This post is lengthy with lots of links but don’t miss the giveaway at the end!

read books
I’m passionate about reading and about promoting reading in my circle of influence.  I’m on a quest to read the classics that I never really enjoyed in high school or never read at all. I hope this series will give you inspiration to begin a reading program of your own or to start a book club or reading group.  And let’s face it, none of us feel like we have time so it’s a matter of making it a priority.  Get up a little earlier and try doing 15 minutes of reading before you do anything else.   And never, ever go anywhere without a book.  You never know when you might stumble upon 15 unspoken-for minutes.

I’m using Susan Wise Bauer’s book The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had
as a guide and I started  a classical  bookclub (that’s four years old) of wonderful, smart friends that  are crazy enough to read Plato with me.  If you’re not a reader and think books aren’t for you, I wish I could sit down with you for an afternoon in my little library and tell you the stories of how all my books have changed my life.  My workroom is filled with my favorite books and when I travel, I miss them as much as I miss my bed.  Which is a lot!   I don’t have access to a good library so Amazon is my friend and my general rule is that I buy books on Kindle that I’m not sure if I’ll want to reread and order real paper and ink books otherwise.  Here are my beloved books!  You’d miss ’em too, wouldn’t you?!  Read books and live a richer and fuller inner life!

To start the series, I thought I’d share my 5 all time favorite books.  The ones I read over and over and over, year after year.



Most of the books I will list here I didn’t really ‘get’ until the second or third time through, so be patient with yourself if you’re embarking on a reading plan.

My 5 favorite, most often read books:  (You’ll notice my list is heavily skewed toward Lewis but I am a confessed Lewis super fan.)

1.  Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton

I love this book.  It’s difficult to read your first time through but don’t give up on it.  I love Philip Weingart’s words on Orthodoxy:

“Since Chesterton was both a genius and the son of a saner era than our own, the ideas which coursed through his head may astonish modern readers. He seems to turn the world on its head; the book is a continuous feast of the delightfully unexpected. To Chesterton, faith is reason, orthodoxy is liberty, the order of our universe is as unexpected as the wildest fairy tale, and heeding tradition is as natural as allowing all citizens to vote. Modern readers at first will think him just a little bit crazy, but as they warm up to his approach, they will begin to feel that perhaps his point of view is healthier than theirs, and in the best of cases, they will begin to right themselves.”

2.  Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

This is likely the most read book in our house and happens to be the book that  led Stevie back to the faith.  “A young [agnostic] can never be too careful what he reads,”  Lewis once said.  Chris Banescu writes:

“Mere Christianity is full of memorable and powerful revelations that elucidate the foundations of Christian theology, our relationship to God, and the meaning of life. Only C.S. Lewis could summarize such broad concepts so eloquently without coming across as overly-religious or preachy. His extraordinary ability to focus on the core tenets of Christianity and explain them with remarkable ease reinforces the wide appeal of his writings.”


3.  Evangelical is Not Enough by Thomas Howard

If you are searching for something more than you are finding in modern Christianity, this book will be a treasure to you.  If you are enjoying the gifts of God in the liturgy and sacraments, this book will deepen your gratitude.  This book is one of my favorites.   Peter Kreeft wrote,

“In this deeply moving narrative, Thomas Howard describes his pilgrimage from Evangelicalism (which he loves and reveres as the religion of his youth) to liturgical Christianity…. He describes Evangelicalism with great sympathy and then examines more formal, liturgical worship with the freshness of someone discovering for the first time what his soul had always hungered for.”

4.  The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

This book is a fantasy about heaven and hell and unlike anything you’ve ever imagined about either.  It’s a gem of a book and one that you’ll want to read at least twice.  Steve and I have both read it many times and we often will compare people we meet in our daily life to Lewis’ brilliant descriptions of people in the book.  It’s short and can be finished in a day or two.

 “I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) has not been lost: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in ‘the High Countries’.”


5. The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis

Maybe it’s because I’ve known some suffering in my life but this book is like no other.   Lewis speaks to the impossible question of why there is suffering in the world and what that suffering means.  I’ve read it so many times that it’s like an old friend.  I read twice last year and already once this year.  It’s hard to pick a favorite quote because there are so many good ones but from chapter 6:

“The human spirit will not even begin to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are, the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked , unmistakable evil, every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt…..And the pain is not only recognizable evil, but evil impossible to ignore. We rest contentedly in our sins and stupidities…..and can even ignore our pleasures, but pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Runner up for most loved book:
Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis

I read this book as a present to myself for my 40th birthday and wrote about how this book made real to me my own desperate condition.  I just reread it for book club and  have no less than 40 pages tabbed of perfect Lewis quotes.  It’s the retelling of the Cupid myth and its’ central theme is love.  Lewis claimed it was his best work and I may just have to agree.

And my most used book:    The Lutheran Book Of Prayer

This book is my constant companion.  I read prayers in it every day and copy appropriate ones to give to people who are struggling with this or that life issue.   It’s one of my favorite things to give as a gift and it’s the perfect size to fit into your purse, car, desk.   There are 4 sets (I think) of prayers for the specific days of the week and then prayers for every holiday, church festival, special day, etc.  There are also a host of prayers of petition, for every conceivable situation imaginabl


I also just happen to have an extra copy that I’d love to give away so if you’ll leave a comment listing your 5 (or 1 or 2, etc) all time favorite books, I’ll pick a giveaway winner soon.   Giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday!

On my reading list this weekend:
1.  Finish Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
2.  Continue The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis (Plus)
(thanks for the recommendation Dan)
3.  Continue reading The Diary of a Young Girl (Everyman’s Library (Cloth))
aloud to the girls.

Hope you enjoy a great book or two this weekend and now tell me your favorite book(s) for a chance to win!

Post Edit::  I’m also thinking of setting up a live chat to finish our Grace Upon Grace book study.  If you’d be interested, send me an email to let me know! And I should perhaps have put my Lutheran Study Bible as number 1 but it seems to need a category of its own but is indeed my very favorite book! I’m loving your suggestions so far!


71 comments on “Read Books and Live Well, part 1”

  1. I love that yuou are so passionate about books. So am I. And I love that you have built such a large library of books so quickly since the fire.

    I read Mere Christianity last year, but for some reason it annoyed me. But I will give it, and other Lewis books, another chance. I know how much you care for them. Have always wanted to read Chesterton, but have yet to try him.

    I’m going some life changes, and my favourite books are changing. I’m dropping some that have been important for a long time in favour of others. My very favourite book though is the Red Tent (Anita Diamant). I just love it.

    Tell me..are you on goodreads? I’d love to see your reading list/ ratings of books.

  2. pretty passionate about reading, myself. i am reading the bonhoeffer now. i love to read about people. real ones. you have made me add the till we have faces to my want to read list. my favorite book of all time is left to tell by immaculee ilibagiza. it’s a memoir of the 1994 rwandan genocide. immaculee lived 91 days in a tiny bathroom. she had an incredible spiritual experience and was “left to tell” the genocide story and her story of extreme forgiveness. most excellent read.

  3. It’s a super easy read, but is life transforming and it’s a true story. . “Same Kind of Different as Me.” Also, “1000 Gifts” is tied for first 🙂 Have a GREAT day and I hope you get LOTS of reading done this weekend 🙂

  4. Hi Edie!

    I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. I know it’s 4 books, but they’re really just part of one whole. ( ;

    I also love Mere Christianity. I’ve read it a few times and I need to branch out into others that Lewis wrote. You’ve inspired me to get started on that again. I recently re-read This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, a novel about spiritual warfare. I like his writing as well.

    I’ve been wanting to read Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer, so I think I will order that today! Thanks for the list–hope you have a great weekend!

  5. I want to read all of these! A few of my favorites are “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde and “Antills on the Savannah” by Chinua Achebe – I read both in high school and they have stuck with me for years. Another one that I read on my own that stuck with me is “Counterfeit Gods” by Tim Keller.

    I also recently read “The Fault in Our Stars” and really enjoyed it.

  6. I have Mere Christianity on my nightstand and this post reminded me to get back to it! The Great Divorce also changed my eternal perspective and I am often amazed by the things others can’t let go of to come to Jesus.

    My favorites are Jane Eyre, the Little House Series, Cold Sassy Tree and East of Eden.

    I am reading Unbroken at the moment…it is quite a story of survival. Happy reading Edie…I wish I was in your book club!

  7. Your list is so much like mine – I almost never read fiction any more and I think I probably need to, just for balance! I also love Lewis and have only read snippets of Chesterton, so I’ll put that on my list. I’m a Tozer fan too. But my “contemporary” favorite is Tim Keller. My copy of Reason for God is so dog-eared and highlighted and is second only to my Bible in the number of times it has been dragged to Sunday School classes and church camp studies for reference. I love everything he’s written (his book on marriage is in my “to read” pile.) My latest BFF is Jen Hatmaker – have you read her? She is one of us, only moreso!

  8. I am reading Boundaries right now. For this people pleaser, it is a real eye opener. I’ve read Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letter by Lewis and loved them. To be honest, I never really have thought about re-reading books. I think I may have to go pull Mere Christianity off the shelf and see what new insight I gather.

  9. Reading is my favorite hobby, and I usually read at least one book a week. For non-fiction Christian books, my favorite authors are C.S. Lewis and Bill Hybels – obviously very different but I really like them both. I keep meaning to read Orthodoxy so thanks for the reminder! As for fiction, I love House of Mirth, Persuasion, Anna Karenina, and anything by Trollope. The best contemporary fiction book I’ve read recently is Bloodroot, which I read shortly after and as a result of your recommendation. I second the earlier question – are you on Goodreads? I’m on there; I’m the Heather Adams in Raleigh.

  10. 1. Till We Have Faces
    2. Middlemarch (you would love it. You really must stick with it for a 100 pages before you judge it)
    3. Stepping Heavenward

  11. Is your classical bookclub online or a flesh-and-blood entity? I am looking for a reading buddy, and several online friends have suggested starting a group. Would you mind e-mailing me to talk about how you started yours?

  12. 1. Orthodoxy is at the top of the list for sure! I will take a week (or three) to digest a chapter one at a time. Chesterton is genius and I’ve already reserved years of coffee time to chat with him in heaven! 😉 You should join us!
    2.My Utmost for His Highest. I’ve reread it every year since I was 17!
    3. Pride and Prejudice. Because I’m a girl. I read the entire thing to my firstborn while he was a babe and nursing. He will be quite the gentleman because of it.
    4. In the Name of Jesus. Because I have to be constantly reminded what real humility is.
    5. Ragamuffin Gospel. To remind myself how big God’s grace is.
    P.S. Have you read Lewis’ book, Letters on Prayer (I think is the title), in which he writes to his friend about prayer and what happens when we pray? It might be out of print, but I read it last year and LOVED it! (Made me reserve Pub time with Clive in heaven. ;))

  13. I LOVE reading! Here are my top 5…

    1. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett- was a gift from my grandma on the day I was born…it was her favorite book growing up!
    2. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein- I want to live in a hobbit house 🙂
    3. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis- my dad would read these aloud to my sister and I when we were growing up
    4. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
    5. Matilda by Roald Dahl

  14. Hi Edie!
    I love words, books, all of it.
    1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Dawn Treader, and of course The Last Battle.
    2. The O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson. I love the story of these 7 brothers and sisters, and there are love stories involved. Dee is a great writer, I have almost every book she’s written.
    3. Hidden Places by Lynn Austin. It’s a great story telling the story of a family that is broken and learning to trust God in the middle of hardship. Beautifully written.
    4. The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. The CEO of World Vision writes about what a holistic Gospel looks like, and what our invitation looks like. Challenging.
    5. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It’s like sitting with Don at a coffee shop and he tells you stories. A keeper.

  15. Love that library of yours. I’m also jealous you have found friends to read the classics with–I’ve yet to find a club of women who would. If only you lived on my lake down here in SC and we could chat. Thank you to the commenter above about that book club –I’m going to head to that site in a minte here. I still love Lewis’ “four loves” and “the pilgrim’s regress” a great deal. one of the best books I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a whole lotta them) is “The Island of the World”– it’s long, and takes a hundred pages or so to get in (900 pages long) but the story swallows you and your life until you finish, and then you never forget it. Ever.

    Currently reading “Crime and Punishment” , a running memoir I can’t remember the name of but it makes me want to run (a good thing), “the mission of
    motherhood”, “the everlasting meal”, and the most recent Jan Karon novel.I have the Bonhoeffer book on my shelf with big plans. T

    My reading is very broad, and I’ve got something of every sort in the works at any given time. I think I signed up for a good read account one time, but never use it. I do have a commonplace book, in which I record something about every book I read. What do people love about goodreads–is it something I should spend more time on? Advice to a fellow reader welcome.

  16. I love that you warn us that a post about books and reading is wordy! I think that we just might be book soul mates because your top five are all in my top ten.
    Chesterton and Lewis are by far my top favorites for Christian writing, and otherwise! Have you ever read Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday”? A great quick read and interesting to see his style in fiction. Such a prolific writer, but it is sometimes hard to find his stuff!
    My tastes in books are bizarre, and random. I’ll read just about anything. I love Thomas Hardy, Jane Austin, Kurt Vonnegut, Orson Scott Card and George R. Martin are my sci-fi/fantasy faves, Lois Lowry for Young Adult reads, and Geraldine Brooks is a new passion (read People of the Book!).
    I second Carin’s question: are you on Goodreads? I think I would love your “bookshelf” after seeing your top 5!

  17. I love to read:
    1. The Bible- I read big huge chapters, and a Psalm to get my day going
    2. John Calvin’s Institutes- A must for the pilgrim on the way.
    3. Susan Wise Bauer- History of the Ancient World
    4. Susan Wise Bauer- A Well Trained Mind- I use this as sort of my constant guide,comfort and bible of my homeschool adventure.
    5. The Wheel on the Schoolhouse- to my son, it’s a wonderful
    6. Joel Beeke- Anything from his children’s series “Built on the Rock.”
    7. My “Cooking Light,” Magazine

    Happy Reading.

  18. Oh! my favorite book and author;

    Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
    also Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry.

    Just a lovely and sublime read.

  19. Too hard to list just one, but thank you for your list. I need to read the classics too. Among my favorites: Same Kind of Different as Me, Outlander series, The Secret Garden (as a child), Mere Christianity….love books…thank you Lord….and of course the Bible.

  20. I also love C.S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letters is one I read over and over again. I’ve read Mere Christianity a few times, but it’s been a while. I’ll have to bring it back out. Little Britches by Ralph Moody, Christy by Catherine Marshall, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and all of Jane Austen’s books are just a few of my favorites. I went through Books Children Love and began reading classics I hadn’t read as a child. I’ve not been disappointed.

    I would love your Book of Prayer. I have read so many beautiful prayers from it here on your blog.

  21. I just realized i have not received your blog posts in my email since March 19th. Are you still delivering posts via email?

  22. I hadn’t read your review of Til we have Faces, but I clicked over and loved it. It is SUCH a great book. Lewis has this uncanny way of exposing the hideousness of our culturally acceptable sins. I love that in his books. Thanks for sharing this list. Some of my favorites are
    1. All of C.S. Lewis fiction. All of it. I rotate through re-reading it.
    2. The Anne of Green Gables series.
    3. Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard (this was hard to get through, but it has such great insights.)
    4. How People Grow by Cloud and Townsend. I also really like their Boundaries book, but How People Grow is very insightful and helpful in understanding the way God has designed us to grow in community.

  23. Edie-I absolutely love to read. I am always with a book. We have an awesome library and my card is always maxed with holds. There are so many books on my Amazon wish list that i would need to inherit a fortune to purchase all of them. I have bookcases filled with books everywhere in my home.
    Some of my all time favorites:
    1) Pride & Prejudice
    2) Jane Eyre
    3) Screwtape Letters
    4) Mere Christianity
    5) Evangelical Is Not Enough-I read this on your recommendation and absolutely love it.
    I love all the books you read and often read them myself. Ever since I was little I have carried a book with me everywhere.
    I would love a chance to win a prayer book. It is at the top of my list at Amazon.

  24. I love to read biographies of Christians, and my favorite is Elisabeth Elliot’s Through the Gates of Splendor. I finished the Bonheoffer book last month and loved that too. I had checked it out from the library, but ended up buying it in hardcover. Other favorites are Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss (which I keep by my bed to read again and again) and The Heaven Tree Trilogy by Edith Pargeter.

  25. Here’s the Lewis I’m reading right now, which I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned yet: his sci-fi trilogy (2nd book now – Perelandra)! I’m a little leery about making it to the 3rd; I’ve never gotten through that one. But I’m nearly 48 years old, and I can do it!! (slow and steady wins the race – that one may end up a ‘bathroom book’ LOL)

  26. Oh it’s so hard to narrow down a list! I guess my all time favorites that I reread the most would have to be Little Women, the Anne of Green Gables books, all things Harry Potter, and Mere Christianity. And Gone With the Wind. In no particular order because I love them all. My runners up are my fluffy, guilty pleasure, rainy day reads…the Twilight series, the Ya-Ya Sisterhood series, and anything by Robin Jones Gunn (I grew up on the Christy and Sierra books). OH! And I’m in the middle of Atlas Shrugged right now and I can’t put it down. It might make the top 6. 🙂 Wow my list is heavy on fiction. I never realized how seldom I reread nonfiction! I guess the joy of fiction is its ability to transport you to another place and time…and the ability to go back for another visit anytime you want. 🙂

  27. Well I’m just about finished with Grace Upon Grace. I read the Lutheran Study Bible daily and I started but haven’t finished The Great Divorce. I really liked The Hunger Games too !

  28. Oh, I am with you – I LOVE BOOKS!!! There are so many favorites! I am reading a wonderful one right now, Every Day A Friday by Joel Osteen. Highly Recommend! I am also working on The Odyssey. Other favorites are The Omnivore’s Delimma, Same Kind of Different as me, The Screwtape Letters. I did read the book you recommended a year or so ago – Bloodroot Mountain. It wasn’t my style – but I do appreciate your suggestions 🙂 HAPPY READING!!

  29. I always enjoy your post on what you are reading. Books and reading our my family’s passion as well. And many of us are super Lewis fans too! But my personal favorite is The Bible. It is so rich and alive and powerful when the Spirit assists in leading you into its truths.

    Thanks for always being open and sharing your love of faith in Christ and extolling the merits of reading to open our eyes of understanding.

  30. Hi Edie,
    Let’s see, I feel so foolish telling you what I read because it is all guilty pleasure reading, for sure. Right now I am reading the Hunger Games Series. I have to say some of my top reads are Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and the Harry Potter Series. I think I have a thing for young adult literature lol. I am embarrassed to say, I have never read CS Lewis. I would love to, but feel that I wouldn’t even know which book to read first. I am always in awe of your reading lists because you take on such accomplished writers and I am envious of your ability to do so! I love the bible and try to read some daily so I would love a copy of your Lutheran Prayer book 🙂

  31. I have a great love of books also – there are not enough hours in the day. My favorite at the moment is Kisses From Katie. Absolutely inspiring! I’m sure I’ll have a new favorite next week.

  32. A few of my favorite reads are The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace? by James Montgomery Boice. I also enjoy P.D. James’ mysteries and love it when my husband reads Michael Horton books out loud to me and my kids!

  33. Picking favorite books is like picking favorite friends, there are too many that I love to name only five, but here are some that have a special place in my heart.
    1) Lutheran Service Book (hymnals count, right?)
    2) Spirituality of the Cross – Gene Veith
    3) No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series – Alexander McCall Smith
    4) These Is My Words – Nancy Turner (the whole trilogy is great)
    5) The Well-Educated Mind – Susan Wise Bauer (because through this book the classics have been opened to me.)

  34. Love this post! And end almost every night wishing I had made more time for reading that day- I’m passionate about books and want to steep my children in a love for reading. You nailed most of my favorite:
    -Till We Have Faces
    -Mere Christianity
    -The Screwtape Letters
    -The Valley of Vision (Puritan prayer book- amazing)
    -The Great Tradition (new, rich resource- collection of essays on beauty of learning from Plato to Lewis…cannot recommend highly enough). Thanks!

  35. I love this post! Have you read Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship? Incredible. Lewis is also my favorite author, so my list resembles yours. But it’s hard to pick just a few faves.

    1. Till We Have Faces
    2. Surprised By Joy
    3. Walking On Water – Madeleine L’Engle
    4. The Hidden Art – Edith Schaeffer
    5. Oh gosh, 5 is not enough. I’ll make #5 some of my favorite authors. Lewis, Chesterton, George McDonald, L’Engle, Dorothy Sayers, and so many more!

    I would love to take a look at the Lutheran Prayer book!

  36. trying to think of a few that i stumbled on that may not be listed yet..
    love walked in
    expecting adam
    the history of love

    all three full of rich characters and unexpected story lines..

  37. Loved the Bonhoffer bio. It was the most through and readable as well. It’s been a while since i have done much non fiction reading to my own dullness! Your post was a good reminder to get back into some mental stretching! Pls it just makes me sharper for living!

  38. love to read…don’t make enough time for it…working on two books right now that will make 4 for 2102 so far…really need to get busy to get to the 12-15 that I want to read this year.

    ~Mere Christianity by Lewis
    ~Anne of Green Gables by Montgomery
    ~The Hiding Place-Corrie Ten Boome
    ~Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Stowe
    ~Same Kind of Different as Me by Hall & Moore
    ~The Pursuit of God by Tozer
    oops…gave 6. I wouldn’t say that all of these are my most favorite ever of all time, but I’ve read them all within the past year and they’ve each taught me things that stuck….those are the books that count.

    I’d LOVE your lutheran book of prayer….perfect way to start my day!

  39. I love your list and have read a few of them myself.

    My 5 favorite books are:

    1.) All books written by Jamie Langston Turner

    2.) And Ladies of the Club by Helan Hooven Saintmyer

    3.) The Healing Anointing by Brother Hagin

    4.) A Table in The Wilderness, Devotions by Watchman Nee

    5.) The Spirit Filled Bible NKJ (This is really my number one pick.)

  40. here are a few that jump to mind:
    Practicing His Presence by Brother Lawrence
    1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp
    Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
    Mitford Books Jan Karon
    Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea
    I love books, surround myself with them. Have them stacked on shelves, on end tables, in kitchen and bathrooms,nightstands..Coffee table books too, like Nell Hill
    will be doing a post before long on my current bookstack , and my summer stack. Am intrigued to chekc out some of yours!
    Would also love to add your favorite to my stacks! 🙂

  41. The best part of spring vacation is having time to read! We go to the library and load up on books. I love all kinds of books, from biographies to mysteries to novels… I just read a biography of Katherine Luther. Some of my favorites include Anne of Avonlea, Little Women, all kinds of children’s books.

  42. Just five is tough and not in any order…Redeeming Love Francine Rivers, The Hobbit, 1000 Gifts, The Bait of Satan John Bevere, Anne of Green Gables. There just aren’t enough hours in my day to read. I often find myself envying the hours my children have to get lost in a book. I do not wish my season away but I do look forward to the hours I will have to read when the children are grown.

    “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
    ― C.S. Lewis

  43. Such a great idea! Thanks for your suggestions.
    Here are some of my fans…
    Pride and Prejudice
    Little Women
    The Chronicles of Narnia series
    One Thousand Gifts
    The Help

  44. I’m so glad you are doing this series. I have 3 kids 3 and under and I always make excuses to do something else (like watch netflix) during down time. I still read but not as much as I would like. I don’t want my brain to go to mush now that I’m not being challenged like I was in college. Reading keeps the mind sharp and happy! I know the giveaway is over but I’d still like to share my favorite books: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I’ve read those several times in the last 15 years and each time the book hits me differently.

    PS. you were my inspiration to start a book club a year ago. So glad I did!

  45. Sacred Marriage~Gary Thomas
    Sacred Influence~Gary Thomas
    The Rare Jewell of Christian Contentment~Jerimiah Burroughs
    One Thousand Gifts~Ann Voskamp

  46. I pray for all christian authors, so we and our children may continue to be able to be fed with spiritual literature!
    Hard to find a favourite butI love Randy Alcorn’s books and my fav has to be Safely home.
    Am reading Lyn Austen’s books aboutKing Hezekiah at the moment which makes me go back to the Bible redaing kings, chronicles And Isaiah. Also ‘Grace for the good girl’, haven’t quite finished it but love it!
    Books about slavery -Alex Hurley’s’Roots.
    Favourite devotional at the moment “Streams in the desert”.

  47. Great inspiration to read something nourishing and to make reading a priority. I read The Great Divorce and it never really left me like many good books. I haven’t delved into Chesterton but the small excerpts I have heard on Catholic radio and tv have been excellent. Thank you for the recommendations.

  48. My favorite books of all time countdown looks like this:
    5. The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. They make me laugh out loud. Love them!
    4. The Chronicles of Narnia.
    3. One Thousand Gifts – Ann Voskamp. This book has profoundly chnaged my life.
    2. My Bible alongside my journal.
    1. Redeeming Love- Francine Rivers. This book has been my favorite for years. I read it over and over again and often give it as a gift. It is simply the most beautifully written book of fiction that I have ever read. I love books with the power to teach, challenge and encourage. This one does them all.

  49. Love your list and that you re-read the best ones! So do I……’s my list (at least, my faves for today):

    1. Crime and Punishment
    2. The Divine Comedy
    3. How Should We Then Live
    4. To Kill a Mockingbird
    5. Anything by C.S. Lewis

  50. My list won’t be in the same category as most because I have horrible attention deficit but first and foremost my favorite read is God’s Holy Word ( The Bible), currently reading Your Already Amazing by Holley Gerth ( I want her as my best friend her on earth), As Jesus Passed By ( copyright 1905) full of good old sermons, C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity (just started it because my feeble brain will need lots of time to digest it) andin God’s perfect timing, and Joy&Strength (original copyright 1901). I love good old reads.

  51. Hi Edie,

    I’ve been doing the same; using SWB’s The Well-Educated Mind as a reading list. Don’t know that I read fast enough to read all those books 3 times, making thorough notes on each! Of course, I’d read several of the books already in high school and college, but was shocked at how many I have not read. Up next is Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy. I’m interspersing with current novels and some faith-oriented reading. Thrilled to see Kreeft, Howard and Chesterton on yours.

    My 5 faves off the top of my head are:
    Jane Eyre
    Life of Pi
    Little Women
    Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz

  52. I love your suggestions!!

    One of my fav’s is- Secrets of the Secret Place
    Oh and the Celebration of Discipline

    Question, do you use books on CD for your girls?? Could you suggest some that are good??? Focus on the family?? Adventures in Odyssey???

  53. Edie – I’ve read your blog for several years but not sure I’ve commented – I share your love of literature and liturgy and the Lord….and if truth be told butter. Many of the same books you adore – I do as well. The Great Divorce and Until We Have Faces are my favorite Lewis books that run around in my mind more often than the others, I’ve read Tolkien to my 4 and 5 year old and listened to Harry Potter on CD several times. Not sure I can add to the lists here but one of my new favorites is
    Gilead (and Home) by Marilynne Robinson – rambling stories with thoughtful reflection of an older Lutheran minister.
    My favorite classics are the Russian authors – Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina
    I’m reading Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage based on some sermons I heard during my engagement 11 years ago and I’m so grateful I had some of these truths running through my head as I entered marriage and continue’ pilgrimage’ with my husband.

  54. Edie —

    First, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. I stumbled upon it while blog browsing one day and it didn’t take me long to subscribe. And I REALLY appreciate this post! Books are such a wonderful way to educate ourselves. Your work room exudes energy and creativity surrounded by all those books. I’ll admit, it’s nice to know I’m not the only that has to read some books a few times for the content to completely soak in. One of those authors is Bonhoeffer — his style is difficult but once you get an understanding of it, his content is so rich and life changing. I’m working my way through his book, “Ethics” right now and C.S. Lewis, “The Four Loves” (also a challenge).

    Some of my favorites: A.W. Tozer, “The Pursuit of God” — one of the best books I’ve ever read. Excellent for a hungry Christian heart. I saw someone wrote about Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” — that one is great as well. Just finished it and am now into Keller’s “Counterfit Gods”. Scot McKnight’s “The King Jesus Gospel” is excellent as well. He argues the gospel has been “hijacked” and watered down, missing the intent and actual message of the apostles. Interesting stuff.

    Thanks for sharing and allowing us to do the same!

    Blessings 🙂

  55. I just finished reading Jane Eyre last week. It was recommended by one of my former preacher’s daughter. It was here favorite book ever. Not mine, but I was glad she challenged me to read this classic. Somehow I managed to miss a lot of classics in school. I think it was because I took AP Lit in high school and we focused on Shakespeare and Dickens for our test. I did read The Lord of the Rings trilogy over the fall/winter. I just became an elementary school librarian and I saw those books on the shelf and thought, “I’m going to read them.” And I did! Glad you guys enjoyed The Hunger Games. Another good series, which I did the first book with my 4th grade classes this year, is Among The Hidden. It’s kind of on the same line as Hunger Games. My students would beg to keep reading it when we’d have to stop because class was over.

  56. love that you are talking about your favorite books…the Bible (goes without saying)..A Severe Mercy about love, friendship with C.S. Lewis and devotion to the love of your life (spouse); Francine Rivers-Redeeming Love; The Circle Maker-Mark Batterson (just finished..a must read about prayer); Iron John by Robert Bly; Same Kind of Different as Me-Ron Hall and Denver Moore; What’s So Amazing About Grace-Phillip Yancey; Tuesdays with Morrie-Mitch Albom; Crazy Love-Frances Chan….and the list goes on!!!!

  57. Just found you today and although the giveaway is over I wanted to list one of my favorite books that I love and have read many time; Gifted Hands, the Ben Carson Story. This book is so inspirational.

  58. Well, since this a discussion of favorite books, I’ll try to give my top 5 authors/titles from different ‘genres’..These are books that I didn’t see mentioned above: Kevin Leman; for growth in God: John Piper; to understand male fun and living: Gary Paulsen; really enjoyed the 2 books on the Gilbreth family of 12 kids: Cheaper by the Dozen; and on understanding a different historical perspective, I liked the book ‘Lies my Teacher Told Me’…oh, and I also really loved the book series by Mildred Taylor.

  59. My favorite Christian book so far is Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. It is all about God’s sovereignty in al parts of the world and your life. I have given it away, recommended it and read it and reread it.

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