Girls Write Out
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Here's something no one told me before I started writing: It will nearly destroy my love of reading. Well, maybe that's not true exactly. I still WANT to read. I still love a good book. What writing has done is make me so durn particular that I can hardly find a book that holds my attention.

A recent email from writing buddy Rachel Hauck turned up an author whose writing can get me past page 10--Belva Plain. Other authors have turned me onto Jodi Piccoult. Sure, her insightful writing leaves me feeling like a total hack, but at least I can make it to the end of her books.

Still, my all time favorite book hasn't changed since the first time I read it ten years ago. I've since read it three more times and every time, I can't put it down. Francine Rivers's Redeeming Love is truly an amazing story. I think what captures me with this story is the way I feel so deeply for all the characters. The novel makes me FEEL and there is nothing to me as a reader that's more important.

So, just curious (as a friend and a writer), what's your all-time favorite novel and what is it about that novel that so enthralls you?
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:31 AM  
  Comments (20)
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At 11:15 AM, Blogger mazzucasinswaziland said...

My all time fave is Pride and Prejudice (I know, typical!) But I just read Redeeming Love for the first time because the ladies I hang out with (especially the single ones) refer to it as their "second Bible."

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Christy said...

I can read Gone With the Wind at the drop of a hat. In fact, I am in the middle of it again. I usually pick it up when nothing else speaks to me to be read. :)

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I still read tons so writing hasn't changed that for me. My all time fave is The Stand. I've read it at least 30 times. It's an epic battle of good and evil but more than that,the characters are so real they're like my best friends.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger allen said...

Watership Down. Yeah, I know...rabbits. Bet you thought I'd say Star Wars. Theres not too much Sci Fi I really enjoy reading, but Watership Down has a lot going for it. And it spawned the WORST sequel ever written.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Jan Karon's Mitford series, and The Secret Garden. I can pick them up and read just about any page at any time.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

There are some classics, like Little Women, but lately, Sally John's books have really gripped me. Great stories, many tough subjects! Delia Parr's Abide With Me was another page-turner.

But I have to tell you, Denise, that picute on the blog made me itch! LOL All I could think of was, "GET UP before some critter crawls into your shirt!"

Give me a nice hammock instead of the grass. shiver!

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Eileen said...

Oy vey! You're so right. I proofread as well as write, and it's so hard to overlook "stuff." I recently read Coldwater Revival again. Nancy Jo's got that lyrical touch I'll never have. Of course, I read Little Women every year because I'm gonna be Jo WHEN I grow up.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Ooooo! How can I name only ONE favorite?!? Let's see...besides the books you four "girls" write, some of my other top favorites are:

(1) Harper Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; (2) John Buchan's THIRTY NINE STEPS; (3) Wallace Stegner's CROSSING TO SAFETY; (4)J.R.R. Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS; (5)Paul Mayer's A SKELETON IN GOD'S CLOSET; (6)Elisabeth Elliot's NO GRAVEN IMAGE; and(7) Lorraine Hainsbery's play--A RAISIN IN THE SUN.

Sigh. I love to read.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

It's so true, isn't it Denise? My fave is Pride & Prejudice and Far From the Madding Crowd. : )

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Good post, Denise.

I can always read Laura Ingalls Wilder, or some book that catches me off guard.

I love Christmas stories and could read those over and over.

Rachel :)

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

How do list a favorite? I buy my favorites and I need to build more bookshelves to accommodate them! It's sad actually - no not really - because I'm not sad when I look at them, just disgustingly satisfied at the comfort of my collection. I can't name a favorite - it'd be like picking a favorite child - it's just WRONG.

I love Nathaniel Hawthorne's "House of Seven Gables"; I devour Francine River's "Mark of the Lion" series; I really like Tom Morrisey's "Deep Blue"; and I know this sounds like I'm trying to suck up, but I pre-order Colleen Coble, so what does that tell you? Oh yes. And since no one mentioned "Anne of Green Gables" ... what dialog on paper; it's genius!

My husband (a Masters going on PhD student freak) says I should read more books of "substance" (INSULT!). So, for his sake, I will add that I LOVE anything by Mark Buchanan. Specifically, "The Holy Wild".

