It’s another Top Ten Tuesday topic sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish: the top ten books I recommend the most.
Except I don’t feel like I go around recommending books. If I am talking with someone about a topic that reminds me of a good book, I probably will mention it. But otherwise, it’s unlikely to come up. So if asked what my top recommendations for books were, knowing nothing about that person’s specific interests, here’s what I would suggest to them…
(I decided to separate them into two categories, fiction and non-fiction, and picked five in each category, but otherwise they are in no particular order.)
#1. Quitter by Jon Acuff
This book reminded me that deep down, what I’ve always wanted to do when I grew up is write. It reminded me that I had buried that dream for something more practical. This book taught me that I could chase my dream realistically. It taught me that I needed to stick with the day job first as I worked on my dream. But one day… one day… I can finally close that gap. I think this book set me on the correct path. And if that sounds dramatic, the idea of it can be… but really, this book is hilarious because of Jon Acuff’s writing voice.
#2: Start by Jon Acuff
Start doesn’t come out until next month, but as you may recall, I attended Jon Acuff’s Star Night, an event where he shared nuggets of wisdom from this upcoming book, and for attending I received a pre-release copy. Both my husband and I have read through it, and like Quitter, it’s practical, hopeful, and funny. It’s basically the continuation of Quitter. Pre-order this book, and while you wait for it, get and read Quitter. I feel like a Jon Acuff commercial but seriously, these books can change your life for the awesome.
#3: For Men/Women Only by Shaunti Feldham
When I read For Women Only, I felt like a light bulb came on, and suddenly some of the mysteries of men became clear. I discussed the book with my husband, and found it was accurate. Then he did the same with For Men Only, and it also seemed to be a pretty good picture of the mind of a woman. Both books are filled with surveys and research and provides good information that can definitely help you better understand your spouse or significant other.
#4: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
I just finished reading this book (review coming soon) and wow… it is such an incredible story. It was difficult to relive everything that Louie, the focus on the story, went through as a POW in Japan during WWII. But it is an incredible journey through the war and after. I don’t want to say too much now, but seriously… read it! It’s amazing.
#5: Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale
This book is very light compared to the story of Unbroken, but the story of Frank Abgagnale’s conning schemes is not exactly a laughing matter. It is fun at times, like the movie that is based on the book, but it also shows the not-so-elegant side of life as a criminal on the run. It’s an enjoyable and interesting read, and I would definitely recommend it to fans of the movie.
#6: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I grew up enchanted by the tale of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but for some reason, it took me until near-adulthood to start on the other books in the series, and I only finished them all recently. The stories are truly magical, but they also reflect reality. I think every child needs to be read these stories by their parents, for the sake of both the child and the parent.
#7: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I know The Hunger Games isn’t for everyone, but it does seem to be for a lot of people. I heard girls 10 years younger than me talking about it first, and then I had two friends my age recommend them to me, so I finally checked them out. I don’t know what it is about this trilogy that really grabbed me, especially considering how much I did not love 95% of Mockingjay… It seems Suzanne Collins just has a way with her storytelling. I also love so many of the characters, which is essential in my enjoyment of a story. If The Hunger Games has been sitting on your shelf, it’s time for you to finally grab it and open it.
#8: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
As if you can’t guess from my blog’s namesake, this is, without a doubt, my favorite classic. I am not even sure what about it I love so much… again, it’s probably mostly the characters. And I do especially relate to Jo, who is dramatic and loves to write and gets tired of wearing skirts and wants to run away to Europe. But each March sister has a unique personality that adds to the story of their lives. And of course there is Laurie, who is also wonderful. You just need to read it if you haven’t!
#9: Finding Alice by Melody Carlson
This is a much lesser-known novel than the others on my list, written by Christian author Melody Carlson. However, it is far from preachy. The story is about a young woman who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her journey in battling this mental disorder. Without personally knowing anyone with schizophrenia but having studied it some, it seems that Carlson handles it with the best of care. It’s a story of high’s and low’s as Alice struggles through treatments, homelessness, embracing help, therapy, and accepting love. This is one of my absolute favorite stories, and I would definitely recommend it.
#10: The Giver by Lois Lowry
If only I had discovered this story sooner! It is an absolute gem with its simple but impactful tale of a dystpopian society that is completely fooled by their safe and vanilla lifestyle. If you’re not into the dystopia genre, you should definitely still read this one, because it transcends genre and relays an important message without resorting to violence.
So what are some of your top recommends?