Books I Recommend

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photo by Libby

The King James Version of the Bible
Rather obvious from my posts, but just in case you hadn’t noticed…

Poetry
Amy Carmichael (each poem feels like a full-course dinner)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (wordsmith!)
Ogden Nash (
hilariously profound, nonsensical but sensical at the same time)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning ( her works make me overwhelmed with a sense of how far I still need to go in my poetic powers)
Emily Dickinson (her style is unconventional, but her poems are also unconventionally thought-provoking)

The Peanuts comic strips by Charles Shulz
Love these!!!!! Linus is my favorite character, but I have a special spot for Charlie Brown—he reminds me of me. Actually, I have a bit of all the characters in me, which is why I and so many other people love them—they are so real.

 

ADULT/ TEEN BOOKS
Books by Corrie ten Boom
The Hiding Place (the story of how she and her family harbored Jews during World War II and went to concentration camps as a result. Splendid story, splendid writing, definitely a must-read. It sparked my fascination with the Jewish people.)
In My Father’s House (the story of her family and their doings before the war)
Tramp for the Lord

To Train Up a Child (Michael and Debi Pearl)
It will revolutionize the way you view and do parenting! Do yourself a favor and read it. Do your children a favor and live it.

They Called Me Mama (Margaret Nicholl Laird)
A missionary in Africa for 50 years, Mrs. Laird recounts miraculous stories of God working in her, her family, and the people with whom she shared the Gospel. Your faith will be refreshed and challenged!

Evidence Not Seen (Darlene Diebler Rose)
Outstanding book!! Story of missionaries to Indonesia (I think…it’s been a long time since I read it.) The second World War brought Japanese internment camps in which these missionaries were kept till the end of the war, with some surviving and others not. Darlene later returned to minister to the island where she lost so much.

Eva’s Story (Eva Schloss)
A similar story to that of Corrie ten Boom, except Eva and her family are Jews themselves. I love books about the Jewish people, but this one was special, in the way Eva attributed her survival of Auschwitz to God and found so much positivity or humor in such a bleak situation.

Just Friends (Mike Ray and Cary Schmidt)
Extremely helpful to me in these turbulent teen years of ragged emotions and frequently disabled judgment. Biblical principles for boy/girl relationships.

Gifted Hands (Ben Carson)
The story of a boy’s triumph over circumstances to become a great neurosurgeon.

Ben-Hur (Lew Wallace)
I would like to say I read the entire thing, but I have never gotten to the first section. I plunged right into Judah’s story when I started the book many years ago. But the parts I have read are brilliantly plotted and worded and woven together to create the wonderful climax. Judah is an intriguing character, though he made me mad by his infatuation with Iras. Why do good guys go for bad girls??? But the ending was infinitely satisfying.

So Much More (Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin)
A book written by two Christian young ladies, sisters, who call for a return to Biblical daughterhood and womanhood. Discusses our roles in relation to our modern world, family, marriage, church, God.

Books by Elizabeth Elliot
Through Gates of Splendor (the story of five missionary couples in Ecuador)
Let Me Be a Woman (notes to her daughter about womanhood’s roles)
A Chance to Die (excellent biography of Amy Carmichael)
A Path through Suffering (the title is rather self-explanatory)
The Journals of Jim Elliot (a compilation of her husband’s journals through the years)
Passion and Purity (the story of principles that guided her courtship with Jim Elliot)

My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers)
A devotional book with a Bible verse and lesson for every day of the calendar. I was absorbed after the first page! There’s so much meat in each piece.

Pearl (Donita Dyer)
A story of war-torn Armenia and a girl who set off on the adventure of a lifetime to become a mail-order bride. This story will tear you to pieces with its tragedy and humor—be warned.

God’s Smuggler (Brother Andrew, John and Elizabeth Sherrill)
About a man called Brother Andrew, a Dutchman who smuggled Bibles to closed countries behind the Iron Curtain and beyond.

The Rivers of Judah (Catherine Farnes)
This book made me cry. Judah was just so heroic and miserable and Rebekah I could identify with in so many ways.

Rebekah’s Diary (Rebekah Pearl)
The challenging story of a young woman who went to give the Gospel in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.

Books by Isobel Kuhn
By Searching
In the Arena
Stones of Fire
Nests Above the Abyss
Whom God Has Joined
Second Mile People
Green Leaf in Drought Time

Jungle Pilot (Russell T. Hitt)
The gripping story of Nate Saint, one of the five missionaries killed in Ecuador with Jim Elliot while trying to evangelize a savage tribe of Indians.

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
Love this story! Jane is so strong in principle though she has every excuse not to be.

Code Talker (Joseph Bruchac)
Never made up my mind if this sounded like fiction or biography. But very thorough and informative and fascinating for those who enjoy books about World War 2 and the Navajo code talkers. I found it amazing how much they had to overcome to get to be code talkers and then how much they affected the war. This book mentions a great deal of Navajo religious rituals and superstitions as fact, which I didn’t care for; I skipped those parts or analyzed them through what I know as truth.

Biographies:
Mary Slessor
Eric Liddell
Jonathan Goforth
Isobel Kuhn
Gladys Aylward
Amy Carmichael
William Carey

Books by Hannah Hurnard
Hinds’ Feet on High Places (
I love allegories, and I could identify with Much-Afraid)
Mountains of Spices (
continues Much-Afraid’s story)

Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)
Another allegory! And a good one. Gives a better understanding of the Bible for sure.

