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Published on December 12th, 2015 | by Discussion Questions

What book (besides the Bible) has changed your life?





ROSE WRITES: I’m trying to decide what books I want to read in 2016, but I only want to invest my time in literature that is going to be truly worthwhile. The best book is, of course, the Bible, the most life-changing book of all time. But books that are not the Bible can change our lives too – not in the same way as God’s Word, but they can still change our thoughts or practices in unfathomable ways.

As you think about all the books you’ve read in your life, what book(s) would you say has most changed your life? It could be a fiction or non-fiction book, a theology book or productivity book or any other type. What is a book that you look back and see that your life was not the same after reading it?


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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected]



  • I know basically everyone will say this, but Do Hard Things really did change my life!! i read it twice in about 6 months because I enjoyed it so much and it made me think a lot!!
    Also,
    -Before You Meet Prince Charming, by Sara Mally
    -I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, both by Joshua Harris
    -In the Presence of My Enemies, by Gracia Burnham (biography of a missionary woman to the Philippines who was a hostage for a time)

    -The Elsie Dinsmore Series, by Martha Finley (there are 28 of these…but they are my ALL TIME FAVORITE book series EVER! I’ve read all 28 twice and my favorite ones even more than that…haha!)
    -Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis (This book was really interesting…about greek mythology..but there was a lot to learn from the main character Orual..I’ve read this book I think 3 times…)
    -Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Historical fiction as well…it dealt with slavery and how harshly slaves are treated by their “owners”. That book really made me angry, but in a good way…angry taht people could be SO CRUEL to people just becuase their skin is different!)

    – Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes (it’s been a few years since I’ve read this one..but I read it twice and remember calling it my favorite book for a while!)

    That’s all I can think of for now..and my dad is calling me to come eat lunch…but if I think of others I’ll come back later! haha!

    • @disqus_Sh6PyJ3MsP:disqus Wow! You have a great list of books! I read some or partially read some. 😛

      • Thanks @Explorer4lyfe:disqus! You have a great list yourself. =)

        • @disqus_Sh6PyJ3MsP:disqus You’re welcome! And thank you! :)

    • Martial Artist

      That’s a pretty great list!

    • drummer/Godfollower/LOTRfan

      I loved johnny tremain!

      • Yesss!! I need to read it again I think…it’s been too long.. =P If you can give a synopsis about it, feel free! =)

        • drummer/Godfollower/LOTRfan

          Nah, it’s been over two years since i read it. :/ But i should read it again too! 😛

  • @disqus_Sh6PyJ3MsP:disqus She has a great list of books! So, I hope my list will be helpful, Rose. :)
    1. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex & Brett Harris
    This book made me think, “I can do more than I was expected to do in my teenage life” and I’m probably going to rent it again.
    2. God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill.
    A great missionary story! A Dutch missionary is smuggling Bibles to communist countries when Christianity in these countries weren’t allowed.
    3. The Martyr’s Song by Ted Dekker
    A book that touched my heart when I read it. It is story, but there is a Christian message behind it.
    4.Hangman’s Curse by Frank Peretti
    A book filled adventure, action, and suspense, but at the same time it teaches good morals.
    5.Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Stowe
    I read the first part of the book, and I felt angry at the “Masters” who owned the slaves. I want to finish it, but it is a long book. Most of the time, these “Masters”(but not all) treated their slaves like animals. This book shows the cruelty of slavery. But be warned, some of the “Masters” in this book call their slaves the n-word.
    That’s all I have for now. I bet the others will have more books for you! I hope this is helpful.

  • guy in chicago

    Great question! A short list of my favorites;

    Screwtape letters- C.S Lewis- Lewis is such a brilliant author!

    With- Skye Jenanthi- A great look to how we relate and live with God.

    Irresistible Revolution- Shaine Clairborne- ugh, so good! Speaks to how were called to radically love.

    Jesus among other gods- Ravi Zacharias- This is a apologetics book. It’s deep but one of the most beautiful & brilliant books written.

    Let me know what you think!

