10 Free Christian Kindle Books – March 5

How Sweet the Sound: A Novel by Amy Sorrells

386 pages, 152 of 159 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Previously Free

A Southern Novel of Second Chances

From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.

Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.

This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.

Serenity Springs, Ohio by Lillian Duncan

194 pages, 11 of 13 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

An abandoned bird; an ailing aunt; and an unhappy fiancé. What else could happen? Oh, yeah—a murder! Chief of Police, Matthew Travis moved home to avoid the violence of being a big city police officer, but murder shatters the peace and tranquility of his hometown.

It appears to be an open and shut case. A troubled teenager at the scene covered in blood with the murder weapon in his hand is arrested. Unfortunately, as Matthew ties up loose ends, his once open and shut case unravels.

And the danger escalates!

Seed of Discord: Church Candy (Snow Series #3) by Marita Kinney

160 pages, 31 of 35 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

The Snow family continues to push through their issues, until Pastor Snow takes a special interest in a prostitute named Candy. His wife, Lady Snow is dying of cancer and that doesn’t seem to make him cut ties with Candy, although his reputation is on the line. Will the family have another meltdown or will they persevere? A Christian Fiction Novella that offers healing, deliverance, and restoration.

My Emily by Matt Patterson

98 pages, 174 of 187 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

This book tells the story of a hurting family, an amazing little girl and a mysteriously faithful God.

Emily wasn’t born perfect – so one might think.

She was born with Down Syndrome and many would jump to the conclusion that she would have very little hope for a life with any significance. Two years later came the diagnosis of leukemia. What little hope remaining turned to no hope whatsoever – or so one might think.

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg

Mallory Ortberg must read books like I do. I remember reading the Sweet Valley High series as a pre-teen and thinking “Jessica Wakefield is totally an evil twin”.  I adored Jo March, from Little Women, but found her to be a bit emotional and flighty. Marius from Les Miserables…did he actually care about the revolution or was he more into the ladies?

Ortberg took her own observations of these famous characters and gave them a unique spin based on their quirks and foibles.

Orberg’s first book, Texts from Jane Eyre, is a funny reimagining of fictions popular characters, both classic and modern favorites as they have text conversations with other characters from the books in which they appear. Ortberg picks up on each character’s flaws and RUNS with them. From Scarlett O’Hara’s flirtatious and inappropriate texts to Ashley Wilkes to Hamlet’s petulant, whiny responses to his mother texting him in his room, Ortberg has written an enjoyable, funny book. English majors will revel in the source material Ortberg draws from but some readers, like myself, may have to do a bit of web research on some of the original stories in order to fully appreciate what Ortberg is doing.

My only complaint is the swearing…and there’s quite a bit of it. It seems completely unnecessary and distracts from Ortberg’s cleverness. Overall, Texts from Jane Eyre is funny and witty read.

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg Purchase Links: Hardcover, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook 

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James KA Smith

Reposting this review because the Kindle Edition is on sale until March 9 for $2.99.
Summary: A series of letters (modeled somewhat after Hitchen’s Letters to a Young Contrarian and Weigel’s Letters to a Young Catholic)

It is part of my naiveté that I was aware of Letters to a Young Calvinist before I was aware of Hitchen’s or Weigel’s book.  And when I typed in ‘Letters to a Young’ in Amazon I found at a dozen or so similar books.

I remember when this first came out I was first starting to read a bit about Calvinism because of the rise of the Restless and Reformed movement. It is particularly these young new Calvinists that Smith was hoping to reach, although I have heard him say that this book never caught on as he hoped it would.

When it first came out, I remember that it was notable because Smith took a position that the essential parts of Calvinist (or Reformed) thought were not TULIP, but covenantal theology. And part of the ramifications of that, was that Smith did not believe that you could be a real Calvinist and be Baptist (because Baptists were not Covenantal in theology). You could subscribe to the principles of TULIP, but that in and of itself is not Calvinism.

March Kindle First Books

Every Month Amazon gives Amazon Prime members the choice of 2 of 4 kindle books for free (Kindle First Program). These books have not been released yet, but are pre-released for free (to try and build momentum, usually for new Amazon authors.)

