First Friday Book Faves

What are you reading?

That's the question we will be asking COF contributors and you, our readers, each month. Is there a book that you just can't seem to put down, that's teaching you a profound spiritual lesson, or making you laugh amid your struggles? We want to hear about it!

There are two ways you can join us! Tell us in the comments what you are reading or use the LinkUp below to share your blog post about a favorite book you've read.  


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Beth Stiff

Let Hope in: 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life Forever  by Pete Wilson is a must-read. The book will change your life. As shared by Pete, “Let go of regret and fear, and instead focus on the hope. Focus on the desire, and let hope in.” God is our hope. Let Him in. You will come away from this book with a reminder of how you are loved, forgiven, and free.

Susanne Ciancio

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How to be a Best Friend Forever: Making and Keeping Lifetime Relationships by Dr. John Townsend is a great read for all of us who want to improve our relationships or figure out why some of them are so unsatisfying. Townsend offers eight skills needed for resilient lifelong friendships.  One of my favorite parts was how he distinguished the difference between friends, best friends (BFs) and best friends forever (BFFs).  Dr. Townsend makes it really clear that lifetime friendships are very important to our mental health and overall enjoyment of life.


Micalagh Moritz

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion is a transformational collection of stories written by a priest, Father Greg Boyle, who serves among the gangs of Los Angeles. The founder of Homeboy Industries, a non-profit that provides opportunities for gang members to change their lives and the community around them, he reminds us of God’s redemptive love for all, no matter where we are and what we have been through. Written with humor, while offering a realistic picture of serving in a place where violence and hardships are real, his stories offer hope and inspiration.  

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Chelle Wilson

Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou tells stories of her life, the experiences that shaped it, and the soul food that so many years later transports her back to those times and those memories. In conversation with a dear friend recently, we talked about the importance of food, recipes, and entertaining as a ritual, a vehicle for fellowship, comfort, informing and deepening relationships between families and friends. It wasn't just the recipes that inspired me, it was their enduring legacies, dishes only eaten on Sundays, e.g., fried chicken and cold potato salad, Carmel Cake, made "just to tell you how much we love you and how precious you are," and seasonal memories including cracklin' cornbread. Through this book, I see and smell my grandmother's kitchen on Sundays and throughout the year, church suppers, and holiday meals.

I recommend this book as window into African-American cultural history, family memories, and the secrets to pouring love into every meal.


Noelle Rhodes

God Loves Ugly by Christa Black is the true story of a powerful journey of one woman's freedom from paralyzing insecurities to the victorious realization of God's unconditional love! Christa Black gets real as she shares her story of dealing with sexual abuse, battling rejection issues, finding freedom from food addictions, and tearing off the chains of needing perfection. 

I recommend this book because Christa writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re having coffee together and just talking 'life'. She doesn't judge, but she does offer hope. She tackles the ugly parts of life, and the shameful parts we wish we could cover without anyone noticing. I personally find incredible strength in her story. I think you will too…So get it on your Kindle or in your hands!


Elise Daly Parker

Unglued; Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst is a book I wish had been written when I was in the thick of raising my kids. From the beginning, Lysa invites us into the hope of imperfect progress, instead of the burden of shooting for perfection. Immediately,  I could relate to Lysa’s thoughts on her out-of-control reaction to her husband’s request for a towel. “But God help me if I don’t get a handle on this I will destroy the relationships I value most and weave into my life permanent threads of short-temperedness, shame, fear, and frustration.” Lysa continues to explore being “unglued” in her classically straightforward, real, sometimes hysterically funny and sometimes piercingly true book. Unglued offers practical advice and hope for making imperfect progress toward being more self aware and gaining more self control, with a lot of help from our Lord.


Kimberly Amici

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex (And You Thought Bad Girls Had All the Fun) by Shelia Wray Gregoire

I’ve had this book for over a year know and finally gotten the courage to pick it up. My husband is glad I did. Sheila writes openly and honestly about a subject that few people want to talk about, especially in church. Her humor lightens the mood as she emphasizes the importance of sex in the marriage relationship. She discusses both the physical and spiritual aspects of the gift God has given a husband and wife by mixing practical tipswith biblical truths. I am only halfway through but am anticipating the second half to be just as good as the first. I’ll keep you posted…

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