One of the first ideas I had for a Five Things Friday post was books! Yeah, so nerdy of me but I love to read! I honestly love reading pretty much anything-fiction, nonfiction, fluff books or more serious material but in all my reading I actually pretty rarely come across a book that I love SO much that I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone. More often I’ll recommend with caveats or change the recommendation depending on the person.
But THESE books (again, in my opinion) are SO good and insightful and uplifting that I think everyone (like, EVERYONE) would benefit from reading them (or at the very least enjoy reading them).
And, okay, if you get real picky there are really 17 books listed. Whoops.
You Are Special by Max Lucado
I wanted to include a children’s book in the list and, while there are lots of great children’s books that would fit the bill, this one in particular stood out to me. The story is sweet and the message is beautiful no matter what age you are.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I was pretty surprised to see that The Chronicles of Narnia only has an average 4 star rating on GoodReads because, to me, it is clearly a 5 star series. However, when I read the bad reviews I was shocked: Readers gave the series a poor rating upon learning that the books are mainly a catalyst for Christian themes and allegories. Ummmm, seriously guys? It’s C.S. Lewis. Being surprised that his books are about Christianity is like being surprised that a tree is made out of wood.
Regardless of what other people think, I think these books are excellent. The stories are beautifully and cleverly written and the symbolism running throughout is clear. Lewis gives so many little stories in the series that can easily be related to our own personal live (and can turn into great talk material too:).
We bought the audiobook (it has all the books in it) for a road trip and have listened to it several times. It’s a series I look forward to reading with my kids someday. If you want nothing else from the books, they are a great read with lots of adventure and fun. I know The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the most famous of the books, but give the other ones a try because they have some of my most favorite characters ever in the history of books (like Reepicheep❤️).
Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson
This book is about Stephanie Nielson, author of the NieNieDialogues blog and her true journey of surviving a plane crash. She was burned on over 80% of her body. Following the crash, skin grafts, and several months of induced coma, she had to relearn how to do basic, everyday things but she also had to learn how to love herself again in her new skin. I’m not going to lie-I bawled my way through about 2/3rds of this book and I’m tearing up even now thinking about it. It is an incredible story that reminded me just how much I have to be grateful for.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I know that it’s kind of like “Man, if you haven’t read these book yet, it’s just not going to happen.” But I am proof that that doesn’t have to be the case (and it shouldn’t)! I didn’t read the books until I was 22 and was worried that my marriage would suffer if I didn’t read them (haha-just kidding, but seriously Ben was adamant I read the HP books and man, am I glad to admit he was right about this one!). Rowling just absolutely sucks you into the world of Harry Potter. She is an excellent author but I would argue that she’s an even better story teller. And beyond the story, there are these beautiful, piercing truths woven throughout. They are the kind of books that enrich your life as you read them. I think it’s just about time I read them again…
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
This book gets talked about fairly often and I was always interested but didn’t actually read it until about 2 years ago. If you’re
a slacker like me, I encourage you to put this at the very top of your Must Read list. This is another true story of Corrie and her devout Christian family and how they made efforts to help hide Jews during WWII. Corrie and her sister end up in a concentration camp, but throughout their struggles they never lose faith and witness miracle after miracle. This is another book that I bawled through. You can actually still tour the ten Boom home in the Netherlands and you can bet that that’s on my bucket list!