Books, as a rule, are great. It’s just a fact. But some are life-changing. Here are five reads (yes, it was hard to keep it to such a small number!) that have shaped who I am, the way I think, and… well, my life!
Top on my list is, of course, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Y’all are gonna get tired of me talking about this book! (Who am I kidding?? If you’ve read it you’ll fangirl with me, and if you haven’t read it yet then you will soon. 😛 )
This book = ❤ . I don’t know how to explain it, but this book is very dear to me. My mom edited a copy (white-out rules!) for my sister Kate who then read it aloud to me. I loved it.
I’ve never had other books move me so much, imprint itself in my heart like that, and stay with me for so long! The themes of beauty still found in a crumbling world, the power of words, and standing up for what is right especially when it’s hard… it all makes me hug my thick copy to myself with a sob and a smile.
The Jew in the basement.
The girl, the book thief, who was an expert at getting left behind.
Papa, the man with the accordion heart.
I’ll never be the same. Read it.
Next is this biography told like a story-– A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall.
I didn’t realize how much this book means to me until I started thinking about this blog post. The movie had already succeeded in making me laugh and weep multiple times before I even read the book. And the book is a hundred times deeper and longer and wonderful…er!
I wish I could have met Reverand Peter Marshall. He was an amazing man for God, and his wife’s book about him is a story that should never be forgotten. Mr. Marshall, thank you for so faithfully following God no matter where He led and leaving your example for me to see.
The Chronicles of Narnia by dear old C.S. Lewis will forever be the best.
Daddy has made it a tradition to read these books aloud to us, a special one-on-one experience with him, and those cozy evenings reading by the woodstove are still my favorite memories. ❤ And he still cries while reading The Last Battle. 😉 ❤ The message of each book is so deeply planted down inside of me, it will always stay there.
My fourth life-changing book is actually a fairly new find, which tells you it must be amazing to have already made it onto this list. 😉 Introducing… Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton!
“In the town of Squashbuckle, just about anything can happen, and when Henry Penwhistle draws a mighty Chalk Dragon on his door, the dragon does what Henry least expects–it runs away. Now Henry’s art is out in the world for everyone to see, and it’s causing trouble for him and his schoolmates Oscar and Jade. If they don’t stop it, the entire town could be doomed! To vanquish the threat of a rampaging Chalk Dragon, Sir Henry Penwhistle, Knight of La Muncha Elementary School, is going to have to do more than just catch his art–he’s going to have to let his imagination run wild. And THAT takes bravery.” (from Goodreads)
The synopsis, though accurately darling, doesn’t even say it all!!! Mrs. Trafton weaves in heart-breakingly-beautiful encouragement with her delicious writing style and hug-able characters. Think this is just a children’s book? IN NO WAY!!! Read it. Love it. Hug it. Be encouraged by it.
“It’s a dangerous thing to open a door. But that, after all, is the only way to find an adventure.” ~Henry and the Chalk Dragon
The Shield Ring, by Rosemary Sutcliff is a classic that has shaped everything I think a good story should be.
From Robin Hood-type characters to vivid world-building, this book is definitely one of my very favorites! ❤ I can’t even say a whole lot more without giving things away! *sobs*
Frytha is sweet and spunky and interesting, Bjorn (wow) the deepest most real yet lovable person, Aikin the Beloved is so, so beloved, and Gille and Ari Knudson make me grin with admiration and half wish I could be part of their brave Shield Ring. I cry at how drastically the story and characters’ lives change. I sigh as I hear Bjorn’s melodies rise into the night sky. I ache inside and yet somehow still feel happy as the book ends. You can read a proper review of this book here. 😉
Bonus! The Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit (best writing style in the history of ever BTW) was added to this list by Kate when she reminded me I copied down a billion quotes into my journal just so I could keep them with me. 🙂 Here are a few:
“The burglar was a large man who did not mean to have a beard, I think, but he had got some of one…”
“And he got up, and we dusted the kitchen floor off him.”
“H.O. was a little disagreeable because of the powder Eliza had given him, so he tried to read two books at once, one with each eye, just because Noel wanted one of the books.”
That’s all for now folks! Sorry about how long this post became, but I hope you enjoyed hearing about these five books that have changed my life. 🙂 Tell me your list! ~A