I have been an avid reader almost since I learned how to sound out words. I soaked in every book I could get my hands on from Nancy Drew mysteries to Charles Dickens' classics, and not a whole lot has changed now that I am a teenager.
Over the last year, I began to notice a pattern: I would stumble across a book - either while surfing the net or I might receive one as a gift - and I would enter into the first chapter with only a few tentative steps. I was a little suspicious of trying out new authors. In fact, I had grown so used to reading the same series' and authors over so many times I had barely scratched the surface of what good books are out there.
But after that first tentative few paragraphs, each of these books suddenly leapt off the page and blew me away with their incredible stories. In each case, I picked them up uncertain if I would enjoy them and walked away dazed and ecstatic as I added them to my list of favorites.
The Baronet's Song by George MacDonald
A few years ago, I found myself at a loss for reading material. I turned to a dear friend of mine for suggestions and she recommended author George MacDonald, so I took a leap of faith and bought his book, The Baronet's Song.
I have never regretted it and am currently working on stocking my bookshelf with every book this author ever wrote.
I have never yet found an author who can combine solid Biblical theology so masterfully with such epic story-telling. No matter how many times I read his books, I never fail to walk away breathless from an incredible story and on fire for the Truth. His books are an inspiration to me, just as they were to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and hundreds more.
Viking Quest Series by Lois Walfrid Johnson
I borrowed this series out of curiosity - I had heard so much about them and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I started reading the first book expecting to find just another "kid's story" with simplistic themes and predictable plots.
By the time I finished, I had a new favorite author.
Although undoubtedly geared for a young audience (think 8-13), the Viking Quest series presents a gripping story filled with themes of redemption and trust, and exciting adventures with all the "feels"! I always put these books down with a pleasant little thrill running through my fingertips.
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
I read maybe two dozen online reviews of this book and every one passed it off as boring, a drag, and nothing but the dull side of the Civil War. I bought it anyways and, of course, I loved it.
This book is a little slower than most. It follows the life of a young boy living during the Civil War, it never enters the battlefront or builds to an epic climax with excitement and edge-or-your-seat adventure. But it does present a wonderful picture of what life was like for the "common people" who were just trying to make it from day to day during the nation's upheaval. I loved the rich style of story-telling and this book is one of my all time favorite historical reads.
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis Majors
I can't say exactly what I was expecting from this book. I was excited to read an autobiography and I love missionary stories, but I never could have imagined just how on fire for God Katie's story really is. The way this book encouraged me as a young teen was incredible. Any time I read through a chapter, I felt myself inspired to pray more, trust more, and most of all, love more.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Have you ever read a book that you weren't expecting to enjoy but did anyways? I would love to hear about it!
Until then, blessings,
Note: I am an unashamed book dragon - I practically devour books - I do however, have a very high standard when it comes to which books I invest my time into. I have done my utmost never to recommend a book unless it meets those standards. If you would like to read more about how I choose my books, check out my article on TheRebelution.com (and feel free to tell me what you think!).