• Joellen Kemper

2020 Book Awards


I read some great books this year and I thought I would share my favorites!


{You can click on the book title for an Amazon link!}


Most Captivating: A Royal Masquerade by Allison Tebo

Allison is one of my most favorite authors! She can effortlessly transport her readers to magical settings, inhabited by some of the very best characters. Her writing is always heartfelt, full of wit, and noble. I adored her first Tales of Ambia story (The Reluctant Godfather), but the follow up completely gripped me! I could not set it down. It brought me back to my younger days when getting completely lost and taken in by a book was the most beautiful luxury.


Best Quest: The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

My dear friend, Mary, introduced me to this series! My heart has the biggest spot for quest stories and this one had me captivated from the start. Sutcliff is a painter with words and knows how to immerse her readers in myth and lore. It's a beautiful story of friendship and triumph. I believe any lover of Tolkien's works would find a connection with this story.


Most Imaginative: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis


I’m not sure if any other book has illuminated my imagination quite like this one. It simultaneously heightened my terror, stirred my convictions, and left me in awe. I read the annotated version and I would highly recommend it- the extra notes were so nice!


Book Everyone Should Read: Animal Farm by George Orwell


Move over 1984! Of the two, I feel like this one was the best. I read this story back in May at the height of much civil unrest in our nation. Orwell was such a political prophet and he did a superb job at storylining victimhood mentality and oppression. I wish everyone would read this book.


Most Beautifully Written: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis


I could include the whole Narnia series (most of which I read this year) for this category, but this was BY FAR the best ending to any series I have ever read. I remember staying up very late and sobbing my way through all of the final chapters. I have the most special fondness for stories where goodness has the final say and Lewis created yet another fine work of art.


Heart Changing: Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne


This book is such a special treasure to me. It is a collection of reflections by a man so in love with the Lord. His humble, beautiful words constantly elevate and praise the goodness and greatness of God. I began the book during the start of covid and everything else going on in the country and it was a healing balm to my anxious heart. He is a true practitioner of Philipians 4- focusing on the good, beautiful, and noble. I spent many Spring evenings on my back deck after putting Judah down for bed, reading this book and watching the sun set.


New Authors to Watch: Thibeaux Sisters of T Spec Fiction


Oh my word! T Spec Fiction is a special quarterly ezine put on by Allison Tebo and her sisters. They are a collection of delightfully imaginative and clean adventure stories. I relished Every. Single. Story. I read the first issue while recovering from surgery and they were the perfect sweep me away escapes. I was mesmerized by the worlds and continually drawn in by the characters. I'm so happy this is a frequent fixture in life- I plan on starting on the next collection very soon!

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