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On the 2nd Day of Christmas…The Best Books You’ve Never Read

Brought to you by: Amy Haddock, Senior Marketing Manager

On this, the second day of Christmas, I thought I would call to your attention books that I’ve loved and a SHOCKING number of which you have never read. The words of these authors made their way into my heart and I think they’ll do the same for you, given the chance. Below you’ll find my best guess as to why you’ve never read these books, my compelling argument why you should, and a little bit more information about the books themselves.

40-Loaves40 Loaves by C.D. Baker

My best guess as to why you’ve never read: You’re trying to cut back on gluten/carbs and you thought reading this book would be WAY too much temptation for you to take. I think I have good news for you. Once you are past the cover, you’re good! The actual book content will in no way lead you to depart from your modified eating habits. Phew!

My compelling argument as to why you should: Whether or not we voice them, we all have questions about our relationship with God. Now, we may not recognize the fact that we have questions because so much of Christian culture discourages you actually asking them out loud, so you’ve shoved them in a little compartment and go on your merry way. But if you haven’t addressed soul-searching questions and come to a conclusion of faith, you’re likely living a more shallow Christian life than you could be living. If we were really convinced of God’s all-consuming love for us, we could ask the questions, work them through with Him speaking to us in Scripture, and come away stronger and more faith-assured. This book is small in stature but is chock-full of deep thoughts that make us think and cause our walk with Christ to grow…in bite-size pieces. Can we become more honest with who we really are and find who God says he really is at the same time? I think yes. This book does, too.

About the book: There are many questions we’re not supposed to ask when playing by the religious rules. It makes people uncomfortable. So why is it that Jesus invited questions and even asked some Himself? What is it that you’re afraid to ask God? It’s a risky prospect to begin asking – but far riskier to continue simply trying to get by without knowing. [Keep Reading]

978-1-60142-355-9Sparrows_cvr.inddWhen Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley

My best guess as to why you’ve never read: As a tenderhearted person, you can’t bear to see suffering from any living thing. You thought that if you picked this book up, you’d just read about birds falling to the ground over and over and over and over again. Don’t worry. The title is a metaphor!

My compelling argument as to why you should: Listen, I’ve read a lot of Christian fiction. I grew up on it! This, for me, was one of those rare reading experiences where you don’t know how the story will end. I’m all for predictable happy endings that are prevalent in Christian fiction, but this book is a gem that doesn’t fall into the “same old thing” category. The writing is gripping, the circumstances of the story made me think, and the ending is vastly satisfying.

About the book: A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling method of ruling his flock. But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets from her past, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her children. [Keep Reading]

Circus vintage red and yellow posterThe Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers

My best guess as to why you’ve never read: You thought it was a book about the circus and clowns give you the willies. Also, you didn’t know what a “charlatan” was and that made you wary to pick up the book. Well, I can shed light on the “charlatan” definition and also allay your other concerns as well. No clowns were used in the making of this book. Charlatan: a person who falsely pretends to know or be something in order to deceive people.

My compelling argument as to why you should: Sigh. This book is SO GOOD! Set in the world of Corenwald that is not so different from the American frontier, the author spins a charming tale about an orphan boy, Grady, who is living the only life he’s ever known – putting on an act as “the ugliest boy in the world” for his companion Floyd’s traveling act. As the two of them move from town to town, Floyd lines his pockets with the hard-earned townspeople’s money by telling them tall tales and promising more than he can deliver. What I loved about this book is the subtle humor that comes through AND the unexpected heart-tugging conclusion for a boy who is just looking for his home. Still not sure? Hmmm…did you love Tom Sawyer? If you did, you’ll find that this story is right up your alley and as a bonus, it’s good for kids and adults alike.

About the book: As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act. [Keep Reading]

So, have I convinced you? Have you actually read one or more of these books? If so, back me up in the comments! In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good book!

- Amy

Save on all WaterBrook Multnomah books this holiday season. Shop now to receive 20% off the cover price and receive FREE SHIPPING. Just use CHRISTMAS20 when you check out. Offer good December 1 – January 1. 

NEWS: Pioneer Woman Reviews The Charlatan’s Boy

The Pioneer Woman (thepioneerwoman.com) featured a positive teen review of Jonathan Rogers’ young adult novel The Charlatan’s Boy, a “frontier fantasy” set in southern swamps reminiscent of Mark Twain’s America, perfect for your middle-grade reader.  Read the review here

Look for the sequel, coming from WaterBrook Press in July 2012!

Who are your favorite authors for your middle-grade children?

Congratulations to our Christy Award finalists!

We couldn’t be more excited for our Christy nominated authors! Did you miss them when they first released? Find out more about them below.


(Contemporary Romance category)

About the Book:
Everyone in Redford, Colorado, has a secret—even Police Chief Jonah Westfall and the woman who loves him. Will the revelations drive them apart? Or make them indivisible?

Read the first two chapters

Check out the Book Reporter Q&A

Get materials for your book club


(Young Adult category)

About the Book:
Lies and ugliness are his living, but the charlatan’s boy is forever on the lookout for the truth about where he comes from. Owing more to Twain than to Tolkien, The Charlatan’s Boy is a rollicking fantasy novel about a boy’s desire to belong.

Read the first two chapters

Visit the author’s blog


(Contemporary Standalone category)

About the Book:
Two women, separated by nearly five hundred years, face feeling powerless over their fates before finally discovering they’ve always had the ability to choose.

Read the first two chapters

Read the starred Publishers Weekly review

Get materials for your book club


(Visionary category)

About the Book:
After her remote village is annihilated, a cryptic message vaults Abby Caldwell into the seemingly-impossible task of re-introducing the Christian faith in  late twenty-first century, secular America—and rescuing the planet from spiritual oblivion.

Read the first chapter

Watch the video trailer

Get materials for your book club

To get news about upcoming books by these authors and more, subscribe to our monthly Fiction Reads eNewsletter on the right side of this post.  

NEWS: The Charlatan’s Boy reviewed in WORLD Magazine

Jonathan Rogers‘ “frontier fantasy” novel The Charlatan’s Boy was reviewed in WORLD Magazine on November 6, 2010.  Read the review online here.

NEWS: Andrew Peterson’s Review of “The Charlatan’s Boy”

Read Full Review

“…it’s anecdotal, as you might expect from a southern boy. Anecdotes were the language of the Florida community I grew up in. I was never able to speak that language well except maybe with a guitar in-hand, but my dad can still palaver with the best of ‘em on his front porch, where I used to listen in awe to the richness and cadence of the language…”

- Read Full Review

- Read Chapter One of The Charlatan’s Boy

- Watch “Feechie Film Festival” Videos on Jonathan’s Facebook Page

PODCAST: The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Get embed codeDownload MP3

AUTHOR BLOG: Jonathan Rogers

The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers releases on October 5, 2010 and we couldn’t be more excited about it. This hilarious tale of young orphan Grady will make you laugh as he tries to find his identity amidst the shenanigans of life as a charlatan’s boy. This story resides at the intersection of humor and heart-warming and it’s definitely a must read. To get a sneak peek, read a few chapters here. For a chance to win an advanced copy, go to our Facebook or Twitter page and type “I want to read The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers.”

In the meantime, check out the author’s blog, http://jonathan-rogers.com, for amusing anecdotes, book news, “Feechie of the Week”, and more!

SNEAK PEEK: The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers


“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”

Download and read the first two chapters of  The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers.

In this frontier fantasy, a traveling huckster and his adolescent assistant perpetrate an elaborate hoax on the good citizens of Corenwald. When the scheme leads to widespread panic, the results are hilarious, terrifying, and revealing.

Download and read the first two chapters of  The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers.

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