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Self-published standouts

The top 10 self-published books to cross WORLD's desk this year

Self-published standouts

(Matt Rose)

Intern Mary Sue Daoud winnowed down to 15 the more than 100 self-published books recently sent to WORLD, and those became the core of this final list of 10 that display clear writing and storytelling.

These Are the Generations 

Mr. and Mrs. Bae (not their real names) as told to Rev. Eric Foley (Dot W, 2012)

This winsomely written true story of a multigenerational Christian family shows the North Korean dictatorship’s all-encompassing hatred of Christianity, and the courage of underground Christians who risk everything to follow Christ.

Through Dark Rivers: A Journey Through Loss to Joy 

Susan Erikson (HouseErikson, 2012) 

Erikson’s poems and hymns, focusing on loss of fellowship with God and other lesser losses, reflect this world’s sorrows and yet shimmer with hope.

Warrior Monk: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel

Ray Keating (CreateSpace, 2010)

The “warrior monk” in question is an ex-CIA agent who settled into life as a … Lutheran pastor, saving lives and taking care of bad guys (who get saved). Note: This amusing, suspenseful action novel includes occasional swearing.

Discovering England From One Inch Above the Thames

Jim Payne (Lytton, 2012)

Payne’s absorbing account of a kayaking journey through England describes the places he stayed and the people he met.

Beneath the Chipvole Mountains

A.K. Brennan (Scherzo, 2011)

In a way reminiscent of the classic Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Brennan tells of a mouse whose husband had gotten entangled with an up-to-no-good weasel king, so she and her children decide to move back to the Chipvole Mountains. 

The Garden and the Ghetto: Stories and Reflections from the City of Refuge

Jeff Deel (Westbow, 2011)

This collection of well-written, encouraging stories from City of Refuge, a Christian ministry located in Atlanta’s worst neighborhood, helps us enter into the lives of staff members and residents. 

Compelling Interest: The Real Story Behind Roe v. Wade

Roger Resler (eChristianBooks, 2012)

Resler combines careful research into the background of Roe v. Wade and interviews with dozens of pro-life experts.

Guinea Pig for Breakfast

Andrea Gardiner (Grosvener House, 2012)

Gardiner, a Scottish-trained doctor and fine storyteller, describes in lively prose the poor people in Ecuador she has served. She writes of becoming pregnant, marrying, adjusting to new motherhood, treating machete cuts and strange skin diseases, making hard adjustments to Ecuadorian culture, and finding grace despite her personal failures.

Tea and Trouble Brewing 

Dorcas Smucker (Amazon, 2012)

A collection of sprightly essays by a Mennonite woman with six children and a house full of visitors. Each essay captures the details of an experience, a season of life, or the joy of sitting down to a quiet cup of tea.

Psalms for Caregivers 

Darlene Saunders (WinePress, 2012)

Saunders knows from personal experience how important it is to turn to God in the midst of troubles, and her short meditations on the Psalms provide a guide for doing so.

Mary Sue Daoud

Mary Sue Daoud

Mary Sue Daoud

Susan Olasky

Susan is a book reviewer, story coach, feature writer and editor for WORLD. She has authored eight historical novels for children and teaches twice a year at World Journalism Institute. Susan resides with her husband, Marvin, in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @susanolasky.


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  • Jeffery Deal's picture
    Jeffery Deal
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 05:17 pm

    How did people submit books for review?

  • Janet B
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 05:17 pm

    Where can we find some of these books? Will regular book stores have them?