  • Martial Artist

    Obviously these books come after the Bible, but these are the ones that I remember having the biggest impact on my life when I read them:

    Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex (I had to put this one, or else I never would have been introduced to this awesome blog :)

    This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti (I know this one may be strange, but it helped open my eyes to how connected the spiritual and physical worlds really are. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it)

    Tilly by Frank Peretti (This one’s all about abortion, and what happens to aborted babies. It is a very sad story, but definitely worth read)

    A Guy’s Journey to Manhood by Doug Marsh (all about growing up to be a godly man)

    That’s all.

  • Okie Gal

    A Chance to Die by Elizabeth Eliot, it’s a biography of Amy Carmichael and it’s amazing.

    Radical by David Platt, it’s sort of a call to stop acting like we belong on earth.

    Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy, I have a hard time describing this one but it’s worth every second of reading it takes.

    Things As They Are by Amy Carmichael, which is wonderful but hard to read.

    • I really like Things As They Are, and also her book Lotus Buds. I think they’re both free as kindle books

      • Okie Gal

        Yay for Kindle! I started that but never finished, is that the one about the (rescued) temple kids? She did some amazing work.

  • Clare

    Hi Rose!

    1) Two books that I have read which really changed me are “Olivia and The Little Way” and “Olivia’s Gift” by Nancy Carabio Belanger. It is a 2-book series which incorporates St. Therese of Lisieux in it a lot. However, it is basically a fun read. I highly recommend those two books.

    2) “The Gate” is also by Nancy Carabio Belanger and it is a fun read too. I found it harder to read this book compared to the “Olivia and The Little Way” series but it is still an amazing book.

    3) “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. If you haven’t read that book already I would highly recommend it as well. It helped me to view things in a different light and look at situations about my Faith in different ways.

    4) “Leave if You Can” by Luise Rinser. I think this book was interesting because of all of the adventure it had in it. This is one of my favorite books. Not a lot of people know about it so that is why I am listing it here. It was orignally written in German in 1959. It is a beautiful
    novella of wartime Italy that explores the challenge of God’s mystical
    call versus the overpowering allure of the world.

    I hope this helps you Rose! It looks like you’ll have a lot of books to read this summer. =)

    -Clare

    • Nice new profile picture, Clare! Is that your dog?

      • Clare

        Hi Heather!

        Yes, that is my dog. Princess Muffin and then our last name which I cannot say. Hehe.

        • She’s cute!

          • Clare

            Thank you, Heather!

  • Samantha Shank

    If you’re looking for books to challenge your faith, I’d highly recommend God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew (Iron Curtain) and Things We Couldn’t Say by Diet (pronounced deet) Eman (set during WWII). Both are my top two favorite Christian memoirs ever, and they kept me engaged through the whole book. Things We Couldn’t Say is similar to The Hiding Place, but I liked Diet’s memoir better. :) (they’re also not very gruesome)

    Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is a must-read memoir about Olympian and Japanese POW during WWII who comes to Christ. A bit heavier in content, but definitely not overly graphic. It also kept me engaged.

    The Auschwitz Escape by Christian author Joel C Rosenberg changed my viewpoint on a lot of things. It is fiction based on true events, and really challenges Christians to ACT.

    The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini is probably my favorite secular novel. The themes are forgiveness and redemption – and the whole novel is beautifully written, although not always easy.

    Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson is a great memoir about a “ghetto” kid who becomes the first neurosurgeon to separate conjoined twins. It shows with working hard, anything is possible.

    I’d also probably recommend a financial book like Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, or The Millionaire Next Door :)

    • i’ve wanted to read Unbroken!!! I’ve seen the movie, but REALLY want to read the book..!!

      • Faith

        I haven’t seen the movie, but I want to read the book soo much!

  • Haylie

    Well lets see here…

    I feel that I absolutely must to mention Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. It’s a great book, folks. :)

    Also, The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy had a great impact on me. I often find books that are written specifically for Christian teen girls to be shallow, and they just don’t have enough spiritual ‘meat’ to be worth the read. This book is quite different. It’s a fantastic read.

