Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ten Books that Changed Me - Kathleen Gibson

For better or for worse, Facebook connects people. On the better side, it provides valuable insights into others. Understandings we didn’t have before: what people are up to, who they love, things they enjoy, even what (and who) influences them.  
Facebook “tag” helps with that. One friend tags some friends with a request. If agreeable, the friends follow through by taking the challenge or making the requested post before passing it on to their friends.

I’m not usually agreeable. So when an avid reader tagged me to post a list of ten books that have impacted my life, I didn’t respond. Honestly, the books listed by others intimidated me. Unlike some, I haven’t read the complete works of Max Lucado, Charles Spurgeon or Leonard Sweet. Not even the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And most modern literary giants don’t interest me a fig.

Nevertheless, the invitation niggled. As an author myself, I pray to impact people with my words, just as other writers have inspired me with theirs. It seemed only fair to acknowledge those whose works have, over my five decades of reading, contributed to who I am today. But rather than on Facebook, I'm placing my list here. In no particular order of importance (except for the top one) here are ten books that changed (are still changing) me. Check them out – they may change yours too.
1. The Holy Bible – my anchor and life manual, the core of my hope and Christian belief.

2. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) – Charlotte inspired me, as a primary school student, to live a life that matters even after death.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis) – This allegorical series stood my spiritual synapses on end. I’m still learning from it.

4. Experiencing God (Henry Blackaby) – gave me a deeper understanding of what it really means to live out my faith.

5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Elizabeth George Speare) – as a child, this book showed me the hazards of making ignorance-based judgments of others.
6. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) – exposed me to the raw beauty and horror of India. Along with other beckonings, God used this book to bring me to India in person.

7. Something More (Catherine Marshall) – broadened my understanding of the Holy Spirit, and enriched my relationship with God.
8. Open Heart, Open Home (Karen Burton Mains) – as a young bride, this book convinced me of the vital role hospitality plays in living out one’s faith.

9. How Then Shall We Live (Francis Schaeffer) – taught me to continually examine my worldview and line it up with my beliefs.
10. Bonhoeffer (Eric Metaxas) – made me realize how far I have to go in my faith, concerning boldness of conviction.

More books belong up there, but I'll stop at ten, with gratitude to God for authors past and present who obeyed their calling to spread good words. They changed my life and because they did, I like to believe the world is different somehow.
Your turn. Got ten?

Kathleen's books, columns, essays, and radio spots have found homes in hearts and media outlets worldwide. She prays some of those words have made a difference. Find a few at her website, on Facebook, and in other places.
This Sunny Side Up column was previously published in various Western newspapers.


Glynis said...

Nice challenge.
1. The Holy Bible
2. Charlotte's Web
3. Beautiful Joe
4. Little Women
5. Little Men
6. Original version - What Would Jesus Do?
. . .okay, I have to stop. Those are my first 30 second thoughts. I have a million more.
Great post, Kathleen.

Bobbi Junior said...

I have such a terrible memory, I can rarely remember the titles of books, but I'll try.

The Bible. (Yes. I remember that one.)
Catcher in the Rye
Bastard out of Carolina
Walking from East to West - Ravi Zacharia
Anne of Green Gables
East of Eden
A Promise of Salt

There are many more, but the titles are gone. Loved the challenge, Kathleen. I hope others respond. Maybe I'll remember some more that I enjoyed!

Peter Black said...

Yes, as Glynis says, "Nice challenge"!

I'll take a stab at mentioning several "off the top," without thinking too deeply or long (over analysing - a proclivity of mine).
Apart from no. 1 - no particular order. Most are older writers. (Note my "Ozzie" orientation. :) )

1. The Holy Bible
2. My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers)
3. Spiritual Leadership (Oswald Saunders)
4.Several books by Oswald J. Smith
5.Writings of Watchman Nee (I have numerous works of his)
6. Various biographies of missionaries and worthies of the faith, including some from my own faith heritage.

I haven't yet read so many great works I've had in my library for years. I'm needing to get around to at least one of several books by Bonhoeffer. ~~+~~

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