TOP 5 FRIDAY: favorite books!

on April 22, 2011 in TOP 5 FRIDAY with 142 comments by

I truly hope you read through the comments of last Friday’s TOP 5 Friday post about most loved songs. People have some GREAT comments. And yes- I did purchase a few of these. It’s just true. I love music.

Also. I love books.

So today our TOP 5 Friday list is FAVORITE BOOKS!

[caveat: this does not include my favorite childhood books. These are my favorite adult books. But not like, ADULT books. I mean books that I have read as an adult. Okay… I think I have fully overexplained this now.] [caveat part 2: When you and I talked one time, I may have said, “This is my FAVORITE book!” and then that book is not listed here. Please feel free to call me out in the comments. I studied my bookshelf as best I could.]

#1. Christy by Catherine Marshall

Oh y’all. This is absolutely my favorite book. But I told you that back in 2008. I have read it over 40 times. [I know, I’m a book nerd. Sue me.] This book sealed in my heart my desire to teach school, which I did for five years. It also put a deep love in my heart for Appalachian people. But I told you that back in 2009.




#2. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’ll be honest. I’ve loved this storyline for many-a-year, thanks to a mother who exposed us to BBC productions at a young age. But it has only been within the last year or so that I actually read the novel. And gracious I loved it. It is too far to say “I needed it”? [I mean, for me to be overdramatic is nothing new around these parts, so let’s go with it.] Fantastic. I would love to read this out loud to my daughters one day.

[I bet Lanier’s mom did- didn’t she, Lanier?]



#3. Tribes by Seth Godin

This book single-handedly changed how I do business. How I do blogging. How I do my life as an author. If you run your own career, or if you run someone else’s career, or if you have any kind of group that listens to anything you say, read it.




#4. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

This was hard for me- I love A LOT of Francine Rivers’ books. So it took me some time standing in front of my bookshelves to decide which one I REALLY love. Here’s the truth- if you close your eyes and pull a Francine Rivers’ book of a shelf at the library or your bookstore, you won’t be sorry.Β  But this was one of the first ones I read, so it holds a special place in my heart.

[But seriously. I could do a whole TOP 5 Friday on Francine Rivers’ books. And I just may do that.]


#5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Dave Barnes told me to read this book and I said, “Uh, Dave? I don’t like animals. So no thanks.” And he said, “I’m the boss of you. Now do as I say.”

So I did.

And it blew me away. I absolutely loved it. In fact, I was reading it while on a quick trip to Chicago to visit Lyndsay and crew and I seriously carried it with me EVERYWHERE. To the point that my friends began to feel unloved and unsure of my coolness. [To which I quickly reminded them that I am SIGNIFICANTLY less cool that I lead people to believe, so that part was true.]

I highly recommend it.

. . . . . . . . . .

Let me take this quick moment to remind you about YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY! You are welcome to buy these books as a five-pack and live it up, but also remember that your library probably has them as well. I love the library. I love to go there, sit there, read, peruse, and I actually use the online system to order books I want, so I don’t even have to search for them. Fantastic thing, technology is. πŸ™‚

Now. Your turn! In the comments, tell me your TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS!

[I’m so nervous about this because I KNOW I’m going to want to read each of them. Ugh. I’m pre-annoyed with myself for not having enough time to read them all.]


  1. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:01 AM  |  reply

    Our lists are very similar.

    1. Christy
    2. To Kill a Mockingbird
    3. Redeeming Love
    4. Pride and Prejudice
    5. Through Gates of Splendor
    Les Miserables

    I know that’s six, but I’m only listing books I’ve read more than three times. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the first two.) I couldn’t possibly leave off either of the last two. There’s also the Keith Green biography by his wife Melody called No Compromise that I’ve read more than three times. Sorry!
    If I keep thinking about it I’ll never end this long comment. Oh, Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember. Sorry!!!!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:05 AM  |  reply

      @Southern Gal, I love how much we love books. One of the many reasons I’m glad to know ya. πŸ™‚

  2. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:15 AM  |  reply

    1. sabbath by wayne muller
    2. a million miles in a thousand years by donald miller
    3. catcher in the rye by j.d. salinger
    3. velvet elvis by rob bell
    4. monkey town by rachel held adams
    5. bird by bird by ann lamott

    i read a lot! but these are the books that flew to my mind initially. they are all great reads and i highly recommend each one!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM  |  reply

      @melissa, Oh Melissa! You remind me of some of my favorites. Reading Bird by Bird again right now. πŸ™‚

  3. ~VA~
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:30 AM  |  reply

    Umm…choosing top 5 of pretty much anything is an overwhelming task for me, but I just wanted to say Redeeming Love is SOO good. I don’t even know why I read it because it is way long and has the word love in the title–two things that usually make me say no way automatically, but I did read it and I LOVED it.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM  |  reply

      @~VA~, Check out some of her other ones- I HIGHLY recommend The Shofar Blew and The Last Sin Eater. Oh, and The Scarlet Thread. And Atonement Child.

      Ok. I have to stop.

      • Julie Carpenter
        posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 6:38 PM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, And you have to read the Mark of the Lion series from Francine Rivers: Whisper in the Wind, Echo in the Darkness, and As Sure as the Dawn.

  4. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:52 AM  |  reply

    What a fun post Annie! I have to say… we also love the library! Although we have an ‘eye’s bigger than our time allows for’ thing going on there. We leave with so many books and not enough time to get them all read! lol I had never heard of Tribes, but it sounds like something that would be very useful to me! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  5. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:52 AM  |  reply

    This is hard, but here goes.

    1. The Time Traveler’s Wife. I’ve never cried like that at a book before. Just breaks my heart.

    2. Blue Like Jazz. Totally changed my life.

    3. The Happiness Project. Showed me how small intentional changes can really make a change in my daily attitude.

    4. Women Food and God. Completely changed the way I look at food. I have to review it frequently to stay in that mindset.

