Ahhh books. They breathe life into me like nothing else. Who's with me? Everyone has that book--that favorite book that holds a special place in their heart. One that satisfies their soul; feeds their imagination; inspires their heart. Maybe it's a book that taught you something. Maybe it's a book that made you laugh. Maybe it's a book that marks a significant phase in your life. Whatever it is, it's there.
For me? So many books have done that. I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. As a kid, I was too busy drawing to read. (Except for the Redwall series. Redwall all day, everyday.) But come college, I bloomed. Reading was life and I was forever changed. Here are the five books that have made a lasting impression on me and why:
Harry Potter and the (All of Them). I know. This sounds cliche. BUT. I didn't pick this series up until the release of the fourth book. My Mom had raved about them. Finally, the summer after my freshmen year in college, I decided I'd give them a try. There was no going back. Harry Potter woke something in me that has never fallen back asleep. The sweetest part of this series? I read it aloud to my Mom when she was going through radiation after breast cancer. We've shared this story ever since.
The Lord of the Rings. This has to be my all time favorite story. Once again, this was a series I read while my Mom was recovering from breast cancer. I would take her for weekly radiation and while waiting, I'd enter Middle Earth. Tolkien's characters are some of my all-time favorite. The loyalty between Sam and Frodo? The. Sweetest. Ever.
Ender's Game. I had heard of this book from several different people for several years during college. But I had never picked up a sci-fi book. They always seemed a bit out there for this fantasy reader. Until the day I decided to read it and was forever changed by Ender Wiggin. Orson Scott Card's writing is genius. Yes, the book is about smart kids in space, trying to save the world. But the writing is tender; raw; and emotionally poignant. I wanted so badly to sit beside Ender as he endured his sufferings. To comfort him. To fight with him. I never looked at sci-fi the same.
The Great Gatsby. Like I said, I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. I had never read Fitzgerald's classic in high school, so when I picked it up in college, I didn't know what to expect. While the story captivated me, the prose was intoxicating. How Fitzgerald crafted sentences and described his world, his characters left me breathless at times. Words became something so much more than just a means to explain story. They became art.
Lad: A Dog. I read this book when I was young--one of the few--and was so touched I read it over and over and over again, declaring that one day, I would own a collie. How the writer described the relationship between dog and man--sweet, loyal, and dedicated--made me desperate for a creature to love me like Lad loved his owner. My childhood dreams were made two years ago when my husband bought me my very own puppy. And while he's not a collie (hi there, maltipoo!), Moby is as sweet as they come.
What's a book that's captured your heart? I'd love to know!
4/6/2018 02:14:41 pm
My favorite books (besides the Bible!! 😊): 1. Anne of Green Gables (and subsequently any book written by L. M. Montgomery). My paternal grandmother gave me this book for Christmas when I was 8 and it changed my view of reading forever. The story lines were captivating, full of emotion and imagination, like Anne herself. 2. A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis I read this book shortly after my husband died and found Lewis’ honest coming to terms with his own wife's death very comforting and affirming of my own grief journey. 3. Phillip Yancey’s “Where is God When It Hurts” This again was an amazing comfort as I grieved the loss of my husband. Yancey wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions - questions I also struggled with. 4. Anything by Agatha Christie. I love a good mystery and Agatha Christie is the queen of mystery writers. Instead of bringing me flowers during the years we were married (though he sometimes did that too 😊), my husband would show up with an Agatha Christie book i didn’t have. Very thoughtful and always appreciated.
4/9/2018 09:26:24 am
Linda, I LOVE these! What gifts books are to us, no? How God uses them in our lives to heal us, to bring us joy, to love on us. Thank you for sharing!
4/14/2018 08:42:45 am
Harry Potter and Ender's Game would be on my list, too. Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Groosman, The Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, MIstorn by Brandon, and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I know, seven books. I can't help myself.
4/30/2018 11:16:13 am
You are my reading spirit animal, James :D I really need to give Brandon Sanderson a try!
4/24/2018 04:08:46 pm
I can never argue with you that you've put "The Great Gatsby" and Harry Potter" on your list, both of these are indeed great and worth reading! I can feel that we have the same taste when it comes to book. But of course, there will be slight differences because we are also unique in so many ways. By the way, I was surprised that you didn't put "The Hunger Games" there! I've read on your previous post that you're a big fan of Suzanne Collins, so I was shocked when I knew that it didn't make the cut!
4/30/2018 11:18:56 am
Ahhh you're RIGHT! Hunger Games is definitely one of my favorite series (I love that you've caught on!). I suppose the books on this list meant more than just favorites--they carried an emotional and creative weight with them that others didn't. (But really--choosing favorite books is like choosing favorite kids, right??)
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