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Ruthe’s Recommendations | Summer 2024

By First Dallas Staff

Welcome to our page dedicated to Ruthe’s Recommendations, your ultimate guide to a remarkable 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. Golden Years by Mrs. W. L. Williams was written for the author’s children to learn the history of their family. She is also remembered as Lucinda Beckley Williams, who worked side by side with her husband, Col. W. L. Williams, to establish and nurture our little-fledging church during its first 38 years until they moved to San Angelo for three years. In addition to benefiting her own children through her writing, Mrs. Williams also left us a valuable first-person history of Dallas, specifically our church.   
  2. The Power of the Cross by Robert Jeffress is a book you will want to proudly place on your coffee table for easy access and as a witness to all house guests. The beautiful full-color photography throughout enhances the message the book contains, walking the reader through that final week of the life of Jesus and ending with His victorious resurrection and His promise of eternal life for all who believe in Him. The book will delight all believers and enlighten non-believers. Needing a gift for your friends and family? Look no further!
  3. Unimaginable by Jeremiah Johnson is not for the faint of heart, for it gives many examples of how evil people have been without Jesus throughout history. It’s beyond imagination to know the full extent of the downward spiral of our world, even today. But God provided an answer—actually, He gave a promise—that a seed would come from Abraham, and through Him, all the nations of the world would be blessed. Read the bad news first, then rejoice in the good news of this very informative book.
  4. The Thrill of Orthodoxy by Trevin Wax is a title that might bring forth yawns but never make it to the top of your TBR (to be read) pile. The tendency is to leave such a subject to the professional theologians to debate while the rest of us get on with living the “real” life. However, orthodoxy helps Christians to be “real” in the true sense, to be confident to know what the “real” truth is, to grow confident in that truth, and to share the information with friends and family. 
  5. Marriage to a Difficult Man by Elisabeth Dodds is a great book with a misleading title.  In truth, the enduring love story of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards is very refreshing and sweet from beginning to end. As serious as Jonathan was, he fell head over heels for this “young lady from New Haven.” Their “uncommon union,” as he called it, formed a deep relationship that endured through all the struggles they faced—to the very end.  This story, better than any typical romance novel, is a model of a Godly marriage and the benefits it can bring.
  6. Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury is the perfect novel to read as we enjoy another great baseball season. Kingsbury truly “knocks it out of the park” with this heartbreaking story of a young pitcher who, at the top of his game, throws a disastrous, career-ending pitch. How could life ever be worth living again when all that is left is one shattered pitching arm and a pile of shattered dreams? The answer is in these two words, “But God.”
  7. The Final Race by Eric T. Eichinger recounts the years of fame for Eric Liddell, Olympic champion in the 1924 games. However, the main thrust of the book focuses on the remaining years of Liddel’s life when he chooses to run a different kind of race—living in basic obscurity and self-sacrifice as a missionary to the Chinese, then dying in a Japanese concentration camp. What makes this book a must-read is that the true light in this man’s life shines brighter than any Olympic torch and teaches the reader what it takes to be a true champion.
  8. Behind the Lights was written by Helen Smallbone, who happens to be the famous mom of Rebecca St. James and Rebecca’s little brothers—the For KING & COUNTRY duo. She is the Unsung Hero in their recent movie by the same name. What a compliment from her children! Mrs. Smallbone gives her perspective on the immense challenges the family faced and encourages all of us to tell our own stories of the faithfulness of God. Decide for yourself, is it better than the movie?
  9. Revolutionary Anna by Tracy Lawson is a children’s historical fiction about a real lady who actually lived during our Revolutionary War and bravely served her country as a spy! This is the first book of a series of three, each telling stories of real women who were willing to lose property and even life for the cause of freedom.
  10. Reins of Love by Laurie Salisbury is the first book in a new chapter-book series for children. The story centers around 9-year-old twins who are excited to move from a crowded apartment in the city to a bigger house on a ranch in Wyoming. But all the excitement is dampened by sibling rivalry, along with some other common bad-attitude situations. Through conversations with their parents, the twins are reminded of Bible verses that deal with such problems. As the twins listen and obey, wonderful results occur.

We hope Ruthe’s Summer Recommendations add a splash of inspiration to your reading adventures. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, relaxing in a hammock, or enjoying the cool comfort of your favorite reading nook, these books promise to bring joy, wisdom, and excitement to your summer days. Happy reading!