LitLovers at Lux Venit?


You may recall my confession that I had started twice but never finished reading John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptation. Thanks to Tim’s Reading Classics Together, I was able to discipline myself to read one chapter per week and finish it.

In light of the success I’ve had reading two classics I may have not read otherwise, I am wondering if there are other Christian women who would like to try the same kind of reading group. I am calling it Lux Venit Reading Group, and proposing that we read Christian fiction and non-fiction books written for women.

Maybe you’re like me and have a list of several books you’d like to read, but for one reason or another, you just haven’t done it. A couple of books that have been suggested to me that I haven’t read yet are Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, everything by Karen Kingsbury, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, and Girl Talk by Carolyn Mahaney. I’d also like to read missionary biographies like the one about Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot. I would also like to re-read Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper. There are so many!

Are you interested? Feel free to share which books you’d like to read.

(I was originally calling the group LitLovers, but we had to change it because another reading group was already using the name.)

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37 thoughts on “LitLovers at Lux Venit?

  1. I’d love to join you! I think fiction would be fun…there are some great books out there that have some good themes even if they aren’t distinctly Christian. Like East of Eden by Steinbech or Children of Men by PD James.

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  2. I would love to join, too. And I agree with Melanie that I would really like to read some non-Christian fiction. I think those books are areas where some good discussion among Christian women could be really helpful! My personal opinion is that so much that is published as Christian fiction can be poorly written, predictable, and at best, a waste of time (I won’t list particular authors). But maybe that is a reason to actually read and write about it. =) I always feel bad saying harsh things even though I think them though. =)A really GREAT christian non-fiction I am reading right now is “Women’s Ministry in the Local Church” by Ligon Duncan and Susan Hunt. Also Jerry Bridges “The Discipline of Grace”.

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  3. AMEN! Loraena said exactly what I was thinking when it comes to Christian fiction (in general -no specifics here either).

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  4. Oh that sounds so good! Would that mean we’d all read the same book?? I have a hard time with fiction! But there’s SO many books, including some you mentioned that I definitely want to read! Every Woman’s Battle, The Excellent Wife, Trusting God… and add biographies, oh the list could go on and on!!!

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  5. Let me know what you decide and I will help promote it… get the word out… AND I would love to do it. I purchased the “Women’s Ministry…” book mentioned by Loraena awhile back. What I have read is EXCELLENT!!! So excellent that I bought it for several women in my church. If you don’t choose that one, I HIGHLY recommend that you all buy it.

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  6. I think Women’s Ministry in the Local Church would be a very timely one to read together. The issue of women’s roles in the church is a hot one.

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  7. I have just been reading your blog for a few months, but I think this is a great idea-I think we all need to be more well-read. I will share this regarding “Redeeming Love”. I just bought it recently b/c I had heard good things about it, but I ended up quitting 1/2 way through and tossing it. It is a retelling of the story of Hosea, but in my opinion, there were far too many lurid details of their “intimate encounters” than I needed to know. To me, it just was not in any way edifying and I felt I would have been much better off to go read the Book of Hosea. Just thought I would give you a heads up on that one. I really enjoy reading your blog.

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  8. Thanks for the heads up, Julie. Yours is the very first negative comment I’ve heard for Redeeming Love. Any woman who’s read RL want to chime in re: Julie’s comment? It’s an important consideration since I don’t really want to promote a questionable book.

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  9. Oh, I think this sounds wonderful. I read very little fiction since I read so much of it with and to my kids, so this would probably help me branch out. (I agree with Loraena about some of the Christian fiction, especially what is marketed to women.)I’m especially up for some of the non-fiction titles you mentioned. Count me in!Oh- and I read RL years and years ago and loved it. However, I probably wouldn’t read it the same way now and do somewhat agree with what Julie said. I think she makes a great point.This is a fun idea, Leslie!

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  10. I started the Duncan/Hunt book a while back and got about 1/2 way through – it IS EXCELLENT. I would love to pick it up again and read with others.As for Redeeming Love – I have to disagree with Julie. I found it quite tastefully written though some of the circumstances of Angel’s background where not pretty and caused some discomfort to read about but are not described in a lurid way. I would not hesitate to recommend this book because of that. I would say that it is probably not appropriate for a younger teen as I think it requires a certain maturity level to handle and would tell her to get her mother to read it first.The theme of the book is very biblical and is one of my favourites – that Christ is the faithful husband who continually persues me despite my adulterous ways.I have to say I was deeply moved when I considered my walk with God in that light.