    5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. This book cracks me up. It’s impossible not to smile any time I read it. I carry it around in the trunk of my car for when I need a pick-me-up.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:07 AM  |  reply

      @krissie, You win, Krissie. You made my mouth water with a few of these. Ordering from the library right now!

      • posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 6:36 AM  |  reply

        btw, Krissie is exactly right about Time Traveler’s Wife.

  6. Mama Downs
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:34 AM  |  reply

    These are my top five (plus one author) but not in any particular order:
    1) Mitford Series by Jan Karon
    2) St. Simons Trilogy by Eugenia Price
    3) Radical by David Platt
    4) Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray
    5) Rees Howell, Intercessor by Norman Grubb

    I also have lots of Christian fiction authors that I love and my latest favorite is Lynn Austin. Love everything I have read by her.

    Annie, another week you need to do your favorite children’s books, aka “bathtub books.”

  7. Alexandra
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:58 AM  |  reply

    OK, I’m going to cheat (you’ve been warned).
    1. Anne of Green Gables (the whole series – told you I was cheating)
    2. The Chronicles of Narnia (‘nother series)
    3. C.S.Lewis space trilogy (yet a third series)
    4. All other fiction written by C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce, Til we have Faces, Screwtape Letters)and some non-fiction, like Letters to Malcom and Mere Christianity.
    5. Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances.
    I’ve read all of these books (like each one of the books in each of these series/by these authors) at least 10 times each.
    I read Surrender to Love last year, all the way through in one sitting and I have not been able to read it again. As previously mentioned, I’m quite the re-reader, I just can’t drum up the desire to re-read that book. Can someone explain this strange phenomenon to me????

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:09 AM  |  reply

      @Alexandra, You are breaking so many rules and I am so glad. πŸ™‚ I have always wanted to visit Prince Edward Island. Anne of Green Gables is a classic.

    • Alexandra
      posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:41 PM  |  reply

      I don’t know why I wrote “Surrender to love” I meant “Redeeming Love”, the Francine Rivers book. Duh. Apparently I need to re-read my comments before posting.

  8. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:16 AM  |  reply

    This is very much a girl’s list (I mean that in the best way possible).

    Feeling slightly awkward but here goes…

    1) Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

    2) Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle.

    3) Dune by Frank Herbert (hard to pick one, since it’s an amazing series).

    4) Tribes by Seth Godin

    5) Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (such a great satirical commentary on society)

    Hard to pick just five when you don’t narrow it down by topic! Thanks, Annie.

  9. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:22 AM  |  reply

    1- Room by Emma Dougherty
    2- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    3- The Particular Sandness of a Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
    4- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    5- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:36 PM  |  reply

      @Laura, I love your list, Laura. Reserving these at the library!

      Little Women is a jewel. I love it.

  10. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:23 AM  |  reply

    1. The Alchemist by Paul Cohelo
    2. Boundaries by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend (and any of their books, really)
    3. Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
    4. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborn
    5. The Outsiders – I have not read this as an adult, but LOVED it in high school. Something made me think of it and now I’m going to have to go buy it to read again.

    Great idea! I saw some books on this list that I want to read!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM  |  reply

      @Kyla, The Alchemist is one of my favorite books!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM  |  reply

      @Kyla, Our book club read The Alchemist and LOVED it.

      • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:16 PM  |  reply

        It’s pretty much my favorite book. I read it every summer. πŸ™‚ Glad you both like it, too!

  11. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:36 AM  |  reply

    Choosing only 5 favorites is utterly impossible, so I’m going to pick 5 fiction favorites and 5 nonfiction favorites.

    Nonfiction (besides the Bible):
    1. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
    2. A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada
    3. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen
    4. If God Is Good by Randy Alcorn
    5. If I Really Believe, Why Do I Have these Doubts? by Lynn Anderson

    1. The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
    2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontΓ«
    3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    4. Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
    5. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

    Redeeming Love & Christy are on my tbr list…

  12. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM  |  reply

    I also love books – hard to just list five…but here goes

    1 – A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George
    2 – Winter Garden by Krisin Hannah (Anything by her is amazing!)
    3 – Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (didn’t like the 2nd or 3rd in this series as much)
    4 – Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury
    5 – In a Heartbeat by Sean & Leanne Touhy (BlindSide couple)
    Also – Debbie MacComber, Barbara Delinksy, Neta Jaskson has some GREAT reads.

    And I LOVE, LOVE the library – free books are the best!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM  |  reply

      @Kelley, Elizabeth George is an insanely talented writer. LOVE your list.

  13. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM  |  reply

    I have a book addiction. My family bought me a Kindle in hopes that it would help with the growing piles in the house. It hasn’t

    1. A Severe Mercy by Shelden Vanauken – a beautiful and heart-wrenching memoir. A love story about the Father’s love, rather than the lovers.
    2. Educating Esme by Esme Rajil Codell – Hilarious and tender. A teacher’s diary of her first year. I want to teach every time I read it.
    3. Walking on Water by Madelein L’Engle – Creating art to the glory of God.
    4. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis – Genesis came alive.
    5. God is No Fool by Lois A Cheney – a book of poetry that kicks me in the gut, makes me laugh, and has challenged my devotional life.


    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:14 PM  |  reply

      @Ginger, My kindle is a treasure to me. But it hasn’t replaced real books yet.

      And The Magician’s Nephew is my favorite of the series.

    • Tay
      posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 3:38 PM  |  reply

      @Ginger, Ginger! How awesome to find you here! I read and love your blog and I am actually the one that sent you the question about patience! How fun!

  14. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM  |  reply

    YAY I love Top 5 Fridays. I haven’t read any of your top 5, HOWEVER, if you look real close in the book jacket of “Tribes,” you’ll see my hubby’s cute little face. He was following Seth G. on Twitter way back when and got his little noggin in the book flap, along with a plethora of free copies.

