Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Favorite Books of 2008

I'm limiting these to books that were published in 2008, by CBA publishers, of which I admittedly have not read many. But out of those I have, here's the two I liked best.

Zora & Nicky: A Novel in Black and White, by Claudia Maire Burney, is one of my top picks for Christian fiction published in 2008. It's been rare, lately, that I've started a novel that I couldn't (or at least didn't want to) put down. Zora & Nicky was such a one. "When (Zora Johnson and Nicky Parker) meet at a Bible study far from their respective home churches, the first churlish, sarcastic sparks that fly sizzle with defensiveness. But God has a special way of feeding the flames, and though from different flocks, these two lost sheep will find Him and much, much more."

From Publishers Weekly, "At this novel's heart are love and race-what happens when a self-described BAP (black American princess), the daughter of a famous megachurch leader, falls in love with a young white man. Zora and Nicky's dialogue about race is unflinching, with attitude, honesty and occasional humor.... Faith in Jesus comes to life on the page through Zora and Nicky's intense, if imperfect, soul searching."



The Shape of Mercy, by Susan Meissner, is my second pick for the best Christian (CBA) novels released this year. Another one I couldn't put down.

From Publishers Weekly, "... the novel features the legacy of Mercy Hayworth—a young woman convicted during the Salem witch trials—whose words reach out from the past to forever transform the lives of two present-day women. These book lovers—Abigail Boyles, elderly, bitter and frail, and Lauren Durough, wealthy, earnest and young—become unlikely friends, drawn together over the untimely death of Mercy, whose precious diary is all that remains of her too short life. And what a diary! Mercy's words not only beguile but help Abigail and Lauren together face life's hardest struggles about where true meaning is found, which dreams are worth chasing and which only lead to emptiness, and why faith and hope are essential on life's difficult path."

And I want to mention Until We Reach Home, by Lynn Austin (though I'm not quite finished reading it yet, so I don't know if all the story threads are wound up, but I might just squeak it in before the new year rolls in. It's that good so far). I've had a hard time putting it down today and feel confident I can recommend this book, based on how well I've enjoyed other books by Lynn Austin.
From Publishers Weekly: "In 1897, the promise of the gold-paved streets of America can heal the broken hearts and lives of orphans Elin, Kirsten and Sofia Carlson, if only they survive the transatlantic trip from Sweden. Family secrets—ranging from the disgrace of suicide to shameful relations—churn like the ocean itself during a two-week crossing, only to haunt the girls after they reach Ellis Island.... Complete with room for happily-ever-after, this rich tale will not disappoint historical romance fans. Austin, three-time Christy Award winner, scores again with an engrossing tale of loss, determination and hope."

I hope you'll pick up a copy of these books, if you haven't already. Happy reading and....

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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