So where was I? We were talking through my short stack of favorite (at least this week) books, and what I adore about them. I love that I heard from someone on that post from a few days back because talking books is one of my favorite things to do. As I said, what we read says a lot about us, so understandably it can be a tender subject. I remember a few years ago I was reading a book on my Nook that I wouldn’t have stood in line to buy at a bookstore. Just wasn’t happening. But I needed that book so badly and this is never a roadblock for me now that I’ve had a book positively sew me up. Once that happens, you just accept this solace any time you need it, don’t you? It goes in the Hermione’s Undetectable Extension Charmed Purse of your life, because you will reach for it. You will want it near.
Of the 6 books I wanted to tell you about, I have already mentioned Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Desiring God by John Piper. There are three more here that came into my hands at the perfect time, which is another lovely thing about books. I might see a book that you’re reading and know it’s got to be in my future, and still know it’s not for me today. So you may feel that way about some of these books including the Bible. And I hope if the Bible is not a book you have any relationship with, that it is in your future too.
4. The Bible. So, once more, I write in frailty about a book that even says of itself that the stories referenced inside would fill the world with books if they were ever all committed to paper. Here are a few reasons why I love the Bible. It is always pertinent as if it were written to me a half hour ago. Who can have ever assembled such a diverse collection of writers (but God) – from kings to fishers, from doctors to shepherds, and from melancholic naysayers to lion slayers? In other words, you can always find a hero in here to suit your own one-of-a-kind nature. And, lastly, it is alive, surgically reforming us into holiness, and that is it’s astounding claim. (Hebrews 4:12-13) It’s also the most beautiful literature I’ve ever seen. (Didn’t I just say lastly?) And, I’m a story freak; the Bible has the BEST stories! OK, I’ll stop. I can’t do it justice, (but neither can anyone else), I just had to try.
5. Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist is a feast of words that delves into the things we talk about with our friends all the time, and sometimes wish we could hide our real feelings about. The life that happens around the table. From body image to the fears we all have about our own legacies, Shauna magnifies the tiny acts of kind friendship that matter in word-pictures so tasty that after reading a chapter, I feel like she’s made me breakfast. I love reading this book before bed. And the Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Goat Cheese are just as intense as she promises. Worth their weight in weight.
6. Finally (for today) this folktale style story, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker , just took my heart and held it for days. The only book in this style that I can remember enjoying this much was Chocolat, by Joanne Harris and I compare them because of the mythical thread that makes you wonder if there is magic occurring, or if you are just too literal to accept the serendipity of these events could ever happen with out it. Now, look, you made me give you one for free.
I had a mentor when I was in high school who so fiercely believed in the power of the written word that he strategically kept his own library stocked so that if he recommended a book to one of his young friends, he could always gift it to them (us) on the spot. That man inspired me, and although not nearly as often as Mark Dever did, now and again I will buy multiples of favorites too for that same purpose. I hope you’ll feel free to list some of your most beloved titles below in the comments if, like me, you have a treasury of book-friends with coffee-ringed covers and tenderly dog-eared pages. Who knows? Maybe the book sitting on your nightstand at this moment is the perfect bridge for one of us from this season to the next.
I would love that.