    Ok, here are my books:
    1. The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd (I will never read it again. I’ve never been so emotionally wrecked by a book. ever.)
    2. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (brilliant)
    3. Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman (my white suburban self just can’t get enough of mountain climbers. Don’t try to make sense of it.)
    4. To Kill a Mockingbird (cliche, but no less true)
    5. The Curse of the Ruby Necklace (a Sweet Valley Twins super thriller. I read it every year on vacation and after it became apparent that I was the only one taking it out of the library every year, I told them that it was lost at sea. But really it’s on my bookshelf. CONFESSION!)

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM  |  reply

      @Maria, We were JUST talking about Screwtape Letters- a classic. Truly.

      Stop it with your Sweet Valley Twins super thriller!!! That is a TRIP. Love your honesty. It’s always welcome here. πŸ™‚

  15. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM  |  reply

    Everything, but, Annie. πŸ˜‰ She read us James Fenimore Cooper, all the Gene Stratton-Porter your grandmother fed her, John Bunyan, Louisa May Alcott…
    But we all read Austen on our own. I will say that 90% of our family inside jokes probably stem from Austen quotations, however. πŸ˜‰ Shortly before Philip asked me out for the first time, he took a trip to visit his brother in Nova Scotia. When my mother heard of it, she looked at me with a cocked eyebrow and said, “He must have a delicate and perplexing matter to discuss with his brother.” πŸ˜‰

    As for books–you are cruel. Only five? The only way for me to go about this is to just rattle them off without thinking too hard about it. Here’s my list of top-five-favorite-books-that-come-to-mind-right-this-very-minute:

    1. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. No doubt–my very favorite.
    2. Pilgrim’s Inn by Elizabeth Goudge. My best-beloved among a crowd of loved books by her.
    3. Persuasion by Jane Austen. Exquisitely subtle and perfect. My favorite of her books.
    4. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. One of the most excruciatingly beautiful portrayals of grace I have ever encountered.
    5. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. Love love LOVE this one. Just beats North and South by a hair.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:11 PM  |  reply

      @Lanier, Sweet friend. I so love your family.

      North and South is a favorite… going to need to check out Wives and Daughters.

      Love to you.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:23 PM  |  reply

      Persuasion is my favorite Austen too! I haven’t heard of Gaskell before…I’ll be adding her to my library requests next!

  16. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:14 AM  |  reply

    I’m going to cheat a little, too. In no particular order:
    1. The Anne series AND the Emily series by LMM. Oh, and The Story Girl! The Story Girl is definitely my favorite.
    2. Little Women
    3. 1984
    4. Knowing God
    5. Bird by Bird

    Honorable Mention: Everything I’ve read by CS Lewis.

    Goodness. Picking only 5 was very difficult!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM  |  reply


      Those books by LLM are so precious to me….I even asked my husband for a pearl ring instead of a diamond when we got married because Anne asked Gilbert for pearls.
      And I love the book Bird by Bird….just read it a few months ago for writing class, so good!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM  |  reply

      @Elizabeth, I have never read the Emily series…. but I want to now!!!

  17. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:31 AM  |  reply

    Not necessarily in this order …

    1. Redeeming Love – I read it every year during the Christmas season. Usually in one day. πŸ˜‰

    2. Traveling Mercies

    3. The Count of Monte Cristo

    4. Bittersweet by Shauna Neiquist (one of those books that came along at exactly the right time & said the exact things I needed to say but couldn’t come up with on my own)

    5. From Eternity to Here (every follower of Jesus should read this book)

    and because I am a rebel

    6. every book Jane Austen has ever written. I read them over. and over. and over.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM  |  reply

      @Brandi, From Eternity to Here? Who wrote it?

      • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM  |  reply

        Frank Viola wrote it. πŸ™‚ So good! If you read it I’d love to hear what you think!

  18. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM  |  reply

    i base my “favorite books” on ones that i can read over and over and over again…these arent in any particular order…

    1. northanger abbey (jane austen…MUST read. it quickly surpassed my unabashed love of P&P the moment i finished it)
    2. the mark of the lion series (francine rivers…they count as ONE book, right?)
    3. In His Steps (Charles Sheldon…the first “what would Jesus Do?” movement began with this book. an amazing story!)
    4. Pride and Prejudice (reading it again…well, book on tape this time!)
    5. Narnia series!! =)

    i feel like i forgot a few very important ones and i don’t have my bookshelf in front of me…=(

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:07 PM  |  reply

      @Erika, I stood in front of mine for a LONG time to pick the top 5. So I understand your pain.

  19. Tay
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM  |  reply

    Ok, well I am not technically an adult yet, so these books might be more geared towards “young adults”, but I think you still might enjoy them!

    In no particular order….
    1. Miss Match by Erynn Mangum
    2. The Charmed Life series by Jenny B. Jones
    3. The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn
    4. The Sunrise series by Karen Kingsbury
    5. Caleb and Kate by Cindy Coloma

    Ok…I cheated a little bit and put a few series in there, but it’s so hard to choose just ONE book! Hope you enjoy Annie!

    • Amanda
      posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM  |  reply

      LOVE the Christy Miller series!! I read all of them in High School! So fun…! πŸ™‚

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM  |  reply


      YES! Christy Miller series was definitely a favorite for me in high school/ college. Now all my sisters are reading my old books.

      I just recently finished reaing the new Katie books when they came out πŸ™‚

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:05 PM  |  reply

      @Tay, I wanted to be friends with Christy Miller SO BADLY. When she went to London? I adored it.

    • posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 12:56 PM  |  reply

      @Tay, Oh my gosh, I loved the Christy Miller series. I think I still have my books, I should re-read them πŸ™‚

  20. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:05 PM  |  reply

    There’s so many good suggestions on here. I could spend a fortune just buying the ones that I haven’t read. Thank God for my Kindle. Anyway,to my list:

    1. Pride and Prejudice
    2. Blue Like Jazz
    3. Sex God – Rob Bell
    4. Danger in the Shadows – Dee Henderson
    5. Visioneering – Andy Stanley

    Love reading your blog. Don’t think I’ve commented before, but I couldn’t help myself with a top-five book list. Thanks!

