Avid readers of Christian non-fiction, I need your help. I am looking for book suggestions:
Have you stumbled upon an obscure (note obscure) book that was nonetheless a worthwhile read? It benefited you in your life of faith or was instructive and challenging, but to your surprise – the book is out of print, only sold minimal copies, or is otherwise not widely known? In other words, a hidden or overlooked gem?
Perhaps you like an author from days gone by, who was known among Christians back then, but not much heard of today?
Did you appreciate a book by a first-time author that was self-published or by a small press publisher? You knew you were taking a bit of a risk but were pleased to find the book worthwhile. These books can languish in obscurity due to the new author’s unknown status or because the book did not land with a major publisher.
Yes? Please share the author or book. Remember, I am primarily interested in Christian non-fiction. (Nothing against fiction, of which I do read some, but non-fiction is my preference.)
Here is a book review I did that began this way: This is an obscure book by a little publisher (and it is also out-of-print) but it was a real gem. In an expository yet devotional type of way, the author goes through both the Old and New Testament focusing on Christ’s role as a servant and the concept of servanthood. See here.
I like the old author Sir Robert Anderson from the 19th century. Some of his books are out-of-print, and I own a couple antique, out-of-print editions. But a few have been re-printed so you can buy a modern copy. I mention him in this post, and refer to one of his books.
But I particularly want to improve in the last category above – recent books by new or self-published/small press authors. These books can be hard to find because the author does not have “a platform,” or the nature of it being self published or by the small press means that it will not get the same exposure as a book with a major publisher.
Here is one such book by a new author that I have ordered: Shattered Prayers, The Testing of a Father’s Faith by Kenneth Ching. This brief essay shares themes from the book: What My Special Needs Son Taught me About Hope. The book has an eschatological focus, and that caught my eye. His son “woke me from my day dream of having my best life now” and grounded him in biblical hope. As a former nurse, I once worked a private duty nursing case for a severely disabled child with a chromosome deletion disorder, thus Ching’s story is one I can relate too.
I feel a new calling to assist and encourage authors, particularly new or self-published/small press ones. Being an author can be downright discouraging and isolating (for many reasons), and I think many people don’t quite grasp the implications of being a writer. Recently on twitter, I decided to tweet some quotes, book reviews, or information from such authors/books. One contacted me and told me she had a rather low day, and my tweet was an encouraging and pleasant surprise.
I also want to pray specifically for authors and their books, such as the new book by Kenneth Ching. While I have not read it yet, this book’s eschatological focus could bring hope and clarity to not only those with a “broken” child but others who have experienced the very real pain of life in a broken world awaiting the final redemption.
Especially for Christian books, there is that balance between trusting God and making efforts to promote the book. I know Christian authors would be encouraged to know you are praying for their book to find its way to people who would spiritually benefit from it. Pray, and let them know you have prayed for them and their book.
If you are an author, and you’d like me to pray for your book, please let me know. It would be a privilege to do so.