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B&N Bookseller
Brad_W
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Christian Fiction

I personally enjoy the books which really bring everyday life and faith together.  Some of which I have really enjoyed are:

 

 

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger 

 

 

A Day with a Perfect Stranger  

 

Wednesday Letters  

 

The Shack  
With purpose and on purpose
New User
CeceliaDowdy
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-29-2009

Re: Christian Fiction

I have read Dinner With A Perfect Stranger and The Shack. I didn't care for The Shack! Not trying to start a debate or anything, though! Also, surprisingly, when I posted my review on my blog, I compared Dinner With A Perfect Stranger to The Shack. You can see it here if you want. I didn't want to clog the message board with unnecessary text:

http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2008/12/shack-by-william-p-young-review.html

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Christian Fiction


CeceliaDowdy wrote:

I have read Dinner With A Perfect Stranger and The Shack. I didn't care for The Shack! Not trying to start a debate or anything, though! Also, surprisingly, when I posted my review on my blog, I compared Dinner With A Perfect Stranger to The Shack. You can see it here if you want. I didn't want to clog the message board with unnecessary text:

http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2008/12/shack-by-william-p-young-review.html


Cecelia -- thanks for sharing your blog.  I found both your review and the comments helpful in assessing The Shack

 

For those exploring the issue of God and suffering, Bart Ehrman's God's Problem may be of interest. 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
B&N Bookseller
Brad_W
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Christian Fiction

I enjoyed reading your blog.  Thanks for sharing.  I liked "The Shack" quite a bit, but found it a little bit out there at times too.  It definitely got me thinking about a few different things.  I thought it was definitely an interesting way to approach the Trinity within the story, but quite honestly that is a topic which is difficult for any author to approach.

 

Both Gregory books blew me away .  I read each in 2 hours. 

 

 

With purpose and on purpose
Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009

Re: Christian Fiction

So if I could ask a dumb question, what counts as "Christian fiction"? Obviously a religiously Christian author isn't enough, because the book itself might not mention his or her religion at all. And a fiction book about Christianity written by a non-Christian author obviously doesn't count. But even a novel about religion written by a Christian author might come up with something not usually categorized as "Christian fiction". Take, for example, East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

 

How would you describe Christian fiction as a genre?

B&N Bookseller
Brad_W
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Christian Fiction

Joseph, that's a great question and great points you make.  Basically, I go by the books that are classified here at Barnes & Noble as "Christian Fiction".  Those genres are really set by the publishers. 

 

From a "marketing" aspect, I am sure there are times where a publisher might simply classify a book as say just "fiction" since it has such a huge audience. 

 

Some books are very straight-forward as to why they are classified as "Chirtian Fiction" such as the Gregory books or "The Shack".  "The Wednesday Letters" is one of those books which could really just be a regular fiction in my opinion.

 

With purpose and on purpose
Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Christian Fiction

This is the dictionaries definition of Christian Fiction: Christian literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. ...  If anyone has a better one I would like to here it.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
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Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009
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Re: Christian Fiction


Nelsmom wrote:

This is the dictionaries definition of Christian Fiction: Christian literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. ...  If anyone has a better one I would like to here it.

 

Toni


Thanks Toni. The problem with that definition is it's pretty loose. For instance, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man fits it, but very few people would call that Christian fiction

New User
Kawuggie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-30-2009

Re: Christian Fiction

Is this section only for Christian Fiction?  The heading also mentions Christian non-fiction.  I want to be sure I'm in the right place.  I'd like to start a discussion on Renee' Lovelace's book "Women of Worth". 
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Christian Fiction


Joseph_F wrote:

Nelsmom wrote:

This is the dictionaries definition of Christian Fiction: Christian literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. ...  If anyone has a better one I would like to here it.

 

Toni


Thanks Toni. The problem with that definition is it's pretty loose. For instance, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man fits it, but very few people would call that Christian fiction


Does B&N publish descriptions of the categories by which it shelves books in its stores? Who provides the input that decides how a book will be marketed?

 

How do Christian bookstores decide what they will stock?

 

To what extent is "Christian fiction" primarily a marketing category versus a designation of a genre?  How is the category treated in publishing/bookseller industry studies?

 

My questions are primarily rhetorical -- more ideas on possible places to look for insights on the original question of what is "Christian fiction" than ones for which I specifically seek answers.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Contributor
drumrebrown
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-29-2009
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Re: Christian Fiction

I just wanted to share my views on

The Shack.  WARNING SPOILER: SORTA

It has been a hard journey for me to find god because I tried to fit him in a box.  I read this book and it opened my eyes to a faith and spirituality that I have not found anywhere else.  I realized that god can't be put into that box and that he is in everything that we see.  The book teaches an out of the box concept that I needed to get involved intimately with the lord.  For you that have trouble with the African American woman let me say this.

"Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." KJV  I still do have trouble figuring out why the Holy Spirit is portrayed as an Asian woman.  But the way he descibes her as being hard to focus on I think that is a good representation of a spirit.

 

I really wish that I could have that intimate of a visit with our trinity. I think that I would spend my time carving something with Jesus or planting a vegetable garden with the Holy Spirit.  I would even like to make manicotti with God. 

 

 

I would also like to share another couple of books that I really did like

Fireproof 

 

 

Facing the Giants 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Till next time.   Drumrebrown

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CeceliaDowdy
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-29-2009
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Re: Christian Fiction

Joseph, as a Christian Fiction Author (www.ceceliadowdy.com), I'll try and answer your question. Somebody mentioned looking at the books categorized in the Barnes and Noble Christian Fiction section to get an idea. That's a good way to start if you're looking for a definition.

From my experience, Christian fiction has an inspirational message interwoven within the story. The characters (if they're saved believers) turn to God during a crises. They can have issues and struggle with their faith, they may even question God, but, they place their faith in Him, even if they don't always understand His ways. If you were to take the faith element out of a Christian fiction book, and the book still stands as a good book; then it's not a Christian fiction book - if that makes any sense. The book may be a secular book with some Christianity thrown in.

Looking at the publishers of Christian fiction is another way to find a definition as someone already mentioned. Usually, the Christian fiction titles are by a select group of Christian publishers, or Christian divisions of a secular publisher: Thomas Nelson, Multnomah(Random House), Bethany House, Barbour, Steeple Hill(Harlequin Enterprises Christian imprint), etc.

Also, if you really want to know what Christian fiction is, then read some of the titles to get a feel for the novels. For example, my novel, John's Quest (http://www.heartsongpresents.com/book/detail/9781602600065/), is about an agnostic scientist - he's unsure if God exists. My book is primarily about John's faith journey as he falls in love with a Christian woman.

Hope that helps!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: Christian Fiction

drumrebrown wrote:

I really wish that I could have that intimate of a visit with our trinity. I think that I would spend my time carving something with Jesus or planting a vegetable garden with the Holy Spirit.  I would even like to make manicotti with God. 

=================================

 

drum, you really made my day! I couldn't stop laughing after reading the last line of your review of The Shack. The Shack has been mentioned several times here and I know it is near the top of the best seller lists. But you have convinced me that I have to read this book! What a refreshing viewpoint! You have managed to turn something distant and impersonal into something more comfortable and personal in a few short sentences.

B&N Bookseller
Brad_W
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Christian Fiction

My apologies to all.  I actually intended to name the topic appropriately which would be "Religious Fiction". 

 

 

With purpose and on purpose
B&N Bookseller
Brad_W
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Christian Fiction


Peppermill wrote:

Does B&N publish descriptions of the categories by which it shelves books in its stores? Who provides the input that decides how a book will be marketed?

 

How do Christian bookstores decide what they will stock?

 

To what extent is "Christian fiction" primarily a marketing category versus a designation of a genre?  How is the category treated in publishing/bookseller industry studies?

 

My questions are primarily rhetorical -- more ideas on possible places to look for insights on the original question of what is "Christian fiction" than ones for which I specifically seek answers.


That's a great question, Peppermill.  In terms of Barnes & Noble, the 'categories' are actually determined by the publisher.  It would be impossible for the company to determine categories for all of the books available.  Therefore, it becomes up to the publisher to provide categories for books. 

 

As far as "publishing" what the categories are, you can find which "category" and "sub-category" a book falls under by looking at the link above a book you clicked on the website and when in store you can see the signage which directs you to each category. 

 

In terms of what a Christian book store stocks in terms of selection would be difficult to say because they are separate businesses.  Most likely their assortment is going to be driven by customer base and the make-up of the area they are located in.  It is also dependent upon their distribution channels and their relationships with local authors sho may self-publish.  There are a ton of factors that go into the business side of things. 

With purpose and on purpose
New User
Audrey24
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-21-2009
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Re: Christian Fiction

I've recently written a fictional Christian novel 'When Love Hurts, I'm A Survivor'.  It deals with a woman in the church who has experienced many dreadful,disheartening and abusive relationships by the men of God.  Over a period of time she experienced a breakdown, kidnapping and rape.  However, she had to learn to love herself and God.  In addition, she learned to love  and forgive her enemies.

 

 

In today's society, women in their 50's experience devastating relationships.  Therefore, I recommend my novel 'When Love Hurts, I'm A Survivor'.  you can purchase it at www.daytonchristianwriters.com/bookstore.  Or, you can contact me at audreygreen6577@yahoo.com

 

I'd like to discuss the fact that there are numerous relationships in the church setting that end up devastating someone.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Christian Fiction

This link is to the html version of a professor's (Brian Derico) course at Cincinnati Christian University.  Both the list of books and the assignments may be of interest.