  21. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM  |  reply

    Um, hello, Christians? The Bible! πŸ˜‰ #JesusJuke

    Only 5? That’s hard!

    1) A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

    2) Anything by C.S. Lewis

    3) Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

    4) The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

    5) My “guilty pleasure” reading: Stephen King

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:07 PM  |  reply

      @ChadJ (randomlychad),

      I LOVE the War of Art as well! my writing teacher just had us read it and I instantly bought a copy for my dad as well. It’s so applicable for almost every creative anything!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:47 PM  |  reply

      @ChadJ (randomlychad), I’m giddy that I just got Jesus Juked on my own blog. Well played.

      And I am currently reading The War of Art with two of my friends in Nashville and it is making us so uncomfortable (in a good way). Have you started Do The Work (his next book)?

      • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, finished it yesterday. Need to go back and re-read it. Pressfield really kicks my butt in a good way.

  22. Jen
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM  |  reply

    Yes, ChadJ–The Bible is a given.
    Mine are not really in order & just like the others, I’m stretching the numbers a bit:
    1. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    2. Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley
    3. Pillars of the Earth & World Without End by Ken Follett
    4. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
    5. The 3 A Voice in the Wind books by Francine Rivers
    6. The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella–excellent for the beach or a little pick-me up on a blah day!
    Oh, I could go on and on……

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:05 PM  |  reply

      @Jen, Heidi made me cry like a baby. I avoid it now. πŸ™‚ But the rest of your list is stella. Thanks for sharing, Jen!

  23. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:59 PM  |  reply

    1) The Holy Bible
    2) Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
    3) The Guardian by Dee Henderson
    4) The Blessing of Adversity by U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black
    5) Love Stories (series), published by Bantam Books

  24. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:06 PM  |  reply

    My list of favorites often change but here are a few of my classic loves…

    Anne of Green Gables (entire eight-book series)
    Emily of New Moon (entire 3 books)
    (Anything my L.M.Montgomery for that matter…)
    Pride and Prejudice
    Redeeming Love
    (all of the above I have read at least twice)

    and, my current read, To Live Again by the same author as Christy…this book is healing my heart in so many subtle ways. It’s beautiful.

  25. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:13 PM  |  reply

    bananas! I’m reading life of pi as we speak!

  26. Tiffani
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:31 PM  |  reply

    I’ve been asked this recently and have a christian vs. non-christian based list! In no particular order…

    1) What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
    2) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
    3) The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
    4) The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
    5) The Way I Was Made by Chris Tomlin

    1) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    2) Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen
    3) Cane River by Lalita Tademy
    4) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    5) The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
    6) Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:42 PM  |  reply

      @Tiffani, Well played, Tiffani. I’m fascinated to see the Chris Tomlin book- haven’t heard anything about it. Now I’m interested. πŸ™‚ Thanks, girl!

      • Tiffani
        posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:59 PM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, Yes, I’m surprised how many people haven’t heard of it…but then I don’t think it was marketed much either for some reason. Enjoy! It’s not too long, so a fairly quick read, but lots of great nuggets of truth!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:27 PM  |  reply

      @Tiffani, The Thirteenth Tale is awesome! Totally wanted to discuss it with someone when I finished.

      Have you heard all the hoopla about Three Cups of Tea? I’m really hoping it’s not true and that Mortenson isn’t a fraud but it doesn’t look good.

      • Lauren M
        posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 8:36 PM  |  reply

        @Leigh, I thought The Thirteenth Tale was awesome too! I made my mom read it immediately so I would have someone to discuss it with! I thought about it for days!

      • Tiffani
        posted on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM  |  reply

        @Leigh, I hadn’t heard about the Mortenson issue, but looked it up since you mentioned it. Hopefully, all the funds are being used wisely!

      • Tiffani
        posted on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM  |  reply

        @Leigh, Hi! Sorry for the delayed response. I’m so glad you loved The Thirteenth Tale! I would love to discuss it with you, but it has been a couple of years since I read it. Such a unique and interesting story line. It’s definitely one I’ll be reading again. Sooner rather than later since you’ve got me excited about it again!

  27. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:10 PM  |  reply

    1. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee — My earliest childhood memory is sitting on my dad’s lap with my sister while he read this book out loud to us. I didn’t remember the plot, but when I was a freshman in high school and the book was assigned, Boo, Atticus, Scout, Dill, Jem, and Calpurnia were all there, in my memory like old friends. I became an English teacher and taught that book to my freshman. Regardless of how many times I read it, it still makes me laugh out loud and it still makes me cry. it’s a powerful and beautiful book.

    2. Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis — A haunting retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

    3. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard — Her prose reads like deep poetry, and she sees the spiritual in things like giant water-bugs, spiders in the tub, and the waters of a creek.

    4. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy — A post-apocolyptic story about a father and a son, survival, and the redemption of humanity’s story. It’s also a book whose movie version is nearly as compelling as the book itself. Impressive.

    5. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien — A fictional book that reads like a memoir because, although the characters and stories are fictional, they are also memoir. Tim O’Brien tells the stories of the fictional Tim O’Brien, a soldier in Vietnam.

  28. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM  |  reply


    #1. WALKING ON WATER – Madeleine L’Engle
    #2. The Pursuit of God – A. W. Tozer {just finished reading this book.. it is SO GOOD}
    #3. Messy Spirituality – Mike Yaconelli
    #4. a circle of quiet – madeleine l’engle
    #5. a wrinkle in time – madeleine l’engle

    …guess my favorite author….

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:40 PM  |  reply

      @stephanie, I am too, Stephanie. You’re a L’Engle fan for realz. Makes me want to read more.

      • posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, don’t tell… but i pretend she is my grandma… πŸ™‚ you should read “a circle of quiet” if you haven’t.

