What I’m Reading

Maureen’s Favorite Reads

(In other words, books Maureen wished she’d written!)


When people ask me about my favorite book, the one that usually pops into my head first is Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River. It’s simply the most astonishing writing—not only line by line, but includes great characters and a compelling plot for a micro and macro example of stellar craftsmanship. It’s been at the top of my all-time favorite list for a while, but I can’t seem to replace it with anything else.


The first book of The Hunger Games series was another book that kept my eyes riveted to the page. I thought it was dark for young eyes, but with my conservative values I hoped people would come away believing too much government is never a good idea. Aside from that, however, the writing is so tight and compelling, I was utterly captivated. The second book in the series is good, the third okay, but neither are quite as fantastic as the first.


I have a number of favorite authors, ones I know I’ll rarely, if ever, be disappointed in their offerings. Here are a few, in alphabetical order, including why I love their writing and my favorite title from them:


Tamera Alexander: romance at its best! A Lasting Impression

Lynn Austin: her work will keep you enthralled, and guessing. Eve’s Daughters

Julie Klassen: if you love Austen-esque stories and settings, you’ll love Julie’s! The Girl in the Gatehouse

Siri Mitchell: Siri’s work is varied and captivating. I admit she’s my critique partner, but that only means I’m more familiar with her work! The Messenger

Allison Pittman: Allison’s work is polished and bold. For Time and Eternity

Allie Pleiter: romantic, funny, great in either contemporary or historical. The Perfect Blend

Jill Eileen Smith can bring Biblical fiction absolutely alive! I love her research and dedication to follow God’s heart. Sarai


I have to admit I’m keeping this list short, and I’ve no doubt left out several names that should be included. I must also admit that several of these women are good friends of mine, so I may be a tad biased . . . however, if I’m seeing their work through rose-colored lenses, I don’t ever want to remove those glasses. I simply enjoy loving their styles.


Some of the books I’ve read recently:


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (A fun read!)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (I didn’t expect to enjoy this non-fiction book about cancer cells that reproduce, but it was fascinating!)

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch (Translation issues got in the way for me, but it had some fascinating aspects about a Medieval hangman’s job and the superstitions of the time.)

Lilies in the Moonlight by Allison Pittman (Another fun read from Allison!)

The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates (not a favorite; excellent writing as you’d expect, but too dark for my taste.)

Fall of Giants by Ken Follet (took me over 200 pages to get “into” this nearly 1,000 page tome, but the characters are appealing and WWI is one of my favorite time periods, so I enjoyed it.)

Land of the Blue Burqas by Kate McCord (a protective pseudonym). This author wisely chose to use a pseudonym, since she writes about the stark difference—and great emphasis—the Islamic world places on the roles men and women play in this life, at least according to Islam. The author spent five years living in Afghanistan, mainly to minister to women living in this suppressive culture. Throughout the pages she reminds herself—and in doing so, the reader—the differences between the loving God of the Bible and the vengeful one in the Koran. This is not a light read, since it brings attention to how the abuse of women is either sanctioned or ignored in much of the Islamic world. It’s tragic and fascinating, and my heart aches for such widespread mistreatment, even as I wonder how and why it’s silently approved all around the world.

Still The Best Hope, Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph by Dennis Prager – a fascinating and insightful look at two oppositional views to American values: Socialist/Liberal theology and Islamism. This was an educational but reader-friendly book, with great information on the values behind the liberal and Islamic mindset – and why they oppose foundational American values.


Olivia Newport’s debut novel: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Love the Chicago setting – but I must admit I bought the book simply because I fell in love with the cover!

Other books include:

Classics: Trilby, Wuthering Heights, My Name is Asher Lev

International bestselling book: The Shadow of the Wind

For reviews and other books I’ve read, let’s connect on GoodReads!

And for a great list of Inspirational authors, visit my friend Janet Bly’s page here.

Happy Reading!