I read a lot – about a book a week, or at least 50 books a year. Of the other Kingdom Bloggers, I know Kerry Luddy (Saturday’s writer) reads about the same amount. Some of the others are readers too, and we’re still encouraging Tony C to make it through, “See Spot Run”. We know he can do it.
This week we are celebrating a book (aside from the Bible) that has impacted us. Perhaps some of our picks will challenge others to pick up the book and further the book’s impact and as you read along with us, share what books have impacted you.
I read almost every type of genre, and I try to mix it up for my reading pleasure. I enjoy many Christian authors, and books on kingdom living but sometimes I need time to process new ideas so I switch up my reading to fiction or biographies. And, I’m always learning so I read books which will increase my knowledge in whatever I’m currently interested in. Over the years the topics have varied from crafts to writing to cooking to science-related discoveries. Choosing only one book is hard (even though I suggested the theme) so I’m going to cheat, and choose 3 books – a kingdom living book, a fiction novel and a teaching book on writing.
I lead women’s ministry for many years and often we would read a book with an added group Bible study. This is how I became familiar with Beth Moore. The format of her studies didn’t work for our group structure until she came out with a shorter study (about 6 weeks) with a shorter DVD teaching series (about 30 minutes). It’s called, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. I read it because I have to as the leader but it gripped my heart more than any other book had until that day. I read a lot of Christian books but often I don’t finish them – the first half or two-thirds are all you need to read because after that it gets repetitive. I believe Beth Moore’s book was the first Christian book I read cover to cover.
Did it apply to me? Not exactly and at the same time, absolutely. I used to be a rigid Christian believer – judgemental and unwavering. By reading the book, my spirit opened up and I became compassionate towards other believers caught in sin. Not only did I become more compassionate towards others but I learned valuable lessons to protect my own walls from crumbling and allowing myself to be deceived into sin. This book is a MUST read for any believer.
A fiction novel that impacted me the most was Barbara Kingsolver’s book, The Poisonwood Bible. The book is set in the Congo, in the 1960s (some of my facts could be wrong – it’s been more than a decade since I read the book). A Baptist minister and his family – wife and 3 daughters move to the Congo to evangelize the people there. Great purpose but the execution was bull-headed, cocky and ineffective.
What I loved about the book was that I loved and hated some of the characters. Unfortunately, the missionary man was one of the characters I disliked but at the time I read it, it touched a nerve – do we evangelize the gospel, or the Western culture? I give this book two thumbs up and all my fingers and toes.
Finally, the book that makes my top #1 for education and learning is Stephen King’s book, On Writing. I was regular contributor to my church’s monthly magazine before I read the book but after, my writing improved because it was streamlined and more succinct. Who knew a horror story author would teach me so much. It is practical and realistic. It is geared towards fiction writers but the writing principles Stephen King suggests are universal no matter if you write business letter, memoirs or fiction. If you are a writer (or want to be) then do yourself and your readers a favour by reading this book and put it into practice.
Have you read any of these books? What book(s) make your top choice?