Books I Grew On
This is not a list of my "top ten,"
or my favourites,
or the best books out there,
but simply some books I either grew up on or grew from...
W. G. Vandehulst's children’s books, always warm, quite Dutch, and yet wrapping up with a cozy ending and the reminder of a God who is willing to forgive.
Piet Prins' children’s books provided the adventure and excitement my ten or twelve year old self craved, also from a Christian perspective.
The Shining Sword by Charles Coleman is a most excellent allegory of the Christian life. I thought John Bunyan had the final say on allegory until I read this. A must-read for kids.
Elizabeth Prentiss’s Stepping Heavenward is a book I read and reread through my later teens. The autobiographical nature of this book and open talk about the spiritual struggles going on inside a young girl (and, as time went on, a married one) are a blessing.
In Trouble and in Joy by Sharon James was one of the first nonchildren’s biographies I read, and I recall really appreciating it.
Maurice Robert’s The Thought of God, The Christian's High Calling, and Great God of Wonders are books I return to over the years. With such a variety of topics, there is a feast for the mind, and with such a warm heart-felt tone throughout, also a feast for the soul.
Jeremiah Burrough’s The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment was a puritan’s thoughts on contentment. In Burrough’s words, “Contentment does not come from addition but from subtraction. Contentment comes from subtracting our sinful desires for more.” Convicting.
Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hanna More - Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Prior is a favourite recent biography.
Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic was a blessing in the years of having a house full of little ones. With humour, Jankovic points busy moms back to the heart-work that should be going on under all the surface activity.
John Flavel’s The Mystery of Providence was a second tackle of the puritans. A view-shaper as Flavel shows how providence is at work through all areas of life.
A Passion for the Impossible: the Life of Lilias Trotter by Miriam Rockness was another grown-up biography favourite. Warm and devotional in style, it is the story of a missionary-artist-writer to the Muslim in North Africa.
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield helped open my eyes to the church’s and Christian’s relationship to the mission field outside our front door. An excellent read for all church-goers.
The Pilgrim's Progress and Christiana by John Bunyan. A dramatized but unabridged audio version of this made the work accessible to the whole family. With excellent spiritual lessons for everyday life, it serves as a constant reminder that there is more to life than what the eye can see.
Sarah Mackenzie’s Teaching From Rest is a book full of rest and reminders of grace for a busy home-educating mom. A great book to read and reread.
Women of the Word was helpful in making study of the Bible more purposeful and less of an aimless reading of chapters. By Jen Wilkins.