8 Free Christian Kindle Books – March 4

Hidden Within by Barbara Mayo-Neville

177 pages, 8 of 8 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

Susan’s life appears to be perfect. She is married to a charming and highly respected clergyman. She loves to visit and care for the people of the parish. No one could possibly know what was happening within the walls of the manse. Susan keeps it a secret. Susan’s wayward sister, Laura, wants the truth to come out. Will a man who is no saint be the one to save Susan from a life of hidden anguish?

The Intercessory Prayer of Jesus: Priorities for Dynamic Christian Living by Warren Wiersbe

153 pages, 8 of 8 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Warren Wiersbe addresses the most pressing concerns of Christian living, including developing an effective prayer life, understanding salvation, making disciples, becoming mature in Christ, and balancing truth and love.

“Jesus’ prayer recorded in John 17 has been called the greatest prayer ever uttered. Now one of America’s most respected Bible teachers, Warren Wiersbe, mines the Lord’s petition for its rich theological and practical gems. The intercessory prayer reveals Jesus’ priorities and concerns as he faced the final hours before his death. By studying this prayer, Christians can learn what was most important to Jesus and make his priorities their own. The Intercessory Prayer Of Jesus addresses the most pressing concerns of contemporary Christian living, including understanding salvation, making disciples, utilizing spiritual resources, become mature in Christ, creating a genuine community of believers, and balancing truth and love. The result is an expository and devotional study reflecting the doctrinal integrity and relevant teachings of Jesus’ prayer recorded some two thousand years ago–and still very much relevant to Christian life today.”–Midwest Book Review

Haunted Waters (Red Rock Mysteries #1) by Jerry B Jenkins and Chris Fabry

217 pages, 58 of 65 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Watch out! The Timberline twins are on the loose. Bryce and Ashley are ATV-riding tweens from Colorado who unearth action-packed mystery and adventure wherever they go. From clearing the name of a local miscreant to thwarting a gold-stealing heist, the twins’ growing faith and the strong example of their parents guide them through even the most life-threatening situations. With the trademark page-turner style used by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry in the Left Behind: The Kids series, these fast-paced books will keep even reluctant readers on the edge of their seats. Readers will definitely get hooked by the unbelievable cliff-hanger at the end of book one, Haunted Waters. perfect for ages 8-12.

Glittering Images (Church of England Series #1) by Susan Howatch (Second Reading)

Takeaway: One of the best examples of how fiction is important to give form to important ideas.

Almost exactly two years ago, while on vacation I first read Susan Howatch. That first reading started me down a path which helped shift me theologically, I am now much more Anglican (or at least sacramental). I have found a spiritual director and been meeting with him for nearly 18 months. And I have started thinking of the spiritual life much more as an ongoing work in progress than I did previously.

Glittering Images is the start of a six novel series set in the 1930s (first four) and the 1960s (second two) and then a spin off trilogy set in the 1980s (that I haven’t read yet).

Charles Ashworth is a young professor and Anglican priest who is sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury Lang (actual person) to spy on the Bishop Jardine of Starbridge (fictional town). Bishop Jardine, as many of Howatch’s characters are, is based on a real bishop. And as the original bishop did, Jardine has spoken out about the need to liberalize England’s divorce laws.

Charles Ashworth attempts to investigate Jardine’s personal life to see if there is anything to the rumors about Jardine’s womanizing. What follows is a mix of straight melodrama, serious theological discussion, and some of the best fictional portrayals of spiritual difficulty I have read.

Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries #1)

Reposting my earlier review because the Kindle Edition is free today only.
Whose Body? by Dorothy SayersSummary: An amateur detective (and younger brother to a Duke) helps a Scotland Yard officer solve a murder.

In my ongoing quest to read more old literature, I picked up the first book in Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey series.  Generally the reviews were mediocre.  Most people agreed that this isn’t her best book and not the best of the series.  The Audiobook review (which is how I read this) were even less kind.  There are two copies of this at Audible, both are narrated by middle aged British women.  (I listened to the sample for the one I didn’t get and both sound very similar.)

Maybe it was the very low expectations that I had coming in, but this was an enjoyable mystery.  I am not a huge mystery fan, I don’t really like the traditional Sherlock Holmes style detective who is just so much smarter than everyone and figures things out.  But Sayers is intentionally writing Lord Wimsey to be an anti-Holmes.  There are several passages about how Holmes is not real and how real police work different than Holmes or most other books.

