Life Change via Books

Last night between endless rows of garter stitch, my girlfriend asked me to make her a list of books that have changed my life. I got to thinking of what the criteria would be for such a list. Some life changing books have been so because they expand ones limited knowledge, others because they provide clarity or refreshment. While others literally have the power to shape and propel us toward our futures. So Di, here is my hodge-podge list and for the rest of you... ENJOY!

  1. Amelia Earhart Biography by ???--This was a scholastic book list purchase when I was in 3rd grade. After reading it, I spent every recess either in my classroom looking at maps or in the library researching Ms. Earhart. I was determined that I could locate where her plane went down. I laugh now at the absurdity, however, that love of searching for answers might have been the beginning of my current career. :-)
  2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith--A "classic" but the first book I read where I really understood literary devices and workings. I think it's because of this book that I pursued English as a major in College.
  3. A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot--This biography tells of the trials and triumphs of Amy Carmichael missionary to India. Perhaps it was the time in my life when this book was introduced to me, but rarely do books leave such an impression. In fact Amy's life has become one that I long to imitate. My idea for this blog, where I can show the surrendering of my thoughts and life to one who's purpose is greater than me, is a result of this book becoming a part of my being.
  4. Knowing God by J. I. Packer-- Another classic, but in the realm of Christian theology. I read this one summer with my sister and it has been such a great source of foundational truths. My father gave me the book for high school graduation. In the front he wrote, "Next to scripture let this book provide you with a source of guidance as you walk with God."
  5. Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers--A radio play written in the 1940's this story gives flesh to the thoughts and feelings of those who surrounded Christ. It's just an amazing perspective that shows the humanness of our God.
  6. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers--This mystery novel involving the infamous Lord Peter Wimsey is actually an amazing commentary on how we as humans struggle between reconciling our head and our hearts. One can read it as fun intrigue, or end up writing their freshman thesis on the delicate balance of head and heart as it is shown through the characters Sayers portrays.
  7. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery--While this book didn't inspire me to become a children's librarian (I actually didn't read it until I was in college!), it did help me reclaim some of my childhood. Somewhere in late elementary school I started taking life and myself far too seriously. Anne allows me to be kid again.
  8. Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers--What a fantastical adventure! Mary has such a stern yet whimsical way with kids that you simultaneously fear her and fill with excitment at the adventures that Jane, Michael, John, Barbara, and Annabell will experience. I adore how nature responds to Mary's magic in such a nuturing way. I believe the romantic poets vicariously live in Mary Poppins.
  9. The New Kid on the Block by Jack Perlutsky--A book of poetry I received sometime in elementary school. I can still recite poems that I learned for class assignments and I generally recite them to my students. My very first introduction to the magic and comfort of poetry.
  10. Goose Girl by Shannon Hale--This expansion of an old fairy tale was published right before I started graduate school. I was reading this ancient love story when I met David. Perhaps for that one reason only this book has fond memories. It's a great young adult read that every adult should read for it's selflessness, tenacity, and pureness of spirit.

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