Reading for the heart

Books have changed me.
Ever since I was a little girl I was in love with reading.

I remember being in third grade and sitting under a tree during recess. I don’t remember what I was reading, but I do remember that it transported me from that playground to another world. Almost literally.
I smile as I remember looking up from the pages of that book to realize that the playground was completely empty. While I read the teachers had come out with their ringing bells to line up nearly one hundred students. And all of this within twenty feet of where I was sitting. And I didn’t hear a thing because my book and I were so deep in conversation.

 It is still that way today.
I can devour a good book, and even a mediocre one.

I have discovered the joy that is the American Library System, and it is a wonder to behold.

So today, I would like to start introducing you to a few books that have impacted my life, in one way or another. If you love to read, here are a few of my dear book friends:

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
My then fiancee (now husband) and I discovered this book while preparing for marriage. It made us weep. It still does. A beautiful and poignant story from the perspective of a husband who has lost his wife. A wonderful reminder that marriage is worth fighting for.

The Curate of Glaston by George MacDonald
George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors, and his faerie stories will probably be showing up on these lists often. This is a collection of his trilogy under new titles (and edited by Michael Phillips – who does a great job). Superbly written, with characters that have challenged me. I absolutely love this book.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Having read many of Lewis’s works, this is the one that I most often come back to as I think about life and walking with the Lord. A wonderful story.

Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
I hesitated to add this book to the list, and it is a recent read. However, I think that this book is probably one of the most impacting reads of the last few years, and a wonderful way to begin the fourth decade of my life. Kathleen examines acedia and it’s affects on her life and work. Profound in every way and highly recommended.

Bryson City Tales and Bryson City Seasons by Walt Larimore, M.D.
Fun and easy read in the same style as James Herriot (who, if you haven’t read, you should!).  Stories of a young doctor and his family in small town America. Just plain fun.

What about you? Any books that have affected your life, or you have enjoyed? I am always on the look out for another good friend. 

I hope you get a chance to read a great book soon (or whatever else it is that refreshes your heart!).

~ Melissa


2 responses to this post.

  1. Oooooh, I absolutely love George McDonald’s books and have also re-read the Curate of Glaston trilogy add infinitum :). I found the story, message and setting so refreshingly simple and touching, yet he is not afraid to wrestle some profound issues in it. I tried out Lilith in the original English but couldn’t make out head or tail of it. I discovered my love of reading sometime in lower primary I can remember my first favourite novel was a Nancy Drew called “The Ringmaster’s secret” in std 3 and from then I was hooked :). One of the books that has inspired me is…. actually a collection of journal notes by Amy Carmichael called “Thou givest they gather” . Read it during a dark season while in college and helped me realize how beautifuly personal God is.


  2. I have also loved reading ever since I was a little girl! I can remember staying up late just to finish the latest book my step grandma bought me- my childhood favorite is Island of the Blue Dolphins 🙂

    A book that really changed my life was A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. He was a child soldier in Sierra Leone. I read this book a month after returning from Kenya and one night I closed the book, I stared at the cover, and I then knew I was suppose to give SHOES to kids in Kenya. The book cover shoes a child soldier wearing torn, broken flip flops that were too big for him.

    Books ARE life changing!! I’m going to get the book A Severe Mercy! Thanks for sharing


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