in the back yard.

  11. Carrie Givens

    This is a great list! I’d recategorize The Blue Castle to “Historical Fiction,” though.

    Add The Boys in the Boat to the narrative non-fiction category. A beautifully written look at the journey of the 1936 US Olympic Rowing team.

  12. Carrie Givens

    Ooh! And I just finished Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura. Read Endo’s Silence first, but Mako’s book is a fascinating examination of the novel and what it teaches us about the gospel in a culture like Japan.

  13. Rebecca D. Martin

    Thank you for these recommendations. My summer reading list is growing! A good thing.

    I’ll chime in on Chaim Potok and recommend Davita’s Harp. It’s equal to me with Asher Lev – right up there at the top.

    Also, Brian Doyle’s The Wet Engine. What genre even is it? I don’t care! It’s gorgeous, stunning, warm, generous, informative, and boundary-pushing. Yes to that.

    And Thomas Gardner’s Poverty Creek Journal. Listed as lyric essays; could also be thought of as prose poems. On running, on loss, on life and family, with references to Marilynne Robinson, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and others woven throughout. Beautiful.

  14. Profile photo of Chris Whitler

    Chris Whitler

    @cwhitler

    In the sci fi/fantasy category, has any one read The Sparrow and Children of God? It’s not an easy story but I loved both of these books and the themes they explore.

    And I really enjoy Gaiman for the same reason I like a story from King…the way they let their imaginations run absolutely wild. @pete I’ll have to check out Winter’s Tale…seems right up my alley.

  15. Sheri

    Where is Wendell Berry? Hmmmm?? Let’s go with Jabber Crow as my first offering.

    Next up, I vote for the poignant Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

    Lastly, I’ll add The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection by Robert Farrar Cap on.

  16. Aaron Alford

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, by Ron Hansen. I just recently re-read this. It’s one of those rare books that is actually complimented by the film version. A sad and beautiful portrait told in a truly captivating narrative voice. Hansen is one of my favourite authors, and I’m still waiting for him to be “discovered” by the folks hanging around the Rabbit Room. (He’d also make a great Hutchmoot keynote!)

    Saint Francis, by Nikos Kazantzakis. This novel takes creative liberties with the historical Francis, but it also helped me discover him as a real person. And Francis pretty much changed my life as a result.

    The Stand, by Stephen King. Amazing exploration of good and evil. His character work in this regard is very strong in this one, and his way of writing a person’s conscience (and how they do or do not follow it) is fascinating.

  17. Profile photo of Helena Sorensen Aman

    Helena Sorensen Aman

    @helena

    How about The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern? Delicious fantasy novel. I read The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien and The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls this year. Both are memoirs. Both agonizing. Both spectacularly well done.

  18. Profile photo of Daniel Coleman

    Daniel Coleman

    @colemanspc

    Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer – C. S. Lewis

    -This was written in the same style as “Screwtape” but concerned spiritual matters such as, you guessed it, prayer.

    God on Mute – Pete Greig

    -The book follows Pete and his wife.  He talks honestly about God’s echoing silence in the midst of heartbreak.

    The Radical Cross – A. W. Tozer

    -This book changed how I looked at Christ and how the cross dwarfs everything in our everyday life.

    (honorable mention:  Advice for Seekers by C. H. Spurgeon was a great read for the seeking and practicing the Christian walk)

  19. Profile photo of Stephen Hesselman

    Stephen Hesselman

    @stephenhesselman

    @pete I totally bought a copy of Lonesome Dove because I’ve heard you rave about it several times. Planning to put it in my reading rotation sometime in the next few months. I have to know… do you like Louis L’amour, Max Brand, or Zane Grey? I mean, we can still be pals if you don’t, but I was just wondering. Louis L’amour is probably my favorite. If his stuff is a little formulaic, I still like it for the landscape it takes me away to. And something about two-fisted action!

  20. Kate

    I definitely love all the classic mentioned here like books by C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, but a couple more obscure ones I’ve enjoyed recently are Beauty by Robin McKinley and Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland. I also got to read A Wrinkle in Time for the first time ever and found it very interesting.