    For fiction that changed my life, I would highly recommend the Left Behind: The Kids series by Jerry B. Jenkins, and Tim Lahaye. In the series, so many characters are led to salvation in Christ, and I was able to grow in my relationship with God as I read them.

    The End :)

    • Christy

      I just wrote my comment about how The Hiding Place, and then I scrolled down and saw that you wrote pretty much the same thing! :)

      • Haylie

        Wow, we really did say the same thing! :)

  • Christy

    I don’t cry during books very often, actually, the only book to have ever made me cry real tears is ‘The Hiding Place’. It is such a wonderful book about the life of Corrie Ten Boom. My mom gave it to me, and it is now my favorite book ever. I could go on and on about all the awesome things that are in the book, but I want to save it for you in case you decide to read it.

  • Cedric Pannell

    As others have said, The Hiding Place is really good, along with Left Behind, and Do Hard Things.

    One of my personal favorites in a book called Dancing with Porcupines (It’s about personality types). It really helped me understand how other people think and why they do what they do and put myself in their shoes.

  • drummer/Godfollower/LOTRfan

    Non-Fiction:

    Destination: Character by Don Duncan
    Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
    The Making of a Man of God by Alan Redpath
    Till the Heart Be Touched by Gordon and Gail Macdonald
    Faith by Chuck Smith
    The Man God Uses by Chuck Smith
    Love, the More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith
    and probably the most influential is: The Calvary Road by Roy Hession

    I don’t have any fiction that really influenced me very much.

  • Brooke Lauren

    The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
    Dragons in our Midst series, Bryan Davis
    Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkein

  • Hey guys! This is a great discussion, and I wanted to jump in.

    There are two books in particular that have had a really massive impact on my life. One is Desiring God by John Piper. I read this when I was 13 or so and it transformed me less in a big, dramatic way and more in so many small, indelible (but incredible) ways. I continue to think of it as one of my favorite books of all time.

    Another book that I’ve read more recently, and am continuing to re-read, is The Valley of Vision. This is a collection of prayers inspired by the Puritans and edited by Arthur Bennett. The language, for one, is simply beautiful. But even more spectacular are the prayers themselves. I have learned so much about me, about God, about how to pray, about how to repent, about humility, about love, about hope, about joy, about sorrow, about grief, and so much more.

    On another note, I think it’s so cool that we can have discussions like this and learn from each other. But I also wanted to throw in the reminder to always be diligent about practicing discernment in our reading. That is definitely a hard thing, but it’s so important whenever we talk about books.

    Also, Okie Gal mentioned a pretty neat reading plan created by Tim Challies. I’m planning on doing it too. You can check it out here: http://www.challies.com/resources/the-2016-reading-challenge.

  • Kate I.

    A Heart for Freedom by Chai Ling
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    The Odyssey by Homer
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
    He Walks Among Us: Encounters With Christ in a Broken World by Renee and Richard Stearn
    I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
    Unshackled and Growing by Nabeel T Jabbour
    A Wind in the House of Islam by David Garrison
    The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with a God that Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith
    A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot
    1000 Gifts by Amy Voskamp

  • Jolie Simmonds

    Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
    The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
    Narnia
    How to Know God Exists
    Little Women
    Do Hard Things
    A Long Way Gone (warning- very graphic)
    Joshua (not the book of the Bible)

    • Regan Seba

      Ooh, Little Women. That was a great book. I loved the sequel, Little Men. It’s one of my all-time favs.

      • Okie Gal

        Gotta love Luisa May Alcott. Have any of y’all read the Story Girl?

        • Regan Seba

          Umm… No. I liked Eight Cousins, A Rose in Bloom, and Jo’s Boys, though.

          • Okie Gal

            Oh, I’ve never read Eight Cousins but Jo’s Boys is one of my favs!

          • Regan Seba

            It’s good. And you should read, while we’re on the topic of classics, A Tale of Two Cities and Ivanhoe. Also, I just finished Jane Eyre(like less then an hour ago.) I did not like the main characters at all, but it is engrossing.

