of book lists and stories.

Perhaps it is not the most, ah, intellectual, to admit my love for fiction, but it is true nonetheless. I like stories. I like writing them, reading them, and talking about them. My friend Meg and I can talk for, ahem, hours about fictional characters.

I love that somewhere in my imagination there lives a girl named Paris, who has brown hair and wears torn jeans and talks with her hands. She has a story of redemption that is pieced together from real stories that I’ve heard and my fingers almost itch to finish writing it out.

And not only that, but I love fairy tales and parables. Ones that whisper and swirl stories from other lands. Places that exist only in my mind, but can be translated onto paper. Places that have castles with 67 stone steps, little girls who have been saved from monsters by a King who loves, and warriors who raise their banners to the only true Ruler of All.

I sometimes joke about the many fiction books that leak into my reading lists. I read many, many nonfiction books to glean information but it is fiction that makes me smile. I don’t read it to critique, I simply read it for pleasure.

So. I’m going to share with you the fiction books I read last year. Some are re-reads, some I disliked, some I loved. And I hope you’ll be inspired to read a few novels this year. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, by any means, but they were the ones that left a lasting memory. 

Books I Read:

Prophet (Books of the Infinite) by R.J. Larson : Fantasy. I loved this book. It was set in an “Old Testament” type world that made the heart of God shine. You can read my review here. 

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley: Contemporary. The story of a woman caught in an abusive church and her journey to freedom. It contains pieces of romance and a thread of mystery. The writing was lovely. There were some parts that I struggled with but overall, I enjoyed it.

Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary DeMuth: Set in 1979.  A small town, an abused girl, an unlikely friendship, and a God who crawls right into the middle of our darkness to lead us to light. I also reread Wishing on Dandelions, the sequel. They are both favorites of mine.

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade Contemporary. Regular ole chic-lit novel. Cute. Nothing too exciting. Read my review here. 

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth StengiFantasy. A parable wrapped up in a fairy tale. A princess, a battle for her heart, and the undeniable truth that it is only in death of our sinful nature that we can truly live.

The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie DickersonFairy tale. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with a Christian twist. Gotta love Melanie Dickerson.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Yes. I reread it. (and it’s just as good the 15th time as the first. Maybe better.)

Unending Devotion by Jody HedlundHistorical. Really, really good. Read my review here.

Books I Read Aloud:

The Widow of Larkspur Inn The Courtship of the Vicar’s Daughter, and The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark: Historical. adorable, funny, light and breezy reads set in a small town in England. My husband got a kick out of them.

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls WilderChildren’s. Oh, yes, and we loved it. Every single chapter.

The Kincaid Brides Series by Mary ConnealyHistorical. We read them all because they were kind of funny but, to be honest, they weren’t the best books. (She does have some cute ones, by the way, these just weren’t my favorites.)

Short-Straw Bride by Karen WitemeyerHistorical. Very cute. We both liked it. Typical historical romance in some ways but excellent writing and enjoyable twists.

Roses for Mama by Janette OkeHistorical. One of my favorite books. I read it as a teen and I still love it. (so I made my husband listen to it. In my defense, he did say he liked it.)

Redeeming Love by Francine RiversHistorical/Allegorical. Oh. So good. Still. No matter how many times I read it. I know some people struggle through the graphic nature (Angel is an abused child turned prostitute) but I, honestly, think it’s real life and we better face it. (and, oh, the glory of the redemption.) I think my husband might have cried a few places. Shhh! Don’t tell. 

The Grandma’s Attic Storybook by Arleta RichardsonChildren’s. We love Grandma’s Attic. I read stories here and there throughout the year. They were some of my favorite’s as a child and my husband really enjoys them as well.

For more book lists, come over to my friend Mandy’s blog.  (Have a book list on your own blog? Make sure to link up with her!)

What was your favorite novel from last year?

p.s. this post contains affiliate links.

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16 thoughts on “of book lists and stories.

  1. Oh Natasha! You make me want to pull out a good fiction read just from reading your list! And for those who know my reading thoughts….you’ve just accomplished something huge! LOL!

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  2. I used to be a voracious reader. Blogging has kind of stolen that from me because I spend time, that I might spend reading, on reading blogs. And many of them are well worth it. I have gotten into listening to audiobooks as I wait for sleep to come get me. I tuck an iPod under my pillow. My recent favorite is What Women Fear by Angie Smith (review: http://www.masterpiece-beth.com/2013/01/01/what-women-fear/ ) but it’s not fiction. Hmmmmm … I guess my most favorite recent fiction read was probably Joel C Rosenberg’s The Tehran Initiative (but you MUST read The Twelfth Imam first). I LOVE Rosenberg!

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  3. Love to read, especially this time of year! Francine Rivers is a favorite but I’m interested in checking out Judy hedlund like you suggested. Each evening during these dark, cold months you can find me reading to my girls, Little House on the Prairie too before bed. One of my favorite times. ~ Blessings today, Amy

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  4. I am with you on this my friend! I too love fiction and I read nonfiction grudgingly! 🙂 I find that I have a hard time sharing my fiction pics, because to enjoy fiction, you can’t (always) approach it critically- you need to be able to just enjoy it for pleasure!! I too love The Grandma’s Attic books- my 9 year old just read the entire series last year and it was so fun to remember many of the stories by her side!
    Thank you for the great suggestions- look forward to reading them!!!

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    • Perfectly said–> to enjoy fiction, you can’t always approach it critically.

      And everyone has different tastes in fiction. My sister-in-law and I agree almost perfectly on nonfiction, but have vastly different ideas about novels. 🙂

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  5. I can be just as challenged and stretched or simply taken away by a good fiction book. I’ve actually loved downloading free ebooks that I wouldn’t normally have read. I will also admit that I’m consumed by reading blogs which I think have shortened by attention span. There’s so much on this list that is new for me. Thanks for sharing it!

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    • There is definitely something about free ebooks! 🙂 I have friends who keep track of them for me and forward on the good ones. My elibrary is filled up quickly.

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  6. Oh Natasha…how my love for you has grown in leaps and bounds 🙂

    I so often feel ALONE in my readings…everyone is always reading these big, deep, adult books and I want nothing more than to hide away with my fiction books. I have started reading more of the non-fiction in the past 5 years, but fiction will always be my first love.

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  7. Pingback: The Best of 2014 – Natasha Metzler

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