  21. Profile photo of Wendy Kautz

    Wendy Kautz

    @wendykautz

    I will commit to listing three favorites. I shan’t commit to calling these my three favorite novels, because then pressure and stress-paralysis would ensue.

    1. Lewis’s Perelandra (but that’s the second of the space trilogy so really you have to read all three. I cheated. Sorry. 🙂 )

    2. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

    3. Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany

  22. Profile photo of Anne Pharr

    Anne Pharr

    @annepharr

    I can’t name three, but one comes to mind.  I have a have a handful of friends who love Wendell Berry’s writing and have always wanted to read one of his novels.  On a visit to the library this spring, I found Hannah Coulter and fell in love not only with the storyline but also the narrator, who reflects on all of her life–joyous events as well as painful losses.  The quiet, unassuming way she allows faith to color her perception of those experiences moved and inspired me.   Maybe someone else will enjoy it, too.

    Thanks, everyone, for all the other recommendations.

     

  23. Marc

    My favorite piece of fiction, The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Full of rich and delicious moments of joyful observation, these four books in one follow the ever-famous tale of King Arthur and the triumphant rise and tragic end of the boy king.

  24. Profile photo of Rebekah Ackerman

    Rebekah Ackerman

    @tournesol

    I could never choose a favorite, but a recent discovery in the fantasy category is the Beyonders trilogy by Brandon Mull. Amazingly creative world-building and character/creature invention…and a really sweet story too.

  25. Profile photo of Rebekah Ackerman

    Rebekah Ackerman

    @tournesol

    I could never choose a favorite, but a wonderful recent discovery is the Beyonders trilogy by Brandon Mull. Amazingly creative world-building and character/creature invention, and a really sweet story too.

  26. Profile photo of Rebekah Ackerman

    Rebekah Ackerman

    @tournesol

    I could never choose a favorite, but a recent discovery is the Beyonders trilogy by Brandon Mull. Amazingly creative world-building and character/creature invention…and a really sweet story, too.

  27. Profile photo of Reagan Dregge

    Reagan Dregge

    @rdregge

    Always love a good book recommendation, so I’ll throw two more fantasy titles out there:

    Dinotopia:A Land Apart From Time, written & illustrated by James Gurney
    Who isn’t enchanted by humans and dinosaurs living together, treehouse villages, and shipwrecks?

    Till We Have Faces, C S Lewis
    My favorite Lewis, hands down, and second only to Lord of the Rings in heartwrenchingness.

  28. Profile photo of Barbara Terpstra

    Barbara Terpstra

    @babs

    Leaving Ruin by Jeff Berryman – This is one of my favorite christian books. The characters are real, and sinful, and struggle. The prayers to God could be my prayers. The longings expressed could be my longings. It is true to human nature, and true to the struggle of loving God with integrity. It’s honest about how hard relationship can be, and the cries out to God are cries from the heart.

    Gilead & Home by Marilynne Robinson–her writing is so lyrical and her characters worm their way into your heart

    My Antonia by Willa Cather. I’m usually a pretty fast reader and this book just invites you to slow down and savor each word on the page.

  29. Profile photo of Rachel Lynn

    Rachel Lynn

    @rachellynn

    I just read “The Last Unicorn” because of this post and loved it!  I would recommend Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy.

  30. Julie

    I think this circle of readers might enjoy a wonderful summer book I just re-read: A Green and Ancient Light, by Frederic S. Durbin. It’s been compared to The Last Unicorn, but I haven’t read that yet, so I don’t know.  A boy is sent to stay with his Grandmother for the summer during an unnamed war in an unnamed country, where he learns that the fleeting moments are the most beautiful. The grandmother is a wonderful character, showing love in the disciplined, matter of fact way rarely seen these days. And her best friend is a faun, who jumps out a bit in this otherwise (for the most part) non-supernatural tale. It’s the first fantasy book my mom has read and loved. And for me–it took me back to my favorite reading experiences as a child, yet with the layers of an adult read, and made me feel more ready for heaven. That kind of book.

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