I don’t read much non-fiction, and when I do, it’s not really religious.
Probably the best religious non-fiction book I read cover to cover was Greg Laurie’s Lost Boy. Greg is a protestant pastor who was into the whole drugs, sex, rock n’ roll of the 60’s and 70’s and then became a Christian. He’s been called the next Billy Graham for having Graham-like crusades. A good book about a prodigal son.
I also read Mitch Albom’s Have a Little Faith. Albom is my favorite author. Albom’s Rabbi comes up to him and asks him to deliver his eulogy. Is the Rabbi dying? No. But he says that when the time comes, he wants Albom to deliver the eulogy. So, Albom spends time with his Rabbi, to really get to know him as a person. Think of it as spending time with your priest to get to know him as a person. At the same time, Albom is working with a local charity to repair the roof of a local Detroit church. While working on the church, he meets the pastor, a former drug dealer turned addict turned Christian pastor. As Albom gets to know his rabbi and this pastor, he starts to better appreciate the differences and the similarities between the two faiths. The message of the book is how religion is a driving force for good and central to people’s lives and how God can affect the lives of others.
As far as fiction…
May I suggest reading Cormac McCarthy’s play, The Sunset Limited. It’s a conversation between a poor devout Christian (Black) and a suicidal atheist professor (White). Black saves White from jumping in front of an oncoming train, the Sunset Limited. Black then takes White (who doesn’t appreciate being saved) to his apartment and they discuss life, faith, and death. It does a very good job with these subjects from a Christian perspective of hope and atheistic nihilism. When asked about faith, McCarthy says it’s a struggle for him and it depends on which day you ask him. I believe you can see that in this book.