Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Books that Change Our Lives

As readers, we surround ourselves with new thoughts every time we crack open the pages of a fresh book. Good or bad, the ideas float through the 'windows of our souls' and into our minds, where they merge into our thought process and are either accepted as part of our ideals or rejected as flotsam, scattered to the wind. Even rejected notions can linger, becoming part of our dreams or even nightmares.
Sometimes books can have life-changing, positive impacts on our lives. Here are a few of the books I've never been able to forget, the ones I go back to for inspiration on a regular basis. In my case, the majority are fiction. 


Till We Have Faces
(Link to Amazon HERE)
At first, this book seems like a simple re-telling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. But in classic Lewis fashion, the story is filled with allegorical references and word pictures that have stuck with me since first reading the book. Every time I read it, (every five years or so,) I learn something new. 

A Bargain For Francis
(Amazon link HERE)

My mother first read this to me when I was five, and she used it as a way to teach me about bullying and why it's not okay to manipulate friends. Thelma tries, and succeeds, in tricking Frances to pay her money for a cheap plastic tea set when Francis really wants a china set 'with pictures all in blue.' The way Francis handles her problem is probably not necessarily ideal, but it does teach the nasty Thelma a lifelong lesson. One hopes, anyway. Take away lesson: "Is it better to be careful, or to be friends?"

One Thousand Gifts
(Amazon link HERE)

Ann Voskamp is a vintage soul and a modern-day poet. The way she weaves her words is mesmerizing. The lesson of thankfulness is a hard one to learn in this materialistic society, and even more difficult for those who have walked down the path of sorrow far too many times. Though Voscamp's experience with sorrow began at an early age, she is able to listen to the Holy Spirit as He teaches her to be thankful--for big things and small gifts alike.

Princess Academy
(Amazon link HERE)

It might be geared towards a MG-YA audience, but Shannon Hale's Princess Academy has lessons everyone should learn. Most important: Don't assume what people think because of someone else's perception. I keep copies of this book on hand to give away, the message is so important to me.

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge
(Amazon link HERE)
I had to stop reading this book to my children because no matter how many times I read it, I would break down like a baby and end up sobbing at the end. It just doesn't make for a very cheerful story time. But it's a wonderful story about how a little boy makes friends at an old folk's home next door, and how he helps his very best friend find something she lost. The wonderful illustrations are just icing on the cake. 

Little Women
(Amazon link HERE)
Millions of girls have read and re-read the unforgettable stories of the young March girls and their quest for normalcy in an impovrished family. As the oldest of seven children in a poor family, I can very much relate to their joys and struggles and always dreamed of 'writing myself out of poverty' like Jo March (and the author, Louisa May Alcott). I owe a lot of the inspiration to become an author from this book, and return to re-read it at least once every few years. 

This is just a short list of books I have found inspiring and unforgettable. Do you have any to add? Please feel free to share in the comments below.



  1. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
    Little Women
    Stolen Words- a book about Indian Schools for young people
    Gone with the Wind and it’s prequels (Ruth’s Journey and Rhett Butler’s People) and sequel (Scarlett)
    I’ll love you Forever
    The Nightingale
    A Piece of the World

  2. Definitely Little Women, for pretty much the same reasons.
    Anne of Green Gables (enjoy the small things, life is good)
    A Lantern in Her Hand (women's hearts are much the same, across time and culture)
    Daphne's Book (mg book that inspired me to write)
    We Shook the Family Tree (increased my vocab as a kid, and shaped my humor)
    The Shepherd of the Hills (inspired me to walk the "high road")