          • Okie Gal

            Good books have a knack for catching you up like that, it’s wonderful. I’ll have to read eight cousins next, right now I’m in the middle of How Right You Are Jeeves which is total fluff, but hilarious — P.G. Wodehouse has such a grip on the English language.

      • Faith

        Little Men is great!

  • LyndenTree63

    “The Naked Gospel” by Andrew Farley
    This book had a huge impact on my life. It talks about the Gospel and the freedom we have in Christ. I never really understood or got excited about how good the Good News actually is until I read this book.

    “Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes” by Brandon J O’Brien and E. Randolph Richards
    This book raised a lot of questions for me. How much of what I think the Bible says is actually my cultural presuppositions coming through? How does the culture and history of the Bible affect what it says to us? The questions were tough, but in the end this book made me think about things I’d never even considered, and made me pay more attention to the context of the Bible.

    Also, pretty much anything by C.S. Lewis is amazing. I read his sci-fi trilogy this summer and really enjoyed it, while discovering new insights into spiritual things, and life in general.

  • Ezra Walls

    Hey there! Great idea, there are so many books out there you can hardly read them all…these three are very good, and relatively quick, easy reading style. Look ’em up!

    Don’t Waste Your Life (John Piper)- Pretty self explanatory…
    Will Our Generation Speak? (Grace Mally)- A call to evangelism in our youth.
    More than a Carpenter (Josh McDowell)- Gives proofs and evidence that Christianity is the truth, a great little book for helping us back up the faith.

    Oh, and have you ever heard of Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris? An excellent read :)

  • Laura Guzman

    Slave, by Mende Nazer. It tells the story of a girl that lives in Africa and, as its title suggests, becomes a slave. I have only read it once, when I was twelve, and that one time I cried so many bitter tears for the world because for the first time it hit me how much EVIL there is in the world and how fallen we are. How raw and real that book is about all the horrible things convicted me of my complacency and comfort, how the world is more than what I see and who I speak to. Maybe at that time was when I fully stopped being I child, I don´t know. At that time, maybe because of that book, the desire to do something more for the world, to do something for God began to grow and it led me to the radical path I´m trying to follow. It´s not a book to be read lightly, and I´ll be honest the things it describes are truly horrible, but, for better or for worse it changed me and I will never be the same.

  • Some books I have enjoyed are:
    Do Hard Things
    Knowing God by J. I. Packer
    Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Charismatic Chaos by John MacArthur Jr. (I haven’t actually read this one, but I’ve essentially listened to sermons that outline most of the content.)
    and many biographies of missionaries past and present.

    And if you’re looking for nice fiction, I enjoy the Australian “Billabong” series by Mary Grant Bruce. They were written around WWI era.

    • Sam G

      Good list! I’ve always found Mary Grant Bruce interesting, as well as other Australian fiction from around that time (e.g. Ethel Turner).

      • I don’t know that I’ve ever “met” anyone who has heard of Mary Grant Bruce! Are you Australian?

        • Sam G

          Yes, I’m Australian. :) I believe you are too?

          • That’s right! I was really surprised when you said Australian fiction, because I usually assume that most people on here are from the US.
            Where do you live?

          • Sam G

            Probably a reasonable assumption. I only know of a couple of other Aussie commenters on here…
            I live in a small town pretty close to Canberra. How about you? (Feel free not to answer if you prefer.) I seem to remember you saying that your family was travelling around a bit.

          • Yes, my family was in Papua New Guinea for two years, then we travelled this year, and now we’re just moving back into Brisbane.
            I like the Kangaroo Valley area near Canberra with all the wombats.

          • Sam G

            Papua New Guinea? Interesting… Were you missionaries over there?
            Yeah, Kangaroo Valley’s a nice spot. I don’t remember seeing wombats though. :)

          • Yeah, my parents were helping out at a hospital. My dad did odd jobs and my mum taught my sisters and I and couple of other kids in a little high school class, but it was just like homeschooling really. Are you homeschooled?

