My very favorite books are ones that I find myself excitedly describing to friends weeks - and even months - after reading them.
The following books are ones that I read quite some time ago but whose characters are still hopping around inside my head. I've searched for sequels, sought out prequels, and wanted to email characters for holiday updates.
So these may no longer be the hottest new releases, but they're my top picks from 2013. If you haven't read them yet, these are the books that need to top your reading list for 2014.
Ready? Here goes, in no particular order:
"Dark Halo" by Shannon Dittemore. These YA books about a girl who can see the celestial are unforgettable. They've made me want to dive into the Bible to find out exactly what it has to say about angels and demons and spiritual warfare. They're completely fascinating - and more than deep enough for adults.
"Once Upon a Prince" by Rachel Hauck. This modern-day fairy tale is both fun and dramatic. I loved the lessons that Hauck writes and have been eagerly awaiting the next in the series.
"Serpent of Moses" by Don Hoesel. This Indiana Jones-style adventure is fun and full-out and safe for kids. It's an adventure the whole family will enjoy - and I recommend it as such often.
"Tales of the Defended Ones" by Beth Guckenberger This book, written by Mexican missionary Beth Guckenberger, contains stories of kids around the world and the ways that God is defending and protecting them even when they themselves can't see it. I'm currently using this curriculum with our church's elementary-aged youth group, and I love it every bit as much as I did the first book in the series. A very provocative read.
"Return to Me" by Lynn Austin This newest historical fiction by Austin is a real winner. I'm saving it for my kids to read and have already loaned it out to several friends. Be sure to read this soon so that you're ready when the sequel hits the stands!
"Submerged" by Dani Pettrey This is one series that my husband and I are reading together, and it's fun to be able to discuss books with my husband, the determined non-reader! He enjoys these just as much as I do, though, and with action, adventure, and mystery-romance all in each book, these are great reads for us both.
"The Tehran Initiative" by Joel C. Rosenberg Rosenberg has completely altered my view of the news and of the Middle East with this series of books. Never having had ANY interest in politics, world events, or understanding people's actions all the way around the world, Rosenberg has brought the Middle East conflicts to life.
What tops your reading list for 2014??