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A Visit with an Authentic Bibliophile

A bibliophile is a person who has a great appreciation for or collects books.

A bibliophile is a person who has a great appreciation for or collects books.

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

Diane Parker

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?