Shelf Examination: Inspirational Fiction

I thought this series had just about run its course, but guess what? There’s a new fiction collection at Main Library! Today’s episode of Shelf Examination takes a quick peek at the New and Featured Department‘s latest contribution to readerly interests: inspirational fiction.

Like some of the other collections featured in this series, inspirational fiction spans genres from mystery to chick lit, with multiple stops at all points between. What unites this diverse collection of stories is the focus on Christian faith and positive endings, regardless of how many issues and challenges the protagonists tackle. If that sounds like your cup of tea, try one of the titles mentioned below.

"If only there were a Pittsburgh library blog that inspired me to read more..."

The book: Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White, Claudia Mair Burney.

The plot: Zora and Nicky, two teens from different backgrounds, meet at a Bible study. They start out butting heads, and end up falling in love…but will their differences (and their parents) ultimately keep them apart?

Pick this up if you like: Frank discussions of racism, class differences, and sexual ethics; strong female protagonists; losing and finding faith; realistic parent-child conflicts.

The book: Perfecting Kate, Tamara Leigh.

The plot: Confused, insecure Kate feels like she needs an all-over makeover, especially after the love triangle she stumbles into inspires some serious soul-searching.

Pick this up if you like: Chick lit; the ongoing struggle between inner and outer beauty; protagonists of realistic size; stories where the girl gets the guy without losing herself; books with discussion questions included.

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The book: Thr3e, Ted Dekker.

The plot: The mysterious “Slater” wants Kevin to confess his wrongdoings, and subjects him to a series of puzzles and threats involving the number 3. The problem is, Kevin has no idea what Slater’s talking about…or has he simply buried secrets too painful to bear?

Pick this up if you like: Thrillers with plenty of plot twists, stories that grapple with both pride and the nature of evil, briskly-paced action, or long-buried secrets, revealed slowly and gradually.

The book: The Apostle Paul, James Cannon.

The plot: A fictionalized account of the life and times of Paul of Tarsus, later known as Saint Paul.

Pick this up if you like: Sweeping historical fiction, formal tone and sentence structure, large casts of characters, the writings of Taylor Caldwell.

Want more suggestions? Ask a librarian!

Intrigued? Ask a librarian about other available books and programs!

Unless there’s a new collection unveiled between now and my next turn in the blog rotation (and believe me, it could happen – we’re creative that way), we really will be saying goodbye to Shelf Examination. Tune in next time for a case of “last, but certainly not least” in the genre department, as well as a sneak preview of “Nonfiction Fix,” a series designed for people hooked on real-life reads.

–Leigh Anne

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