As much as I love to read, I was excited when Nikki asked me to compile a list of the ten most influential books I’ve read. It was hard to narrow my list down, but here’s what I came up with for this fun challenge.
1. The Bible. Where I find wisdom, guidance, and strength, it’s the one book that never grows old and that I can continue to learn from each and every day of my life.
2. Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. The struggles of the main character mirror mine; she is so relatable! In spite of her failings, God molds her into His image as she matures in her walk with Him.
3. On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Buckman. With its suggestions for scheduling your baby’s hours, this book gave me confidence as a new mom and guided me into a lifestyle that worked well for our family.
4. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. This book opened my eyes to the many ways in which I can pray for my husband and helped me realize the importance of my prayers in my husband’s life.
5. Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. Here’s where, early in our marriage, my husband and I found the basic financial principles that we try to live by. I believe these principles have kept us from many money arguments over the years. There truly is peace in our marriage when we’re on the same page with our goals for the money with which God blesses us.
6. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. A simple yet eye-opening book about eating real food. This book was the first one that really inspired me to take better care of my body and my family’s bodies by ensuring that – at least most of the time! – we eat real food.
7. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. This book showed me that I could enjoy classical literature! It contains one of my favorite lines of all time. As Dickens describes the miscarriage of David and Dora’s baby, he writes, “The spirit fluttered for a moment on the threshold of its little prison, and, unconscious of captivity, took wing.” So many plots weave through this story and love is displayed in so many rich and unexpected ways.
8. The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. A must-read for any parent, homeschooler or not, it’s full of guidance for how you can build an excellent education for your children.
9. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This actually represents all the series (Betsy-Tacy, the Melendy Family, Trixie Belden) that remind me of growing up and all the happy hours I spent reading at home! I was so blessed to be read to as a young child, which I believed instilled in me a lifelong love of books.
10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., and Eric Carle. This was a particular favorite of one of my daughters and just one of the childrens’ books I memorized by virtue of reading it repeatedly! The joy of spending so many hours reading to our girls has created memories we’ll never forget.
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare for making me shed more tears over a book as an adult than I may have as a child.
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss. I was thrilled when, during my senior year of high school, our Speech teacher had us select a children’s book to read aloud to the class. Having worked with children in our church nursery and day care, this was one speech assignment I felt comfortable with – and it earned my best grade of the year in that class.
Heaven by Randy Alcorn made me think more deeply about our eternal home that Jesus is preparing for us and how much more wonderful it will be than we can even think or imagine.
What books have been influential in your life?