May 25, 2012

Books, Books, and More Books

I have many wonderful memories of warm summer days growing up in Texas, but the easiest memory to retrieve in sight, sound, smell, and touch is our weekly trip to the library. I recall the whoosh! of the doors sliding open, the feel of the air conditioning striking my skin and melting the hot sun right off, and the beautiful sight of the library's stacks stretched out in front of me. 
This picture has nothing to do with reading books, but everything to do with Texas, so I find it appropriate (and deliciously enticing).
Upon our first summer outing, my sister and I marched up to the desk, signed up for the summer reading club, and proceeded carefully through the children's area choosing our books. I couldn't wait to get home and devour them all: to follow Anne's journey into womanhood in Anne of Green Gables, to solve the mystery before Nancy Drew did, to discover what creative cure Mrs. Piggle Wiggle would think of next.

I still love to go to the library, now with my own children. I pull books from the shelves and, as only a mom can do, drone on and on to my boys about how wonderful this book is or how great that one is. They've found their own delights-- Ribsy and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Henry & Mudge and I Spy--which delights me to no end of course. 

Summer's coming, which means one thing: reading! Reading with my boys, reading the stack of books beside my bed, and reading the books that have been recommended to me. Reading, reading, reading! Books, books, books! 

I can't wait.

Are you looking for recommendations for your own summer reading? The following list is not comprehensive (it doesn't contain any fiction), but these are books that I recommend quite often:

My All-Time Favorite Books
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Peace Child by Don Richardson
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper
Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot
Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Books That Have Been Helpful in Ministry
Transforming Discipleship by Greg Ogden
Brokenness, Surrender, & Holiness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Spiritual Warfare by Jerry Rankin
Open Heart, Open Home by Karen Mains
In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
Margin by Richard Swenson
A Praying Life by Paul Miller
Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro

Books that Have Been Helpful in Marriage and Family
Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper
Grace-Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley
The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

What books are on your all-time favorite list?