Share Your List: What Books Have Changed You?
In an age with a growing glut of information, the few and great stories and ideas that truly alter us toward “the good” are all the more important. What books have altered you? I have four criteria, and I’d love to hear your list:
Criteria #1: The book changed you profoundly toward the good, to a new place of seeing and/or action; Criteria #2: You’ve read the book more than once; Criteria #3: You’ve read the book in the past five years (you really do go back to it); Criteria #4: Let’s table “revelation” for a minute (i.e. the Bible) and see what other stories and ideas have deeply mattered for you.
Here’s my list: 1) The novel Mr Ives’ Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos: reflects the beauty of the ordinary, and my lack of awareness of such. I read it every December; 2) The Beloved Community by Charles Marsh: the beauty of the extraordinary, yet revealed in the profound ordinariness of lives from Martin Luther King to Clarence Jordan to John Perkins; 3) Journals of Father Alexander Schemmann: the daily reflections of this seminary dean in New York return me again and again to a bigger picture of life as gift; 4) The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein: life as journey and adventure, the gift of friends who you truly need, who change you, the call to continue even when the burden of the call feels far too heavy to bear.
My wife Donna’s wonderfully down-to-earth choice is the More With Less Cookbook: “It changed not only the way I saw the world but how I eat.” Now that is life-altering. Donna’s copy is as dog-eared as the one pictured.
So hit “Leave a Comment” below and tell us: What books altered you, and still do? List the title and a few words about it’s significance to you.