10 Top Christian Fiction Books to Read This Year

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Looking for a good Christian novel? How about a list of 10 top Christian fiction books to read this year? Here you go!

Best Christian Fiction Authors

This list of 10 Best Christian fiction books isn’t based on numbers, although included are a few best sellers and Christy award winners. It is comprised of some of the best Christian authors for Christian contemporary romance, along with a smattering of romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and a thriller, too.

So here goes. A reading list for you to take into the new year, into summer, to snuggle up with when it’s cold, and to consider for Christmas gift-giving this year.

Best Christian Fiction Books of All Time

What’s on your list of best Christian fiction books of all time? Are these on your list?

1. Pilgrim’s Progress

56548: Pilgrim"s Progress Pilgrim’s Progress
By Rosalie de Rosset, ed.

It’s by far, my favorite Christian fiction book of all time. If you haven’t read this religious allegory, penned in the late 1600’s–no, 1600’s isn’t a typo–then hurry out when you finish this post and grab a copy. I read the unabridged version, and the language was tough to understand. BUT, with a little time and determination, it was worth it. If you’re up for the task, grab an unabridged version, otherwise, look for an abridged copy.

There’s also a children’s version. Several, honestly. We bought one years ago, and I read it often to our three kids. Quite enjoyable.

2. Redeeming Love

525132: Redeeming Love Redeeming Love
By Francine Rivers

This is the only book on the list I haven’t read. Well, to be honest, I tried. And I’m probably the ONLY person in history that couldn’t get into and absolutely LOVE Redeeming Love. It’s on the list because a huge, happy crowd of people LOVES this book. And there are now several companion Christian non-fiction products as well.

3. The Shack

729230: The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
By William P. Young

This one’s a bit controversial for some folks. It’s considered poor writing by some, while others don’t care for the depictions. Yet others, like me, call it an enjoyable read. The millions and millions it has sold indicate many in that category, too.

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4. Love Comes Softly

28323: Love Comes Softly Love Comes Softly
By Janette Oke

Historical fiction isn’t my gig, BUT Love Comes Softly, a movie based on Jannette Oke’s novel of the same name, caused me to skip right down to the library and find the book. It piqued my curiosity about Chrisitan fiction after fifteen years of pure silence in the fiction reading arena.

5. Fame

349760: Fame, Firstborn Series #1 (rpkgd) Fame, Firstborn Series #1 (rpkgd)
By Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury has sold a zillion books–or something like that. Most of those are based on the Baxter family. (They even have their own television series!) God used Karen Kingsbury to draw me back to fiction reading (after the fifteen-year, Holy Spirit-inspired hiatus mentioned earlier.) Her books nudged me into considering that I could write fiction. (That’s still a work in progress but getting there.) Karen has her own style of writing that stands out from all the rest. Good, clean reading with real-world issues at stake undermined by beautiful grace.

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10 Top Christian Fiction Books to Read

Here’s a list of more recent reads to add to your TBR (to be read) list, a few goodies from prior years, and others that were released in 2021.

1. Before We Were Yours

284704: Before We Were Yours Before We Were Yours

Are there words to describe this dual timeline novel by Lisa Wingate, a story based on a true and horrifying reality in a Tennessee children’s home? Fantastic writing? Gripping? Not-to-put-down? Sad? Yes. All of these. This story contains a modern-day storyline as well as a historical one based on two generations earlier.

My husband, sixteen-year-old son, and I listened to Before We Were Yours via audio. Did you catch that? A fifty-something woman, her HUSBAND, AND SIXTEEN-year old son listened together. Not many books could keep those three categories of people engaged, but this one did. I crown Before We Were Yours high on the list of my all-time favorite Christian fiction reads.

2. The Girl Behind the Red Rope

736531: The Girl Behind the Red Rope The Girl Behind the Red Rope
By Ted Dekker & Rachelle Dekker

Written by father/daughter duo of Ted and Rachel Dekker, I was introduced to this one by a KristiWoods.net subscriber. Excellent suggestion, Linda! This fantastic thriller’s underlying theme grips readers in a good and godly way.

