Once I finish book, I'm usually done with it and don't look back. Most books I've read I can't tell you what they are about. When I open the pages, I'm immersed in the book and once the book ends, that's it. I don't have much a memory for books, except for the ones I'm about to share.
These books have impacted me far after I've closed the book. Even now, I can remember lines from these books and how they made me feel as I was reading them. Some of them I read more than 20 years ago. Indeed, carrying around words and feelings from a book is a mark of its greatness for me.
Here are my favorite books (in no particular order)
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: The story of 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove who wishes for blue eyes so that she'll be seen as beautiful. The story is hauntingly heartbreaking but written with such beauty and prose that it's hard to put down. I read this book my freshman year at Howard University and still the story sits with me.
One of my favorite passages showcasing Morrison's exquisite imagery:
"Pecola stood a little apart from us, her eyes hinged in the direction in which Maureen had fled. She seemed to fold into herself, like a pleated wing. Her pain antagonized me. I wanted to open her up, crisp her edges, ram a stick down the hunched and curving spine, force her to stand erect and spit the misery out on the streets. But she held it in where it could lap up into her eyes."
God's Chosen Fast by Arthur Walls: I bought this book shortly after I got saved at the age of 18. It's a practical handbook on the subject of fasting that I have read many times over.
Your God Is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan: I also found this book early in my Christian walk and it was just what I needed at the time. I knew that God is good, but what I didn't realize is that He isn't always safe...and that's okay because He's taking us on the adventure of our lives. God is loving but He's unpredictable (just as He should be.)
One of my favorite passages:
The safe God asks nothing of us, gives nothing to us. He never drives us to our knees in hungry, desperate praying and never sets us on our feet in fierce, fixed determination. He never makes us bold to dance. The safe god never whispers in our ears anything but greeting card slogans and certainly never asks that we embarrass ourselves by shouting out from the rooftop. "
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus: By Bob Sorge: I got hip to Bob Sorge from worship leader Judith Christie McAllister. I used to work for she and her husband and she told me about his ministry. After hearing some of his messages and his testimony, I was hooked. His voice was damaged at a time when God was using him mightily to preach. This book urges readers to keep a spiritual focus in a world that wants us to do anything but that.
One of my favorite parts of the book: "The enemy always accuses us in the first person, as though there were our own thoughts, when in reality they are his thoughts injected into our minds. Let me tell you why the enemy steps up his accusations when you try to worship the Lord. It's because he knows that worship is transformational."
Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits by T.D. Jakes: This book is just good practical advice. Yes, Jakes is one of the greatest preachers alive, but this book is not sermon-based but for real life. Awesome read that I want to dive back into now.
A favorite passage: "Mediocrity places the blinders of the mundane on you so that you cannot see beyond the trials of the present moment- the bills, the kids, the stress, the illness, the breakup. And if it can keep you preoccupied with its latest dart of potential poison, then it can wear you down to where you accept the poison as the only potion available. You end up feeling like there are no options, no choices, no resources to defend yourself with and use to overcome adversity and achieve victory."
What are some of your favorite books?