Although it is a bit of a stretch, this feels more like the TV show Castle than anything else (without the sexual chemistry between the police detective and the amateur sleuth).  Peter Wimsey is a relatively young, single, carefree man that is part of the Nobility, but does not have a particular role to fill.  He is a younger brother, so he is not the Duke, he has not gone into politics or law.  He is well educated, but not a professional.  So he has made a hobby of being a detective.

Start A Trilogy for $3 Sale

Google’s ebook store is having a start a trilogy for $3 sale. Several have been price matched by Amazon. I also included a couple other books that are on sale for $2.99 that Bookwi.se has Reviewed.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov – $3.00

320 pages, 1048 of 1254 reviews are 4 or 5-star

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire–both scientists and scholars–and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun–or fight them and be destroyed.

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien – $3.00

570 pages, 1279 of 1446 reviews are 4 or 5-star

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett – $2.99

865 pages, 4172 of 5166 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.

A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits.…An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House.… A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy.…And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution.

Paraclete Press $2.99 Sale

Paraclete Press is having a $2.99 sale. Some of the books are fairly short, so pay attention to lenght. Paraclete Press was started by an ecumentical monastic order to help people ‘never lose hope in the mercy of God’. But they are known for publishing books that often focus on ancient spiritual practices, prayer or writings. They are broadly ecumenical I have found that they are quite good at introducing topics that are not well known among Protestants, especially Evangelicals.  The full list of 43 sale books is here.

40 Days Living the Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight – $2.99

228 pages, 11 of 13 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And…love your neighbor as yourself.”

Scot McKnight has come to call this vital teaching of our Lord the Jesus Creed. He recites it throughout the day every day and challenges you to do the same. You may find that, if you do, you will learn to love God more creatively and passionately, and find new ways to love those around you.

Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for An Inspired Life by Jack Levison – $2.99 – Bookwi.se Review

218 pages, 21 of 27 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Lively, wise, profound, and winsome, this refreshing new book takes the Holy Spirit from the mountaintop to the grit of everyday life by showing us that the Holy Spirit is not just about speaking in tongues, spiritual gifts or “fruits”–but also about our deepest breath and our highest aspirations. Provocative and life-changing, Fresh Air blends moving personal stories, rich biblical studies, and practical strategies for experiencing the daily presence of the Holy Spirit where we least expect it–in human breathing, in social transformation, in community, in hostile situations, and in serious learning. Small wonder that Scot McKnight calls Fresh Air “the most biblical, wide-ranging, innovative, and refreshing book on the Holy Spirit in years,” and Eugene Peterson calls it “a rare and remarkable achievement.”

The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green – $2.99 – Bookwi.se Review

200 pages, of reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

“The Jesus Prayer has historically been passed on face-to-face, from one Christ-loving person to the next, down the generations ever since the desert saints. It is learned in a community of fellow-believers, all of whom are aware of their need and sin, trying daily to resist temptation better and love God more. As you form the habit of saying this prayer in the back of your mind all the time, it soaks into you, like dye into cotton, and colors the way you encounter every person and circumstance you meet…”

Frederica Mathewes-Green offers the most comprehensive book to date on the Jesus Prayer – a spiritual jewel for anyone who yearns for a real and continuous presence with Christ. She illuminates the history, theology, and spirituality of Orthodoxy, so that the Prayer can be understood in its native context, and provides practical steps for making it a part of our being.

The God Of The Mundane: reflections on ordinary life for ordinary people by Matt Redmond

Summary: God is God of all of us, not just the extraordinary that get the world’s attention.

I think I am in a season where I want to re-read books that have impacted me.  As I am drafting posts today, three of the four books I am writing about are books that I am re-reading. (My original review of God of the Mundane.)

Re-reading a book a couple years later is something I try to do regularly because often good books have more content than can be absorbed in a single reading. And several years later, you are in a different place and different things are impactful.

This time I suggested that my small group read this book together for discussion. The length is perfect as a discussion book, there are 15 chapters in less than 100 pages. Even slow readers can read 2 or 3 chapters in 20 or 30 minutes.