inspirational ≠ religious {thoughts on books and reading}

I admit that when I see the inspiration section in the library or book store, I think one thing: religious fiction, particularly of the Christian persuasion. This is an unfounded assumption, due to the fact that until recently, I’d never read a book from that section. And I thought to myself, “We all know what happens when you assume…”

So, at the beginning of the year, I resolved to read five books from my library’s inspiration section. There were no specific parameters to the resolution. (But I’m not reading series, even if I might read the first in a series, and I’m trying to get some differing stories, by different authors.)

I have been surprised to find, having read two of those resolved five, that there is pretty much no religion in my inspirational picks. Religion has been mentioned–there’s just no way of getting away from it being mentioned in a story about the Amish (The Shunning by Beverly Lewis). But it was practically nonexistent in my pioneer story (Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke) other than a fairly minor character praying at meal times. In fact, Love Comes Softly had “historical fiction” on the back cover; I definitely thought it fit that genre more than what I had been imagining for the genre of inspiration.

This isn’t to say that religion won’t play a larger role in my last three picks for the resolution–I’m very certain it will play majorly in Left Behind by Tim LeHaye, which I plan on reading. But, again, I’ve decided to try not being so narrow minded and it has been a fairly enlightening experience thus far.


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