From Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis to Austenland by Shannon Hale to a collection of short stories by P.D. Wodehouse, here’s a roundup of titles to read while you’re stuck indoors. Seven Christian authors share their recommendations on the best stories to “get lost in” during this very bizarre time.
The Lost Queen by Signe Pike
“This novel was ten years in the making. A true tour de force. Compared to Outlander and The Mists of Avalon, this thrilling first novel of a debut trilogy reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin. It is the first book in a trilogy and the second one — The Forgotten Kingdom comes out this fall. I fell into THE LOST QUEEN as one would fall in love. Do yourself a favor and begin now…”
– Patti Callahan Henry
If I Run by Terri Blackstock
“If I Run is the absorbing first book in a 3-book series by the same name. Readers will root for Casey Cox to prove her innocence and clear her name while rooting for the slow-burn romance with the man who’s been hired to find her. Plan to read all three books—you won’t want to stop until you reach the satisfying end of the series.”
– Denise Hunter
Austenland by Shannon Hale
“Published in 2007, this book still delights. It’s got everything you need to escape while “sheltering in place” — a modern heroine and storyline, a lovely ”Regency” England setting, plenty of allusions to great literature, endless sigh-worthy moments, and the inspiring journey of a young woman learning to define who she is and who she wants to be in today’s confusing world, while, of course, discovering true love.”
– Katherine Reay
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“Don’t let the title or the fact that it’s written in letter form fool you. A tale of near strangers in the aftermath of WWII on the island of Guernsey coming together over the love of books and desperate need for friendship will steal its way straight into your heart. Stories have the power to heal and reading this will be like a welcome home from friends you never knew you needed.”
– J’nell Ciesielski
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
“As an avowed Lewis junkie – and a writer of allegorical stories myself – I think I’ve read this book twenty times. I get lost in the way he structures his arguments, and his insights into the human condition are almost prescient. Many times, I pause my reading to absorb his point – which although were made nearly 80 years ago are on-the-money in 2020.”
– David Rawlings
The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Short Stories by P.G. Wodehouse
“I can’t think of a better author to read from right now than classic British humorist, P.G. Wodehouse. Ever heard of the fantastic butler, Jeeves? He was his creation. Supremely witty, Wodehouse writes hilariously about the high life in Britain and New York in the early twentieth century.”
– Melissa Ferguson
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
“When we need to escape, I love a book set in a different time and a different country. The Secrets of Wishtide is a charming mystery set in 1850s England. The main character is a bishop’s widow living in London who is called upon to help her barrister brother solve a crime. The book was absolutely delightful and so respectful of faith.”
– Cara Putman
Meet the Authors
Patti Callahan (Henry) is a New York Times bestselling author. Patti was a finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, has been an Indie Next Pick, twice an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year. Her latest novel is Becoming Mrs. Lewis.
Denise Hunter is an internationally published bestselling author of more than 30 novels, three of which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 Club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, and The Foreword Book of the Year Award. Her latest novel is Carolina Breeze.
Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. Her latest novel is Of Literature and Lattes.
J’nell Ciesielski has a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Her latest novel is The Socialite.
David Rawlings is a Christy Award-winning Australian author and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face. His novel Where the Road Bends comes out in June.
Cara Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She is a practicing lawyer and also lectures full-time in law and ethics at Purdue University’s Krannert School of management. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. Her latest novel is Flight Risk.
Melissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she is an assistant professor at King University and pens books that make her laugh and grow. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now she and her husband are outnumbered, and her hobbies include diaper changes, chasing toddlers in parking lots, and admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing “Winnie the Pooh.” She survives by Jesus, rom-coms, and roughly two espresso shots a day. The Dating Charade is her debut novel.