Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Top 25 Books of All Time

"...the list reeked of a literary snobbishness that glories in things that truly don't matter to the enlightened believer. Certainly not all of them would meet that classification, but over-all, the list is a veritable roll-call of the hoity-toity secularists who wouldn't know good literature if it bit them on the....nose."-Dan Burrell, on Time Magazine's Top 100 Books list

I love Dan's characterization of the Time Magazine List of Top 100 Books from 1923 until the present, and it makes me feel a bit better about the fact that I've only read eight of the books of the list.

Dan suggested that I come up with my OWN top 25 list, and after careful thought and reflection, I have come up with one. Understand, I'm probably leaving some out that just slipped my mind. But these are the ones that immediately come to mind.

My criteria, I will admit, is mainly that I loved these books for one reason or another. In most cases, there was just something about them that reached out and grabbed me and wouldn't let me go.

In several cases, they were life changing in some respect. A few of them are obscure; at least a couple of them are British books from my childhood as a missionary, and you've no doubt never heard of them. But this is MY list, so I reserve the right to put them there.

Now, I would love to see your list. Please take a little time to come up with your own list and either blog it or post it here in my comments section. I'd also love to know if any of my favorites are on your list.

You may notice that the majority of my favorites are fiction, but don't limit your list to fiction. I just happen to enjoy fiction most.

Oh...and the Bible is not on the list, because I believe it goes without saying, the Bible is the number one book of all time. But it's too big to even go on such a list, because it's not just a book. It's a living thing. It's the very Word of God.

One other explanation: in a few cases, I count a series of books as one book, simply because I can't divide them up--they stand so strongly as a series.

So anyway, here's my list (with occasional comment):


(in no particular order)

1. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott--really kicked off my lifelong love of reading
2. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis
3. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
4. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
5. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
6. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
7. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
8. Red Knights from Hy Brasil, by Christine Savery (read here about how I re-discovered this childhood favorite)
9. Auntie Robbo, by Anne Scott Moncrieff (read here about how I re-discovered this book)
10. The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis
11. Villette, by Charlotte Bronte
12. Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot
13. Shadow of the Almighty, by Elisabeth Elliot
14. The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom
15. The Persecutor, by Sergei Kourdakov
16. New Moon Rising, by Eugenia Price
17. This Present Darkness, by Frank Perretti
18. My Life Without God, by William Murray
19. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher
20. The Emerald Ballad Series, by B. J. Hoff--reinforced my love of all things Irish, and showed me just how good Christian fiction can be
21. The Mark of the Lion Series, by Francine Rivers--introduced me to a remarkable writer, and reinforced to me just how good Christian fiction can be
22. Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan
23. Streams in the Desert, edited by L. B. Cowman
24. Not My Will, by Francena H. Arnold
25. Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery

I may comment more on some of my choices during the coming days, and I'm sure I'll think of others that SHOULD have been on my list.

Meantime, check out this set of lists of best Christian books. Some of these should definitely be on my "to-read" list, but I do have a question about one of the seven Celtic monk books? Oooh-kay...

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