books are my friends {day 2 of 31}

I love books. Love, love, LOVE books. I’ve tried over the past few years to pare down my collection (and have done a marvelous job, I might add), but I will never, not ever, stop loving books.

Since this month is all about CONNECTION, I’m going to connect you with some books that I love so much I consider them friends.

The following are 10 books that survived The Purge and still sit on my shelf today. I’ve read each of these books at least twice (and some more than that). Most of them are marked up like nuts in all colors of ink (I try to use a different color for each read-through).

You will probably sense a theme.

And since I’m sharing 10, I won’t go into great detail. Just know that they’re special, or they wouldn’t have made This List. (p.s. All the links are thru my Amazon Associates Account, so if you end up purchasing one of them, I’ll get a little commission.)

10 BOOKS I THINK YOU SHOULD OWN (in random order–I can’t rank my friends, people):

Kisses from Katie (Katie Davis w/Beth Clark)
Holy cow. Katie is amazing. Darling, spoiled homecoming queen follows God’s call to Uganda and leaves everything to live there for good and adopt 14 little girls. I’m so inspired by this girl, I can’t even tell you. Read it, and you won’t ever be the same.

Radical (David Platt)
We did a read-along on this book awhile back. World-rocking for sure, and not just for me. Thanks, Pastor Platt, for messing me all up and making me re-think what it truly means to “accept” and “follow” Christ. Be afraid of this book. Be very afraid.

Organized Simplicity (Tsh Oxenreider)
Just looking at this book makes me feel peaceful and simplified. Gorgeous hardcover–and spiral bound! Sigh. I love, love, love Tsh’s philosophy on only having things that add value to your life and mesh with your family’s purpose statement. This book rocks.

Interrupted (Jen Hatmaker)
This was my first introduction to Jen, and it was perfect timing, because we’re on the same kind of journey (I really want to BE her, but without all the stress of famousness and whathaveyou). This book made me want to scream, “YES! YES! YES, YES, YES!!! THAT’S HOW I FEEL!! THANK YOOOOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

7 (Jen Hatmaker)
We did a read-along of this one too, and holy cow at some of the discussion. Jen had to talk me off a ledge or two over the course of those 2 months. Whew. But this book? PHENOMENAL. It will get up in your stuff and cause you pain, and it will FEEL GOOD. Man, I need to lay off the scary book reviews. It’s FUNNY too.

The Hole in Our Gospel (Richard Stearns)
This was one of the very first books I read that made me realize that with all my talk of Jesus dying for sins and ask him into your heart and live happily ever after in your comfortable life, I WAS MISSING SOMETHING. Namely that Jesus came to bring good news to the poor. Yes, he offered them salvation from sins. But IN ADDITION to that, he met their physical needs here on earth. And commands me to take up where he left off.

The Irresistible Revolution (Shane Claiborne)
The first time I read this book, I thought, “Whoa. This guy’s a teensy bit extreme.” The second and third time? God had already awakened in my soul this incredible desire to really truly follow Jesus. To love what he loves, hate what he hates, and pursue justice and mercy as long as I shall live. So I ate the book right up. Good, good stuff.

Consumer Detox (Mark Powley)
Funny, charming (CONVICTING) book about having enough. And encouraging us to quit the mindless pursuit of stuff, stuff, stuff. I read it two times back-to-back last year because it was so good. Time to read it again, methinks.

Safely Home (Randy Alcorn)
The only fiction read on my list. I don’t keep much fiction on my shelves. Mostly because I can always get them from the library if I “need” to re-read them, and I generally don’t feel the need to mark up fiction books. This one is just powerful. Opens your eyes to people around the world who are really, truly persecuted for their faith. And I don’t mean the cashier at Target says “Happy Holidays” to them instead of “Merry Christmas.” I mean they’re brutally tortured/murdered for following Christ.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Donald Miller)
Just read this for the third time this week. All about making a bigger story out of your life, not settling for humdrum. God created us for abundance. He wants us to take leaps of faith. There is gonna be some pain, but it’s worth God using your story for his glory. Love Donald Miller’s writing (and humor).

Have you read any of my Top Ten? What did you think of them? What are some of your all-time favorite books?

18 thoughts on “books are my friends {day 2 of 31}

  1. Addie

    We love almost all the same books, so I wasnt sure what to contribute to the list… 🙂

    I noticed you didnt have Crazy Love by Francis Chan on there… and that was a game changer

    I think you are already reading the Book Thief with one of your daughters… but another really good fiction read is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  2. Amy Bo

    I love this list! I would add Crazy Love by Francis Chan and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Those have been life changing for me.

  3. Ann

    ok- all great books, but i like (ahem) ‘non-christiany’ stuff
    Marilynne Robinson- Home, Housekeeping and Gilead (Pulitzer Prize winner)
    Willa Cather- My Antonia
    The Kite Runner
    Harry Potter (LOVE)
    Barbara Kingsolver- The Poisonwood Bible
    and there are more…

    1. Marla Taviano

      I’ve read a lot of great non-Christiany books lately. Will blog about some of them soon. I’ve read (and loved) The Kite Runner, Harry Potter, and the Poisonwood Bible. Would love to hear more of your list.

  4. valerie

    I’m sad to say I’ve only read 3 of the 10 (Kisses from Katie, Radical, Interrupted), but those three have changed. my. life. Along with Red Letters by Tom Davis. I have Organized Simplicity and The Hole in Our Gospel, but haven’t started them yet. Right now I’m reading Fields of the Fatherless, also by Tom Davis. And my absolute FAVORITE book of all time (right now) is Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. A MUST read for anyone wanting to live a BIG life with God!

  5. Sharon

    I’ve read a few on your list, but never woulda even heard of them if it weren’t for you. So, thank you! And now? I’m gonna add your other recommendations to my list. P.S. Just got the brown “She has a Name” shirt. LOVE it! I think they should make pants, too. So comfy!

  6. Jewel

    I have 2 friends reading Kisses from Katie right now and I plan to borrow it when one is finished!!!!

    The Irresistible Revolution has changed my life forever. I read it for the first time between textbooks my freshman year of college – thought it was good then. The second time I read it, I was in Cambodia living amongst many of “the least of these.” The combination of the words I was reading and the lives I was seeing was a powerful combination that truly changed my life in just a few short weeks.

    I have also read Radical, but none of the others!

  7. Jen Hanson

    Not that I’m surprised, but I have read and own seven of your ten. And though I haven’t read “Kiss from Katie” – I do follow her blog and worked with her organization Amazima in Uganda (and then their are the beaded crosses of course). So that’s almost like eight-out-of-ten. Good picks.

    Oh wait. I lied. I own, but have not finished reading “Consumer Detox”… and I still owe you a book review for that one! 😉

  8. Brooke

    I’ve read (and loved) 4 out of the 10. and now you have me wanting to spent/acquire during my purging month. maybe if i do a 2 for 1 trade for every book i buy?

  9. Amber

    Oh! Yay! I love a discussion about books! Thanks for the recommendations! I have read most of the ones you listed and am going to add the few that I haven’t read yet to my goodreads list. I’d add There is No Me Without You, Bruschko, and Evidence Not Seen to the list. All are biographies of great people doing Christ’s work!

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