Monday, June 15, 2015

10 Books that have Stuck with Me

Here is a list of top books that I love and recommend to others. Naturally, the Bible is top of the list, but for purposes of variety, I'll note it here, but not put it in the official list.

The list is in no particular order, other than how they came to mind. My commentary on each book is in italics.

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The classic, heartfelt tale of four sisters growing into adulthood during the Civil War. This is a story that never grows old.

2. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
What if Adam and Eve never ate of the forbidden fruit? What if two fallen creatures were respectively trying to save and forfeit the untainted world?
In a beautiful, imaginative retelling of an Adam and Eve like story, Lewis paints pictures and give life to theological concepts in startling ways.

3. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
Ever wonder about all those philosophers? What would life look like if they were right about the world? Here's your chance to find out - as Sophie learns about philosophy, each perspective is applied to the life she lives. The ending is bizarre and wonderfully ironic. I refer to this book as my "handbook of philosophy." Never again say reading about philosophy is boring. 

4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
History, magic, good vs. evil, ordinary people, hidden royalty, unimaginable power, courage, friendship - The Lord of the Rings' depth and continuity will continue to amaze long after the last page of the last appendix has been read. Filled with wonderful lines, memorable scenes, and down to earth characters, this is one classic work you'll want to revisit time and again.

5. The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead
Lawhead seamlessly integrates numerous legends regarding Arthur and his men into this 5 book series. Those who have studied the legends to even a small extent will surely appreciate the genius of what he accomplished. Being able to weave these stand-alone , disconnected fragments into a memorable whole is truly outstanding...but you don't have to be an Arthur buff to appreciate these solid stories.

6. The Law by Frederic Bastiat
A simple, thought-provoking explanation of what the law ought to be. Highly readable. (I recommend the first half of the book, the second half is cumbersome and less interesting.)

7. This Was San Francisco by Oscar Lewis
This is a seminal work combining first hand accounts of San Francisco from the time it was just an outpost to that infamous earthquake. Lewis did a marvelous job bringing us the representative and important pieces on this city, while providing the needed commentary to make the transition from each piece smooth.

8. The Spirit of Early Christian Thought by Robert Louis Wilken
Easy to read, interesting, and informative about our forefathers of the faith. Originally read for Church History class, and was surprised when it ended up on my personal re-read shelf!

9. Persuasion by Jane Austen
My personal favorite from Austen. Yes, it tops Pride & Prejudice. That's pretty high praise. 

10. Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington 
A book everyone should read. If people had heeded his advice and learned from his story, America's story of race relations would have looked quite different.

What books have stuck with you?

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Trudy said...

I arrived at your site through Money Saving Mom's site. I can't believe I've read so few of these books! I'm especially interested in Sophie's World since my son studies philosophy at college. The book that has stayed with me the most is "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell.

Ruth Sophia said...

Thanks for stopping by, Trudy!

I first read Sophie's World in high school. During college I took a philosophy course every semester, and for the first year or two, I took this book to every class! It is one of the few books I own two copies of - one to mark up and one to read for pleasure. Since this is a novel of the history of philosophy it is not only readable, but engaging. I hope you like it!