I can’t count how many books I have read, though not nearly enough lately. Many of those books have had profound impact on who I am, how I live, my walk with God and so much more.
I have picked out 13 books I am glad I read, reflecting my years of reading. These don’t include some of the “famous” books you would expect on the list—though many of those could have made the list. But these books touched my life.
After you look at my list, tell us what books you are you glad you’ve read.
Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell—As a new believer in my teen years, knowing very little about the gospel and what it meant to follow Jesus, I devoured historical novels about the times of the early church. This book and others by Caldwell grew my understanding of what Christ had done for me. I was deeply inspired by the early Christians who gave their lives for their faith.
Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard—An engaging allegory based on Song of Solomon, about Little Much Afraid and her journey to the High Places with the Good Shepherd. At least four times in my life Much Afraid helped me through challenging seasons in my journey.
The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer by Edith Schaeffer—This account of the history of the Schaeffers not only gave me a glimpse into their family and ministry, but also a powerful vision of God at work in lives, families, generations.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen—Nouwen’s extended visit at the Rembrandt painting of the same title led him to recognize for himself, and for all of us, that we are the prodigal son and the elder brother, and we are called to be the Father. This book especially helped me in relating to a community of friends who have prodigals in their lives.
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning—a love story for the broken-hearted, of God’s fierce love for us. Manning’s books have perhaps had the most profound impact on me of any I have read, including Abba’s Child, Ruthless Trust and All Is Grace.
Invitations from God: Accepting God’s Offer to Rest, Weep, Forgive, Wait, Remember… by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun—a study of the healing and restoring available in God. I especially appreciated the invitations to rest and to serve.
Not Less Than Everything: The Courageous Women Who Carried the Christian Gospel to China by Valerie Griffiths—incredible stories of how God used (mostly) single women to take the good news to the interior, related by the granddaughter of Hudson Taylor.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristov—a profound look at the status of women around the globe, describing atrocities worldwide and the hope that women themselves are bringing for change.
Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James—a compelling look at God’s call to His daughters to impact the world. Also by James, my friend and cohort: When Life and Beliefs Collide, Lost Women of the Bible, The Gospel of Ruth, and just released, The Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See—a novel about girls and women in China in the mid-1800’s. Some of our Asian American staff women gave it to me so I could better understand their cultural heritage and reality. It was one more step in opening my eyes and mind to the reality of women around the world.
The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by Scot McKnight—This beautifully readable theology book calls us to read the Bible as story, with tradition rather than through tradition. McKnight concludes with an application concerning women in the Bible.
Intimate Moments with the Savior: Learning to Love by Ken Gire—powerful telling of encounters with the Savior. Gire’s excellent writing and storytelling take a reader right to the feet of Jesus. The rest of the series—Incredible, Instructive, Intense Moments with the Savior—are also worth reading.
God: Discover His Character by Bill Bright- “We can trace all our human problems to our view of God” was one of Dr. Bright’s favorite comments. So he wrote a book to help expand our understanding of who God is and what He is like. A powerful picture of the God we love and serve. Other life-changing books by my friend and mentor: The Secret: How to Live with Purpose and Power, The Journey Home: Finishing with Joy, My Life Is Not My Own: Following God No Matter the Cost
What about you? What books are you glad you read?
In light of the death of Elisabeth Elliot today, I would mention several of her books that impacted me; Through Gates of Splendor, Shadow of the Almighty, A Chance to Die (Amy Carmichael) and Keep a Quiet Heart. And this link takes you to quotes from Jim Elliot in Shadow of the Almighty
C2015 Judy Douglass