life-changing books

Last night I tossed out a question on Twitter & Facebook:

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I’ve received some responses and added some books to my Amazon wishlist, and there has even been some related discussion among Facebook friends. I’ve been laid up with another nasty headache today (the third one in a couple of weeks), so instead of reading, I’ve been thinking about books that have stuck with me, challenged my thinking, and shaped my beliefs.

I fell in love with books as a young girl, and the likes of the Nancy Drew series, Charlotte’s Web, The Boxcar Children, and Anne of Green Gables were some of my first loves. I constantly had a book in my hand, on the bathroom vanity propped open with a brush while I blow-dried my hair, or on the floor beside my bed underneath my nightlight, with me peering down at it, reading late into the night. So I’d credit those titles with changing my life.

Kim mentioned The Well-Trained Mind, and I definitely agree with that. It challenged me, changing and shaping my philosophy of education while giving me tools to put that philosophy into practice. I’d put Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning in that category, too.

The Pleasures of God, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, Spiritual Depression, and Peacemaking Women are some of the books that I consider influential on my faith. They’re marked up and I revisit them from time to time.

Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions explains so much about why there is polarization in politics. It’s not an easy read, but I think about it often. He’s brilliant.

Island of the World is the best novel I’ve ever read, and it’s a story that will never leave me.

On a lighter note, the Southern Living Cookbook has been a go-to reference in my home, and several of the dishes are family favorites.

So what books have changed your life?

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4 thoughts on “life-changing books

  1. Oooh … I was a different person after I read Island of the World. Marilyn Chandler MacEntyre’s Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies is fantastic. It might be too late to think clearly about other books otherwise.

  2. Pingback: another book that changed someone’s life | georgianne

  3. I’m late to this entry, but Peter Kreeft’s “Three Philosophies of Life” has stayed in my head 20+ years, and Joseph Ratzinger’s “Introduction to Christianity” unpacked the Nicene Creed in a fascinating way I’d never read before (Ratzinger, of course, later became Pope Benedict XVI — but he wrote “Introduction to Christianity” in 1968, when other people were talking about the “Summer of Love”). On the fiction side, Richard Bradford’s “Red Sky at Morning” taught me that observation could yield both empathy and humor when done right.

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