Book Recommendations

This is a list of recommended books:  British Christian Fiction, in no particular order. Each has a link to a fuller review / blog post. I hope that you find a book you love here!

The David Hidalgo thrillers by Les Cowan : thrillers with a conscience: ‘Benefit of the Doubt’ and ‘All that Glitters’.  Recommended if you like excitement mixed with good-old-fashioned English doubtfulness and thoughtfulness.

The Advent Calender by Paula Downes: short stories, one for each day of Advent Calendar:  angels, Martians, zombies, dragons, ‘Elf and Safety’, donkeys, the office Christmas party, families, nativity plays – and murder!

Science Fiction by C. S. Lewis : the ‘Cosmic Trilogy’ has stayed in my memory for years:  the images, the plots, the characters but most of all the overwhelming, coherent and glorious beauty of the worlds that he imagined.

Paul:  A Biography by Tom Wright : a fascinating and emotional read of the life of a complex, unique and amazing man.

Angels and Men,  and The Benefits of Passion by Catherine Fox : the first is moving, dramatic, heart-burningly sad at times,  and the second one is clever, witty, and happy.

Pilate’s Daughter by Fiona Veitch Smith : a historical novel, set in 28AD onwards: a moving, dramatic love story with lots of narrow escapes, adventure and romance.

A Vision of Locusts by S. L. Russell : a family drama, about a half-Indian teenage girl, Abbie, who starts to see visions, but her Christian parents don’t listen.

The Diary of a (Trying to be Holy) Mum By Fiona Lloyd : cheerful, honest fiction about the daily trials and joys of being a faith-filled mother.

The Shadow Doctor by Adrian Plass:  Jack meets the tantalising Shadow Doctor.  Full of wisdom and humour. Though-provoking. Up there with the short stories in ‘The Final Boundary’ and ‘Father to the Man’.

The Gardener’s Daughter by K. A. Hitchens:  fast-paced and exciting thriller, with strong spiritual themes, complex plot, good characters, and a chilling depiction of the Holiday Camp from hell.

Ink by Alice Broadway:  fantasy for young adults/older teens, with complex themes and a gripping plot.

The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch Smith: one of a series of detective novels featuring Poppy Denby.  Complex plot about Faberge eggs, Russian secrets and murder. Jolly good fun!

The Evenness of Things by Deborah Fiddimore: A poignant and perfect story about dealing with grief and guilt, and our need for beauty.

Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim:  a story for the refreshment of the spirit: about two married and subdued women who decide to run away from their husbands and the dreary English environment, and rent a castle on the Italian coast.

The Man Born to be King by Dorothy L. Sayer: A series of Radio plays about the live of Christ. Transcendent. Poignant. Stirring. Powerful. Heart-breaking and deeply moving.

Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy by Rumer Godden: a dark story about the madam of a Paris brothel, just after the war, who is sent to prison for murder and then becomes a nun. Themes of corruption, trauma, exploitation, decadence, love, protection and abuse.

Archbishop by Michele Guinness: compulsory reading for every ambitious female vicar.

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis: a spell-binding and perfect retelling of the Greek Cupid and Psyche myth: a tale of jealousy, over-possessive love, loss and redemption.

The Final Boundary by Adrian Plass: nine short stories – or parables – in the great tradition of Jesus himself.

Leaf by Niggle by J. R. R. Tolkien: a moving and beautiful tale about a very ordinary, not particularly talented, man called Niggle who is trying to finish a painting before he dies, and who keeps getting interrupted, in particular by his unsympathetic and demanding neighbour.

Helen Sloane’s Diary by Jeff Lucas: the diary of a young single Christian social worker, struggling with difficult clients and troubled teenagers, struggling to cope with the idiosyncrasies and flaws of the others in her church and family, and generally trying to handle life as best she can.

Pilgrim’s Progress: children’s version by Geraldine McCaughrean:  this gives the flavour of the story and is great bedtime reading for children, and has beautiful illustrations

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce: A lovely, lovely book, not specifically Christian, but included because it has very strong Christian themes.  Pilgrimage, the treatment of death, faith, forgiveness, hope, connection, strangers, how we relate to others, how we pray.

Daydream Believer by Mike Burke: Kevin, a burnt-out vicar, struggles with church, parishioners, evangelism, and then breaks free to go on a music tour as a support act for a U2 tribute band.

So, there you are. Lots of great Christian reads. Enjoy!