          • Sam G

            Cool. Is PNG a very different place to live compared to Australia?
            Yes, I am homeschooled. Actually, I’ve just finished school (this year was a bit of a combination of year 11 and 12).

          • Congratulations on finishing school! What plans do you have now?
            Different… well the short answer is yes. It’s third world, so there are lots of needs. We were living in the rural highlands, so between our altitude and the tropics, the weather was perfect all year round. We used rainwater, solar power and at night a generator, while most locals outside the hospital would collect water from the river (our local swimming pool) and cook over a fire. One of my favourite parts of living there was playing with younger kids and babies all the time (those that weren’t scared of my white skin). 😉
            There’s a really bad drought up there at the moment and in the higher regions frost has killed the plants. For them, that’s the next few months’ food–vanished. After being there and seeing the lush hills and gardens, it’s pretty sad to see the pictures of dead vines. It’s hard to describe how much of a different world it is, and I’ve only seen a small part of it.

          • Sam G

            Thank-you! I’m hoping to go to uni next year to study music.
            Sounds like it must have been an amazing experience. I think it’s important to visit a third world country at some stage, to get a better understanding of the way so many people live… Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what it must be like, to be totally dependent on the land and weather for food. Must be very hard. (I wouldn’t have expected that there’d be frosts there. Is there much temperature variation between the lower and higher regions?)
            So, are you on school holidays at the moment?

          • Sorry it took me a week to write back… I couldn’t get onto the internet.
            Yes, there’s quite a bit of variation in temperature because it’s so close to the equator, but their highest mountain has snow, and a lot of areas have high elevation which cancels out the equator’s heat.
            Well, this year was sort of an early gap year for me (I did maths and we learned heaps of history, geography, etc. as we travelled), but I’ll soon start on next year’s work. ; )

          • Sam G

            Sounds like a brilliant way of learning geography! :)

            Have a great Christmas.

          • You too!

  • Rachel S.

    ‘Total Truth’ by Nancy Pearcey. It really has helped me learn more about culture and why we can’t compromise on our beliefs. It’s kind of hard reading, and I’m only halfway through it, but I’ve learned SO MUCH, and it appeals to the intellectual side of the human nature :-)

  • Alanna

    Oh definitely the Self-Confrontation Manual and Student Workbook by the Biblical Counseling Foundation. They are very convicting, and extremely practical. They help you map out new habits and maybe even replace some bad ones as well. Their goal is basically to help you learn how to face and deal with any situation in life by applying principles straight from scripture. Our Discipleship class went through them my freshman year at Bible school, and out of all of the thousands of pages I read the 3 years at that school, I can honestly say that the pages in these books had the most impact on my life.

    http://www.bcfministries.org/matls-01sc-scman.html
    http://www.bcfministries.org/matls-01sc-stwkbk.html

    On a side note: Anything by A.W. Tozer. SO deep, and SO thought provoking and encouraging.

  • tmselden

    I have three:

    “What God Meant For Good” by R.T. Kendall.
    It is the story of Joseph and I have recommended it to many that love it. when you are going through any sort of trial,or hardship and life isn’t making sense, I would encourage anyone to read it. Not only does it dissect Joseph’s life, but he relates it to our lives as well.

    “In Order To Live” by Yeonmi Park.
    This is a autobiography written by a young woman in her early twenties that escaped North Korea with her mother when she was only thirteen. She gives a very excellent description of what her life was like as a child and then her escape and horrendous trials that she went through attempting to get into South Korea. What she experienced in her life is humbling and how she fought for her family members lives and her own is nothing less than astounding and miraculous. I have read hundreds of autobiographies, but this is at the top of my list. A book,hard too put down.

    “The Andersonville Diaries” you will need to google the author.
    A detailed diary of a young man in his late teens that was captured in the Civil War and put in the Confederate Prison called Andersonville. I was overwhelmed at how much this young man endured, his perseverance, his love for his fellow prisoners, and his maturity beyond his years. Very well written and also very inspiring.

