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Ruthe’s Recommendations | Summer 2023

By First Dallas Staff

Welcome to our page dedicated to Ruthe’s Recommendations, your ultimate guide to a remarkable summer reading experience. Ruthe Turner, our beloved librarian at First Baptist Dallas, provides a collection of her top 10 favorite books to read this summer to inspire, entertain, and deepen your love for literature. 

The Truett Memorial Library, located in the basement below the Historic Sanctuary, is home to over 27,000 physical items and 5,000 Ebooks and MP3 audiobooks. Ruthe’s Top 10 Recommendations for the quarter are hand-picked to captivate readers of all ages, and visitors are encouraged to stop by and pick up a copy during their next visit.

  1. Another Gospel?: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity by Alisa Childers. At the first session of a promising new discussion series at her church, Alicia Childers’ pastor began the meeting with the startling statement, “I am a hopeful agnostic.” This was followed by his weekly chipping away at the traditional foundations of the church. Ms. Childers soon realized she knew what she believed but not necessarily why she believed it. After four months, she quit the classes and began her own intense search for Truth, which is the substance of this book. As Lee Strobel writes in the foreword, “This could be the most influential book you read this year.”
  2. By Way of the Moonlight by Elizabeth Musser. This author has yet to disappoint her readers, and many agree she is the best Christian fiction author in the library. Her stories are superior in content and always leave the reader with something deep to ponder. She blends heart and soul, love and faith, along with the most interesting historical facts and surprise endings. Her latest book is set along America’s Atlantic sea coast during World War II, where she reveals the most startling historical facts that are rarely, if ever, taught in history classes. This book has it all—love, family, history, geography, bad guys, secrets, war, faith, a surprise ending, and . . . horses! Who can pass up a good horse story? 
  3. Perfect Ending: Why Your Eternal Future Matters Today by Dr. Robert Jeffress. If you are one of those people (like me) who has heard all the terms of the biblical prophecy but are confused as to their meaning or place in future history, just read Perfect Ending to get a systematic biblical explanation of these events, starting with Genesis. With his knowledge of Scripture mixed with personal examples (and some humor), Dr. Jeffress brings clarity to future biblical events that we need to know to be prepared—maybe soon.
  4. Clinging to Hope: What Scripture Says about Weathering Times of Trouble, Chaos, and Calamity by Dr. Charles Swindoll. “Troubles are inevitable,” Swindoll states, then delves into the lives of many examples from the Bible, examples from people he has encountered in his ministry, plus examples from his personal life. Yes, even this man known for his happy demeanor and contagious chuckle has experienced loss. But the solution is “Consider it all joy” (James 1:2). He opens up the meaning of the entire chapter to help us apply it to our own problems. Through many additional Bible references, Dr. Swindoll provides great encouragement and leaves us with the ultimate perspective—to look up to the heavens and put our trust in the Lord, who is faithful to the end.
  5. The Watchmaker’s Daughter by Larry Loftis. Corrie ten Boom will always be revered and remembered as a woman of deep convictions and faith who hid Jews in her home during World War II. She was eventually arrested and sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Upon her miraculous release, she believed God had called her to help restore and heal the shattered lives of the war by sharing Christ’s healing message of love and forgiveness. She took her message to 60 countries and wrote several books, including her international bestseller, The Hiding Place. Now, Larry Loftis shares more details of her life, more about her role in the Resistance, and more information about the others who were part of the original story.
  6. DeLIVERed by Lisa Barker. This has all the makings of a wonderful novel—a happily-ever-after love story of two high school sweethearts, Lisa and Reid. You will find yourself mesmerized by their story, which is not a novel after all. It is the dramatic true account of Lisa’s desperate need for a liver transplant, the subsequent coming together of a great medical team, the support of friends and family, and the ultimate and sacrificial gift from a donor. A very meaningful bonus video summarizing Lisa’s story is found at While on that website, learn how easy it is to become a donor.
  7. Letter to the American Church by Eric Metaxas. Through his extensive research of German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was murdered by the Nazis, Metaxas became quite knowledgeable of Hitler’s murderous schemes. The Christian pastors and leaders of the German Church were not prepared to stand up to Hitler, and in fear, they looked the other way and allowed many atrocities. With great detail and facts, Metaxas compares the German Church of the 1930s to the American Church of today. He reminds us that we are called to sincerely trust and obey with all our hearts and stand firm against the atrocities we see today.
  8. Virginia Grace: Courageous Patriot by Eleanor Clark. Summer is upon us and all that comes with it—picnics, the pool, the beach, and most of all, the Fourth of July, which is usually topped off with a booming fireworks display. But in the fun of the day, we must ensure that the true meaning is passed on to the next generation. Author Eleanor Clark’s historical fiction book, Victoria Grace, is a pleasant way for your elementary or pre-teen girl to understand the heart and soul of why America fought for our freedom.
  9. The Very Best Story Ever Told by Robin Currie. This could easily become your child’s most-loved Bible storybook. Along with delightful pictures and easy text, there is the added bonus of 14 signs from American Sign Language that the children can practice while the book is read to them. This is the best interactive book to tell the best story ever. Learning a bit of ASL is fun and adds another dimension to making the truths of Jesus permanently embedded in the children’s hearts.
  10. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. This is a wonderful children’s picture book of fewer than 30 pages (half of those being pictures.) It tells of Little Alice Rumphius, who grew up in a little house by the sea. As a little girl, she would often visit her grandfather and tell him of her dreams for her life. He would listen and then add, “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” Through the author’s beautiful illustrations, we, as readers, travel along through Alice’s life until she is old. Is there still time to make the world more beautiful? Oh, yes! Through beautiful words and lovely illustrations, we see the results of her grandfather’s wisdom, and we are inspired.

But that’s not all—we have two incredible Summer Reading Clubs lined up for you! Visit Truett Library to learn more about the Grand Slam Summer Reading Club, specially designed for children through the sixth grade, starting Sunday, June 11 to July 2, to dive into the captivating world of literature and win prizes. Then, don’t miss out on the “Y’all, Come Meet New Friends in Truett Library” Summer Reading Club, where you’ll explore the power of biographies from Sunday, July 2 to July 23. Readers of all ages can join to read about the lives of individuals for a chance to earn prizes and receive a special invitation to a delightful Barbecue Dinner in August.

Ruthe’s Recommendations and the Summer Reading Clubs are the perfect guides to literary exploration. Join us in celebrating the joy of reading, and let the pages transport you to incredible places this summer. Happy Reading!