3. The Masterpiece

407917: The Masterpiece, softcover The Masterpiece, softcover

Most folks rave about Redeeming Love. (Read more about it near the beginning of this post.) My favorite Francine Rivers novel, however, is one my daughter, Beka, introduced me to. It’s The Masterpiece. This contemporary, well-written, and gripping story centers on the life of a graffiti artist and a woman who captures his attention. I loved this one! It’s well worth reading.

4. Bridge to Haven

368191: Bridge to Haven Bridge to Haven
By Francine Rivers

Another Francine Rivers novel to read is Bridge to Haven. This one hovers between contemporary and slightly historic–a generation earlier.

5. The Water Keeper

230948: The Water Keeper The Water Keeper

Charles Martin writes novels threaded with detailed descriptions and deep characters that morph into these life-like figures without the reader realizing it. This novel, based on the character Murphy Shepherd, was released in 2020. The story catapults a redemption theme to the forefront amid human trafficking. The Letter Keeper, next in the series was released in 2021.

230958: Letter Keeper Letter Keeper
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6. Bookshop By The Sea

240472: Bookshop by the Sea Bookshop by the Sea

Each new Denise Hunter release is on my TBR list. They’re pure entertainment in the Christian thread versus a read deep on spiritual themes, but I find my brain needs a little simple escape from time to time. And Denise’s books do the trick.

7. Stay with Me

235603: Stay with Me, #1 Stay with Me, #1

This novel by Becky Wade just won a Christy Award. As well it should have. Becky always writes a tender, sweet romance, but this one grabbed me. She handled a touchy subject that IS real in a gentle way. This is my favorite Becky Wade novel.

If you’re looking for Becky’s 2021 release, check out my review of Let It Be Me here.

235611: Let It Be Me, #2 Let It Be Me, #2
By Becky Wade
Books for Writers title overtop a stack of books

8. Love and the Silver Lining

235910: Love and the Silver Lining, #2 Love and the Silver Lining, #2
By Tammy L. Gray

While perusing my GoodReads feed one day, I noticed a slew of 5-star ratings for this recent release by Tammy L. Gray. I’d never heard of the author, but by the looks of things, her novel must be good. So I added it to my TBR list.

That assumption was spot-on.

This book IS SO GOOD! Be forewarned, though, that it’s book #2 in her series. Love and a Little White Lie is #1. I recommend it as well. Tammy’s a keeper of a novelist, and her new releases will be on my list for a long time to come.

235894: Love and a Little White Lie, #1 Love and a Little White Lie, #1
By Tammy L. Gray

9. The Writing Desk

34159X: The Writing Desk The Writing Desk
By Rachel Hauck

This is, so far, my all-time favorite from Rachel Hauck. I fell in love with her writing amid the pages of this novel. If you haven’t read any of her work, try this one out. You might fall in love, too. It was published in 2017 with much acclaim and fantastic reviews. Look for newer Rachel Hauck releases as well.

10. All That Really Matters

234965: All That Really Matters All That Really Matters

Nicole Deese is a new-to-me author this year–and now a new favorite. And guess what? She’s writing buddies with Tammy L. Gray and another beloved writer I follow, Amy Matayo. Isn’t that fun? (EDIT 7/28/23 The latest of Amy’s books appear to fit more in the secular market.) )

You’ll likely smile, laugh, and devour this story in no time. All That Really Matters is a fantastic read–for you or as a gift. (And the cover’s pretty, too!) Be assured, I’ll be reading more of Nicole’s work, and I hope you do too.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of 10 top Christian fiction books to read. What are your favorite Christian novels? Let us know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and join the journey here at KristiWoods.net.

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  1. I read about your choice of reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardroom on Facebook. But I can’t seem to be able to find it again. I’d like to join you in this read. Is there any information I should know?

    1. It’s always good to find authors who write relatable characters. Any particular novel that sticks out to you, Teresa?