This week I’m featuring my friend Christine Carter for The Books of My Life. I met Christine over the ether. I think our first interaction was after I wrote a post for our mutual friend Kristi Campbell’s website, Finding Ninee, which was about my experience with Barrett and the little bus. Christine reached out to me and an internet friendship was made. Christine blogs at The Mom Café, and she recently published her first book, Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A Woman’s Guide Towards Wellness While Recovering From Injury, Surgery, or Illness. You can order the book on Amazon. Last year (or two years ago?), Christine suffered a terrible injury that led to surgery on her foot. I was reading her blogs during this time and was blown away by her spirit. Christine is a warrior, and she’s unrelentingly positive. I get so excited when she comments on something I write, because I know no matter what, she’s going to make me smile. She’s truly is the best commenter in the blogging world!
I haven’t read Christine’s book yet and I’m so sorry my friend. I’m way behind in my reading, which makes me sad. But this post is about you. I know the book is fabulous, because it’s written from the heart. That’s Christine’s gift to her readers, she genuinely wants to make your world a better place. Her unwavering faith and endless love for mankind shines through in everything she writes. She’s an amazing mother and her children represent her faith, courage and authenticity. And yes, I get this from her words, because I know they are true. And one day, Christine and I will meet – I am sure of it.
I must share something that may embarrass Christine. She really didn’t want to do a Books of My Life interview, because she thought she didn’t read enough. Um, I’m not certain how she could read more. Christine, I enjoyed reading this interview very much. You introduced me to many new writers, and you’re commentary made me laugh. I think it’s one of my best BOML interviews yet!
Without further ado….
What was your favorite book as a child?
I loved everything Judy Blume, especially Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.
What was your favorite book that you read for school?
I really appreciated To Kill A Mockingbird, and even got the audio book recently to experience it again. I love it even more now.
What’s a book that really cemented you as a writer?
Gosh, I think any and all of Lysa Terkeurst’s books really inspired me to be a writer. Her naturally engaging and genuine approach to writing about her faith and helping the reader feel completely understood is such a gift. I am constantly trying to do just that through my own words and messages. I also really loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. It was SO encouraging, because it really helped me gain perspective as a writer.
Is there a book that you’ve read over and over again?
I’m a huge fan of Robert Fulghum, and I often re-read his books for the sheer enjoyment of his gift of perspective and his appreciation for finding deeper meaning and significance in simple life moments. I own every one.
What’s a classic you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read? Um, I have a list. Ha! Let’s go with War and Peace. Or maybe Pride and Prejudice? Yeah, I don’t have the attention span to get through long books. Sad but true.
What’s a book you’ve pretended to read?
I’m sure there were many books I cheated with Cliff Notes back in my high school days… Books like Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies. I *may* have read them, but it’s all a blur. I know Fahrenheit 451 is one book I can’t remember reading at all, so I checked it out at the library last week.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
I’m a big fan of Christian nonfiction books that help me grow my faith, and I really do appreciate all of them. I wasn’t really into Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge, which surprised me. I listened to the audio book in my car on a long road trip, and didn’t feel inspired. It could have been the narrator, whose voice really grinded on my nerves. I just couldn’t finish it. Audio book narrators can truly make or break a book. I’ve had to stop listening to some for this reason. Such a shame.
What’s a recent book you wish you’d written?
I wish I wrote For The Love written by my dream bestie, Jen Hatmaker. I pretty much love everything she writes, and this one did not disappoint. I especially loved her book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. My women’s group read it and we laughed SO hard through her hilarious stories and her very real reflections and beautifully honest voice. We were constantly inspired and convicted through her message. (I HIGHLY recommend it.)
What’s a favorite movie adaptation of a book you loved? Worst adaptation of a book you loved?
I loved The Book Thief. It was one of my daughter’s favorite books, so I got the audio book to listen to, and I loved it too. We watched the movie together. Both were excellent.
I was incredibly disappointed in Heaven Is For Real. The book was SO much better. I read it to my Sunday School class one summer, and it was such a great teaching resource and incredible story. I was disappointed that the movie didn’t accurately depict the depth of the book.
I have to also add Unbroken as a disappointment, just because they cut out the most important part of this profoundly horrific story- Louis Zamperini’s return home: Experiencing PTSD that leads him through a dark and reckless aftermath, until his wife becomes a Christian and begs him to attend Billy Graham revival. This leads to Louis’ transformation, healing, and recovery. Ultimately, he became a messenger of grace, light, and love. He toured the world, sharing his testimony, starting a Christian camp for boys, and even returning to the prison camps where he was tortured. He offered his captors forgiveness as they sobbed in his arms … I would have LOVED to see that in the movie.
What was an illicit book you had to read in secret as a child?
Can’t think of any, but after reading so many of your interviews, I went and bought Judy Blume’s Forever. LOL
What’s a book people might be surprised to learn that you loved?
KIDDING! I never got around to reading that, although I was very intrigued.
I can’t think of any book that would surprise people, to be honest.
What fiction friends would you love to have?(umm…) Is Ann of Green Gables fiction? I would LOVE to be her friend. Her outlook on life is exhilarating!
