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Book Must-Reads

Since we've never had so much time in the evenings to read, we've turned a lot of pages sometimes late into the night. We've found a few duds, but many great books we'd love to let you know about. See our commentary (by Tim or Naomi) included with the title, which is linked to Amazon's website (and we earn a commission if you buy through the link to Amazon). We've decided to not include some of the more well-known works (like Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings trilogy, many of the great classics, etc.). Enjoy!

updated July 31, 2005


1421: The Year China Discovered America, Gavin Menzies
I'll be the first to admit that history wasn't really my favorite subject in school. But this book was very interesting if what he proposes is true. I was convinced, especially since I firmly believe history is often written from the perspective of those who have conquered/claimed something they found that others already knew of long ago. --T.

African Friends and Money Matters, David E. Maranz
After I got my hands on this, I read it quickly and told all of my expat friends here about it. Gives true insight into the African person's mindset and will hopefully save me some annoyances over the years if I keep what I learned in mind. --T.

Bruchko, Bruce Olsen
Fascinating missionary story from South America. --T.

Death of a Guru, Maharaj, Dave Hunt
A very interesting look into Hindu culture and religion and what happens when the author decides to leave his religion. --T.

Eternity In Their Hearts , Don Richardson

Falling Leaves, Adeline Yen Mah
Got so mad I think I threw the book across the room. --N.

God's Smuggler, Brother Andrew

Honeymoon in Purdah, Alison Wearing
Lovely potrait of Iran! Hilarious author. --N.

Little Britches (series), Ralph Moody
Read the whole series back to back and loved them!! --N.

Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
I read this because it was the only book in the house I hadn't read and couldn't put it down. Husband, kids, chores all neglected that week. --N.

The Olive Farm, Carol Drinkwater
Was pretty sure God was calling me to live in Southern France and start up a similar venture! --N.

Parallel Journeys, Eleanor H. Ayer
A very different retelling of WWII. Disturbing!! --N.

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World, Mark Pendergrast
I never knew there was so much history to coffee: discovering it, exploiting it, ruining it, buying selling and marketing it... --T.

Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer
SO disturbing!! --N.

Wild Swans, Jung Chang
Gained a whole new understand of the cultural revolution in China. Fascinating! --N.


Cane River, Lalita Tademy
I'm very keen on researching family history. Tademy has done that to the extreme and fashioned a tale of what her ancestors lived like on the plantions of Louisania as slaves. Good historical fiction. --T.

The Chosen, Chaim Potock

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
The author takes us to his home country of Afghanistan where we learn the ugly truth of his past, facing his demons, and where it leads him. Great work from a first-time author. --T.

Ladies Detective Agency (series), Alexander McCall Smith

Mukiwa, Peter Godwin
Whites go back many generations in Africa. This is one particularly interesting story of a man growing up in Rhodesia in the 60s and later, facing the war and finding his life and that of his family and friend's transformed permanently. --T.

Stepping Heavenward, Elizabeth Prentiss

Children's Read-alouds

Homer Price, Robert McCloskey

And the Word Came With Power, Joanne Shetler

Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime, Janet & Geoff Benge

A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Charlotte's Web, E.B.White

Understood Betsy, Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Strawberry Girl, Lois Lenski

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