About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Oh my, how much space to I have here? (snicker, snicker)
    I love C. S. Lewis: The Space Trilogy, Screwtape Letters, Till We Have Faces, etc.
    Just finished “The Knowledge of the Holy” by A. W. Tozer–my brain exploded–it’s amazing.
    The two volume biography of Hudson Taylor, written by his grandson: The Growth of a Soul, and the Growth of a Work of God–next to the Bible, probably the book that caused me to hunger for personal holiness more than any other.
    As homeschoolers, we love great historical fiction–Rosemary Sutcliff, Eloise Jarvis McGraw, R. M. Ballantyne, G. A. Henty are some of our favorite authors.
    Of course, Tolkien’s Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Simarillion
    George MacDonald’s “The Light Princess” is wonderful.
    There is a challenge I saw on a blog I read called 52 in 52, where we try to read 52 books in 52 weeks and then write little reviews. I just did number 17 on George MacDonald’s “Lilith.” Wow!
    Okay, I’ll stop now.

  2. I love that you’re a book nerd. I spent much of my childhood perched in a backyard tree, book in hand. If I’d known you then, I would have invited you over and offered you a branch!

  3. In my family, we are all book nerds except for my husband. We are trying to convert him. A recent read I’ve enjoyed is Still Alice. It’s about a Harvard professor who discovers she has early onset alzheimer’s.

  4. Hi from a fellow book nerd!! I loved Randy Alcorn’s Deadline too and read it in high school as well. What a book!! This was a super post and I’m taking note of your favs that I’ve not yet read. I’m especially intrigued by the essay collection. I just finished Anne Fadiman’s collections of essays recently and have been looking for more. Thanks for your post!!

  5. Usually my favorite books are the ones I am currently devouring. I have been reading everything available in our church library by Francine Rivers. She creates characters that make me want to shake them and wake them up, but they are so like people I meet every day. “Her Mother’s Hope” and “Her Daughter’s Dream” were two that left a definite impression on me. It is hard for me to allow myself to just sit and read during the day. I usually read at night before going to sleep.

    • I also liked what I think is called And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers about how power of self can overtake what God calls us to do. I, too, read before bed.

  6. I would have to say that my favorite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. But I love to read all kinds of books, especially good Christian mysteries or books by Ted Dekker, etc.

  7. Thanks for sharing your favs! I’m going to look up those Karen Kinsbury books & the “fluff” book looks like fun as well!

  8. One of the best books I have ever read was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. She is an amazing author.

  9. I am with you Mary! When I packed to move I had an embarrassing number of boxes filled with books (even when I sorted through them to give away the ones I could bear to part with). I love mysteries. I’m so glad you do too. Have you read the Alexander McCall Smith series? Wonderful!!
    Thanks for sharing your favorites. I’ll add them to my list. 🙂

  10. Oh I am so with you on reading – so many wonderful books. I like all Lynn Austin’s books and Bodie Thoene.

    Some very different books are: Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove (don’t be deterred by the title, this book is an interesting look into a the soul of woman who has lost her husband); One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (I am leading a women’s Bible study based on this book); Vengeance by Donna Dawson; If Only You Knew by Mags Storey.

    Too many more to tell you about. Have lots of fun reading … that’s what’s important. Blessings,

  11. I loved The Help as well. My favorite book is a YA Fiction by Michelle Magorian. It’s called Good Night, Mr. Tom and if you read it you need tissues. I love, love, love to read and am always on the lookout for new suggestions so thanks for sharing some of your favorites!

  12. The Baxter Series was the first books I ever read by Karen Kingsbury – she is such a talented woman!

    I put ‘Deadline’ on my wish list…….I am still floundering around for a concrete “purpose” in my life/career.

  13. The picture you posted could have been me because my hair looked like that when I was little and I loved books. I actually used to get in trouble for reading too much. 🙂

  14. Thanks for the new ideas! I am a huge reader but most of these are new to me. I loved Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, but had no idea he’d written novels. Definitely going to check that one out!

  15. Great recommendations! I agree with what you said about The Help. I read it last year, too and haven’t read a novel as compelling since then. One day I’m going to bite the bullet and read The Hole In Our Gospel.

  16. My 3 favorite Christian nonfiction books are Waking the Dead by John Eldredge, I love his passion in his writing, and Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, and Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado, these last two really speak to the purpose God has for our lives and the dreams He gives us that are tied to our God given destiny.

    I have always been a huge fan of Janette Oke, her Love Comes Softly Series is far better than the movies, which are good, but not as good as the characters written as Janette Oke writes them.