  29. dontdillydally
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM  |  reply

    Oh… to list only five! Here are some of my all time favorites in no particular order –
    1. The Sunbird by Wilbur Smith
    2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    3. Time And Again by Jack Finney
    4. Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls ( I still cry every time I read it πŸ™‚
    5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Thanks Annie for sharing your heart with us, you are a blessing! And thanks for wanting us to share with you!

  30. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM  |  reply

    I don’t read a whole lot but, my top five+ would have to go something like:

    The entire Christy Miller series
    From Head to Foot
    The Catcher in the Rye
    anything by Nicolas Sparks

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM  |  reply

      @Bailey Cate, Sweet Bailey. You’re my new BFF.

      Don’t you want to be friends with Christy Miller? I do. Real bad.

      • posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, …I proclaimed us BFFs while reading your book, so I’m glad you agreed. I always wanted to be friends with Christy! I need to get around to reading the Katie series.

  31. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM  |  reply

    Five of my favorites (in no particular order):

    1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    2. Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
    3. The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis
    4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
    5. Eric Liddell: Pure Gold by David McCasland

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:34 PM  |  reply

      @Mindy, Um. Ok. I ADORE 1-4, have never read 5. But I’m going to- Scotland boy and all. πŸ™‚

      Guernsey is an absolute favorite.

      • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, In terms of biographies, that one on Eric is definitely a winner. Very easy to read. I half fell in love with Eric by the time I was done (and then had to grieve his death, even though I knew it was coming.) πŸ™‚

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM  |  reply

      @Mindy, Though I haven’t read #2 and #5, the rest leave me wondering if you are staring at my bookshelf!

      • posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 12:09 PM  |  reply

        @Jennifer, Haha…well, I’d highly recommend reading “Girl Meets God”…very good (at least in my opinion!)

  32. Travis
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:24 PM  |  reply

    Top 5

    1. “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank- My favorite book I ever read in High School. It’s about a town in FL in the 50s after a nuclear holocaust. I think it was actually Summer reading, but I certainly didn’t mind.

    2. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee- I haven’t read this in years, but the themes have stayed with me. For me that is a sign of a book worth reading.

    3. “The Great Divorce” by CS Lewis- I love his imagination and metaphors and everything else about this book.

    4. “God’s Smuggler” Brother Andrew- This book changed everything for me. It’s a memoir from a missionary during the Cold War (The same people that helped/ghost wrote for Corrie ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place”). God used it and a Mocha Club update to change my life (and a few other things, but seriously those two were a HUGE part). You can always find it at used book stores for $2.00 or less. So worth it.

    5. The whole Harry Potter Series- 3 being my favorite. I grew up with this series. I went to Books-A-Million for the midnight release of the last 3. Also, the movies don’t do it justice, but I go to the midnight release of those too.

    I have so many on my list to read that are in the comments. It will be a busy Summer. Now, who’s buying me that hammock so that I can still get some Vitamin D?

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:36 PM  |  reply

      @Travis, I hate to tell you this, but I hated Alas, Babylon. I also hated Watership Down.

      But your other four redeem #1. πŸ™‚

      I’m dying over all the books listed today. How will I ever read them all? I’m going to have to quit my jobs and just read. (I wish.)

      • Travis
        posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, If I remember correctly, all the girls labeled it a “guys book”. They tried to get me back with Pride and Prejudice, but truth be told I thought it was adequate. So the joke’s still on them.

  33. Beth
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:09 PM  |  reply

    Having real trauma choosing 5 πŸ™

    The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
    Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
    The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Maggie o’Farrell
    Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernieres
    Remarkable Creatures Tracy Chevalier

    From Head to Foot by Ms Downs is pretty high on my list at the moment as well…

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:20 PM  |  reply

      @Beth, It sounds like we feel similar about picking favorite books- painful! Looking forward to reading some of these…

  34. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:14 PM  |  reply

    How fun! We share some favorites.

    1. Little Women
    2. Pride and Prejudice
    3. Redeeming Love
    4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    5. Emily of New Moon (love all 3 Emily books)

    Have you read Julie by Catherine Marshall? I think I may like it even more than Christy.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM  |  reply

      @erin, Oh girl. I love Julie too. For sure.

  35. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:42 PM  |  reply

    Awww, what lists and titles – lots of memories.
    My list in no particular order:

    1 The Shack by William Young
    2 War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy
    3 Nests above the abyss by Isobel Kuhn (and all other books written by her)
    4 Fear no evil by Nathan Sharansky
    5 I am my Beloved’s by Esther Dorflinger Absolute topper and must read in my humble opinion!

    Too hard, way too hard not to add to the list…….

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:08 PM  |  reply

      @Fenny, You are an impressive reader.

      Also, I loved The Shack.

  36. Laura
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM  |  reply

    My mom read and liked Redeeming Love… here’s my top 5:

    1) Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen Coloma- Best love story that I ever read
    2) The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks- I am about to read this book again. I loved the book and the movie… I have seen the movie twice πŸ˜€
    3) The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn- About the end of the world
    4) Christy Miller Series- I just loved these πŸ™‚
    5) Gilda Joyce Series by Jennifer Allison- Not the most Christian books around, but totally awesome! πŸ˜€

    This list was really hard to come up with… Thanks for the challenge! πŸ™‚

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:09 PM  |  reply

      @Laura, I am SHOCKED at how many people have mentioned the Christy Miller series… I love it!

      • Laura
        posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 8:52 AM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, I really just loved it! My mom foud it online for, like, 50 cents a book and we got them all! πŸ˜€

  37. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:59 PM  |  reply

    Since I’m a fourth grade teacher, my literature selection typically fits the nine-year-old age group, but I do love love love to read.

