Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a genre freebie. With everything that’s going on in the world right now it makes sense that people want to escape into a good book. If you’ve never heard of the book fog, it’s that feeling you get after finishing a book where you’re just not ready to let go. It’s your mind is trying to process what it is you’ve just read and what exactly that means. It’s when you’ve been sucked so deeply into what you’ve just read that you have to ease your way back into reality. This week I’m sharing just a few that have left me feeling this way. As usual they are in no particular order.
1. Safely Home is hands down the book that has impacted my faith the most. I read it for the first time as a teenager and it has never left me. It will challenge you as a reader to consider just how deep your faith goes. Would you risk your life to share Jesus with another or even just to own a Bible? Living in the United States I can honestly say that I don’t understand what real persecution is like. I’ve never been threatened with jail or death simply because of my faith in Jesus. I can carry my Bible in my hand openly as I walk to church on Sunday mornings. This book took me to a place where I could get a glimpse of what it’s like where faith in Christ is considered illegal.
2. The Medallion was one of my favorite reads of 2019. I read a lot of WWII fiction and the book fog is quite common for me when reading these, but this book in particular captured my heart. The way the story is told through more than one viewpoint made me feel even more deeply connected. This is one that is going to stay with me for a very, very long time.
3. Night Road– I listened to the audiobook of Night Road while at work. This was probably a big mistake. I was sitting at my desk, with headphones on, crying crocodile tears. I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much while reading or listening to a book ever. So while it’s probably not the best book to be reading while in public, it’s still an amazing read. It will make you think and and raise a whole new level of internal conflict you probably never thought you’d feel. Full warning it’s NOT Christian Fiction. There is some language and other content that wouldn’t fit within the lines of clean fiction either. But this one is definitely a must-read.
4. The Bright Unknown– Elizabeth Byler Younts is one of those authors that just knows how to write stories that will steal your heart and toss it around like a football before patching it up and handing it back. So it’s quite easy to see really how the book fog is quite unavoidable. I’ve grown to accept that tissues are a requirement to have nearby when picking up one of her books but they are sooo worth the journey.
5. Winter Garden– This is another one by Kristin Hannah that isn’t Christian Fiction but is absolutely well worth the read. This was my first read by this author and I instantly knew she was one I’d be following in the future. And the ending… ohhh that ending. I shall not spoil this story for you but ohhh the things it did to my heart and it needed some recovery time at the end. Wow. Just Wow.
6. Before I Saw You– Okay, so my husband has learned to ignore me when I show any kind of emotion while reading a book. In a lot of cases it can be expected. This is one that he actually turned to ask me if I was okay while reading the end. Oh my wow was this such a powerful story. It really, truly should have won all kinds of awards because it was just that amazing. If you haven’t read it yet read it.
7. Catching the Wind– This was my first read by Melanie Dobson and I instantly knew that I would need to read more by her. I was gripped from the very first chapter. I have read several others now but I still have to say that this one is my favorite. I highly consider it a must-read for WWII fiction fans. It’s one you won’t want to miss.
8. The Hidden Side was my first read by Heidi Chiavaroli but one that instantly placed her on my must-read authors list. It wasn’t necessarily for the tears, but there were certainly a whole lot of emotions experienced while reading. Although the historical timeline was interesting on it’s own, it was the contemporary one that had me enraptured. School violence has been a hot topic in the news the past few years, and Heidi Chiavaroli delivers a story of what it could look like if that news were to hit close to home. She tackled a topic where not many would be willing to go and brought a story that’s impossible to leave you unchanged.
9. The Butterfly and the Violin– Yes, I read a lot of WWII Fiction and yes, it often leaves me in the book fog. The Butterfly and the Violin was one such story. It’s a WWII time slip that gripped my heart right from the beginning. There is also a sequel to this called A Sparrow in Terezin that was amazing as well for the historical timeline but I admit I wasn’t as gripped by the contemporary one. Kristy Cambron has such a way of vividly recreating history that makes you feel a if you were standing in the very streets of it.
10. Lilac Girls– This is one I don’t have a full review posted on, but I listened to the audiobook for it a few years ago while at work. It’s another one that’s not CF but is a powerful WWII story. It mastefully blended history and fiction in a way that can’t quite be described but needs to be experienced. Some characters were real people and others were fictional, but they were created based on real events. How she managed to connect their stories though is what really caused the book fog in the end.