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  11. Hey, Leslie! I think that this is a great idea. I love good books: Christian non-fiction, Christian fiction, regular non-fiction (as long as it’s not psychology – someone save me from Dr.Phil, please, and just tell me that it’s sin!),and some non-Christian fiction. You have some good ideas, already. I loved The Excellent Wife and A Chance to Die.I posted on Redeeming Love a little over a year ago. The basic thought being that I love the book, but I’m not so sure it’s appropriate for young unmarried ladies. Here’s the whole post for anyone interested:http://www.daughterofhope.com/2006/12/redeeming-love.htmlP.S. We’re memorizing Psalm 103 here too, but Ethan is memorizing it too, and we’ve been memorizing a lot of poetry and history too, so we’re moving a little more slowly. :^)

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  12. I would like to join, but I would have to be kind of half-hearted about it once we go to Africa. I’m not sure I could keep up then……

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  13. P.S.S. Sorry, I’m over quota, but I wanted to say that there are other Francine Rivers books worth looking at, including The Atonement Child and Leota’s Garden, as well as her Lineage of Grace series. I just read her book on Amos from the Sons of Encouragement series and was captivated. I would also higly recommend Revolution in World Missions and Stepping Heavenward, as well as the books Amy Carmichael authored. I’ll shut up now.

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  14. This is such a great idea Leslie, you can count me in – would we all read one book together over a period of time? (I’m hoping that I will have enough time as books take a bit longer to get to Spain!:)). Loving some of the suggestions you and others have made. Below are some of my suggestions/ ideas (some overlap):God’s Design for Women by Sharon JamesPraying by J I Packer and Carolyn NystromThe Excellent Wife by Martha PeaceFeminine Appeal by Carolyn MahenyFaithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper.Biographies are always inspiring and I also like the sound of Loraena’s suggestion of “Women’s Ministry in the Local Church” and I would have to agree with her comment about the predictability of some Christian fiction. I can also think of several authors that are “light reading” and perhaps wouldn’t provide enough meat to provide good discussion (we emailed each other about one of these authors). As for Redeeming Love, it has been a while since I read it but I do remember it having quite an impact on me. It is gritty in parts due to the subject matter but not what I would consider offensive, however as quite a few have said, perhaps not suitable for younger readers.After reading through all the comments, it seems already like this will be a great discussion group! Looking forward to hearing the first “selection”!

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  15. Count me in! I’ll pop back over later this morning with my suggestions, but so far they all look good!And on “Redeeming Love,” I have read it, did not find it necessarily offensive though it is not my favorite of Rivers’ novels. “The Last Sin Eater,” “Atonement Child,” and The Mark of the Lion series are all wonderful!I’ll be back!Great idea, Leslie!

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  16. The girl I mentor was telling me some things about “Redeeming Love” that really suprised me. She, a single mid 20’s girl, stopped part way through as well and brought it back.I need something to motivate me to read more (I read so slow), so I would love to join in…it will hold me accountable to finish something and be able to discuss it!

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  17. I’m in! The suggestions sound wonderful. I haven’t read fiction in a VERY long time. I loved Girl Talk but would that book be limiting to readers who don’t have daughters?Your ideas along with the others all sound fantastic 🙂

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  18. Agree with the several comments in general re Christian fiction; so much of it is trite, predictable, and not well written. And, I think as Christians we need to be able to discover what a writer’s world view is. There are numerous books by non-Christian authors that are worthy of study and discussion, yet are not filled with objectionable material.I recommend Anna Karenina, although it is long. Also the works of Alan Paton.

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  19. I am very interested in reading Tolstoy. I read a biography of his wife Sophia. From what I understand of her story, he was a very complicated man.

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  20. I’d love to join as well. I love to read but have no one to really discuss books with. This sounds like a good opportunity to do that.

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  21. I’m back, as promised!You have lots of great suggestions here…Biographies: great!Noel Piper’s book: read it, but will gladly read it again!”The Excellent Wife”: yes! I’ve been wanting to read this one!”Feminine Appeal”: also on my to read list!”Women’s Ministry in the Local Church”: haven’t heard of it, but sounds good!Tolstoy: a little overwhelming, but maybe we can do it together! Speaking of overwhelming, I’ve wanted to read “The Brothers Karazamov” but it’s very long and I’ve been very intimidated. However, some classic literature might be an option.You’re going to have a hard time deciding!Oh yeah, about Christian fiction: while it is absolutely true that there are a lot of titles under the Christian fiction banner that are poorly written and quite formulaic, that isn’t necessarily true for the genre as a whole. They are harder to find, but there are some wonderfully written Christian novels out there! Some of my favorites include the already mentioned Francine Rivers, Charles Martin, Jan Karon, and Jamie Langston Hughes (that I can think of off the top of my head).Looking forward to the fun!Sorry for the LONG comment!