    1. A Wrinkle in Time- a favorite from childhood, and once read it to my fourth graders as a read aloud. The experience was magical.
    2. Jane Eyre.
    3. Persuasion- my favorite of Austen’s books. I’d say I’m a little embarrassed to admit I only read it after it was mentioned in The Lake House, but I’m not.
    4. One Day by David Nicholls. I had to grieve this book. In the middle, and when it ended.
    5.The Great Gatsby. Oh how I love this book.
    6. Prayer and the Art of Volkswagon Maintenance by Donald Miller. He’s retitled/republished it, but I like the first title better.

    And even though I’ve been kindle-ized, I have “Walking on Water” on my bookshelf begging to be read. After this list I must check it out.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:10 PM  |  reply

      @Jennifer, First of all- do you know I used to teach 4th grade?!? LOVE LOVE LOVE those jokers.

      Also- your list is genius. Well played.

    • posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM  |  reply

      @Jennifer, I first read A Wrinkle in Time in 5th grade, and two years ago as a 23-year-old, e-mailed my 5th grade teacher and thanked him for that because it influenced me so much. bet you’re doing the same for some weird little girl πŸ˜‰

  38. Sarah
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:07 PM  |  reply

    ok, you will probably SO not have heard of any of these, but here we go:
    [in no particular order:-D]
    1.)Lost in NashVegas by Racheal Hauck
    2.) In Sheeps Clothing by Susan May Warren (AMAZING! I’ve read it like 8 times)
    3.) Lights of the Veil by Patty Metzer (just picture this: a prince, a chritain woman, and india. Booyah!)
    4.) Million Dollar Dillima by Julia Baer(i think that’s her name. i laughed so hard i cried.)
    5.) The PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren. (Thought i’d cheat to. haha.)
    Welp, there it is. i hope you check some of them out, they will diffently bless you.
    and oh! Redeeming Love was amazing! it was gut wrenching to read at times, but SO worth it. at times it made you want to bang your head against the wall because Angel was acting so stupid, but it was fantastic and ended wonderously.
    Have you ever read books that were going great and then ended and you were like “hey, wait a minute, no! it wasn’t suppose to end like that!”
    but, anyway, i should probably stop writing now. thanks for this! i was hoping you’d do FAVORITE BOOKS.

  39. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:39 PM  |  reply

    There are few things I enjoy more than discussing books (and promoting the library for that matter!) It’s hard to narrow it down, but if I have to choose…

    1. A Prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving (I reread this about every year or so and always cry in the same places. So moving and rich.)
    2. My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult (Her endings pack a punch! Though haven’t liked her last few as well, this remains a fave. I haven’t watched the movie because I heard they changed it a lot. I’m a purist that way!)
    3. The Historian- Elizabeth Kostova (Also adored The Swan Thieves by her. Beautifully written, excellent past/present contrast.)
    4. Outlander series- Diana Gabaldon (Very saucy, definitely for grown-ups, but the research on 18th century Scotland is spot on and the characters are amazing.)
    5. A Wrinkle in Time- Madeline L’engle (Loved it ever since I read it in 5th grade. Plus, I got to meet the author herself!)

    1. Sacred Thirst- M. Craig Barnes (Wonderful reading for dry seasons or when you need guidance.)
    2. A New Kind of Christian- Brian McLaren (This brought me back to my faith and back to church. One of the most important books I’ve read.)
    3. The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective- Rohr/Ebert (Excellent insights as to why we act and respond the way we do.)
    4. The Year of Living Biblically- AJ Jacobs (Hilarious, yet insightful, account as Jacobs takes the Bible literally for a year on a quest to discover his spiritual roots.)
    5. Traveling Mercies- Anne Lamott (Could just as easily put Bird by Bird here. Anything she writes, resonates.)

    I’m leaving out so many great books here but this will have to suffice.

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:05 PM  |  reply

      @Leigh, First of all, you are REALLY good at this.

      Secondly, speaking on enneagrams, I’m a 7. Are you surprised? πŸ™‚

      • posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM  |  reply

        @AnnieBlogs, It may not be a stretch to say that books are my love language! I left out so many good ones here.

        7 makes sense from what I’ve read/know of you. I’m a 4. I love hearing how people figured out what type they are!

    • posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM  |  reply


  40. Jessica
    posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:41 PM  |  reply

    1. Gone With the Wind- Margret Mitchell

    2. The Gift From the Sea- Anne Morrow Lindenberg

    3. The Hiding Place- Corrie ten Boom

    4. Pnin- Vladimir Nabokov

    5. 1000 Gifts- Ann Voskamp

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:04 PM  |  reply

      @Jessica, Yes. Love these. I adore Ann Voskamp’s book.

  41. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:04 PM  |  reply

    Hi friend!! Love this!
    Here are mine:
    1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
    2. Passion for Jesus by Mike Bickle
    3. Always Enough by Heidi Baker
    4. Bruchko by Bruce Olson
    5. Heavenly Man by Brother Yun

  42. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:13 PM  |  reply

    OMG, Annie Blogs! Are you sure we’re not the same person. This is ridiculous.

    Two of the main reasons I started teaching were Christy and Anne of Green Gables. Ok, here we go top 5 books.

    1) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    2) Christy
    3) Emma
    4) The Secret Life of Bees
    5) A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

    I love this Top Five idea. I may just steal it for my blog!

    • posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:04 PM  |  reply

      @Sarah, Girl, I would LOVE for you to play along on Fridays!

      I’ve never read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Tell me why you love it.

    • posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:15 AM  |  reply

      @Sarah, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my faves too, though I didn’t list it here. A fantastic “coming of age” story. Annie, you should definitely read it!

  43. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:18 PM  |  reply

    Can I have a 6th? Intercessor by Rees Howells πŸ™‚ This was too hard!

  44. posted on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:26 PM  |  reply

    Hey there Annie,

    I’m going to go right ahead and admit it…my memory is terrible since i started on the happy pills.

    But the five books that have impacted me most in the last year or so are:

    1. Behind Those Eyes
    2. Thin Places
    3. Breaking Free
    4. The Mom I Want to Be
    5. Restore My Soul

    • Annie
      posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM  |  reply

      @LeeBird, I loved Thin Places. Mary DeMuth is an amazing writer.

