Hello friends! My apologies for leaving you hanging all month! I went camping last week and I meant to send out at least an email before I left but … that never happened. 😂
If you are wondering about my last post’s cliffhanger, yes, I’m still planning to start doing art commissions very soon! And my friend Emily and I have some even more exciting news coming even sooner…. 🤫
To hold you over in the midst of all this suspense, I’ve gathered up some book recommendations to share.
It’s hard to believe I’ve read over 25 books this year so far! Today I’ll just offer you ten of my favorites.
- 2 nonfiction reads,
- 3 books for old souls,
- and 5 fantasy novels.
They are in no particular order—I dislike choosing favorites, don’t you? And you can find links to any of them by clicking their pictures.
After you’re done, be sure to let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations for me!
Two Nonfiction Reads
Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung
First up is Christian nonfiction Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung! After reading this book, my main thought was “Wow. Life makes so much more sense now!
Its title might make it sound simple, but it was crazy how it satisfied so many questions I’ve always had in the back of my head. Just Do Something was a beautiful balance of “dream big,” “conduct your research,” and in the end … “just do something already!”
Hyper-spiritual approaches to finding God’s will don’t work. It’s time to try something new: Give up.
Pastor and bestselling author Kevin DeYoung counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. Too often, he writes, God’s people tinker around with churches, jobs, and relationships, worrying that they haven’t found God’s perfect will for their lives. Or—even worse—they do absolutely nothing, stuck in a frustrated state of paralyzed indecision, waiting… waiting… waiting for clear, direct, unmistakable direction.
But God doesn’t need to tell us what to do at each fork in the road. He’s already revealed His plan for our lives: to love Him with our whole hearts, to obey His Word, and after that, to do what we like.
No need for hocus-pocus. No reason to be directionally challenged. Just do something.
Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder
Book #2 is specifically for the writers out there (whether you write scripts or books!). I just started Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder, but it’s been so helpful already! The “save the cat!” method is basically what makes a heartless Mandalorian into a lovable Mandalorian—an act of sympathy.
Here’s what started the phenomenon: the best seller, for over 15 years, that’s been used by screenwriters around the world! Blake Snyder tells all in this fast, funny and candid look inside the movie business. “Save the Cat” is just one of many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying, including:
- The four elements of every winning logline
- The seven immutable laws of screenplay physics
- The 10 genres that every movie ever made can be categorized by ― and why they’re important to your script
- Why your Hero must serve your Idea
- Mastering the 15 Beats Creating the “Perfect Beast” by using The Board to map 40 scenes with conflict and emotional change
- How to get back on track with proven rules for script repair
- This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a showbiz veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat.
Three Books for Old Souls
Looking for Me in This Great Big Family by Betsy Rosenthal
Looking for Me is a story written in verse that the aforementioned Emily friend recommended to me. I adored the flow and voice of this book! Since the main character is a girl in a large family, I found so much of it very relatable. I would recommend this book to anyone in a large family.
One of twelve siblings growing up in Depression-era Baltimore, Edith isn’t quite sure of who she is. Between working at her father’s diner, taking care of her younger siblings, and living in the shadow of her more mature sisters, she feels lost in a sea of siblings. When a kind teacher encourages Edith to be a teacher herself one day, Edith sees prospects for a future all her own. Full of joy, pain, humor, and sadness, this novel in verse is an enduring portrait of one family’s pursuit of the American dream.
Pride and Prejudice & Little Women
Pride and Prejudice and Little Women are two similar yet distinct books I’ve read this year! I had listened to an audiobook of Pride and Prejudice and started (but never finished) Little Women when I was younger, but I didn’t expect to enjoy the two of them as much as I did!
These books don’t need blurbs, and I’m not going to try to pick an edition for the pictures and links. 😂
Five Fantasy Novels
The Winter King by Christine Cohen
Book #6 on my list is The Winter King by Christine Cohen! A big thank you to my friend, Joanie, for sending me a copy as a gift. 😊 Its plot was exquisite—lots of suspense, secrets, and plot twists!
A village trapped in winter, a tyrannical god, and a girl who will do anything to keep her family alive…
Ever since Cora’s father disappeared through the ice, whispers about her family’s “curse” have grown increasingly louder. Desperate to help her mother and siblings survive another bleak season in the Winter King’s frozen grasp, Cora begins to bend (and even break) the rules she has kept since she was a little girl. But when she discovers a secret that’s much bigger than herself, she realizes too late that she has put herself–and those she loves–in even greater peril.
Wintry and dangerous but hauntingly lovely, The Winter King is the debut novel from author Christine Cohen.
The Out of Time trilogy by Nadine Brandes
And the Out of Time trilogy makes up books #7, #8, and #9! Several of my siblings and I flew through this series. Fawkes was better, and although the main character (Parvin) was a Christian, I didn’t agree with her theology all the time. (Mainly the way she relied on what she thought was God’s voice in her head.) But this series was still pretty epic. =D
Blurb for the first book:
How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?
Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.
But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.
Shadow by Kara Swanson
Last but not least, it is an honor to announce that Shadow by Kara Swanson came out this month!
This duology was such an epic adventure, and I’m so glad to have gone on it! The plot twists! The characters! The unique take on Neverland and inside peek at the secrets it holds… Even if you are not a Peter Pan fan or a retelling reader, if you enjoy unique and exciting fantasy books set in the modern-day world, you’ll love The Heirs of Neverland series, Dust and Shadow.
Bewarned, these books are a little bit darker than the Disney movie. The author has described Dust as PG and Shadow as PG-13. I would agree.
To celebrate this brand new book, I’m hoping to have an interview with Kara Swanson herself sometime in fall. Stay tuned!
Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.
Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.
Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.
To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.
What do you think?
What’s your favorite genre? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What books have you been excited about lately?