Friday, November 22, 2013

Books You Need to Read

List 8 books you've read that you think everyone should read in their lifetime.

Really? Really? That's what I'm supposed to write about? I'll give you a list as long as it's understood it is subject to change at a moment's notice. And I don't like "shoulds", so let's just say I strongly encourage you to give these titles serious consideration, okay?

1. In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

I suppose I should (oops!) be able to tell you why this novel had such an impact on me, but I can't really. Perhaps it had to do with the time in my life, my own questionings, and a desire to explore a more contemplative life. I know I am not alone in my feelings for this book. Just read the reviews on Goodreads and you'll see people reading and re-reading the novel.

2. Keeping House: the Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson

I'm always searching for ways to make my life run more smoothly, and ways to feel that my service to my family has more meaning than society seems to imply. Peterson's book struck a chord with me by changing the mundane to the holy.

3. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

I read this when it was first published in 1989. I saw myself in Owen. That small, dwarfish boy with the funny voice. He didn't fit in and neither did I. As usual John Irving had something to tell us all about life, living, and loving.

4. You've Got Dragons by Kathryn Cave and Nick Maland 

A children's book for sure, but with a message we all need to hear. I found such comfort in this book during some of the worst of my PTSD. It's about acknowledging and naming fears; needing and seeking comfort. 

I admit it, I initially picked up this title when Josh became our minister. I wanted to know more about him, and maybe impress him by being able to say I'd read his book. What I got was a full out lesson in living Christ in the NOW. I was afraid it was going to be so missional that I would recoil, but I rather found the book to be encouraging and uplifting even for an introvert like me.

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Yes, you've seen the movie. Yes, you had to read it in school or kid is reading now. Please, for the love of God, read it as an adult! The beauty of the language. The power and gentleness of the story. The wonder that is Atticus Finch. You need to read this book, for the first time or again.

7. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I read it because everyone had it on their lists, and then I understood why. Read it with an open mind. Be Pi. Investigate and question through the first section of the book. Do what Pi is doing. And then settle in and journey with Pi. I had to read this one with a pen in hand -- for underlining, marking with ?, and noting. I looked up information in between reading sessions. I re-read the last portion at least 3 times. And then, and only then did I see the movie. You simply cannot be unmoved by this book.

8. The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough

I read this book many years ago, and it was a little treasure I had stumbled on. I gave copies as gifts. I lingered over it's few pages, and have thought lovingly of it since then. It's a light piece of fluff, but it's nice fluff. I've only recently read about it being possibly plagiarized from L. M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle. I was hesitant to keep it on my list, but the reality is, at the time I read it, I adored it. (I'll get back to you, after reading Montgomery's book.)

9. Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout

As one reviewer said, "It was not about religion but about human nature and how we overcome some of our basic and more ugly tendencies" and another, "It is a testimony to the enduring power of love." What more can I say.

Oh, it was supposed to be 8 books? Oh well, you got 9.

Happy reading!

linking up with Writer's Workshop


  1. An interesting list… unfortunately (for me I suppose) I haven't heard of many of those books… guess it's time to expand my horizons. :) However, I have heard of and most definitely read To Kill a Mockingbird and it ended up on my list of top eight books as well. You can check out my list if you like. :)

  2. I also haven't heard of many of these books. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my most favorite books!

    Coming over from Mama Kat's blog.

  3. Thanks so much for the list. I have so many suggestions now!


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