  45. Lauren M
    posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 8:02 AM  |  reply

    Asking me to pick top 5 favorite books?

    “I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens…” Name that movie! πŸ™‚

    For real though, I don’t take the term “favorite” lightly. Therefore, I racked my brain to come up with mine. There are in no particular order and these are my choices, apart from The Bible. OF COURSE, that’s number one.

    1. Little Women-Louisa May Alcott
    2. Voyage of the Dawn Treader-Lewis
    3. A Voice in the Wind-our good friend Francine
    4. An Echo in the Darkness-same as above
    5. Shadow of the Almighty-Elisabeth Elliot
    6. A Chance to Die-Elisabeth Elliot

    Dang it! I picked 6. These are books that I not only enjoyed reading, but can honestly say put a mark on my life and my walk with the Lord. These are also books that I re-read, some several times, which I rarely do.

    I am loving the other comments! As I have read them, I have thought several times to myself, “Oh, I loved that one!” or “Great choice!”

    Now I need to add some of these to my book queue that is a mile long already. Is it weird that I have an actual Word Document of books on my To-Read list? Then as I read them, I put a big fat “FINISHED” in red next to the title. And I have a list of “Books I have read in 2011”. And 2010. What a nerd.

    • posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:17 AM  |  reply

      @Lauren M, A Word doc isn’t weird at all! I have a little notepad that I write my To Read books in. And making me a bigger nerd, I have a large notebook where I write down every book that I’ve read in the past 5 years. I love keeping track:)

    • Annie
      posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM  |  reply

      @Lauren M, I love your list and yes- I have a little notebook I write my books down in as well. πŸ™‚ So you are more normal than you thought! (Or we are all nutz… whatevs.) πŸ™‚

    • Sarah
      posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 6:56 PM  |  reply

      SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY was a beautiful book. Even though i knew he wasn’t going to make it, i think cried anyway. BEAU. TI. FUL. And just how he thought really made YOU think. Wonderful.

    • Julie Carpenter
      posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM  |  reply

      @Lauren M, I must be a nerd too. Just started doing that so I could keep up with what I want to read and what I have already read.

  46. Lauren M
    posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 8:05 AM  |  reply

    PS. I ADORE Christy Miller as well. I feel like I grew up with her because I started reading her in about the seventh grade or so. Not a bad girl to grow up with. I wanted to be just like her. And I actually cried when she and Todd got married.

    • Annie
      posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM  |  reply

      @Lauren M, I love Christy Miller. I feel like she is one of my teen friends. πŸ™‚

      • Sarah
        posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 7:01 PM  |  reply

        LOVE Christy Miller to. It completly changed my veiw of men and how their ACTUALLY suppose to treat you, as taught by the bible. Christy and Todds love story was, i do believe, one of the most beautiful love reletionships in literature.
        Does that sound pathhetic?

        • Sarah
          posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 7:09 PM  |  reply

          Oh, and purity! How could i forget that? It changed my veiw on purity also. Christy Miller is an amazing herione. She really reminds you of the verse “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young, but set an example…”
          She’s tough without meaning to be, loves the Lord unashamedly, and stands for what she believes in without being rude or ‘in-your-face-i’m-a-christian!”. I want to be Christy when i grow up!

  47. Lindsey
    posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM  |  reply

    Yay! I LOVELOVELOVE books. I’ll try to pick just five. πŸ™‚

    1. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allene. This is the only magical realism book I’ve actually liked. And I loved it.
    2. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. This book is beautiful written. Each character has such a distinct voice. It’s terribly sad, but it will reaffirm your love for people and love for Jesus (though I’m not sure that was the author’s intent).
    3. The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Chaim Potok is a great storyteller. It’s about faith, family, and friendship, and how we reconcile all those things.
    4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty White. This book made me want to be a writer, and helped be think I actually could.
    5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I’ve read two of his books, and he has the most unique writing style I’ve ever come across. And this book is so good. Heart-wrenching, I think.

    I would Pride & Prejudice on there, but you already said it. πŸ™‚
    If you asked me again tomorrow, I’d probably tell you different books haha.

    • Lindsey
      posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM  |  reply

      I didn’t include any children’s books. Or nonfiction. But let’s be honest…we’d be here forever.

      Just one: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. I just read this about a month ago. It was terribly sad but also heartwarming and ultimately, joyful. It’s one of the best children’s books I’ve ever read. Really, one of the best books in general. I figured the elementary school teacher in you will appreciate it. πŸ™‚

      • Annie
        posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM  |  reply

        @Lindsey, Top 5 children’s books list is coming in a few weeks. πŸ™‚

        Oh gosh. Books about teachers make me weepy. So I’ll probably love it. πŸ™‚

  48. Margret
    posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM  |  reply

    This is absolutely wonderful, and I’m delighted to see that the number 5 means different things to different people. My list comprises my office’s entire wall of bookcases. I revisit them annually as much-loved friends, reading some because of the fun storyline or choice of phrasing, others because they make me think. In this particular season, these are the ones that have deeply touched me:

    Jesus: An Interview Across Time by Christian psychologist Andrew G. Hodges. It looks at the story of our Lord through the eyes of someone trained to understand the human mind.

    Jesus: The Son of Man by Kahlil Gibran. These “interviews” with various people in Jesus’ day describe who He was to them. Not all of it lines up with Scripture, but then neither does the movie Jesus Christ Superstar and I love it, too: seeing my Lord through the increasingly deluded eyes of Judas Iscariot.

    Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn. A delightful story of a little girl who sees wonder all around her and every day falls more in love with God.

    Two books by Margaret Becker (With New Eyes and Coming Up for Air). Twenty-two years ago, I said “yes” to a relationship with the Lord and also discovered Christian music. Her songs were among the first I heard and it seemed that every song described the place I was in at that time, helping me draw closer to the Lord. With New Eyes chronicles her experiences in her walk with Him, and Coming Up for Air details decisions made as she realized changes were necessary.

