One of the amazing things about being a writer is that I get to know other writers, people who find this thing I do to be valuable and important and who put their time toward doing it, too.

This week, two of my friends put out new books. Ed Cyzewski’s latest work was released just today, April 1st. His book is entitled The Tweets of the Apostles, which is described as “Read the book of Acts with fresh eyes and easily retweet your favorite passages with the New Twitter Version’s latest translation.” The book is witty and refreshing and bound to freak out every pastor you know for just a second . . . it’s wise to remind them quickly that the book has been released on April 1st for a reason.

Shawn Smucker’s Building a Life Out of Words tells the story of the year he decided to put on the mantel of “writer” as a full-time vocation and occupation. I’ve truly appreciated the honesty, the craft, and the humor of Shawn’s writing here – and I’m inspired to delve even more deeply into my life of words.

Several other friends have also released books recently, including Jennifer Luitweiler, who is truly one of the funniest, strongest people I know, wrote Run With Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of the Poo in 2011.

Alise Wright’s book Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression is one of the most honest, strengthening books on the subject that I have ever read.

Finally, Janet Oberholtzer’s Because I Can: Doing What I Can, With What I Have, Where I Am tells the story of Janet’s nearly fatal accident and her resolve to not only recover but absolutely overcome. Another inspiring read, for sure.

So there – five books you may not have heard of yet, but that you should most definitely get. If you’re interested, all these folks are on Twitter; just search them by name and give them a follow. Then, you can read more of their writing each and every day.

Do you have any books written by friends that you would recommend?