At 9:03 PM, Blogger WordVixen said...

Actual novel would have to be the first Harry Potter, but if I were limited to one "work of fiction", I'd pick my collection of Shakespeare's plays. Not only for his brilliance, but because I'm a bit obsessed with that time period.

It's not so much writing that's making me so picky when I read, as it is learning how to write well. Everytime I read another how-to-write/get-published book or article I get just that much choosier. On the other hand, I now know why I do/don't like certain books and am better able to help someone else pick out a good read. :)

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I too love Redeeming Love. It captivated me.
A thought-changing book for me was The Debt by Angela Hunt. When she said soemthing about, "why should we (Christians) be surprised that sinners sin" it literally changed my thought process.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

Oh, a topic that's close to my heart - Books!! My favorites include:

-"Redeeming Love" - Francine Rivers

-Mark of the Lion series, also by Francine Rivers

-O'Malley series by Dee Henderson (these characters have become good friends.)

And there are so many other great books and authors. Too many, says my bank account. LOL! I'd also recommend Deeanne Gist, Tamara Leigh, Susan Warren, Brenda Coulter, Jeanette Windle...I better stop there. I could get carried away. :-) Oh, and for the record, I just finished reading "Split Ends", my first ever Kristin Billerbeck novel (I'm a little behind times here) and I LOVED IT!

Okay, okay, I'll quit.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Leanna said...

My all time favorite is To Kill A Mockingbird. Denise, I'm like you it's hard to find a book to capture my attention. But a couple of books recently did: A Year of Wonders. It's luminous! Also, The Other Boleyn Girl. Couldn't put it down.


At 1:17 AM, Blogger Anna Marie said...

I Got the book Redeeming love
but when I found out what it was about
I sent it back "No thank you"
I'm glad to see lot's of Little Women
I love The Wisdom Of the Girl's Mother.
She makes me cry.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh Anna Marie, you don't know what you were missing. That book literally changed the way I thought about God and made me realize how much he loves me.

At 4:05 PM, Blogger SaraBeth said...

I know this post was a couple of days ago, but I had to add my favorite book. While I love so many, my number one is without a doubt Ted Dekker's When Heaven Weeps. That book changed my entire perspective on God's love. In fact, it changed my entire communion with the Lord! Definitely a sob-jerker (and for me, the more I cry, the better the book!). I have given that book as gifts and let friend borrow it, and everyone has the same responce. It is, in my opinion, a must-read. Ted Dekker is a great writer - I have read nearly all of his books. But When Heaven Weeps is amazing.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Annie said...

ok, so since i am one of the biggest Christian fiction fans, and it's basically all i read anymore (although in high school i read plenty of the classics) here are my top 5 Christian fiction novels (since i can't just narrow it into top 5 favorite books ever..haha)
1. Lance Wubbels "The Bridge Over Flatwillow Creek"- an oldie that is no longer in print, I love it. For some reason, it has captivated me and I read it about once or twice a year. It love it.
2. The Cheney Duvall MD Series by Lynn and Gilbert Morris- talk about historical and romance and faith all in one!! It's a great series! I always wanted to be in a book like that...
3. Ashley Stockingdale series by KB... just... amazing... that's enough, right K???
4. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers- possibly one of the best books I have ever read..ever. Because I'm single it made me realize that I am totally willing to wait for the man that God has designed for me... my Michael Hosea!
5. anything by Lori Wick. She can be cheesy and overly romantic, but at the same time, I love them. I adore her collection of short stories. Something you can pick up and read whenever you're in between books or just want something short you read in one night and have some closure on. It's great.

Ok, so i think that's it. It really is hard to determine what your favorites are when you have such a deep collection and a love of reading to boot! :-) Thanks ladies!

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I like a lot of books that have been mentioned here. My all time favorite book is Jane Eyre, but I love Harry Potter (in particular The Prisoner of Azkaban), the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers trumps Redeeming Love for me (seriously could not put those books down, and God brought them into my life at the perfect time) and I love a lot of books by Angela Hunt as well. Someone mentioned the Debt, I loved that book. I also really loved Unspoken. Both books changed the way I see the world and that is my favorite experience to have when reading fiction. I also recently read Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson--I recommend it as well.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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