The Lenten Season is just around the corner (February 26 marks the start of Lent). It is a good time to reflect and spend time with oneself. One way to spend the Lent season is to read inspirational stories. We prepared five books that we think are worth reading this Lenten season.
The Face of Hunger by Byron Conner
The Face of Hunger: Reflections on a Famine in Ethiopia is a real-life account by Dr. Byron Conner on the 1983-1985 famine that happened in Ethiopia. The national crisis left thousands of people dead and millions suffering from hunger and disease. The book details his missionary trip to Africa along with his wife and children. Dr. Byron Conner, a physician serving in the US Public Health Service, first knew about the famine through the fundraising presentation by World Vision shown on TV. The Face of Hunger is the kind of book that will make you care more about the sufferings of people in other parts of the world and will make you appreciate what you currently have. It is both a chronicle of a man’s sacrifice and contribution as well as a nation’s struggle for a more dignified life.
Captive Bride by Marjorie Hersom
Captive Bride is not your typical non-fiction love story. It’s an inspiring story written by the protagonist’s great great-grandaughter. Marjorie Hersom’s narrative survived four generations, a story repeatedly told during family gatherings. Captive Bride is the story of Maria del los Santos y Castro. She was only 15-years old when she was abducted by two sailors. Maria was raped and was forced to marry one of her captors. Set in the 19th century in Bonin Island (Ogasawara), Captive Bride is a haunting yet compelling read about hope, struggle, and redemption. More than a family’s history, the book is also about acceptance and forgiveness. Marjorie Hersom’s book is a bittersweet but delightful read, nonetheless.
Then Sings My Soul by Doreen Hatton
Doreen Hatton’s 2018 drama-fiction Then Sings My Soul is truly worth reading. While there have been a lot of novels written about tragedy and healing, Hatton offers us a different perspective. It’s a story of a young family dealing with a tragic loss. Samuel Langston was killed in a car accident while crossing the street to his home. Lily, Samuel’s wife found out that the car was driven by a fifteen-year-old boy without a driver’s license. Aaron Turner only has a learner’s permit and should not have been driving alone during that time. The Langston being Christians convinced the court to forgive Aaron in exchange for probation and community service. However, one of Lily’s daughters, Rose, cannot accept the fact that the man who is responsible for his father’s death is not in jail. Through a series of encounters and common interest in music, the characters begin to discover new things about each other and together they journey towards the path to acceptance and forgiveness. Doreen Hatton’s Then Sings My Soul is a must-read book this Lenten season.
Loving a Beautiful Mind by Carolyn T. Linn
A truly inspiring story of true love, Carolyn T. Linn writes about the story of her life with a schizophrenic husband and the faith that sustained them throughout their marriage. Linn imparts to her readers the story of how her husband, a brilliant, talented man with a promising career ahead of him was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Apart from her journey, Carolyn T. Linn also educates the readers about the said brain disease, from stigma-filled superstition to scientific enlightenment and successful treatments. What makes Loving a Beautiful Mind so engaging is that we see schizophrenia from a close perspective of a family member, no less than the viewpoint of the wife. Carolyn T. Linn’s work is remarkable both for its sincerity and courage. A genuinely delightful read.
Strong Boy, Weak Man by Earl Robert Key
Strong Boy, Weak Man is a timely read for this coming Lenten season. Earl Robert Key writes about a young man’s rise and fall, and his path to redemption. It is a gripping story of Michael “Mike” De Angelo Nicholas. The story revolves around young Mike’s dream of becoming a professional boxer in the hopes as his ticket out of his rustic small town in Batesville. Another central figure in Key’s novel is Dr. Gray whom Mike befriends and eventually becomes his mentor and closest confidant as the years passed by. Strong Boy, Weak Man is a story of friendship, repentance and personal journey towards repentance. A masterfully written novel for everyone.