One book that shaped my imagination as a kid was __________.
In the fifth grade, I read The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I was captivated by the relationship between the protagonist, Alec, and the untamed stallion, The Black. How they depended upon each other for survival after being shipwrecked on a primitive island, and how they forged a wordless, emotional, and life-long bond enriched my imagination for many years. In the seventh grade, I discovered Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and that book, more than any other, has shaped me, haunted me, inspired me, and intrigued me. I still remember my first reading of this book, sitting cross-legged on the floor in the library of my Catholic school, imagining what it was like to be the creature—alone, misunderstood, misrepresented, abandoned, born of a bachelor-scientist in a laboratory, wandering through the world with no legitimate history and no God-given soul, and trying unsuccessfully to re-make himself through the reading of good books. As a child, I was always drawn to the outcast—both in life and in reading. I still am.
One book that helped me return to reading, or help sustain me as a reader, was __________
Reading The Green Ember series by S.D. Smith to my daughter is the way that I consistently re-fuel. This Christian utopia children’s book series is majestic and hopeful and suspenseful and deeply satisfying. And the experience of reading aloud to my daughter brims with bonding and connection.
One book that was pivotal in my faith journey was ________
The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes, by G. I. Williamson. I read this study guide devotionally, as the Confession portrays the majestic richness of a unified Biblical revelation. The Confession is also very practical; it helps me think through and give biblical answers to the pressing ethical questions Christians are routinely asked.
One book I’ve read lately that introduced a powerful new idea was __________.
The Connected Child, by Karyn Purvis. I first read this book decades ago when Kent and I were adopting teenagers out of foster care. We were trying to understand how to love and parent hurt children, but this book also taught me about how neither sin nor grace is private. This book gave me a window into my children’s scars and memory issues, and it helped me better understand God’s grace to the traumatized child, even when that child stands a foot taller than you do and is punching holes in your walls.
If I could make any book magically become a bestseller it would be __________.
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs. This book, part of Banner of Truth’s Puritan Paperbacks series, is one of my favorite—and yearly—re-reads. It always puts me in a holy hush and prompts me to think, pray, meditate, and repent as I seek to grow in Christ and die to self.