I love reading and I love books.
Some of my favorite books I have read have come from suggestions I find on the internet. I want to contribute to the sharing of good books to read by giving you a list of my favorite 10 books I read last year and why. I hope you find something you enjoy.
(All of the links are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on it and buy a book I get a few cents credit in my Amazon count. That just means I get to buy more books and make new recommendations next year. Thanks)
1. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
This novel is the story of a young Hasidic Jew who was born with the gift of drawing. As he grows older he is forced to address the tension between his religion and his art. His faith sees the world through a group of people who have dedicated their lives to God. His art, however, sees the world through his heart. The novel deals with the tension that occurs when these two ideas find themselves in the same space. This book has become one of my all time favorite novels.
2. Love Does by Bob Goff
This books is different from any other Christian book I have ever read. Most focus on telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, while others focus on telling who things you should believe. Goff’s goal is simple. He wants you to experience a life lived with Jesus and he shows you, through stories of his own, of how he has done it. The book is a collection of stories from Goff’s life, but what an amazing series of stories he tells. I have given away more copies of this book than any other book I have ever read.
3. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
A classic that I had never previously read, but worth it, especially considering it helped to start a war. Even though the book is over 150 year old, many of the themes can still apply today. Stowe’s account of what slavery does to those who find themselves the objects of it will motivate anyone to do away with injustice in the world. Journey with Uncle Tom from his kind owners in Kentucky to the south where eventually he crosses path with the infamous Simon Legree.
4. No Greater Love by Mother Teresa
For whatever reason, my wife and I first discovered Mother Teresa this past year and her life has been a blessing to us. As we have set out on our own journey in living a better story, words of wisdom from this small but amazing woman have been very helpful. In this short book she captures the “why” of the ministry she established, which for any of us is the most important part of our story. Her life is one to be read about and to modeled in anyway that each of us can. I didn’t stop with this one book, but I am reading more about this amazing lady.
5. A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle
Better known as the author of A Wrinkle in Time, this book is one of L’Engle’s few published non-fiction pieces. But like any good novelist, instead of telling you what is important in life, she shows you by telling stories from her. The book is essentially a collection of essays that at first appear to be random, but as you read through her words, many of the stray pieces come together beautifully. Her writing is beautiful and reading through these pages makes you feel like you are in her home sitting by the fire enjoying a cup of tea.
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I’ve walked by countless bookstores (especially in airports) with these books sitting in the window and have always passed them by. After watching the movie, I decided to read all three books. They were incredibly well written and captivating stories. The first book is a story about a serial killer and the two people who finally solve that mystery after years. The second two books continue the story of the mysterious girl Lizabeth Salander including her difficult past. (Warning: Some of the themes are dark and these books will not be for everyone.)
7. Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly Smith
This book is the story of one woman’s amazing journey into the war torn country of Sudan. She set out to be a missionary in Spain, but eventually found herself going to Sudan after hearing about the atrocities committed against children and orphans as a result of a civil war. Smith gave much more than most would ever be willing to be able to clothe and feed a population of children that nobody else cared about. (Warning: Although this book is about a missionary, it contains very dark and difficult themes that may not be suited for everyone.)
8. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
At the age of 18, Davis went to Uganda over Christmas break to participate in a short term mission trip. Something happened that she never anticipated. She fell in love with the country and its people. Now she lives there full time and leads a ministry that clothes and feeds hundreds of kids that otherwise would go without. In addition she adopted 12 Ugandan children herself. This book contains her story, from the uncertainty of choosing this life for herself to the challenges she has endured along the way. It is a beautiful story.
9. Becoming Human by Jean Vanier
Vanier started a ministry that provides care for adult with disabilities, in particular mental disabilities. Through the challenges of this difficult but important work, Vanier has learned something different about what it means to be human. In the book he shares lessons he learned about the beauty of life and what it means to truly see the value in every single person. The goal isn’t to learn to be compassionate. The goal is to learn something about ourselves.
10. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
A classic book about self-management that I would recommend for anyone. I appreciate Covey’s focus not on a list of things to do, but on habits. The seven he details here are not exactly what you might expect either. Instead of telling you to get up early and to go to bed late, he shows you how to include what is truly important in life. He helps you learn what it means to view the world differently and be able to come to better solutions. He also teaches you how to maintain the ideas he shares in the book.
What was your favorite book that you read last year?
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