    Sincerely,
    Ms. Jean

  • I just have a few:

    1. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Don’t let the title scare you away. This book came to me very, very highly recommended by my youth director, and it did not disappoint. It’s all about the spiritual disicplines and tangible ways to grow your faith, and it’s beautifully written.

    2. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. I love this book so much!! Read it!!!

    3. Through Gates of Spendor by Elizabeth Elliot. I’m going to be totally honest with y’all – I have yet to find time to sit down and read more than just the first chapter of this. But, that one chapter left me utterly breathless, in tears, and desiring to be so much closer to God.

    4. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Oh my goodness! This 1-year devotional is amazing!! It has strengthened my faith and pushed me to action and I definitely will be going through it for many more years!! :)

    Okay, so that may have been more than just a few, but I promise they are really, really good! :)

  • Amanda

    Do Hard Things (obviously)
    Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels (must read!)
    Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson (I wouldn’t agree with EVERYTHING he says, but it’s a good book)
    Randy Alcorn has a lot of amazing novels that have impacted me: Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, Deadline, Dominion, and Deception

  • AnnaGrace

    Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
    Tortured for Christ & The Triumphant Church by Richard Wurmbrand
    When God Writes Your Life Story by Eric & Leslie Ludy
    Bruchko/For This Cross I’ll Kill You by Bruce Olsen
    There’s probably more but these are the ones I’m thinking of now. ~Anna

    • Okie Gal

      I keep meaning to read bruchko!

    • AnnaGrace

      Oh and one more…God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew.

  • Faith

    I have several. :)
    Do Hard Things (well,obviously)
    Crazy Love by Francis Chan
    Uncompromising by Hannah Farver
    Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis (Majors now)
    Jesus>Religion by Jefferson Bethke
    and I’m currently reading “It’s Not What You Think” by Jefferson Bethke, and “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, and I think they both have the potential of being life-changing. And also all of the books I’ve read by C.S. Lewis have been absolutely amazing. :)

    • Olivia W.

      My mom and aunt read Kisses from Katie and said it was really good! I should really read it if we have it…

      • Faith

        Yes you should! It really changed my perspective on missions, her story was so encouraging to me!

  • guy in chicago

    Hey, in addition a good way to learn is find someone in your Church community that is a mature believer & ask them!

    I have a couple people I can go-to and talk about things like books.

    God is so amazing and I pray for His joy in your life :)

  • The Greatest Among You by Randy Sims discusses servant leadership.
    Anything by Ligonier Ministries.
    I’ve heard from Ligonier Ministries that Thomas Goodwin wrote heart changing books.
    If you’re a guy, Thoughts for Young Men by J. C. Ryle (the rest of his works look great).
    Also if you’re a guy, anything by Bob Schultz.

  • Sam G

    Great question, Rose. I have to say, this morning as I went for a bike ride, I was thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if someone submitted a discussion question about what books have influenced people’s lives the most!’ Thanks for asking!

    So, here’s some books that have influenced my life – some more than others, but all in one way or another.

    1. “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller. (Great apologetics. I’m also currently reading his book on prayer, which I would recommend.)

    2. “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. (No explanation needed.)

    3. “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare. (A brilliant, complex and thought-provoking demonstration of the bondage of original sin, and our need for redemption.)

    4. “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton. (A moving story. “Sorrow is better than fear. For fear impoverishes always, but sorrow may enrich.”)

    5. “The Organ Music of J.S. Bach” by Peter Williams. (This one’s probably less relevant to most people, but I had to include it because it has influenced me a lot.)

    6. “Silas Marner” by George Eliot. (I love this book: it’s a simple, genuine and profound story of loss and repayment, deceit and retribution. “Everything comes to light, sooner or later. When God Almighty wills it, our secrets are found out.”)

    At the moment I’m also reading “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I can’t recommend it yet, but he definitely has some deep insights into human nature.

    And, as @guyinchicago:disqus says, talk to mature Christians for more suggestions.

    • Faith

      Great list, Sam! I’m going to have to check some of these out myself. :)

  • Olivia W.

