A Suggested Bookshelf
Read early and often, and impart this habit to your kids.
Here is a suggested bookshelf of key books (see my last blog post – https://jimedd71.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/whats-on-your-bookshelf/) that have influenced me and hopefully, will get you started on your very own bookshelf. (Books are in no particular order.) I know I have left off some classics, but feel free to comment and add your own key books. Many of these can be found at garage sales, thrift stores, or bought on Amazon, especially the used book section.
- The Bible (obviously). It helps to have a good reading plan, alternating between the Old and New Testament and wisdom books.
- The Invitation, by Eugene Peterson. (Contemporary, one-page summaries of every book in the Bible.
- All the Places to Go, by John Ortberg. (How to know and follow God’s leading.)
- The Art of Divine Contentment, by Thomas Watson, 1653. Tremendous book that has survived for over 350 years.
- 9 Things You Simply Must Do (to succeed in love and life), by Henry Cloud. Wise, profound principles of life.
- The Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway. Inspiring, true story of missions (China); a modern-day Apostle Paul.
- Night, by Elie Wiesel, 1958. True story of one who survived the Holocaust.
- The Way of the Wolf, by Martin Bell. A collection of sermons, disguised as stories. One chapter, “Barrington Bunny” is something we read to our children every Christmas Eve.
- The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. The most widely read book of Christian devotions for over 500 years.
- Your God is Too Small, by J.B. Phillips. Classic book that brings God out of the pages of the Bible into our world.
- Sovereign Grace, by D.L. Moody. Another classic; simple understanding of grace.
- The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitall Smith. A Quaker’s guide to how to live with happiness, right now.
- The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell has written several books, so don’t stop with only one. You will learn and grow.
- Christian Counter-Culture, by John R.W. Stott. The message of the Sermon on the Mount. Fantastic book and writer.
- The Way of the Wild at Heart, by John Eldridge. How to understand boys and their journey to adult-hood. Built around the life of David.
- Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster. How to pursue the godly “disciplines” that lead to spiritual growth.
- Parents in Pain, by John White. A book of comfort and counsel, to keep on parenting even in the midst of pain.
- Between Parent and Teenager, by Dr. Haim G. Ginott. I found my mother’s signature is in this book, and realized that she bought this when I was a teenager. Thanks mom.
- As For Me and My House, by Walter Wangerin. One of the best books I have read on marriage.
- The Magnificent Defeat, by Frederick Buechner. Full of imaginative devotions. This is just one of his books; read them all.
- My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. Another powerful book of Christian devotions. Gives a fresh perspective of God’s word.
- Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. A man who survived the holocaust and showed us how to truly live.
- How Now Shall We Live, by Chuck Colson. Goes beyond salvation to understand biblical faith as an entire worldview.
- Good to Great, by Jim Collins. Classic business book that also applies to life. Why do some companies make the leap…and others don’t? Answers here.
- A Religious History of the American People, by Sidney Ahlstrom. A saga of our (American) diverse religious history. Detailed, but readable.
- The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel Brown. An irresistible true story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable account of how nine working-class boys from America showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
- Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. Another true story of courage and redemption in World War 2. Better than the movie.
- Seabiscuit, also by Laura Hillenbrand. Another true, inspiring story of redemption, for an owner, trainer and jockey.
- In The Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larsen. True, gripping account of a family living in Berlin in the 1930’s. Shows the rise of Hitler and the Nazi’s.
- Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. True account of an Oxford professor who was an atheist and became a Christian. (C.S. Lewis is arguably the greatest Christian author of our time, and all his books are must-reads.)
- Chronicles of Narnia, also by C.S. Lewis. Tremendous book series of Christian allegory to read to children. Our kids now read these to their kids.
- Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan. Another classic allegory of the Christian journey to the “Celestial City.”
- Little House on the Prairie (series), by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Fantastic series to read to your children – love, family, perseverance, adventure.
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Compelling story of small southern town and strong single-parent dad. Easily one of the best novels ever.
- The Black Widow, by Daniel Silva. This is just one of a fiction thriller series that is based on current events. Gabriel Allon is an Israeli agent, whose cover is an art restorer. Page turners.
Happy reading, and feel free to comment on books that have made an impact in your life.