I love to read. I truly do, in every sense of the word. There’s something so peaceful about feeling the weight of a book in my hand and breathing in the familiar smell of the pages, about settling down to escape into another world. It’s simply good for my soul.
Over the years, I’ve built up a strange collection here on my bookshelf. A few fairy tales, some children’s books, a science fiction classic, a cooking manual, one or two Christian treatises. There’s a book about terrorists and their hostages, one about a mouse and his soup, one about a circus, and one about a boy who lived. Some are written by great authors, others are relatively unknown. Yet, these are the ones that I read over and over, until the spines are broken and the pages are falling out. They are full of wonder and magic and questions about humanity. They inspire hope, assuring me that goodness is real, that light conquers darkness, and that people can learn and love and grow alongside one another. As I read, I’m drawn in with passages that invoke longing in the deepest parts of me… more often than not, I find myself crying or laughing or making that subconscious gesture of touching my heart with my fingertips. Each makes me smile, for one reason or another. And because I love you, I want to share them with you.
And so, without further ado, I present to you my favorite books. I’ll be revisiting them in time, to give you more details about what they’re about and why, precisely, I love them so. This is just a sneak peak. Here are the titles (in no particular order):
- The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
- Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
- The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
- Ender’s Game, by Orsen Scott Card
- The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
- Cold Tangerines, by Shauna Neiquist
- The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
- Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Marillier
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
- Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
- Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
- Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis
- Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
- A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken
- Bittersweet, by Shauna Neiquist
- The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, by Kathleen Flinn
p.s. One more thing. Is there a tiny bit of me that wishes I were the person whose bookshelves were populated with more dignified tomes? Sometimes. My least favorite books are often those that enjoy the most literary acclaim, and I’ve caught myself feeling unsophisticated when the topic comes up. But I love reading too much to slug through another book by Jane Austen, or to finish The Fountainhead, or to even pick up Catcher in the Rye in the first place. Instead, I embrace these lovely selections as my kindred spirits.