Conversations | Edition One

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I teach a preschool ballet class and each week before class starts we have a "question of the week." It has nothing to do with ballet (it usually relates to animals, colors, or ice cream), but it is a fun and simple way for all the girls in the class to get to know each other.
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We thought we would try to implement the same idea here on the blog. Getting to know people online can sometimes feel distant and uncomfortable, so we wanted to create a cozy place where you can join us at our table, grab a cup of tea or coffee, and add your thoughts to our conversation as we encourage one another. (Of course, we'll have to use our imaginations to create the atmosphere, but that doesn't mean our conversation has to suffer.)
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A small note before we get started: As we are a community of young women who seek to live lives that mirror the love of Christ, we hope our conversations here will reflect who we are. Let us be intentional to speak with thoughtfulness and extend grace to all who sit down at our table.
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Here's the deal: Each Thursday, we'll announce a question of the week. We'll seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, or more theological matters. You can join in our conversations two ways:
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1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!
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2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer on your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.
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I think that's all the nitty-gritty information. So now for our first edition's question . . . we thought we'd start easy:
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What is your favorite fictional book?
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Comments

  1. My favorite fictional books (I couldn't pick just one) are "Ishmael" by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth, and its sequel "Self-Raised". These books are the epic and inspirational story of Ishmael, a young man who entered life motherless and poor, but through integrity and godliness grew to be very successful. I love these books because of their good role models, mysterious storylines, and interesting subplots. There definitely books that keep the readers interest throughout!

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  2. This is such a hard question!

    I love C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, so Narnia and the Lord of the Rings are some of my favorites.

    I really like Ted Dekker's books, and from those my favorite is Showdown. It's about the battle between good and evil, and how it plays out in our world. One of his other series, the Circle Trilogy, is really good too. Again, it talks about the war between good and evil, and one of the central parts of the story is God's love for us. The story takes place in our world and another one. Somehow, both worlds get tangled up together, and there's only one person who can save both worlds. They're really good!

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  3. This is a fun idea! And I agree, it's a hard question! But I have to say, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine has been one of my all-time favorites. I have not seen the movie, but I have heard many people say the movie is nothing like the book and the book is MUCH better.

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  4. Ugh...this is a hard question. How can anyone ever have just one favorite book? :) Well, I really like Beauty by Robin Mckinley but Lord of the Rings and Narnia are all time favorites. And in christian fiction, The Door Within Trilogy is the best. And then there is... :)

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  5. yes... I love Ella Enchanted!

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  6. This is a hard question:)...but I guess one of my faves right now is the Dreamhouse King series by Robert (not sure I'm spelling his name right) Liparoulo. But I don't think I could pick one in the series! It's all about this family that moves into this house that is actually the home to thousands of portals back in time. The coolest part about this series is the way way the author intertwines historical fiction (my fave) and fantasy. The books are incredibly intense and they always have a cliffhanger ending...much to my dismay, as I am awaiting the six book now.

    By the way, this is such a cool idea!

    Paper Bird

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  7. I'll have to give Ella Enchanted a try. (I've seen the movie, it's terrible) I just started the Hobbit. Quick question, do you have to read the Hobbit before the Lord of the Rings? What's the best Ted Dekker book to start with?

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  8. I *love* old books, and my absolute favorites are "The Elsie Dinsmore Series" by Martha Finley (the *real* books, not the fake edited ones), and "The Hidden Hand" by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth.

    Andrea: We own "Ishmael" but I haven't read it yet. I'll start as soon as I'm through with the series I'm on! You have GOT to read "The Hidden Hand" if you haven't already! They're both by the same author.

    Chloe: I love Gail Carson Levine too! But I'm not allowed to read two of her books.

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  9. Wow, this is very difficult. I couldn't pick just one, but a couple of my favorites are: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Lord Foulgrin's Letters by Randy Alcorn, and Atonement Child (I don't remember who it's by!).

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  10. Wow, to chose just one is incredibly hard for me. I love reading!!! Let's see... off the top of my head I would say that C.S. Lewis and Frances Hodgson Burnett are my overall favorite fiction writers.

    "The Lost Prince of Samavia" and "The Little Princess" (both by Hodgson Burnett) are novels that entirely draw you into the book. I could not put either of them down the first time I read them and since then, I have read them many times. If you have never read "The Little Princess", I would strongly encourage you to do so; it is a precious story about a girl with a great imagination. The book vaguely reminds me of Pollyanna, but this one is better. :) "The Lost Prince of Samavia" is a more adventurous than "The Little Princess" and, I think, more suspenseful.

    The Narnia Series is my other favorite fiction. I don't think I could pick a favorite from the series because they are all fantastic!

    It is really neat to hear other people's favorite books. Some of them I had never heard of before, but they have perked my interest!

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  11. So many wonderful books! Thanks for sharing everyone . . .

    Andrea: I have heard wonderful things about E.D.E.N. Southworth, so I'll have to look into her work further. And though she might correct me on this, I think Megan likes her books . . . ? (Megan?)

    Katie: ah, yes! Lewis and Tolkien are always a favorite. Though I admit, I've never read the Lord of the Rings . . . it's on my list of books to read, though.

