October is National Reading Group Month. This event, sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association, was created to promote the value of books and reading. National Reading Group Month aims to foster the values reading groups encourage: camaraderie, enjoyment of shared reading, and appreciation of literature and reading as conduits for transmitting culture and advancing civic engagement.
This year, the National Reading Group Month selection committee chose a dozen novels and one memoir as recommended titles for reading groups this year. I applaud the committee for seeking “under-represented gems from small presses and lesser-known mid-level releases from larger houses.”
Of course, the National Reading Group is a secular group. Therefore, not a single book picked has a Christian message. I have yet to see a recommended reading group list for Christian books and knowing the culture of the Christian publishing community, I doubt any such list would focus on “under-represented gems from small presses.”
Therefore, I have taken the initiative to list eight titles (seven fiction and one memoir) from small Christian presses that I think are worthy of consideration by Christian reading groups.
- Never Without Hope by Michelle Sutton (Sword of the Spirit Publishing)
- My Son John by Kathi Macias (Sheaf House)
- Escape the Hezbollah by Pola Muzyka (Trinity Matrix)
- Blue Mist on the Danube by Doris Elaine Fell (Oak Tara)
- A Stray Drop of Blood by Rosanna M. While (WhiteFire Publishing)
- Hero’s Ransom by Diane & David Munson (Micah House Media)
- John Calvin Goes to Berkeley by James G. McCarthy (City Christian Press)
- Growing Up Yanomamo by Michael Dawson (Grace Acres Press)
If you are a member of a Christian reading group, I encourage you to share this list with your reading group and your friends who like to read.