Booking Through Thursday: Finding favorite authors

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The Booking Through Thursday question for this week is:

  1. How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
  2. Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?

I found Terri Blackstock and Dee Henderson when I was looking in the Christian fiction genre for something my mom might like. My mom’s tastes ran along the lines of action, mystery, suspense type novels, which wasn’t quite to my tastes (then), but I wanted to choose books I thought she might like. I wanted to read them first both so I would know what I was giving her and also because, sad to say, all Christian fiction is not created equal: some just plain isn’t written well (though you could say that about any genre) and in some either the doctrine or the practice is a little “off.” I feel I can read the latter type on my own and exercise discernment and still benefit from the book, but I am wary of giving that kind to someone else.

Looking on the shelves of the Christian bookstore fiction section, somehow I came across Terri Blackstock’s Newpointe 911 series about a group of “first responders” — firefighters, police officers, and paramedics — who were friends in a town in Louisiana. I was hooked. I was riveted. Not only were the stories compelling page-turners, but the characters were so real, so genuine that I felt I knew them, that they could have been my neighbors. They were flawed, as we all are, yet learning and growing. Truth, beauty, and poignancy were hallmarks of the series. I found Dee Henderson’s O’Malley family series in the same way and had a similar reaction. Both of these authors became ones whose next works I eagerly anticipate.

Sharon Hinck has become a similar author to me within the last year. I found her on the same bookstore’s shelves when none of my favorite authors had anything new out and I was looking for something good to read and found The Secret Life of Becky Miller. I guess you could call it “mommy lit,” but I think it appeals to a wider audience than just moms. It’s rollicking good fun but contains deeply heartfelt crises and spiritual truths as well. Sharon has become another “must read” author.

An older lady who spoke at a Mission Prayer Band meeting when I was in college got me started reading missionary stories and biographies, and that has had a major impact on my life.

Among the classics — Charles Dickens, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, and others — I think I must have been exposed to them in childhood, probably in school, and as an adult sought them out again.

I’ve discovered some after seeing a film version of their work: L. M. Montgomery and Tolkien were among those.

I also find favorite books from friends’ recommendations. My to-be-read list has grown considerably since I started blogging and discovering other book-lovers!

6 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Finding favorite authors

  1. I can’t say I’ve really read much Christian lit besides CS Lewis, that is. I’ll have to check your favorites out. The 911 series sounds interesting, considering I’m in that field myself.

    cjh

  2. I have not heard of those authors either. And it’s always a great pleasure to visit book blogs because they always have great recommendations!
    Happy BTT!

  3. Hi Barbara, you are right to say that not all Christian fiction are created equal. I particularly enjoyed stories by Wanda Brunstetter and Wanda Dyson.

    Reading non-Christian fiction and Christian ones have really opened my eyes to see how different they are in terms of values. Both point to love, faith, loyalty, courage, and all the good things, but the way the final objective is achieved differs greatly from Christian POV. Boy-girl relationship is one of them. A Christian should not have fear that they will be influenced if their foundation is solid, is all I’m saying. 🙂

    My TBR pile is growing and growing… thanks to recommendation from bloggie friends. Haha! Long live WWW.

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