So before I was a stay-at-home momma, and long before I had a photography business, I was a middle school Language Arts teacher. I have an English/Literature major, so I naturally enjoy reading. The past 6 years of sleepless nights with babies forced me to choose sleep over reading 99% of the time, but I have once again entered a season where reading is possible! (cheers for reading, tears for having my babies grow up) While restlessly trying to fall asleep last night, I created in my crazy brain, my top 5 books that I have enjoyed in my life thus far. Let me share them with you because they would all make great summer reads! In no particular order:
- Jane Eyre –Charlotte Bronte.
Oh, I do love some Charlotte Bronte. This classic read from 1847 has stood the test of time because it is just fantastic! I read this for the first time as a speed-read through a fast-paced Women’s Lit class in college. Since then, I have devoured this book at least 6 more times…I even talked my hubby into reading it! Aside from being a great read, I am convinced that reading classic literature makes you smarter because your brain has to translate the text into more modern language.
- One Thousand Gifts– Ann Voskamp
I have referenced this book so many times on the blog because it (obviously aside from the Bible) has been the greatest influence on my faith and how I try to live it out. Ann Voskamp has a way with words that is truly inspired, and her challenge to live life grateful is a reminder I need DAILY in my life. This is a book that I have bought for at least 5 of the people closest to me, which is not something I normally do. I bought the Bible Study companion and enjoyed the most amazing 2 months of bible study with other women dealing with the same struggles and desires. This is a book, I just picked up again last week to start reading again. I am sure I will have much of this book memorized at the end of my life.
- The Book of Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Everyday Radicals
After hearing good things about this liturgy, I bought it for Andy as a Christmas gift two years ago. It is a liturgical, morning devotion book, and he was excited to get it. But…based on the fact that he leaves for work around 5AM or shortly after, he doesn’t have the luxury of time to read it before he goes to work. So that the book didn’t just collect dust, I began reading it most mornings after waking up. It is such a beautiful blend of the things I love about the Catholic and the Protestant church histories. There is something holy about joining in prayer with other believers in a sense of community. Liturgy certainly has it’s place in Christianity. I have gifted this book to my dad and my grandmother as well. I almost find myself in tears when I visit their houses and see the Book of Common Prayer laying open or bookmarked in their living rooms. My dad (and I’m sure my grandmother too) reads it faithfully each morning and I am also certain that they cover me in prayer during this sacred hour. To know that I am reading the same prayers and liturgical readings as them each morning, and entering into prayer with these “saints” in my life is a blessing in itself.
- The Mitford Series- by Jan Karon
Okay, if you would have told me that I would fall in love with a series of books about a middle-aged Presbyterian priest, I would have laughed at you. I’m not entirely on the “Christian fiction” bandwagon, so if it had not been for a suggestion to read these, I would have never picked up a book. However, I decided to give it a try and instantly fell in love with Mitford and its characters. The way that Jan Karon captures the beauty of everyday life is remarkable. These stories have no grand conflict or nail-biting mystery to solve, they just show the day-to-day struggles and joys of living life in a quaint, quiet town. In many ways, it reminds me of my own little town. I devoured this entire series, and honestly felt like I had lost a family member after I read the last one, and knew there wasn’t another book waiting for me.
- The Great Divorce- by C.S. Lewis
Another classic by a great theologian. I really need to ponder over more of C.S. Lewis’s writings, but I just really love this short story. The imaginative story he uses to describe the “realness” of heaven has always stuck with me. Again, this one is on my list to read again.
So these are my top 5 if I had to choose. I also just finished some good reads last month, which I’ve mentioned here and there in the blog. I just finished both of the Michelle Duggar books which had great practical encouragement for living out the calling of motherhood (and homeschooling), and Jen Hatmaker’s Seven, which has left my brain in a churned mush while trying to work out how I am suppose to live and consume in this culture.
So here is where the problem lies…..I keep reading my favorite books over and over instead of reading new things. Help!! What are some of your favorite books you would suggest to me?!
Coming up next: My Kiddos Favorite Books!