    As far as theological books go, the only one I can think of is Cold Hard Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace. I haven’t read the book, but I heard this guy talk at our state homeschool conference. He was an atheistic homicide detective until he decided to “look into” christianity and decided that it made a lot more since then all the jumbled up theories of evolution. Now he writes books, (I can’t remember what his other one is about) and talks at conferences and stuff. Anyway, I don’t know whether this would benefit a christian’s spiritual life as much as it would be a very good tool for how to evangelise to atheists or people that don’t really know what they believe.

    As for fiction/ non-fiction, I like a lot of world war two themed books, and my favorites are The Elephant in the Garden, The Endless Steppe, and Number the Stars. None of them are super hard to read books and I’ve read one of them in just a morning. Biographies are normally good, but I can’t think of any right now. Amos Fortune Free Man is an easy to read good book. It would probably only take a couple hours to read and I think it’s worth it.

    I think that’s all I can think of for now…

  • “Thoughts for Young Men” by JC Ryle
    “The Ishbane Conspiracy” and “Safely Home” by Randy Alcorn
    “Ghost Boy” by Martin Pistiorus
    “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan
    “The Reason” by Lacey Sturm
    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

    Hope that helps :-)

    • Ashlyn

      Oh, Pilgrim’s Progress is one of my favorite books!! So much food for thought!

  • BelleIngalls

    Where to begin? There are probably dozens of books which have nudged my life in different directions at different times. So here are a few of my more recent ones, in no particular order.
    1) Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas. An excellent read, and quite challenging in regards to “why are we not doing anything?”
    2) The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. It is amazing to see how much he discussed is exactly what is happening in our society.
    3) The Weight of Glory by Lewis. Although I don’t agree entirely with all his theology, I still recommend almost any C.S. Lewis book, because he has such insight. This book, in particular, will always be my favorite, because it was the book where I fell in love with words.
    4)The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf. An excellent tool to equip you for the pro-life struggle
    5) The Family by J. R. Miller. A rather old book, but it has an amazing vision for what the family can and should be. It has immensely shaped my views on my goals in my relationships.
    And those are just a few off the top of my head. I’m sure I’ll think of half-a-dozen others in five minutes, but this will have to do for now!

  • Elaine

    Wow what a great question!
    Two books pop out to me. “Get Lost” By Dannah Gresh which I just recently read.
    My second I’m not sure whether you can get it anymore. It used to be published by Lamplighter publishings but it’s called “The Open Door”. Which is the true story of a couple along with their daughter giving up everything and starting a children’s home in KY. How they trusted God for everything and never went into debt or soliciting to get something, and rejoiced in the little God blessed them with, was a great testimony.
    By His breath, Dorothy Elaine

  • Alex

    Crazy Love – Francis Chan: This one is a must read! Causes you to examine your life closely. I recommend anything by Francis Chan.

    Do Hard Things (of course!)

    The Comeback – Louie Giglio: This one is pretty new, I’m actually not quite done reading it yet myself. It really teaches you a lot of things about your life that you may not realize.

    Not a Fan – Kyle Idleman: This one is AMAZING! It really teaches you how to be a follower of Christ. I’d encourage ANYONE to read this book! Plus a follow-up book just came out called “The End of Me” which I bought a few weeks ago and am stoked to read!

    The Christy Miller series – These books really changed my mind about a lot of dating ideas and helped me to shape what I want to do when I enter the dating scene.

  • The Lost Clue.
    It’s a Lamplighter and one of my all-time favorite stories. it encourages me and I learn another truth every time I read it!

  • Of course, If you want I’ll give ya a list of about fifty books. I’m a bookworm, so I have so many suggestions! 😀

  • Dana

    Wow. This is such a great question, and there are so many great responses! I skimmed over all of the suggestions so far, and I found many books that I love, or have heard many good things about. One of my all-time favorites, though, has not appeared on the list yet:

    Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

    This book is a novel in the style of the diary. It was written in the mid-1800s, but it has so many timeless insights and encouragements for the Christian walk, and it also provides much assurance for the slow work of sanctification. I first read it less than a year ago, and I read it 3 times in 6 months. I probably would have read it more, except that I had to return it to the church library.

