The warmth of her smile, and the rich aroma of banana bread greet you as you cross the threshold of her home. She graciously welcomes you into her living room.
She invites you to take a seat on the brown leather sofa. Before turning to pour two mugs of steaming black coffee, she lights a single candle in the brass holder, and you feel enveloped in the gift of her hospitality.
While you wait, you take in your surroundings. Surrounded by antique pine furniture, you can't help but marvel at the exquisite art displayed on the walls. You breathe deeply, relax, and feel you could easily stay here a week.
Then, it happens.
Your eyes land on an empty wingback chair, which stands like a sentinel awaiting the return of its frequent occupant. And beside the chair—piled high—is a daunting stack of books of varied shapes, sizes ages, and colors. Little do you know, but your hostess will likely read aloud from one or two of these volumes in the course of your visit together. This entire encounter holds great promise.
There you have it.
You have just been ushered into the life of my dear friend Diane, an authentic bibliophile. A bibliophile is a person who has a great appreciation for or collects books, and this definition is an apt description of this woman, who is a passionate Follower of Christ and lover of great literature. Furthermore, Diane doesn't just read books, she devours them. Her eagerness to consume the words on a page is matched only by her desire to share what she has learned with others. With a genuine interest in your well-being, my friend relishes the opportunity to quote, discuss, or review literary works. She particularly gains pleasure in actually placing one of her books into your hands for your own perusal.
Here it is.
To broaden our own reading horizons, Diane has provided for us a compilation of her treasured resources.
Some of My Favorite Books
I have read many wonderful books over the course of my life... But those listed below have, for one reason or another, deeply impacted my life.
Everything by C. S. Lewis
Everything by Elisabeth Elliot
Everything by Brennan Manning
The series called The Swans Are Not Silent by John Piper
Knowing God by J. I. Packer
The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
Mountains of Spices by Hannah Hurnard
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (Devotional)
The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitehall Smith
The Spiritual Life by Evelyn Underhill
The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
The Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson (Spiritual Warfare)
The Adversary by Mark Bubeck (Spiritual Warfare)
Faith Is Not A Feeling by Ney Bailey
Between Walden and the Whirlwind by Jean Fleming
31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers (Devotional)
Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
Prayer - Finding the Hearts True Home by Richard J. Foster
The Song of a Passionate Heart by David Roper
When Heaven Is Silent by Ron Dunn
The Fight by John White
Like Dew Your Youth by Eugene Peterson (on parenting adolescents)
The Gospel According to Job by Mike Mason
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard (by far the most significant book I’ve read in the last 25 years) A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller
Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman (Evangelism)
Corner Conversations by Randy Newman (Evangelism)
God Space by Doug Pollock (Evangelism)
Psalm 23, The Song of A Passionate Heart by David Roper
The Reason for God by Tim Keller
The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Happiness by Randy Alcorn
And...There are certain novels that I read over and over...
Everything by Elizabeth Goudge!
The Scent of Water (my favorite)
The Dean’s Watch
A City of Bells
The Rosemary Tree
The Child from the Sea
Green Dolphin Country
The Elliot Family Trilogy
The Bird in the Tree
Pilgrim’s Inn (first published as The Herb Of Grace in England)
The Heart of the Family
There are others... and I love them all... but if you don’t enjoy the ones listed above
(Elizabeth Goudge at her best), I doubt that you would enjoy the following: Gentian Hill The Little White Horse The White Witch The Blue Hills
Towers in the Mist The Castle on the Hill The Hawk and The Dove Trilogy by Penelope Wilcock (and all of the sequels)
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass by Adrian Plass (My all-time favorite “funny book”!)
The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace
The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
Below the Salt by Thomas B. Costain
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
The Zion Covenant & The Zion Chronicles by Bodie Thoene
The Agony & the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
Almost everything by Jane Austin
Most of George MacDonald’s novels edited by Michael Phillips (Especially The Curate’s Awakening)
The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
The Brother Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters
Mister God, This is Anna by Anna Fynn
The Black Knight by Anna Fynn
Living With Eternal Intentionality™
How has God used books to enrich your walk with Him?
Do you find a personal favorite on the list above?