 

Silence by Shasaku Endo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (Discussed recently on the Epics, Etc. board)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Dimensions by Charles W. Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nine Tailors (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) by Dorothy Sayers (currently being discussed on the Literature By Women Board -- June, 2009) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (Also recently discussed on a B&N board, also LbW, if I remember correctly.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: Christian Fiction

Interesting, P! I've read a lot of Charles Williams's novel, but long ago. I've been wanting to get back into them and also to begin reading Flannery O'Conner.  Of course I know Chesterton and Sayers, but I am woefully lacking when it comes to Graham Greene, and I've never heard of Shasaku Endo. So many books....!

Peppermill wrote:

This link is to the html version of a professor's (Brian Derico) course at Cincinnati Christian University.  Both the list of books and the assignments may be of interest.

 

Silence by Shasaku Endo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (Discussed recently on the Epics, Etc. board)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Dimensions by Charles W. Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nine Tailors (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) by Dorothy Sayers (currently being discussed on the Literature By Women Board -- June, 2009) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (Also recently discussed on a B&N board, also LbW, if I remember correctly.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
New User
soos
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-20-2009
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Re: Christian Fiction

I love Flannery O'Connor's stories!

Also 2 relatively new by a new author Don Locke:

The Reluctant Journey of David Connors 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and

 

 

 

The Summer the Wind Whispered My Name   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are great stories very sweetly told. 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Christian Fiction

Some suggestions from my local library:

 

 

Up at the College by Michele Andrea Bowen

 

"General Fiction. After 16 years of marriage, Yvonne Fountain Copeland can't believe it when her husband files for divorce, claiming that their marriage is 'boring.' Hoping to heal her broken heart and improve her relationship with the Lord, Yvonne packs up her two teenaged daughters and returns home to Durham, North Carolina, where she gets a job as an adjunct professor at a local college. Soon Yvonne finds herself falling for basketball coach Curtis Parker, but his lack of faith threatens their relationship. Fans of bestselling author Michele Andrea Bowen will be happy to know that characters from her previous books make appearances in this entertaining novel as well."

 

 

Jillian Dare by Melanie M. Jeschke

 

"Contemporary Romance. In a novel inspired by Charlotte Brontë's classic Jane Eyre, humble Jillian Dare leaves her Shenandoah Valley foster home to become a nanny at a large estate in northern Virginia. She quickly grows close to her charge, Candace Remington, and can't believe it when she gets to travel to the family's castle in England. Even more surprising are her feelings for her boss, handsome but moody businessman Ethan Remington. Could a worldly man like Ethan take notice of someone as unsophisticated as Jillian? And what secret is Ethan hiding in his past? Readers who savor touching love stories shouldn't miss Jillian Dare." 

 

 

 

A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick

 

"Historical Fiction. In 1907 Winona, Minnesota, aspiring 15-year-old photographer Jessie Ann Gaebele is thrilled when she finds a position as an assistant in F.J. Bauer's studio. But as Jessie learns more and more about the art and business of photography, she becomes unnerved by her growing attraction to her married boss, who also feels a connection with his young protégé. If you enjoy historical novels filled with authentic period details, don't miss this beautifully written coming-of-age tale, which is based on the life of author Jane Kirkpatrick's own grandmother." 

 

 

The Secret by Beverly Lewis

 

"Amish Fiction. Confronted with the painful reality that she is terminally ill, graduate student Heather Nelson decides to travel to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the last place that she and her late mother traveled to before she died. As Heather searches for peace, Grace Byler, a young Amish girl, attempts to unravel a puzzling secret that her mother is hiding. Resplendent with charming scenes of life in Amish country, The Secret is the 1st book in the Seasons of Grace saga, which promises to be another superb series by bestselling author Beverly Lewis." 

 

 

Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser

 

"General Fiction. Two years ago, teenager Lissa Randall's mother was killed in a horrific car accident during a freak hail storm. Now, in the fall of 1987, Lissa is terrified to drive and unable to cope with her grief. But when Lissa decides that it is time to face her fears, she signs up for driving classes with eccentric instructor Ev MacAllister, who is also haunted by his past. Set in picturesque Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, Words Unspoken is a 'thoughtful, poignant novel' (Publishers Weekly) about depression, grief, faith, and hope."

 

 

Ghostwriter by Travis Thrasher

 

"Suspense. Though bestselling horror novelist Dennis Shore is dealing with a crippling case of writer's block, his publisher can't wait any longer for his next book. In a moment of desperation, Dennis passes off a manuscript written by one of his fans, Cillian Reed, as his own--a sin that Cillian discovers and uses to torment Dennis in ways that even he could never have imagined. This creepy story will keep you up late at night to finish--but you may want to keep the lights on. 'An emotional wallop of a book. Thrasher just keeps getting better,' says Publishers Weekly."

 

 

I have read none of these and encourage anyone who has to add their personal opinions.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy