Here are some books I highly recommend for reading:
Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
“Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the “classic Disciplines,” or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found. Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study, offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration, bring us nearer to one another and to God.”
This was one of my textbooks last semester, and if I was rich, I would literally buy it for everyone I know, that’s how good it is. There’s so much we have forgotten in the modern age that would help us become “transformed by the renewing of our minds” as we seek God.
How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart
This book provides easy tools for understanding the different genres of the Bible and learning how to read in context and apply it to the modern days. Another former textbook that I highly recommend.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
A lesser-known classic by Jane Austen, but my favorite of hers. Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot, who once let others make a choice for that she spent years regretting and is now thrown back into interaction with an old lover she believes is indifferent to her. As always with Miss Austen, there is much heartache and laughter to be enjoyed, and a truly sweet story.
Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shaddow by Orson Scott Card
These companion novels follow the stories of two brilliant children in the distant future after the Earth has been almost devastated by an alien attack and is preparing for another. Since the war, the world army has been training the most intelligent children to be the commanders and leaders of the next war, using video and real games to simulate battle and train their minds. It may sound weird, but actually they are excellent stories, and I’m very glad my friend made me read them.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
You’ve probably heard about these books. Also set in the distant future, these books follow the story of Katniss Evardeen, teenage tribute. After a nuclear war in which all but parts of the United States was destroyed, the remaining humans split into thirteen districts ruled over by the Capitol. In the aftermath of District 13’s rebellion and destruction, the Capitol initiated the “Hunger Games,” in which each year, two children “tributes” from each district are randomly chosen for a battle to the death. Enter Katniss, and the story begins–an enthralling story that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Divine Romance by Gene Edwards
A beautiful rendition of the story of the love relationship between God and humanity from creation to the end, this story by Gene Edwards will make you cry and bring you to a deeper understanding of the mystery of God’s love for you and me as you explore The Divine Romance of which we are a part.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
This five-book series combines ancient Greek mythology with modern day United States. The narrator and main character is teenager Percy Jackson, whose voice is amusing and fresh, heavy with sarcasm. The chapter titles alone will make you laugh. Very few books nowadays are so good that I literally can’t put them down–but these, I read from cover-to-cover. Again, I’m very thankful that another friend made me read them.
The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
This is another series by Rick Riordan, following the Percy Jackson series. It is epic. It is intense. It is unpredictable. The only reason I would recommend that you not read it (yet) is that he has not finished writing/publishing all the books, and each one leaves you with a cliff hanger the size of the Grand Canyon.
Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge
This book changed my life. John and Stasi Eldredge take a prayerful, Biblical look at what it means to be feminine. It’s not a list of things to change about yourself to become a woman of God, it’s an exploration of the core in which we were created to reflect God’s image. It’s liberating and powerful, and even if you’re a guy I recommend reading it.
That’s the list so far, folks. It will probably (as in, I can almost promise it will) grow in the not-so-distant future, as I remember and discover more books you just have to read 🙂