In the past several months I received two challenges on Facebook to reveal my Top Ten Favorite Books. This is a very daunting task for someone like me who has a hard time picking my favorite of anything! Nevertheless, Kathy and Stephanie, I will give it my best shot. Because I am not at the end yet and there is always the possibility that one will come in on top of these, I prefer to call this: Books I Have Loved. Yes, that feels so much better and leaves an opening for future possibilities.
- One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp: I have read this book at least four times, two of which were out loud to groups of people! This rich, deeply challenging, honest, encouraging book is a very satisfying piece about the value of living a grateful life. I know I will read it again. One. Great. Book.
- Abba's Child (The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)by Brennan Manning: If I can possibly conceive of the fact, come to grips with, risk to begin to believe that I am loved by God, then the healing work in my life can begin. This book began my hike toward wholeness many years ago. Knowing I am loved by a God who choses to reveal himself as a Father draws me in. I need a dad. I can allow myself baby steps toward him.
- The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner: As I sought to find myself, lost somehow in the sadness of life, this book gave me permission to uncover the mysteries of Deane in light of a God who also wanted to be known. "Deep knowing of God and deep knowing of self always develop interactively." "Both God and self are mostly fully known in relationship to each other." This little book became a powerful light on my path.
- this i know (notes on unraveling the heart) by Susannah Conway: This book has touched me deeply. In the midst of a deep depression, the author learns much about herself as she fights to come back to life after the death of her loved one. Her writing style is warm and inviting while being practical and informative.
- The Right to Write by Julia Cameron: While reading many books on the craft of writing I often read authors who daily write "morning pages" as instructed by Julia Cameron. Finding this kind of endorsement made me decide to find her book and start writing my own "morning pages." Since June 11th I have kept my own journal and have become more comfortable as a writer, developing my own writing voice and more in tune with what my own heart is feeling. Thank you, Julia Cameron!
- The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis: Drawing closer to the heart of God has forever felt enticing to me, a goal worth my time, a pull into someone greater than me. This book views my life as an epic journey with God pulling me into a relationship so intimate I just cannot refuse.
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: Because of my interest in writing memoir, this book captured my interest. As a story teller, Walls cannot be topped. This outrageous and almost unbelievable tale of growing up with parents who are in no way healthy or responsible makes for an outstanding read.
- Telling Secrets a memoir by Frederick Buechner: This author has been read and cherished by my brother for many years. When I came across this memoir I was struck with the writing style and with the deep and honest way he revealed hidden events from his life. It must have been very rewarding to write about and to explore the impact these secrets had on his life. I admire his openness.
- The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis: These books became favorites while reading them to our children probably 25 years ago. I loved them and just mentioning them makes me long to go back and start all over to explore that lovely land of Narnia. The wardrobe has long pulled at my imagination, wishing I could escape to such a mysterious land so easily. And then there is Aslan. Oh Aslan you are a wild one, aren't you?
- Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: A few years ago the very first book I read after joining my first book club was this one. It was such a well written book with such a woven tale of mystery I could hardly stand to put it down or to even finish it. It is pure fiction and kept my attention to the very end.
So there we are. Ten loved books. There are many more but for now I hope these entice you to pick up at least one of them and find your own treasures between their covers.