For fiction books, I enjoy Christian suspense, classics, historical, literary award winners, mysteries, historical mysteries and suspense/thrillers. For nonfiction, I enjoy art, gardening, religion, Forrest Pritchard's "Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm" and Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life."
I like Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge mysteries because they are well-written, easy to read and suspenseful. I liked Ellis Peters' mystery series with the Benedictine monk Cadfael because they contain history and a kind man who sought justice. I like Laurie King's Sherlock Holmes-Mary Russell series because it's well-written, with less blood and guts or gratuitous sex, drug use or profanity. I like many juvenile and young adult books, such as "Coaltown Jesus" by Ronald Koertge and a series by Andrew Peterson.
I often don't like Christian fiction. I really wish I could find some that are well-written with "real life" characters and well-written plots. I know it's fiction, but the characters should be somewhat human. I liked a Tara French book, but it kind of scared me. It was a little too intense. I don't like the cozy mystery genre. They end up silly.
Here are 10 suggestions for you to try out:
1. The O'Malley series by Dee Henderson is a Christian mystery series about seven siblings (six of whom went into some sort of law enforcement) and the mysteries they solve. One of the best is "Danger in the Shadows," which is the prequel to the whole series.
2. The "Death in ..." books by M.M. Kaye each feature a death in a different country. I think my favorite is "Death in Zanzibar." Kaye's husband was in the military, and she chose to write a murder mystery in each location they visited. The books are all very good and don't have to be read in any order since each book is about different characters.
3. Carole Nelson Douglas has an enjoyable series of mysteries featuring the only person to ever best Sherlock Holmes — Irene Adler.
4. In "Ride a Pale Horse," by Helen MacInnes, journalist Karen Cornell agrees to help a would-be defector from the USSR by taking secret documents to Washington. This plunges our heroine into a crazy web of terrorism, blackmail and espionage.
5. Although Anne Paget is told she has only months to live, she decides to go to Lissenberg to perform one last opera in Jane Aiken Hodge's "Last Act." But someone doesn't want the opera to succeed.
6. After the breakup of her marriage, Karen Nevitt moves in with her aunt and uncle in Georgetown in "Shattered Silk" by Barbara Michaels. They encourage her to open a vintage clothing shop. But before Karen can even get started, it looks like someone wants to kill her.
7. The books in Catherine Palmer's "Treasures of the Heart" series take place in Africa and follow the adventures of the Thornton siblings as they search for treasure and try to stay one step ahead of would-be killers and kidnappers who want the treasure for themselves.
8. "This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader," by Joan Dye Gussow, tells the story of Gussow and her husband as they attempt to go off the "food grid" in New York City and grow their own food.
9. In "Growing Tomorrow: A Farm-to-Table Journey in Photos and Recipes," Forrest Pritchard goes on a quest across America to introduce people to the food we eat on a day-to-day basis.
10. Lee Strobel has written several different books searching for the truth behind faith-based questions. His most famous is probably "The Case for Christ."
— Jackson County Library Services Medford Circulation Assistant Supervisor Amanda Kuhs
To get reading advice from a Jackson County Library Services librarian, fill out and submit a book advice form at jcls.libsurveys.com/bookadviceform. You will receive individualized recommendations from a librarian and the advice may be chosen for the Mail Tribune’s monthly Dear Librarian column.