Throughout my life I’ve read many, many books. Some were bad, some ok, others good, and a couple were life changing and completely amazing. This is a list of the “life changing and completely amazing” books.
1.The Holy Bible. This might be a predictable one, but it’s true. You can never get enough of the Bible. Everyday I’m challenged and convicted as I read my Bible and meditate on God’s Word. Right now I’m reading Proverbs. Life changing and completely amazing doesn’t give this book enough credit. I love Proverbs. If you could only read one book (what kind of world would that be?), read the Bible. It has everything you need to live.
2. Ishmael. Not many people have read this book. It was written in 1876 by E.D.E.N. Southworth (one of my favorite authors). Lamplighter Publishing Companies republished this out-of-print book a couple years back as part of their Rare Collector’s Series. It is an amazing, fictional, “rags to riches” story about the life of Ishmael. Ishmael’s selfless, determined, and compassionate character will warm your heart and never let you put this book down. The only other story where I’ve seen such an awesome character would be Matthew–may he never be forgotten–in Downton Abbey. It’s followed by Self Raised, which you have to read as it continues Ishmael’s life. Ishmael is both entertaining and convicting; definitely a MUST read!
3. The Hiding Place. Get your Kleenex box ready when your reading this book! This book had a tremendous impact on my life. It is the true story of Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie’s struggle through World War II and how she overcame her many trials is very inspiring and touching. A great story of forgiveness and faithfulness. The Hiding Place is an awesome example of how we should live our lives for God.
4. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave. Wow. That’s pretty much all I could say after finishing this book. This autobiography written by Frederick Douglass is extremely moving and inspiring. It describes the gruesome treatment of African-American slaves and the life of one slave who never gave up. To say that Frederick Douglass is an inspiration to me is an understatement. He never gave up! This book is a great reminder that with perseverance, determination, and faith, you can overcome your greatest fears and win any battle.
5. Gifted Hands (The Ben Carson Story). In my family, Ben Carson has become a celebrity. If you know my mom, you know who Ben Carson is. Because my brother is studying biology pre-med, Carson’s story can never be told enough. He is a HUGE inspiration not just to my brother, but to me as well. Gifted Hands is the perfect “rags to riches” story and it will inspire you to “think big” (as Ben puts it). There’s also a great movie based on the book–the book is better, of course.
6. Crazy Love. Crazy Love changed my life. It is the most convicting book–besides the Bible–I’ve ever read. Francis Chan (author of Crazy Love) writes in a very personal and convincing way. The whole point of the book is to make you fall madly in love with God. And because of this “crazy love”, it challenges you to do “crazy” things for God. After reading this book, I was persuaded to radically change the way I lived.
7. Do Hard Things. Every teenager should read this book. It was written by two teenage boys, Alex and Brett Harris, who challenge teens to rise up against low expectations. Alex and Brett also started a great, teen blog call “The Rebelution”. It is full of really awesome stories of teens who accomplished GREAT things. After reading this book, I decided to start this blog :).
8. Of Plymouth Plantation. This is definitely a hard read! But it’s so worth it. It is the true story of the Pilgrims. Yes, everyone knows the Pilgrim story, but it’s really important to know the true reasons why and how America was started. This book was written by William Bradford, a Plymouth Colony governor. He was there through it all and gives a detailed account of the Plymouth Colony.The Pilgrims were amazing Christians! They went through so much to have religious freedom. It’s so important to know the right history and to see the sacrifices that went into the making of America.
9. The Giver. Being one of my favorite books, I knew The Giver had to be on the list somewhere. This book is so thought provoking and powerful. While reading The Giver, you are constantly reminded of your many blessings. It reminds you to not take anything for granted, including everyday things such as color.
10. Alice in Wonderland. Finally, to end the list, I had to put something fun. This is my all-time, favorite book :). I believe that in order to live, you must have an imagination. So if you don’t have an imagination, Alice in Wonderland will give you one. It’s fun and it will definitely make you laugh!