Lists of favorite things are one of my favorite things. Hence, this list of my favorite books. I’m probably forgetting some, but here are five I always think of as books that have shaped me and my perspective on the world in magical, unforgettable, true ways.
- The Chronicles of Narnia. I realize this is a series, not a book. I never know which one I would pick if I had to. But the books have shaped my realization that God cannot be put in a box, that He cries with us, and that good will always triumph, no matter how dark things might appear.
- Anne of Green Gables. Okay, another series. Of course, I would choose Anne of the Island, Anne’s House of Dreams, or Rilla of Ingleside if I had to pick just one, but I love all the books in the series for their funny, relatable descriptions of people. Whenever I’m tired of the people in my world, I read Anne of Green Gables to remember how funny and unique and loveable everyone is in spite of their eccentricities.
- Surprised by Hope. Reading this book by N.T. Wright and resulting discussions of it with some of my closest people impacted my realization of life and the resurrection like nothing else has. It taught me that life isn’t meaningless. Everything isn’t just going to burn up into worthlessness. Daily, mundane things are shaping eternity, and the New World is starting now.
- Placemaker. This gem by Christie Purifoy impacted me in the I-cried-most-times-I-picked-it-up way. Moving away has made me feel like I’m lost, with nowhere to tie down to or feel at home. Moving to Idaho has also made me resent it, some days, for not being California. Placemaker taught me to pay attention to the places God puts me, to let them be what they are, and to let their boundaries be like riverbanks gracefully hemming me in, instead of ugly walls that I can’t see past. Placemaker also taught me to listen to the land and plant the trees it wants, not necessarily the ones I want (although I haven’t planted any yet).
- Life is for Living, not for Waiting Around. This one I read when I was too young to really understand the things it talks about—singleness, living abundantly, trusting God’s heart. I don’t regret reading it as a pre-teen though. It shaped in me a drive for vibrant, alive life; the kind that isn’t afraid to take risks and love even when it hurts. The cool thing? I got to meet the author when I was an adult, and Anita and I are still friends!
Thanks for reading this list. I hope it inspires you to make a list of your own favorite books, or favorite anything’s. I hope it helps you remember that there are good things in the world, and an even better world coming—because there still are, and there really is.