This is a list of books that have shaped my life. I plan to keep adding to the list, and share them here in no particular order, but with the ardor that comes from having met something exciting and wanting to tell someone about it.

Because I read or post a title doesn’t mean I love everything in the book, but that I have benefited substantially from the over-arching message. Reading with discernment is like eating fish, they say: chew it and spit out the bones.

Michael O’Brien:

Sophia House

Strangers and Sojourners

Island of the World

A Father’s Tale

Sheldon Van Auken:

A Severe Mercy

Under the Mercy 

Penelope Wilcox: The Hawk and the Dove series

Sue Monk Kidd: The Secret Life of Bees

Ravi Zacharias:

From East to West

Recapture the Wonder

Cries of the Heart 

Francis Schaeffer:

The God Who is There

He is there and He is Not Silent

Whatever Happened to the Human Race?

How Shall We Then Live? 

John Boyne: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Dominique LaPierre: City of Joy

C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia 

A.A. Milne:  The House at Pooh Corner

Elisabeth Elliot:

Shadow of the Almighty

Passion and Purity

Quest for Love

Keep a Quiet Heart    (anything written by Elisabeth Elliot)

Elisabeth Goudge:

Green Dolphin Street

The Dean’s Watch

Rummer Godden:

In This House of Brede

Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy

An Episode of Sparrows

The Didakoi

Philip Yancey:

Disappointment with God

Soul Survivor

Where is God When it Hurts?

What Good is God?  

Vanishing Grace

Amy Carmichael: Mountain Breezes, (poetry)

Torey Hayden:

Twilight Children

One Child

Tiger Child

Somebody Else’s Kids

Paula Rinehart

Strong Women, Soft Hearts

Better than My Dreams

Sex and the Soul of a Woman

Lauren Winner:

Girl Meets God

 Mudhouse Sabbath

Real Sex

Dorothy Clarke Wilson:

Ten Fingers for God

Take my Hands

Don Miller

Blue Like Jazz

Searching for God Knows What

To Own a Dragon

A Million Million in a Thousand Years

 Scary Close

Steve Lopez: The Soloist

J.R.R.Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Emerson Eggerichs: Love and Respect

Leigh McLeroy: The Beautiful Ache

Wm. Paul Young: The Shack

Henri Nouwen: The Wounded Healer, 

Jan Meyer:

The Allure of Hope

Beauty and the Bitch

Abbie Smith: Celibate Sex

Jan Pollock Michal: Teach us to Want 

Paul Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes Air, 

Sara Hagarty:

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet


Tara Owens: Embracing the Body

Lois Lowry:

The Giver

Gathering Blue

Peter Hessler: River Town

Victor Hugo: Les Miserables

Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karanina

8 thoughts on “Recommending

  1. Hi Anita,
    I’m tickled with these recommended reads! I just discovered one of the cheapest websites for buying books….. and they have free shipping on top of their low prices. There are many smiles in my voice 🙂 I’ve ordered a few and will wait to recommend the site until I get my books and see what they’re like. I’ve got a lot in my wishlist too for the time when my money tree starts yielding. 🙂

    Please keep adding books as you approve them. I’ll be back to see if there’s more.

  2. Pingback: Just to say… « Tis a gift to receive…

  3. I’ve got a $40 Barnes and Noble gift card burning a hole in my pocket. Since I don’t have access to my beloved Queens library anymore, I might actually have to start buying books again. 🙂 I copied your list and plan to make a couple selections based on your recommendation.

  4. How delightful to find someone who read Green Dolphin Street! I couldn’t believe at the end that I really liked Marianne. I simply couldn’t believe it. I had to reread the last chapter and sure enough, I liked that woman! So much that we named our youngest daughter Marianne.

  5. I just found this list again and was tickled to see the “print” button. Now a copy of your list will hang out in an inner pocket of my purse with my own list of books I wish to read. Thanks for sharing!- You’ve introduced me to many books, places, and other delightful finds!

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