Friday, March 20, 2015

Books that have influenced me

I've mentioned this article before and probably this one, too. Going off of this viral status from Facebook a few months ago, I thought it would be fun to share this in a blog post. I could probably write a post about each of these books, but I'll spare you. :)

“List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”

1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
I can't believe I haven't written about this book before. It is my all. time. favorite. I love it so much. I always go back to it when I'm feeling down, lonely or need some hope or to remind myself that I am redeemed. I recommend it to anyone who's looking for a book to read. The most amazing and beautiful love story you'll ever read. (Except for Jesus's that is).

2. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Oh, Anne. She makes me smile every single time. I have read this story many times and love it more each and every time. Sweet, whimsical Anne.

3. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
I read this in high school and it stuck with me. I don't even remember any details about it, just that it was about a nuclear war. And I loved it. This might have been the first book I read in high school that I absolutely loved.

4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

5. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
I have to admit that I'm a series kinda gal. I just love them. I get so invested in the characters and then want to read more and more and never want them to end! Harry Potter is quite the phenomenon. The books, the audiobooks read by Jim Dale, the movies, the world. David and I badly want to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Maybe one day. But this series is the first series that David and I enjoyed together. I started reading them long before he and I were even dating, but we watched all the movies together and I convinced him to read the books. Because he's not much of a reader, I got the audiobooks from the library for him. I used to read to him in the car on long trips until we discovered Jim Dale. We LOVE Jim Dale. :)

6. The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that these books influenced me so much. They were an extremely popular set of books in the Christian culture in the late 90's/early 2000's. When I transferred to UT in 2001, I started reading them. They kind of kept me company in an atmosphere of upheaval, before I made friends in Knoxville. Though the storyline was kind of hokey and I cringe a bit when I think of them, they definitely kept me occupied and entertained when I needed it.

7. The Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke
This series. Also an amazing set of books. I highly recommend them if you want Christian fiction set in pioneer times. I read this series for the first time when I was in 6th grade. I read them once per year for at least 7 years after that. I still return to them when I want warm fuzzies. The characters in those novels became true friends to me. I LOVED watching all the children grow up and reading their stories.

8. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This was one of my first experiences with racism. I grew up kind of sheltered and unaware - plus, I had friends of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds when I was growing up. This, I thought, was a very positive way to learn about it - I mean, Atticus Finch? Fantastic.

9. I kind of have to say Judy Blume. In middle school I read Just As Long As We're Together, Forever, Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret, Then Again Maybe I Won't, Blubber, It's Not the End of the World and the Fudge books.
She had a way of explaining important adolescent information that really struck a chord with me. Extremely relevant and impactful. I can't just name one of these books due to the impact they all seemed to have - I remember them, even now, 20ish years later.

10. The Bible
Though this feels like somewhat of a cop-out (I'm a Christian, so I'm supposed to say "the Bible", right?) I have to admit that the Bible has influenced my life more than any other book. Because I believe it is the living, breathing word of God, I take everything in it seriously and to heart. I believe that God talks to us through His word and I am so thankful that He has given us His words to refer to. I love reading about the completely imperfect people who followed God. I love seeing that God worked through them in amazing ways - and knowing, because of that, that He can do the same with me.

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