Today, the lovely folks at Top Ten Tuesday have given us free rein within a Thanksgiving theme, so I’m taking advantage of another freebie week to talk about books for which I’m thankful. These books range from nonfiction to fiction, current to less than current, but they all have something in common: Somehow, they have left an impression on me from which I’ve yet to recover.
And yes … before you ask … it was extremely difficult to narrow this list down to only ten. I could have easily doubled or tripled the count. But I forced myself to behave this week 🙂
In no particular order, here are the top ten books for which I’m thankful. Not including the Bible, of course. Or all the books I love that have led me to such sweet friendships with authors and fellow readers. We would be here for months if I tried to list all of those.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom – I am thankful for The Hiding Place because I have been both inspired and forever changed by the account of how Corrie Ten Boom and her family risked their comfort zones and their lives to protect Jews during WW2. It taught me to watch for God in even the smallest things, in the things or people I may find distasteful or frightening, and to trust Him to sweetly hold me even in the darkest moments. Goodreads | Amazon
“No pit is so deep that God is not deeper still.”
i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio – I am so thankful for this little but powerful book because from it my heart first really “got” the idea that there is a Big Story going on all around me and I have been chosen to play a supporting role. That I am so infinitesimally small in comparison to the Great I AM God and yet… that same Great I AM God, the Creator of the Universe, knows my name and wants me to know Him. A life-changing, direction-altering book for me at that stage in my life, one that still has a ripple effect in what I do today even on this blog. Goodreads | Amazon
“We can either choose to cling to starring roles in the little-bitty stories of us or opt to exchange our fleeting moment in the spotlight for a supporting role in the eternally beautiful epic that is the Story of God.”
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones – Why am I thankful for this sweet book? Because even as an adult reading it for the first time, it reminded me to look for Jesus in every book of the Bible. Even the Old Testament. And because it reminds me every time I read it again that Jesus is coming to rescue us, that the story is to be continued, and that one day all sad things will be made untrue. Goodreads | Amazon
“There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves His children and comes to rescue them.”
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – There are many reasons I’m thankful for this book. For instance, the memories of my third grade teacher reading it to us and then the memories of me reading it to my third grade class when I was student teaching. But probably the thing I’m most thankful for about this book – and the whole series – is that, particularly in the ways I saw myself as Lucy, it helped me understand Jesus and The Story on an even more personal level. And by the way, it will always be book 1 in my heart. #dontchangetheorderofaseries #thatisall Goodreads | Amazon
“Safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – I’m thankful not so much for this book (though it is my favorite in the LOTR universe) but for the memories it brings. Memories of snuggling up in my daddy’s lap and listening to him read it to me in the evenings. To me, he is THE standard for Gandalf’s voice, as I know I’ve mentioned here before, and so I was happy to note that Ian McKellen did a really close impersonation of my dad when he took on the role of Gandalf for the LOTR films 🙂 Goodreads | Amazon
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke – I am thankful for Love Comes Softly because it was the first Christian fiction book (besides Grace Livingston Hill) that I remember reading, especially one that was part of a series. This blog is an indirect result of those books. I fell in love with Clark and Marty and Missy and the rest of their family that came along in later books, and I can still remember waiting and waiting and waiting so impatiently for each new book to be released. I mentioned in this post a few months ago that I wish I owned the series (with the covers I’m used to, thank you very much), and I’m happy to say that I found them on ebay that very week for a price that didn’t injure my bank account! Goodreads | Amazon
“Sometimes love isn’t fireworks, sometimes love just comes softly.”
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn – I know y’all are probably tired of “hearing” me talk about this book (#sorrynotsorry) but I’m absolutely serious when I say that reading it undid me and that’s why I’m thankful for it. I needed to be undone. From a certain point on, I’m ugly crying because the real-life people the author mentions (even though it is indeed mostly a fictional story) are people whose stories are already so dear to my heart that all the feels just take over. This is a powerful story that everyone needs to read. And I’ll really TRY not to mention Safely Home again for a few weeks, but I make no promises. Goodreads | Amazon
“Never forget Yesu is King. Never forget your home is in another world. Never forget your father will be waiting to see you again.”
The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz – I am thankful that this gorgeous book happened to be free for Kindle one day not long after I returned to the land of the reading from my six year hiatus. Because in that six year absence, so much changed (for the better) in Christian fiction! I didn’t recognize hardly any of the authors anymore, most of the ones I’d previously read weren’t writing new books and there were SO MANY NEW AUTHORS on the scene. Including my now-beloved-friend Laura Frantz. I inhaled this book… and then another by her … and then another … and then another … until I had exhausted the supply of both library systems that I use. And then Goodreads started recommending other authors/books that I might like since I “liked” (understatement) Laura Frantz’s books. And now … four years or so later … I’m still so thankful for this book that was free once upon a time, at just the right time. Goodreads | Amazon
“I need your goodness and gentleness and strength. Sometimes I think you’re the only one I can trust, even above my own officers.”
Jaded by Varina Denman – I’m thankful for Jaded because it is another “first” book for me. It is the first book I reviewed here on the blog! Besides that, though, I am thankful for the way this book continues to speak to me through its subtle lessons on forgiveness and self-righteousness. It’s also one of the first books I read that was more women’s fiction than romance (though I quite enjoyed that aspect of it too!) and this series really helped redefine and sharpen some of my previously-rather-limited reading tastes. Goodreads | Amazon
“I do believe in God… but the church is messing with Him. I’m surprised He puts up with it, really.”
The Thorn Keeper by Pepper D. Basham – Now … this book … I’m thankful for many things about this book, including the author and our sweet friendship. But I included The Thorn Keeper on my list today for one main reason: I will never experience the taste of peppermint or consider a closet in the same way again. 😉 Goodreads | Amazon
“Heaven help me, you taste like Christmas!”
What about you? What are some books for which you are thankful?