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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Most Eye-Opening Books I've Read

I could also title this, 'Most Life-Changing Books,' or 'Philosophy-of-Life-Shaping Books,' or 'Books You Should Read' if I'm feeling bold enough, or 'Books You'd Benefit from Reading' if I'm not. I'll be culling books for this list from years worth of reading, so don't expect a separate link to a separate review of each title.

In no particular order:

Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. A cookbook? Yes, but so much more. This book has changed the way I look at food (though you might not be able to tell by looking at me).

The Closed Circle, by David Pryce-Jones. Mr. Pryce-Jones offers an illuminating description of Arab culture in this book.

Glorious Freedom, by Richard Sibbes. I would put in The Bruised Reed by Sibbes as well, but for the fact that I'm still reading it. I read Glorious Freedom when I was going through a period of depression, and Sibbes's book graciously pointed me to the only true consolation of the believer. I think, however, that The Bruised Reed might be even more powerful.

Giving Birth, by Catherine Taylor. Alright, my eyes were already opened to the message of this book before I read it. However, this is the book I give to people who are willing to have their eyes opened to the possibility of having a safe birth outside of the hospital.

The Trivium, by Sister Miriam Joseph. This book is so life-philosophy-shaping that I haven't even gotten all the way through it. I've decided that if I can but teach the contents of this book to my children, that I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams at home schooling.

Liberal Fascism, by Jonah Goldberg. I understand so much more about totalitarianism and its evils for having read this book.

Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp. This is, hands down, the best book about child-rearing I have ever read.

Endangered Minds, by Jane M. Healy. This book informed my understanding of how to instruct my children. It's time to read it again.

Tending the Heart of Virtue, by Vigen Guroian. This book first underscored for me the importance of reading imaginative literature to my children. I am very grateful I read this book when my oldest children were still quite young. I see the influence of this book everywhere I look in my house, and hear the influence of this book in almost every conversation with my children (they often speak in a sort of courtly way, thanks to the fairy tales they took in with their mother's milk).

The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, by Walter Marshall. Another book along the lines of Sibbes's books: sanctification is a work of the Spirit.

Oliver Sacks's works make me want to become a neurologist.

Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Redemption Accomplished and Applied, by John Murray. I read this for the first time as I was being introduced to Reformed theology. Powerful stuff.

Knowing God, by J.I. Packer. I read this one also when I was being introduced to Reformed theology. The God of Knowing God was so much bigger than I had ever imagined, or been taught.

Heaven and Hell, by Edward Donnelly.

Les Miserables, the movie with Liam Neeson. OK, it's not a book but a movie, but the Lord used it to bring me to a deep conviction of my legalism. I identified with Javert.

The first half of How Civilizations Die, by David P. Goldman certainly makes the list, and I expect the second half will, too. I expect, in fact, that I should start again at the beginning just as soon as I get to the end. Better and broader than Steyn's After America.

One list done! Here's to more happy list-making in the coming days.

Oops, I forgot Who Killed Homer? by Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath.


  1. My TBR list just keeps growing and growing. I haven't read any of these but J.I. Packer's Knowing God and Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions--but they mostly look to be right up my alley.

  2. Bekahcubed, if you end up reading one from this list, let me know what you think of it.

  3. I loved this list! It's not often you see Richard Sibbes on a list of this kind.

    A few of your titles are on my shelf, ready to be read in 2012: Liberal Fascism, Infidel and Les Miserables.

    I need to finish Oliver Sacks Musicophilia. And I have a few other Victor Davis Hanson titles to read.

    Thanks for great reminders and great suggestions.

    Carol in Oregon

  4. Carol, thank you! You're familiar with Richard Sibbes then?

    It would seem we have (at least somewhat) similar tastes.

    Which Victor Davis Hanson titles are on your list?