There are certain books that I return to over and over again. Rereading them is kind of like revisiting a good friend. At one time in life, they showed me truths that were profound for my situation at the time. Every time I revisit them now and take in again what they still have to offer, I am reminded of the gifts they gave me back then. As a perpetual bonus, every time I give their words new life by sitting with their pages one more time, I receive something fresh and walk away with another current lesson learned. Here are the top 5 literary works I call my closest friends. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin In this book, John Howard Griffin is a white man who physically darkens his skin with help of a dermatologist in order to live as a black man in the 1960’s Jim Crow South. He then proceeds to live thusly, chronicling his time and experiencing racism first hand. At 17 years old, this book changed my life. I found that the old saying about “walking in someone else’s shoes” can truly have a major affect on a person’s life. Griffin’s commitment to his art and work was in my mind most commendable and it made me want to be just as dedicated to the telling of my own stories. *Confession* I still have my high school issued copy of this book. I never returned it in class. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Before I even knew what Christianity was, this series of children’s books about another world with talking animals and magical beings taught me all about what redemption and sacrifice and goodness are. Before coming to know Christ for myself, it made me want to serve a god like Aslan and to live out the values of courage, honor, love and sacrifice. I wanted a faun of my own, just like Mr Tumnus and I wanted to sail to the end of the world on the deck of the Dawn Treader. This is the singular, most influential book on my personal development and life. I would not be who i am today without having read it. I reread it every 6 months. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan Another pillar in my spiritual life, Bunyan’s allegory of the Christian life is one of both joy and sadness. It is one of the clearest pictures ever written of what it means to travel towards the Celestial City. I am thankful that it exists. The Confessions of St Augustine by Augustine of Hippo More than anything, it is the conversion of Augustine that I love so much in this book. His confessions are such an honest look at the heart of a repentant man. In many ways I was like him: I was lost for a long time and needed God more than I realized. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein This book was one of the high points of my childhood. I hated the little boy in the story for a long time because he took everything he could from the tree and gave nothing in return. I idolized the tree for giving all that she had and wished I could be like her some day. But one day, I realized that at any given time in life, I am both the tree and the little boy at any given moment. I learned not to hate the little boy. I have been, that little boy.
*Note* It goes without saying, that for me the Bible is the most important book ever written and supersedes every book on this list.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 BOOKS OF ALL TIME? Please share and comment!