the favorites

14May09

I do not have a favorite book. Try as I might, and despite my intense appetite for reading, I do not have a favorite book. There are too many that were too good and have had a profound impact on my life either as a person, as a writer or both.

There’s The Chronicles of Narnia, which I’ve read at least 10 times (yes, each book, some of them maybe more than others). Just thinking about these books makes me happy and helps me have peace about life and God and myself. Reading them renews my spirit and gives me a creative burst when I’m struggling with writer’s block. I want to live my life like Lucy Pevensie, always believing even when others despair. C.S. Lewis’ books for grown-ups are incredible too. Reading The Four Loves and Mere Christianity, I wanted to highlight practically every sentence. The man is brilliant. And The Screwtape Letters, oh man. Creepy, but so incredibly insightful. That book makes you think in a way none of his others do.

Then there’s another childhood favorite, A Wrinkle in Time and all of Madeline L’Engle’s books about Meg’s family. Her book Walking on Water about Christianity and art changed the way I think about my writing.

The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas changed the way I think about Jesus and 1st century Christians. He fills out the stories of Acts in a way that makes real people who were once only characters in a book to me, real people. Magnificent Obsession was also another incredible book that made me think about Christianity in a whole new way.

Lord of the Rings, obviously. It just blows my mind how J.R.R. Tolkien came up with all of that. Narnia pales in comparison to Middle-Earth’s intricate history and languages.

Pride and Prejudice is just the most delightful book I have ever read in my entire life I think. Even though I knew how it would end, I was still on the edge of my lifeguard stand (not doing my job, how could I when Darcy was trying to save Elizabeth’s sister from the shame of elopement?) reading the whole thing. It is the most classic love story that has a happy ending.

And then there are all the others books I have loved but didn’t quite change my life: Marley and Me (made me laugh out loud in public and cry), The Year of Living Biblically, Atonement, Blue Like Jazz (well, changed my life a little by helping me understand grace), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

How can anyone honestly ask me to pick just one?

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4 Responses to “the favorites”

  1. We have so many of the same favorite books! I think it’s one reason we get along so well. 😀 I’d like to read Marley and Me this summer…we’ll see if I have time!

  2. 2 charmae

    It’s fantastic! I was on the plane home to California for my last Christmas as a Holman and laughing out loud on the plane. People started staring. It was fun. And they did a good job on the movie too.

  3. 3 Kendra

    i hear you!!! people think that those of us who love to read MUST have a favorite. but its quite the opposite. we love so much that we can’t decide. if you are looking for something written creatively, check out ellen hopkins. super easy read (my students love her), but she’s very unique and deep. start with crank.

    • 4 charmae

      I will add it to my list! This post was written because we played a game at Barnes n Noble with some friends where we had to pick our favorite book and explain why it was our favorite. I came back with three books and the whole Chronicles of Narnia series. It was awesome!


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