Day 5 – Five Most Influential Books in My Life

What 5 books have influenced you the most?

“The 5 books that have impacted me the most during my life” is a slightly different list than my “5 favorite books” or even my “best books of all time” lists. That’s just a disclaimer… And here is another one: These are in no particular order. Ok and one more: No, the Bible isn’t in this list. First reason is it isn’t a book. It’s a collection of books. 66 to be exact, unless you’re Catholic then it’s 73. So, arguably it wouldn’t fit in the list anyway. If one book from it were to be included it would be John… Cause… It’s where I learned found ETERNAL LIFE and all, but that just wouldn’t be fair to the other books. I mean, can you imagine having to follow that up??
OK, Here we go!

1. The Animorphs Series by K. A. Applegate

No, seriously. The only reason I have to put this in here is that before I came across those shape-shifting kids and their alien adventures, I didn’t read at all! It was sixth grade and those books that showed me that reading wasn’t evil. So, arguably, the rest of this list wouldn’t exist without this little fantasy series.

2. The Narnia Books by C. S. Lewis

This is when the great shift happened. Recreational reading became more and more a learning experience as it was an escape from the real world. With each book is the series, the allegory got richer. The truths were deeper. And the addiction to learning from books became stronger.

3. Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson

If you have ever been in my small group, any of my small groups for that matter, then you know I love this book. And it is obvious that it has shaped me, because every semester of small groups there is that inevitable conversation, in which I tell you a bunch of stories about “What happened to the Incas” or about “how God’s eternal truths are everywhere to be seen”.

4. The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

Who would have guessed old “Jack” Clive Staples would be in this list twice? This is most purchased, given away, and repurchased book I have ever owned. Sadly, it isn’t a part of my library… Again, because I have given it away. If you are reading this and you one of the dozens of people I have given a copy of this book to, then please, I would like it back!

5. Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones

Wow. Where to start? The other books in this list have changed the way I think, but this book actually changed what I do and how I do it! I honestly don’t know where I would be right now and what I would be doing if it weren’t for the day I picked this up. I used things I learned from this book almost everyday!


2 thoughts on “Day 5 – Five Most Influential Books in My Life”

  1. Great post! Try as I might, I am unable to whittle my list down from 6. Here’s my half-dozen, in sequence, rather than order of importance…

    1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I love this story for the same reason you revere the Animorph series. It ignited my passion and appetite for reading.

    2. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. This timeless tale of life’s hurts, heartbreaks and scars making us “real” and able to experience love is as relevant in my life today as it was when I first read this story. Love, love, love.

    3. Collected Poems of Robert Service by Robert W. Service. No book so much as this one sparked my love for words and my desire to write. I am forever indebted to Mr. Service for his artful telling of “The Creation of Sam McGee”!

    4. Improving Your Serve by Charles Swindoll. This book is etched in my heart. In the midst of a generation of people seeking the spotlight (during the 1990’s), Swindoll called for God’s people to revisit the teaching and example of Jesus about living the life of a servant. Powerful.

    5. Rediscovering Church by Bill and Lynne Hybels. The story of Willow Creek Community Church. The single most inspiring story I have ever read. I wept through almost the entire book as God gently spoke to me about what my husband already knew…it was time to plant a church. Pivotal.

    6. Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. This one had to make the list! It has changed everything about the way I write!

    Great exercise, choosing these books! Thanks for the opportunity to clearly think about that!

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