    Chloe: So I am in the opposite position as I have seen the movie of Ella Enchanted but I've never read the book. And I wasn't exactly thrilled with the movie, but like you, I've heard many people say that the book is much better than the movie.

    Beth: I know, forget that "easy" part I said. :-)

    Paper Bird: I've never heard of that series . . . I'll have to look into it more. Sounds fascinating!

    Tori: Three cheers for old books!

    Sarah Laine: I think Treasure Island is the ultimate adventure story. I read it back in middle school thinking I would hate it and ended up adoring it. Now I want to read it again . . .

    Johanna1223: One of my absolute favorite books a little while back was A Little Princess. I loved it! And though now the movie seems rather old, I particularly loved the 1987 version of A Little Princess. I watched that so many times . . .

    And like so many of you already noted, this is a harder question than I anticipated! So I think I would have to say my favorite is either Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Too many wonderful books . . .

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  12. Tori: I've read "The Hidden Hand" as well. It's great! I like "Ishmael" and "Self-Raised" even more though. I wish that there were more of Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth's books in print!

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  13. I love to read! It's so hard to pick just one book. My favorite author would have to be Ted Dekker but I also like Frank Perretti and C.S. Louise.
    @ Paper Bird and Little Fairy: I would read The Circle Series first(my favorite). You can start by reading Green or Black (as part of the circle series) but I think its easier to understand if you start with Black.
    I think this is a great idea! cant wait for more!

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  14. One favorite fiction book? Easy?? HA!

    But yes, I'm so happy that so many of you have mentioned EDEN Southworth - I've read Ishmael, Self Raised, and The Hidden Hand, and I love them all. Hidden Hand might be my favorite, possibly because the main character is just hysterical. And Beth, I love Beauty by Robin McKinely. Good old favorite :)

    I actually haven't read fiction in a long time, which is weird for me because that used to be the only thing I'd ever read. But being in college puts some time constraints on reading, much as I deny it, and I've been discovering the incredible world of Christian non-fiction.

    Anyway. One of my all-time favorite series is the Liberty Letters series, by Nancy LeSourd - especially "Civil War Spies" and "Pearl Harbor". She tells the story through the letters of two pen pals, and we follow them through pieces of their lives and major historical events. It's amazing. Emma Edmonds, the Civil War Spy, actually was a real girl and this is her real story, but her pen pal Mollie is entirely ficticious, as are the Pearl Harbor girls. (But girls in other books in the series are real too!) Anyway, I highly suggest checking them out :)

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  15. PB&J :) The Circle Trilogy, for sure. They're amazing!

    Nope, the Hobbit is a different story about one of the characters in the Lords of the Rings series. But the Hobbit is my favorite. Ella Enchanted: the book is way better than the movie, and I didn't like the movie either.

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  16. Hard question, as everyone else said.
    I gotta say the "God and Kings" series by Lynn Austin is superb. They're great historical fictions with a bit of romance thrown in there. They are really well written and they stick right to the story line.
    A few others
    "Just Between You and Me" and "So Not Happening" oh, and "I'm so sure." by Jenny B. Jones. (yes, Jenny not Junie.)
    Any book by Denise Hunter, or Jenny B. Jones for that matter.
    Sorry, I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic :)

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  17. I love the Once Upon a time series. they are awesome. I love almost every book I read but lately I have been reading this series.

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  18. This is pretty tough, the world is just full of amazing books to get lost in.
    For me, I would have to say the Narnia series (woot!), the sweetest story of love, Pride and Prejudice, and the Harry Potter series (not for the magic, but for J.K. Rowling’s superb writing).
    I’ve been meaning to read some of Ted Dekker’s books, because a lot of people have been telling me about them. Does anyone have any suggestions about which one to start with?

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  19. The Hobbit is something of a precursor to the Lord of the Rings. If you read it first, you might understand some stuff in LOTR better, but you could probably read LOTR without having read the Hobbit. The Hobbit is much lighter than LOTR, I love them both... probably like LOTR better though.
    As to my favorite book, well, I don't know that I have a *favorite* perse. However, some of the best books I have ever read are the series by Megan Whalen Turner beginning with The Thief. These are fake historical-fictiony, although I suppose fantasy might fit them better. They're set in a land similar to Greece, and tell the story of three little tiny nations' well... I suppose you could say it's a story of kings and queens, love and hate, faith and disbelief, stealing of objects and of hearts... The story is very intricate, I've read these books maybe 5 times, and I'm still realizing new stuff about the characters. I cannot recommend these highly enough.

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  20. I White, Red and Black, by Ted Decker. Those are the only books by him I like. They are really good though!

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  21. @ zoe: have you read Green? It is the next book in the series and it is really good!

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  22. Atonement and Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Princess by Lori Wick, all of the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. The Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur. :D

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  23. Fiction!? Wouldnt you know that I LOVE fiction. I like the Diary of a Teenage Girl seris!! I LOVE them! I haven't finished the seris but so far its WAY cool! I definitly suggest it!! :)
    Love,
    Kayla

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  24. I think I might say that my favorite would be the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. I could think of a hundred others that come extremely close however.

    @ Zoe: I agree with you. I read the Circle Trilogy and loved it. I then went on to read Sinner, Saint, Green, and some of the Lost Books, and I later wished that I hadn't read them.

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