    The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Much is made of the Lord of the Rings but if not for Bilbo there’d be no sequel.

    A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey. Through a series of well-written letters, a woman chronicles the changing world between 1899 and 1968.

    Her Majesty’s Wizard by Christopher Stasheff, a science fiction/fantasy writer who said he had questions about his faith (not doubts). As with most in that genre, it’s set in an alternate universe and clearly addresses the power in the words we speak.

    Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. Another alternate universe and the story of a con man who learns to love responsibility.

    Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. Not crazy about the blue language yet can overlook it because of the storyline: a woman, accustomed to rejection, comes into her own, finds love, and brings out the best in those around her.

  49. posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM  |  reply

    This isn’t fair, how do you pick 5?! Okay, here I go:

    1. Pride & Prejudice
    2. Anne of Green Gables
    3. To Kill a Mockingbird
    4. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
    5. Crimson Roses by Grace Livingston Hill

    Confession: I’ve never read anything by Francine Rivers, ever. But she’s such a “big deal” that I was asking my mom a couple weeks ago which one I should read (she said Redeeming Love too) and then she just kind of casually goes, “Oh, she’s such a nice lady.” I guess we went to the same church in the late 80s/early 90s, ha!

  50. posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 3:05 PM  |  reply

    1. The Shepherd of the Hills, Harold Bell Wright followed really closely by Their Yesterdays, same author.
    2. Magnificent Obsession, Lloyd C. Douglas. Also his book Invitation to Live.
    3. Christy. It’s just good.
    4. Ben-Hur, by Lew Wallace
    5. ack – last one’s the hardest. Pro’lly Rilla of Ingleside, L.M. Montgomery.

    I just inter-library loaned Tribes last week, so I’m waiting for that to come in. And, I discovered my library has Redeeming Love and The Life of Pi, so I’ll pick those up soon. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions, everyone, I’m thrilled!

  51. Emily
    posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:45 PM  |  reply

    I read your blog but have never commented before. This is too tempting not to. My “Desert Island List” hasn’t changed in years.

    1. Pilgrim At Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. Annie Dillard is (in my mind) the master of the metaphor. There is a genius to her writing that expresses overwhelming wisdom and truth in the most understated manner. It is something to behold.

    2. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. A beautifully written, sensory experience. This book has exquisite tension and an authentic yet unsettling resolution. The end of this book makes it worth reading, even though the entire story is a joy.

    3. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Irving is such an intentional writer and I feel so safe in the knowledge that not a word is wasted in this book. He is always leading you to the climax of this gorgeous story.

    4. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. This book has a clear theme that I believe in very strongly: our lives are more defined by our choices than what happens to us. It is a beautiful retelling of Cain and Abel.

    5. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. I love that this is a true story of very different worlds coming together.

  52. Sara Kate Greene
    posted on Apr 23, 2011 at 11:28 PM  |  reply

    Anything by Kate Atkinson
    Del Canto by Ann Pathcett
    So Many Ways to Begin by Jon McGregor
    Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
    Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

  53. posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:32 AM  |  reply

    Anya – I don’t heart reading as much as I should but this reminds me of why I do need to read more in my life.

    Top 5
    1- The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond
    2- Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle
    3- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
    4- Bossypants by Tina Fey
    5- A Royal “Waste” of Time by Marva J. Dawn

  54. Emma Eli
    posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:36 AM  |  reply

    Gullivers Travels
    Tom Sawyer
    Jane Eyre
    The Silver Skates
    Anne Frank

  55. posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 3:20 PM  |  reply

    Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

  56. posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:59 PM  |  reply

    Hard to narrow down 5!
    1. Shopaholic series- Sophie Kinsella
    2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series- Ann Brashares
    3. French Twist series- Sandra Byrd
    4. Joni- Joni Erackson Tada
    5. Hurricanes in Paradise- Denise Hildreth Jones

    I’ve never heard of “emily of new moon”- must. Google!
    Also just finished “departures” by robin jones gunn, I’ve never read Christy Miller but it makes me want to go back & read them all

  57. Julie Carpenter
    posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 7:29 PM  |  reply

    Wow, loved all the lists and can’t wait to start reading a lot of them. Here are some of my favorites. I’m going to cheat because I just can’t narrow it down. Sometimes I like to be a rebel.

    Christian Authors
    1. Anything by Francine Rivers: My favorite would be a tie with Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion Series of which I have read at least 3 times through!
    2. Anything by Lynn Austin
    3. Any Amish series by Beverly Lewis
    4a. Liz Curtis Higg’s 18th Century series based on the story of Jacob, Esau, Leah and Rachel including Thorn in my Heart, Fair is the Rose, Whence Came A Prince and Grace in Thine Eyes
    4b. Anything by Charles Martin and my fav would be The Mountain Between Us. (swoon)
    5. Mitford Series – Listening to the last one on tape, it’s a new twist for me.

    Non-Christian Authors:
    1. The Outlanders by: Diana Gabaldon
    2. Friday Night Knitting Club by: Kate Jacobs.
    3. Pillars of the Earth by: Ken Follett
    4. World Without End by: Ken Follett
    5. Almost anything by Nicolas Sparks

    I think that will do it for now.

    • Julie Carpenter
      posted on Apr 25, 2011 at 7:59 PM  |  reply

      @Julie Carpenter, Oops, forgot 3a. Anything by Randy Alcorn and 3b. Anything by Randal Author

  58. Tiffani
    posted on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM  |  reply

    @Leigh, Hi! Sorry for the delayed response. I’m so glad you loved The Thirteenth Tale! I would love to discuss it with you, but it has been a couple of years since I read it. Such a unique and interesting story line. It’s definitely one I’ll be reading again. Sooner rather than later since you’ve got me excited about it again!

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