Wednesday, August 23, 2023

4 More New Books From Friends

A few months ago I shared several new books written by friends. Here are four more new books written by friends. (At least they used to be new. By now, some of these have been out for a year!) Each of these authors I have met in real life at least briefly. I not only like their books, but appreciate them as people. 

Unless otherwise noted, I purchased these books myself. I included ordering information directly from the author or their distributor. If you live in a Mennonite community, you can probably find them at your local bookstore. 

Or if you want to order several of these books, the cheapest option may be from FaithView Books. They don't have an website, but you can call and ask for a print catalog or order by phone.  

Coming Home to Roost is the latest of Dorcas Smucker's essay collections. I first learned to know Dorcas from her blog when she had a houseful of children many years ago. I've enjoyed each of her essay collections. But now, her last child has found her wings and Dorcas says this is her last collection of stories about her flock, though the door is always open for the returning brood. 

Dorcas' down-home wisdom has been an encouragement to me in my own motherhood journey, and I think this is my favorite of her books. In the last years, I've realized that there is so much that a mother can't write about parenting teens and young adults because the stories are not yours. I think that is why I've appreciated Dorcas's level-headed writing about her chickens, fabric collections, the old family van, while considering regrets, middle-age adjustments, and young adult conversations.

This is a book you can pick up and read in any order and would be the perfect gift for that older mom who is adapting to her own nest changes, though I think a woman of all ages and stages of life would enjoy it. 

Order Coming Home to Roost (and all of Dorcas' other books) at Muddy Creek Books. You can follow Dorcas along on her further journeys at her blog.  Dorcas sent me a complimentary copy of her book.

I've known Mary since she was a shy girl in our homeschool group, but it wasn't until years later that I realized that hiding behind the shyness was a lot of wisdom. Mary has written a number of books for women, but her latest book, The Girls Inside, is for girls. The Girl Inside tackles subjects that any Christian girl wonders about including relationships with boys, changes in her body, friendships, and more. 

Mary speaks bluntly, though with discretion. To me she feels like a big sister or kind aunt, reaching out to a younger teen in her life. I would place the target age for this book to be girls in their upper teens and early twenties, but I found myself challenged and encouraged as a mother of girls. It is refreshing to read a book that holds up a high standard for holy living without heaping on shame. The chapters on body image and thin culture are excellent. This would be a great book for a mother or mentor to read with a teen or for a girls' Bible study. 

You can order The Girl Inside from Amazon (affliate link) or Christian Light. Check out Mary's website for lots of book reviews. Mary sent me a complimentary copy of her book.

In October of 2021, seventeen missionaries were traveling home from a Haitian orphanage when they were kidnapped for ransom.  For weeks, my first thought when waking in the morning was, Is there any news from Haiti? I knew several of the missionaries just briefly, and I couldn't imagine how their families were coping as one week passed and then another without hearing anything about their loved ones. Like thousands of others, I rejoiced to hear of the group's safe return to their families.

Kidnapped in Haiti by Katrina Hoover Lee shares their story. Katrina interviewed each of the members of the group as well as family members and mission staff. Kidnapped in Haiti shares details from both Haiti and the US and Canada during the two months of their captivity. I read this book aloud to my children and found it very faith strengthening. God truly can sustain His children through difficult circumstances. (This is an adult level book, and I did a tiny bit of editing-on-the-fly to avoid a few heavier details that I didn't think appropriate for my youngest children.)

Purchase Kidnapped in Haiti directly from Katrina or from the publisher. You can follow Katrina's blog or sign up for her email newsletter to find out more about her writing projects. (This includes affiliate links.)

I've always loved stories that take me to lands I will probably never visit and show me sights I'll probably never see. Alison Stoltzfus carried me with her to a huge refugee camp in Bangladesh where she served with her nursing skills in 2021. This book was far too short, and I was sad it ended. Alison is skillful with words, and I loved her honesty about both her challenge of showing love in a new culture and climate and opening herself up to love back home. 

I'm hoping that Alison will keep sharing her talent and write more books, but right now she is a busy mother of new twins. You can read more of her words on her blog and get your own copy of How Beautiful the Dusty Road at Christian Light. 

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