“Books are long enough to change you.”

This quote comes from Randy Alcorn’s blog and he wasn’t sure who said it. Fascinating nevertheless.

At the onset of 2018, The Book Whisperer appeared on my kitchen table one day, like manna fallen from heaven. Thank you, Rachel. It was the shot in the arm I needed to get through cold January, gray February, and muddy March. In The Book Whisperer a teacher tells her story of how she reels her children into the Enchanting Land of Books. And she goes on to say how she reads and reads and reads herself, one challenge being the one-hundred-book-in-a-year challenge. I was swooned and dove in.

At the end of 2018 my list said ninety-nine completely read, four audio books listened to, and fifteen books skimmed or started. Always have more than one on the go. 🙂 Keeps life exciting. And all the ones you didn’t finish at the end of last year just roll onto your 2019 list.

Along the children’s line, I’ll list just a few old favorites:

  1. Amos McGee’s Sick Day
  2. The Mountain That Loved a Bird
  3. Grandpa’s Teeth
  4. Miss Rumphius
  5. Thank-you Mr. Falker
  6. Bread and Butter Indian 
  7. Underground to Canada
  8. Anything by James Herriot
  9. Anything by Jean Fritz
  10. Most books by Patrica Polacco
  11. Most books by Eric Carle
  12. Books illustrated by Barbara Cooney

A few new ones that I’ve stumbled across this past year and added to my favorites:

  1. Millions of Cats
  2. We Were Tired of Living in a House
  3. Blueberries for Sal

It’s hard to categorize favorites among the others I read so I’ll just list the best ones in no specific order other than alphabetized – CDO bites sometimes. These stories have grown my heart, painted my perspective, and changed my world-view. I am not the same.

  1. Anything but Simple-Lucy’s Memoir
  2. Clutched in the Talons
  3. Gladys Aylward-Missionary to China
  4. God I Love
  5. Not Without My Daughter
  6. One Child by Torey Hayden
  7. One Thousand Miles to Freedom
  8. Stolen Life
  9. The Book Whisperer
  10. The Heavenly Man
  11. The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life
  12. The Robe
  13. The Treasure Principle
  14. Titanic Survivor
  15. Turn Your Love On
  16. Unseen, The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed
  17. Wasting Time With God
  18. Wounded Trust

Social media is rewiring our brains, shrinking us with frighteningly short attention spans. It is chilling to think how this will affect our children. In her recent book,  Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World (Harper, 2018) MaryAnne Wolf says, “We, their guides, do not realize the insidious narrowing of our own thinking, the imperceptible shortening of our attention to complex issues, the unsuspected diminishing of our ability to write, read or think past 140 (now 280) characters. We must all take stock of who we are as readers, writers, and thinkers.”

Challenge for 2019: set your phone aside, pick up a good book, and start inhaling.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, and discourse a clear man.”

What books do you suggest for the rest of us?