If there were only one genre that you could read for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I am betting anyone who knows me could guess the answer correctly. LOL Christian Non-fiction. Duh.
Is there a book you’ve given multiple times as a gift?
MANY. It just depends on the person and the need. The books are often (you guessed it!) Christian non-fiction books for women, addressing certain aspects or areas where they may be needing guidance and encouragement. One of my favorite books to give is Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. It’s one of my faves. With my new book out, I will be gifting it to many- because I think it will make the best gift for women who need help and encouragement when they are sick, injured or facing surgery.
What author living or dead would you most like to meet, and what would you like to know?
Can I pick two? Please? Lysa Terkeurst and Jen Hatmaker. (Obvs.) I just want to spend a weekend with them at Lysa’s home, because it sounds really comfortable and beautiful. I want to learn as much as I can about their faith and their personal lives and ask for any wisdom and advice for my own writing career. Basically, I want to propose we all be best friends for life, and when they agree, I can call them and visit them whenever I want. And hey, maybe they would help promote my book too! BONUS.
What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?
I have been listening to Tiny Fey’s Bossypants on my walks, while I giggled and snorted and sometimes howled in laughter. She’s just plain hilarious. People passing me thought I was crazy, I’m sure.
The book that made me basically sob all the way through was Rare Bird by Anna Donaldson. I was so entrenched in her story, and her writing was so personal I felt like I was walking alongside her through it. My heart cracked open and stayed there through the entire book. It was a nightmare come true for this beautiful woman and mom, and yet I was so incredibly inspired by how she clung to her faith so fervently despite the crushing reality she faced. Every detail of her story kept me completely captivated.
What was the last book that you told people they have to read?
I just told a friend in my women’s ministry to read Purpose Driven Life By Rick Warren. And I’m always recommending my two faves: Jen Hatmaker’s 7 and Anna Donaldson’s Rare Bird. (You can do it Allie!!)
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading two different books for two different women’s groups. One is Breaking Free by Beth Moore, and the other is End of an Era: The Rise and Fall of Solomon by John MacArthur. I also have audio books always playing in my car and another one in my walking cd player. I am ready to start some new books, because I finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants on my walks, and finished Anne of Green Gables, which was such a wonderful read. I’m almost done with Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott, and I am in the middle of Mellissa Mowry’s new book From One Mother To Another. I also just finished Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus in the car on audio. It was excellent. I’m in the car all the time, driving my kids to practice, school, games etc., so I have a pile of audio books at the ready! Depending on the book, I make my kids listen to it, too. Sometimes they love it, (The Shack) and sometimes they get bored. (Killing Jesus.) I’m one to always have about a dozen books going at once!
What will you read next?
I have an enormous pile of both paperback and audio books just waiting on my shelf. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Cast of Characters by Max Lucado are up for car and walks, and Beth Moore’s John: 90 Days with the beloved Disciple and Kyle Idleman’s Not A Fan for reading. I started both of those books a long time ago, and just haven’t finished them. One is more of a working study, so it takes a bit more time to get through. (Beth Moore’s book.)
Books or eReader?
Do you keep your books or pass them on?
I keep my books, and buy new ones as gifts. I often lend my books out and sometimes that transpires into ‘passing them on’ when I never get them back. Ha!
Do you have a favorite place to read?
I honestly love being outside, whether that’s walking and listening to my audio books or sitting on my back patio in the sun reading a paperback.
Do you have a favorite bookstore?
The kids and I go to Half Price Books regularly and spend a small fortune every time. Ironic yes? Agreed.
To Kill a Mocking Bird is my favorite school read. In the last year I have read both Lord of the Flies and Fahrenheit 451. Hated – yes, hated – both. Probably didn’t help that I didn’t understand either one. Seriously. I felt like I was back in high school. Of course my fifteen year old didn’t either. It was the blind leading the blind. I find your comments about Unbroken fascinating. I didn’t read the book, so I really didn’t have an interest in seeing the movie. I’m also not an Angelina Jolie fan – but after reading what you wrote was left out of the movie – I’m not surprised. I love audio books too, and I’m very fascinated by how many books you have going on at a given time. I used to be able to read/listen to three at a time – but you’ve topped that! Your next funny audio book should be Ali Wentworth’s Happily Ali After – it is freaking hilarious. BTW, I loved Bossy Pants, too. I adore the fact that you went out and bought Forever after reading these interviews. Did you read it? And did you have to hide the fact you were reading it? Inquiring minds want to know. You cracked me up with your Fifty Shades tease. And I don’t think I can do Rare Bird (would you believe I’ve been given two copies of that book?). Just can’t. But I am off to check out Jen Hatmaker. Oh, and by the way, one of my biggest pet peeves is when I “lend” someone a book and then never get it back. It is especially annoying given that I also give a long and threatening speech about how I better get my book back.
Please leave a comment for Christine below. You can order a copy of her book on Amazon by clicking here. I gave up on affiliated sales, so you can click without any trace – just buy my girl’s book! Please!
If you’re interested in reading past Books of My Life interviews, click here.
You can learn more about Christine by following her at these places: