Some books are read and then easily forgotten. But there are those that, after many rereadings, still spend more time on the bedside table than on the shelf. Here are a few of those rare ones (in random order) that have stayed with me no matter how many other books I read.
1. THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, by J.R.R. Tolkien – My absolute favorite! Adventure, enchantment, wonder, depth, tragedy — all these and more. One does not just read about Middle Earth, but dwells in it, and never completely forgets
2. THE BLUE CASTLE, by L.M. Montgomery – My first L.M. Montgomery experience, and one of the most vivid memories of my childhood (I read this when I was about 11 years old). She enchanted me most with her whimsical and almost lyrical descriptions of nature; and her books became an unforgettable part of my childhood daydreams.
3. VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE, by Paulo Coelho – A beautiful young woman who has everything except the desire to live finally finds it while she is waiting to die. A wonderfully fulfilling story.
4. TIGANA, by Guy Gavriel Kay – Brilliant, satisfying, and lyrical. The characters are wonderfully complex, tragic, and unforgettably real. There is no lack of depth, intelligence, and intensity here. You’ll want to read it again and again.
5. WATERSHIP DOWN, by Richard Adams – An unexpectedly fast-paced, thrilling book combining epic fantasy, adventure, and ecological themes. There are moments of profound insight, heart-stopping suspense, and intense sadness. The emotions are raw, pulling you into the world of creatures with a fierce desire to live. All in all: a first class, fascinating read.
6. STATE OF WAR, by Ninotchka Rosca – A dreamy, intricate, poetic novel of the beauty and the heartbreak of a wartorn country’s history. Every Filipino seeking to find his or her national identity should read this book.
7. THE WIND’S TWELVE QUARTERS, by Ursula K. Le Guin – A collection of seventeen short stories from award winning F&FS writer Ursula K. Le Guin. I especially like “Semley’s Necklace”, “Darkness Box”, “Direction of the Road”, and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”.
8. THE COMPASS ROSE, by Ursula K. Le Guin – Also an anthology of short stories by Le Guin. My favorites are “The New Atlantis”, “The First Report of the Shipwrecked Foreigner to the Kadanh of Derb”, “The Diary of the Rose”, “The Pathways of Desire”, and “The Wife’s Story”.
9. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, by C. S. Lewis – A classic series beloved by generations of both children and adults all over the world. It’s a timeless masterpiece whose message never gets old.
1. I KISSED DATING GOODBYE, by Joshua Harris – A sincere, inspiring call to genuine romance and real purity in a time when the call to wait for true love is seldom heeded. I encourage every young person to look beyond the title and give this book a chance.
2. BOY MEETS GIRL, by Joshua Harris – A refreshingly honest, biblical look at relationships and how to avoid the heartaches and regrets of careless dating. A must-read.
3. WHERE IS GOD WHEN IT HURTS?, by Philip Yancey – All of us, at one time or another, have been haunted by this profound question. This book is an honest, straightforward look at the seeming paradox of the goodness of God and the presence of suffering in this world. A masterpiece, complete and moving without being sentimental. Where is God when it hurts? The same place He was when His Son was on the cross.
4. WHAT’S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE?, by Philip Yancey – Significant, compelling, powerfully convicting. This book explores the depth of love and sacrifice found in the word “grace” and emphasizes the responsibility of all Christians in spreading the message.
5. EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, by Josh Mcdowell – A must-read for every skeptic who is honestly investigating the claims of Christianity. Clear, precise, and factual – this book is an important defense of the faith. It explains how Christianity is not a “blind leap into darkness”, but rather a “step into the light”.
6. HE STILL MOVES STONES, by Max Lucado – Stories about hurting people who are changed by an encounter with the Savior. Stories of healing. Stories of hope. Stories of grace. They tell us that He really does understand, and He cares more than we dare to imagine. This is a book that will open our eyes to miracles.
7. CAN MAN LIVE WITHOUT GOD, by Ravi Zacharias – A brilliant and compelling defense of the Christian faith using a logical and philosophical approach. Recommended for all Christians who want to present an intellectual argument for the hope that we have, and for every skeptic who is honestly seeking answers.
8. CAPTIVATING, by John and Stasi Eldredge – Delving into the mysteries of the feminine soul, this memorable book attempts to describe a woman’s heart, its longings, and the way for them to be fulfilled. It encourages women to ground their identity on the Creator and to live the lives they were meant to live.