That headline should really be "What I've Been Listening to Lately," since 98% of my fiction reading is actually audio books. (All my research and 70% of nonfiction are still in paper.) But Tim and I have become fans of audio since we started the duck business and have long stretches of work and silence that is nicely filled with a good tale. Add to that time walking, or the middle of the night when I can't sleep, and I start plowing through the books! For my Christian-fiction-only readers, be aware that I read a lot of general market books. I've noted possible flags for you. Here are some of my favorites of late:

BeforeWeWereYoursBEFORE WE WERE YOURS, Lisa Wingate
For the first time in a long while, I cried as I finished a book. Loved Wingate’s BEFORE WE WERE YOURS. These characters will stay with me for years. A heartrending, painful, hopeful, lyrical, excellent read about children torn from their heart’s home and their journey to recover. It’s also a beautifully produced audio.

AManNamedOveA MAN CALLED OVE, Fredrik Backman
I was utterly charmed by this book about a super-grumpy old man who really wants to die, but life keeps getting in the way. Funny, poignant, tender…it’s a lovely story about community too. (Attempted suicide, some mild language.)

AliceNetworkTHE ALICE NETWORK, Kate Quinn
This was a suspenseful book I had a hard time turning off in the middle of the night, because it was about female spies doing impossibly daring things during a world war, as well as the aftermath of those traumatic experiences. It’s a tale rife with themes of courage, adversity, endurance, retribution, redemption, hope and love. I seem to be on a streak of novels that feature really unique characters thrown together, and ALICE NETWORK has a trio I’ll long remember…plus an uber-creepy bad guy that gives me shivers just remembering him. (Lots of language, sex.)

newsoftheworldNEWS OF THE WORLD, Paulette Jiles
I adored this little Western novel about an older gentleman escorting a ten-year-old child–kidnapped by the Kiowa–back to her family in remote Texas. It’s an absorbing tale of how two very different lives can become entwined and a lovely story that makes you think about how life twists and turns, and you never know what the next chapter will bring…tragedy or sweetness. Add to that a narrator I could listen to every night for the rest of my life, and this book is an even more sparkly gem in audio form. I’ll be looking up more of Paulette Jiles’s work. (Mild language.)

paintersdaughterTHE PAINTER’S DAUGHTER, Julie Klassen
On a FB friend’s recommendation, I listened to Klassen’s really great PAINTER’S DAUGHTER en route to England. Totally absorbing family drama and romance, with nicely drawn characters and story lines and obstacles like I’ve not yet encountered in Christian fiction…plus nods to Jane Austen to boot. I’ve heard praises for her work for years, and I’m late to the Klassen party, but yeah, her work is worth a read!

thehateyougiveTHE HATE YOU GIVE, Angie Thomas
I really loved this tale told from a teen African-American woman’s point of view. Her parents are reluctantly leaving their old “black” neighborhood for a “white” suburban neighborhood and she becomes a girl caught between worlds, trying to navigate both and make the most of it. As a fifty-year-old white woman, I found it eye-opening and thought-provoking, helping me to understand how racism is still alive and well. (I can’t remember, but I think there was some language.)

What have YOU been reading lately? What have you loved and why? Comment below!