    • AnnaGrace

      Yes! That one is so good! It would have been on my list, but…then my list would get WAY too long. So thanks for mentioning it! :) ~Anna

  • Dana

    Oh, and another one which I don’t remember seeing:

    The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield

    This is a memoir/autobiographical work by a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom who used to be an outspoken lesbian English professor. It is a wonderful story of redemption, with many challenges and insights, and it’s so relevant for today’s culture.

    • Great recommendation, Dana! I read this one this year and was blown away by it. I’m looking forward to reading her new one, “Openness Unhindered.”

      • Dana

        Isn’t it fantastic? Yes, my parents bought Openness Unhindered in an online sale, and I’ve been longing for the chance to read it. I think I finally will get to read it within a couple weeks.

    • Oh, I’ve read that!
      I skimmed it really quickly as I was borrowing it from a friend who was just staying overnight, but one of the quotes inside the cover summed up what I thought of it. It was something like “I don’t agree with everything she says, but I learned something from everything she says.”

  • thatcher jane

    The Jerusalem chronicals by bodie Thoene

  • thatcher jane

    Don’t wates your life by John piper
    Onward by Russle Moore
    Do hard things and start here
    The stonewyck legacy by Michael Phillips
    The diary of Anne frank …

  • thatcher jane

    I forgot the valley of vision by a bunch of puritans, it is a book of thought provoking prayers about the hardships and struggles of living in the world though I haven’t read it yet, my dad has been talking about it and he has even been teaching Wednesday night services about it.

  • Hmmm….. There are so many good ones!

    For fiction:
    Anything by Elizabeth George Speare especially “The Bronze Bow”
    “The Lord Of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
    “Johnny Tremain” by Esther Forbes
    “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis
    “The Mysterious Benedict Society” series by Tenton Lee Stewart
    “Tow Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
    “Secret Agents Four” by ?

    For biographies:
    “Heroes of History” and “Christian Heroes” series by Janet and Geoff Benge
    “The International Adventures” series by YWAM publishing
    “Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis
    “A Chance to Die” and “Through Gates of Splendor” by Elizabeth Elliot

    For nonfiction:
    “Fervent” by Priscilla Shirer
    “Before you meet Prince Charming” by Sarah Mally
    “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper
    “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer

    Oh, there are SO many more!!! I seriously need to make a list of all my favorites so when people ask a question like this I will have an answer ready!

    Blessings on your reading! :)

  • Ashlyn

    “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom! This is one of my favorite books! It is such an amazing story. Also, “Evidence Not Seen” by Darlene Deibler Rose. I haven’t seen either mentioned, but they are absolutely wonderful books. They really challenged and inspired me. And if you are looking for fiction, I would recommend Francine Rivers books. She is a wonderful writer. I haven’t read all of her books, but the ones I have read were awesome. I would recommend her books for 16 years old or older, though.

  • “Radical” by David Platt massively transformed my faith. It forced me to come face to face for the first time with what it really means to follow Jesus. My faith has never been the same. And I’m very glad for that!

    • Haylie

      Yes, “Radical” is a fantastic read!

  • Stephen M.

    Totally “Do Hard Things” :) It really spoke to my heart, and now I’m striving to do hard things for the Lord. The Lord is amazing!

  • Arianna

    This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

  • Gabrielle

    Do Hard Things of course!! :)

    Umm….let’s see….

    The Beauty of Modesty by David and Diane Vaughan
    The Legacy of Liberty and Property by Daniel J. Ford
    She Said Yes by Misty Bernall
    The Martyr’s Song by Ted Dekker

    • MoonBrightInTheNight

      The last book!! I’ve heard of it, I wanna get it

    • Gabrielle

      And…

      Rachel’s Tears (by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott with Steve Robey)
      Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World by Joanna Weaver

  • Anna

    Why Grace Changes Everything by Chuck Smith

  • Cassie

    Do Hard Things. This book has completely changed my life and made me a different person

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