 

CHILD/ TEEN BOOKS
Little House on the Prairie series (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
These felt so real to me as a missionary kid with a pioneer father and homemaking mother. I especially sympathized with Laura because we were both short and brown and lovers of open spaces and poetry. And the descriptions of food were killing, for new missionaries homesick for American cuisine! Farmer Boy was the worst for that.
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
On the Banks of Plum Creek
Farmer Boy
By the Shores of Silver Lake
The Long Winter
Little Town on the Prairie 
These Happy Golden Years
The First Four Years

Johnny Tremain (Esther Forbes)
One of the first Revolutionary War books I ever read, and thoroughly interesting. Johnny, Cilla, Rab, Isanna, Dusty, Miss Lavinia, and the other characters were distinct and entertaining. A good mixture of sad and sweet, history and fiction, love and war.

Books by Louisa May Alcott
Moods (how a girl’s lack of discipline over her personality leads to heartache)
The Inheritance (how an Italian servant girl discovers she is actually an heiress)
Little Women series: Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys (read and loved them all! Dan’s story was my favorite, though it’s sad. Or maybe because it is. Demi and Nat were also great.)
An Old Fashioned Girl (I like to think of myself as a Polly, but I am not half as sweet or resourceful as she is. Tom had my sympathy the whole way, even though he was stupid at times.)
Eight Cousins series: Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom (Alcott knows how to create characters you root for and laugh and cry over. Mac was my favorite of the cousins and Phebe was so strong and good and determined. I have a childhood friend like Charlie.)
Shawl Straps (a hilarious story of three girls on a European tour; the France part sounded like the country my parents minister in.)
Work: A Story of Experience (a sad, sweet, tumultuous, triumphant story of a young lady working through all the phases of life on her own)

Alexi’s Secret Mission (Anita Deyneka)
Sobering yet heartwarming story of Christians in Siberia, and the choices young Alexi and his sister must make as believers in a country which outlaws them.

Books by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables series
The Story Girl series
Chronicles of Avonlea
Further Chronicles of Avonlea

The Story of Helen Keller (Lorena Hickok)
Read this many times as a child, intrigued by the story of a blind, deaf, mute girl who was able to live a full and successful life as a result of her teacher Annie Sullivan.

The Miracle Worker (William Gibson)
Helen Keller’s Teacher (Margaret Davidson)
Both of these were books about Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s extraordinary teacher and companion. I found her story just as interesting as Helen’s, because she had her own struggles as a child and also had sight problems.

The Elsie Dinsmore series (Martha Finley)
Twenty-eight books following the life of Elsie Dinsmore and her family. Written in the late 1800s, these stories take Elsie from a little girl growing up on a Southern estate all the way into her old age, surrounded by children and grandchildren who love God as she does. I love books about the 1800s, and this series definitely fulfilled my desire for history of that time period, as well as my search for Christian fiction. Some resent this series’ saturation of Bible verses and Elsie’s hyper-sensitive conscience and the general innocence and simplicity of most of the characters. I think your reaction to this series really does show the condition of your taste—whether it is Christ centered or world centered.

Beyond the Smoke (Terry Burns)
This book will hold you hostage with its engrossing story of the Old West—a wagon train, Indians, Texas rangers, and through it all delightful Christian characters with healthy doses of humor and conviction.

Beautiful Girlhood (Mabel Hale)
An excellent guide to becoming a Christ-like young lady, for preteens and up. Written a while back, as one can tell from its style, but relevant and helpful.

The Arby Jenkins series (Sharon Hambrick)
The hilarious misadventures of a modern preteen and his circle of friends as they work through the vicissitudes of life and faith.
Arby Jenkins (in which we meet Arby and his everyday tragedies)
Arby Jenkins, Mighty Mustang (Arby goes to camp and meets Stuart)
Arby Jenkins, Ready to Roll (Arby starts junior high, and other worries)
Stuart’s Run to Faith (Stuart’s story and journey to salvation—I loved this one!)
Arby Jenkins Meets His Match (homeschooling and other mishaps)

The Adventures of Arty Anderson series (Mark L. Redmond)
Very similar to the Arby Jenkins series! But Arty and his mom become owners of a ranch out West in the late 1800s.
Arty Goes West
Arty and the Hunt for Phantom
Arty and the Texas Ranger
Arty’s Long Day
Arty and the Cattle Rustlers
Arty’s Tough Trail 

The American Adventure series (Norma Jean Lutz, Joann A Grote, Vera Boyd Jones,)
The Great War (possibly my favorite of the series!)
Clash with the Newsboys
Lights for Minneapolis
Queen Anne’s War
The New Citizen

Sherlock Jones, Junior Detective series (Ed Dunlop)
Hilarious, clever, Christ-focused stories about a normal girl and her genius best friend who solve crimes great and small in their little town. Ed Dunlop is a multi-faceted and talented author of children’s literature; I would recommend anything by him.
The Assassination Plot
The Willoughby Bank Robbery
The Missing Diamond
The Phantom Airplane

Sarah, Plain and Tall (Patricia MacLachlan)
The simple, sweet style of its writing from Anna’s perspective is refreshing. Loved the strength yet vulnerability of each character.