Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hard to let go of some things - My Top Ten favorite books!

No matter if we get attached to "things" or not, there are just some things that are hard to let go of. I dearly love my books. When you live in a culture where you have a hard time communicating, books become even more valuable. You can get lost in a good book. It can change your mood, your attitude, even your heart. It can inform you, educate you, entertain you, infuriate you, challenge you, anger you, motivate you, move you .... and honestly, it can change you. Yes, a good book is an amazing thing!

Once again, I need to "trim" down my personal library for travel. So, once again, I consider which books are a must! Which books am I willing to pay to keep with me.

A friend asked for a recommendation from a particular author that I love. I had a hard time recommending only one! So, I didn't. I recommended more than one. But, it made me think about my favorites. I did come up with my top ten favorites (actually more than 10) Thought I would share them.

Before you read the list, obviously the Bible is my favorite book. But, honestly, it's more than that. It's a treasure, a love letter really. So, don't write and tell me it should have been on my top ten! Here's my list from #10 down to my favorite and a few honorable mentions as well.

#10 - "Pride & Prejudice" by Jane Austen - This is not just a girl's book! And, if you men fail to read it because you think so, you will have missed a great book written beautifully. I love this so much, I brought a new copy with me to Ukraine!

#9 - "Thou Givest, They Gather" by Amy Carmichael - A MUST! Mine is marked up and falling apart - but dearly, dearly loved. Devotional thoughts spurred on by Amy's personal time with the Lord.

#8 - "Crazy Love" by Frances Chan - I wanted to put this higher (closer to the top) on the list. The only reason I didn't was because I just read it a couple of months ago for the very first time. I was concerned that it was still too fresh for me to give it a true rating. If you haven't read it - do so immediately! This man is genuine and he is living this kind of love! True testimony. (His 2nd book "Forgotten God" is very good as well - it's about the Holy Spirit).

#7 - "The Lost Secret of the New Covenant" by Malcom Smith - Reprinted under the title "Power of the Blood Covenant" - Smith was an Episcopalian priest who personally experienced the grace of God when he began to understand exactly what the New Covenant in Christ really means to us. A must read although it is written a bit "scholarly". (He's just a whole lot smarter than I am.)

#6 - "The Journey Home - Finishing with Joy" by Bill Bright - Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, wrote this book during the final days of his life. He knew he was dying and he shared his reflections looking back in a way that challenges us to live each day with joy and purpose. This is one I've given many times as a gift.

#5 - "Shattering the Gods Within" by Dr. David Allen - Dr. Allen gives a simple and convicting definition of what constitutes a god in our hearts and our lives. It's an easy read with many real-life examples of false gods in the lives of believers. I've used it over and over personally and for teaching.

#4 - Till We Have Faces" by C.S. Lewis - In this book, Lewis writes a unique view of the classical Cupid and Psyche. He veils the story with spiritual undertones that literally "rain" over your mind and your heart as you discover them. I've read this over and over! (Hhmm...think I'll read it again!)

#3- "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boon - Corrie records the horrific events of her family's arrest in WWII. She wrote to give testimony to her sister, Betsy's, faith. I've read it almost every year at Easter since I was about 18 or 20 years old. All young ladies need a copy of their own!

#2 - "Mimosa" by Amy Carmichael - This little book was never written to be a book at all. It is a compilation of journal entries Amy wrote about a young Hindu girl who gave her heart to Jesus. She grew up without a Bible, a church, or a Christian friend. But, her faith was genuine and her life is a model of faith. I've probably given 50 of these as gifts.

DRUMROLL PLEASE .............

#1 - "Object of His Affection" by Scotty Smith - I read this book the year before I turned 50! Caused me to enter a Jubilee year of my own with the Lord. It changed my understanding of God's love for me. Truly changed me!

In closing .........
It was very hard to cut my list to 10. There are so many books I love. There are a few I feel like deserve an "honorable mention" even though they didn't make the list.

Honorable mentions - fiction (Not in order of how much they are liked/loved)
"Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers
"Circle of Grace" by Penelope Jones
The Mitford Series by Jan Karon (I love them all)
"Piercing the Darkness" by Frank Perritti

Honorable mentions - non-fiction (Again, not in order of how much they are liked/loved)
"Ploughed Under" by Amy Carmichael (Sounds like "plowed")
"Amma - The Life and Words of Amy Carmichael" by Elizabeth Skoglund
"A Chance to Die - The Life & Legacy of Amy Carmichael" by Elizabeth Elliott
"The Tabernacle - Shadows of the Messiah" by David M. Levy
"Desiring God" by John Piper
"A Marriage Without Regrets" by Kay Arthur
"Let the Nations Be Glad" by John Piper
"Dangerous Surrender" by Kay Warren


  1. I thought I would see "Same Kind of Different as Me" on this list, but you've got some serious heavyweights on the list. I need to get a hold of some of these.

  2. Michael - I totally forgot about it. It DEFINITELY would have made the Honorable mention if not the top 10. Thank you for the reminder! When I amend my list, I'll add it!

  3. I can honestly say that we have a lot of the same books probably because of book-club and presents. You also have some on here that I have not read. I will have to save on my phone and look for when I am out and about.
    I am ashamed to say that I have never seen the movie or read the book Pride and Prejudice. Sounds like a summer read!!!!!!

  4. WHAT! NEVER SEEN OR READ PRIDE & PREJUDICE! We need to do something about that when I get home!

  5. Great list Marsha. Something definitely needs to be done with Pam not having read Pride and Prejudice. Hope we can see you while you are here.

  6. Tara - Can you believe Pam isn't a P & P fan already! I hope we get to see you too! It will be a quick week!