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  22. I think this sounds great! Depending on which book, I might need to purchase it — and like the gal from Spain — I need a little extra time to get it to Ukraine! (We do know people coming this way periodically throughout March…)When Sinners Say “I do” andWar of Words are two great books I’ve recently read. Along with Relationships: A mess worth making.ukrainiac@gmail.com

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  23. Oh, I think this is a wonderful idea. You have some very diverse suggestions, fiction and non-fiction. Certainly, the discussion will prove to be very dependent upon which genre you choose.I wouldn’t mind joining in, depending on what you chose.

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  24. Lisa Writes sent me over….I love to read! This sounds really interesting. I have found some great fiction – Charles Martin, Angela Hunt, Nancy Rue.I enjoyed Redeeming Love. While I agree it’s not appropriate for a teen or single gal, those details were relevant to the story. Her past led her to struggle in that area. While I certainly don’t condone salacious materials, I also don’t like reading sanitized “Christianized” stories that aren’t realistic. Life is hard and messy and gritty and there are real issues that folks deal with. Addressing it from a Christian perspective is very helpful.

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  25. Hi! I’m here on recommendation by Kim from Hiraeth. I would love to join a Christian women’s reading group. I love to read, but I need some motivation that a group would provide (like a reading list). So, count me in!XO

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  26. These all sound great and obviously lots of women are interested! I read RL a long time ago and I enjoyed it then. In fact, when I think about Hosea and Gomer, I always think about Francince River’s book. A suggestion for a group of women might be CS Lewis’ “Till We Have Faces.” It is an allegory and I think all women can identify with a character from it in some way. I’ve also always liked Quo Vadis but it might be prone to the same comments as Redeeming Love regarding some specific passages.Non-fiction – The suggestions here are good. Another suggestion might be a favorite of mine -“The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” by Burroughs. I love reading and talking about books!!!! Can’t wait to see the lists.

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  27. Yes! Please count me in!! Whatever gets chosen is great with me. I’m a new Christian and am trying to devour as much as I can.Thanks a bunch!~Mariawww.jubileeonearth.com

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  28. I would love to join an online book club. I am a fan of anything by Piper, adn would love to read anything by his wife.I’m not really into Christian fiction, but need to expand my horizons. Please include me!

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  29. Hi, I’ll sign up also to whatever you decide to read (if I’ve not read it already). God’s Design for Women by Sharon James (already mentioned) is excellent. She also has a couple of biographies out too. “In Trouble & In Joy: Four Women who Lived for God” is superb. It looks at all kinds of women, married, single etc etc…”My Heart is in His Hands: Ann Judson of Burma” by James is another which I’ve not read yet, it’s sitting on my shelf waiting foir an opportune moment….so if you’d like to indulge me… 😉

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  30. Forgot to add my tuppence worth on RL. Rivers was (pre-Christian days) a romance novelist and hence sometimes the explictness of her books. She did write that as “her statement of faith”. Her intent on writing them is to inspire women to pick up their bibles with a “new excitement and anticipation of a real encounter with the Lord.” (From her website) Whether she achieves this or not, I’m not sure, I must confess I do enjoy the read, but with all her books I just appreciate the easy entertaining read – “And the Shofar Blew” is the best one for me.

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  31. Hi Leslie,My husband forwarded your blog to me, thought I would be interested in a group discussion around a great book! Actually, right now, he and I are in a small group within our church and are reading Richard Sibbe’s “The Bruised Reed” and my husband is posting his “thoughts and musings” on his blog. We are enjoying this format so much, it’s great to see and hear what others are discerning from the same reading! I am a co-teacher of Women’s Bible study in my church and we were discussing teaching “The Excellent Wife”, so this site definitely interests me. I will be watching for all your comments! Blessings to you.

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  32. Hello, I’m new to your blog and want to thank you for offering this to all of us. I would love to be a part of it. I also enjoy Christian biographies and started the Amy Carmichael book several times. All your suggestions sound great. Looking forward to it. Linda

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