Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Christian Fiction Carnival

Over at "My Friend Amy"s blog she has created a new Saturday carnival because she wants to, " ...start this new weekly carnival in which we can share our love of the growing, vibrant, and exciting market of Christian fiction." How awesome is that? So, I'm answering the first question below.

Why do you read and review Christian fiction? Do you exclusively read Christian fiction or do you also read general market books?

The reason I read Christian fiction is because of my love of reading. I've loved reading since I was an adolescent. In my teens I read a lot of secular teen romance as well as secular fantasy. Both of those gave me a distorted view of the world. Romance novels set me up for failure because of what I expected of the guys who came into my life. Fantasy encouraged my belief that maybe I could do magic and that everything in the sci-fi world just might exist.

In my early 20's I became a Christian and picked up reading again. My first adult book was Jane Eyre, and I haven't stopped reading since. My first Christian novels were Janette Oke. She even sent me an autographed book. That was back in the early 1990's!

I started reviewing Christian fiction back in the late winter after getting connected to ACFW and their Yahoo group. I was introduced to it by Angie Hunt through her Heavenly Daze Yahoo group, which I've been involved in for almost 6 years! I saw all the authors involved there and wanted to see if I could even blog. I didn't know what my "voice" would be and if my personality would transfer over. I still don't know if it has. I have gotten more comfortable with the written word, mine specifically, but there's still so much to learn.

I read ONLY Christian authors. There are a number of reasons why. First of all, my 4 children. My girls started reading the same books as me several years ago and I wanted to be sure of what they were reading. I also want to be a good example to my kids. How can I tell them not to read stuff from the secular world if I do? As for not reading secular stuff, garbage in, garbage out. Not secular romance, sci-fi, thrillers, etc. Without the God factor, I don't see the point. Is there anything good about reading sex filled romance novels? I'd be embarrassed if anyone from church saw those in my home. The thoughts that are put into our head through secular writing typically isn't from the Lord. I have enough of the world entering my brain, I don't need to receive it from the novels I read. There are even Christian novels that I find to be too sexual. For me, it's very hard to reconcile "crossing the line" in a Christian novel and it being a "Christian" novel. To me, they don't go hand in hand. I think as readers we can fill in the the blanks in our minds. As you can see, I'm very passionate about this topic because I'm concerned that Christian publishing houses could go the direction of being more concerned about their bottom line than staying true to what the Lord has called them to.

Alrighty, off the soap box I go. I could easily go on and on about how I feel regarding this topic and I'd prefer not to alienate everyone reading this or offend anyone. Certainly not my intent, by my humble (yet fierce) opinion. I try to be lighty hearted about most of my posts, but give me a certain topic and I could go gung ho!

I do reviews because I want to promote the authors whose work I believe should be spread everywhere! It's such a blessing to be connected with so many of these wonderful people. They want to reach the world and this is the way God has provided them to do it. This is their ministry. Never in a million years would I be able to purchase these books, and I know that it's true for so many others. Because of that, I try to give away a lot of the books I receive. On top of that, I'm part of a book club at church and I'm able to refer them to the books I've read. It's one more way I can promote these books.

I wonder what Amy's next question will be. Tune in to find out next Saturday. Thank you, Amy, for trying to draw us closer. :o)


Wendi said...

What a good point about a distorted view of the world, and expectations! When I was in my teens, and just starting to read adult books, they did give me a different, not-so-realistic view of the world!

Have a great weekend! ~ Wendi

M. C. Pearson said...

You must know that I had to read this after your criptic comment. LOL. I'm not offended. Whatever your convictions are, be true to them.

Many of the members only read Christian fiction, which is fine by me. For myself, I love sci-fi and fantasy, both secular and Christian. That doesn't mean I'll think you are wrong in how you feel. We just feel differently. ;-) I still love ya.


Mimi N said...

Thanks for sharing M.C. I have read Donita Paul's book and enjoyed it. I began the book with a bit of trepidation. Again, stemming from my teen years. I know I could easily get sucked back into some stinkin' thinkin' and have to approach anything that looks like it is fantasy with caution.

And yes, this post was what works for me and my family, not a reflection on other peoples choices.

~the "other" Mimi

Stormi said...

Well, everyone has there view of things and this is good. We all don't want to be the same.

Not all secular books are bad, but I do read more Christian than Secular. I might consider things like you did if I had kids. It is good to have your own convictions about things. :)

Lindsey said...

I read more Christian than secular and only read the secular if there's nothing offensive... I've had to put quite a few down without finishing them. *sigh* That's what I love about Christian fiction, though - it's safe and good and makes me feel like I'm among friends! :-)

Lori said...

I loved your comments. Thank yo for sharing. I too have signed up for the Carni Saturday thing. I was wondering how you got into the reviewing thing. That is what I really want to do.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your stance and completely understand (mom of 4 here too). Since getting back into reading I've read 99% Christian but wouldnt mind reading some general market too...if it's not offensive or anything (the hard part is weeding through the bad ones; and there's so much great Christian fiction!).

I definitely dont want trash in (trash out)...I've done that before too. And I like that my kids see me reading Christian fiction as well.

Great post!

Unknown said...

Nice post Mimi B! I have a different view about books, in general. If given all the time, I want to read all the books that have been published! It's just that If I read a book, my imagination goes beyond the story itself, formulating different thoughts about the author and the bigger picture about the story. I mean, like for example, what made the author wrote such story, what's the author's background, he might be incline to do these things etc.It's like human profiling, I think. After reading the story, I got a grip or something about the author's point of view about things, then I'll compare my point of view to his. Then I'll draw some conclusion or thought about it. If I find his story (or the author's thoughts) misleading, incorrect or just not inline with mine, I can easily weigh it if it's a thumbs up or not. My point is, I would prefer to know the author's thinking even if it's wrong or not inline with my belief than not knowing it at all.

Anyway, you mentioned House by Dekker and Peretti in some of your comments in other blogs. I'm glad we loved the same author. BTW, it'll be in theaters (House) on November 7. Kinda excited about this! See their website too(link above).

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.