So maybe you noticed there was no post on Monday. Yeah. That was supposed to be the July Wrap-Up post but I just can’t do that right now. We’re in the middle of packing and moving and I’m still doing university in the midst of that… yeah. I’ll probably do a double wrap-up in September.
But today I wanted to do a fun post suggested by my dear friend Ryana Lynn: 19 books that changed my life or perspective in some way, shape, or form.
So let’s see what we get!!
Cliché? I think not. This year I have pored over my Bible and I have learned so, so much. God has really spoken to me. I’m on a challenge of reading through the Bible in a year, aside from my devotions, and I just play the Bible and listen to it while I do chores. I love it. The Bible is an amazing book and so full of Truth and Beauty and Wonder and Hope. I never grow tired of it, nor do I regret reading it. Seriously. If you have not read the whole Bible yet, I challenge you to do so. It will change your life. I strongly recommend using the Authorized King James Version because it is the only pure version, but that’s a discussion for another time.
2. Basic Principles of Speech by William Trufant Foster & Lew Sarrett–1946 EDITION.
I simply cannot explain everything this book has done for me. As a writer, it taught me so much about how to write effectively and well. As a singer, it taught me how to stand up in public with poise and grace. As a person in general, it taught me a lot about life and gave me much to think about. It taught me how to express myself well in every way. I strongly recommend this to all young people. Unfortunately, it’s basically impossible to find…
3. Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery.
This book is really marvellous. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of writing advice I’ve extracted from it. My sweet friend Mary H. & I have dug deep and wide into this book and we’ve pulled out SO much amazingness and beauty. This book taught me a lot about duty and true courage and strength and true love. It taught me about prejudice and hate. It taught me about life. I know some people dislike it, but as a rule, even those people liked some of it, so I strongly recommend it to everyone. Oh, and I want to be a Phemie. <33
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
I’ve read this book basically all my life, and it has taught me so much. It’s taught me a lot about living life, especially as a woman. It’s taught me about loving people. It’s taught me how to write. It’s reminded me again and again of how GOOD our God is.
5. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.
I’ve read this series almost all my life as well. Each time I read the Anne books I come away with new wisdom. If there’s one thing I admire about Anne, it’s her power to see the beauty in life and pass it on. Anne had a hard life, but everyone knows her as a joyous, wonder-filled girl. She kept that all her life. I love her power to draw people out and make them feel truly loved. Her power to change lives simply by pointing them to the beautiful truth. I really just wanna be a girl like Anne… If nothing else, read the first three books at least.
6. Daniel Boone, Wilderness Scout by Stewart Edward White.
This book gave me so much respect for Daniel Boone and the other pioneers of America. It taught me that it’s worth digging into the lives of the names that are constantly dinged about as “heroes.” ‘Cause many of them really are heroes. And just ’cause they’re not of my nation doesn’t mean I can’t respect them. Daniel Boone was an amazing man, guys, and he completely earned his position as a hero.
7. Tattered Wings by Kassie Angle.
I’ve always been fascinated by the police. But this book gave me a second glimpse into it. It also taught me a lot about the military. And about selfless ordinary heroes just showing up and doing what they can. I’m not American, but again, that doesn’t mean I can’t honour real heroes… and there are heroes just like that all over the world. This is why I wear my Thin Blue Line bracelet almost 24/7.
Um, yes. Break my heart, why don’t you? These books tore me apart. I’ve always been especially intrigued by World War One and World War Two. These books showed me what war really is. For real. What it costs, both of man and child, soldier and civilian. These books changed my mind on the whole “war is glorious” type of attitude I had. Oh, I still think sometimes war brings out the best in people, and sometimes it has to be done, but it also brings out the worst in people, and as far as possible, it should be avoided. I swear Walter Blythe is a real man buried somewhere in France, representing the chivalrous spirit of that war and the millions of lives and dreams shattered by greed and hatred. (Also, Mother from TST. That woman, let me tell you… amazing.) I’d like to mention Stay Where You Are & Then Leave as another book that gave me a different perspective on WWI.
9. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
I’ve always been someone who begged for happy endings, no matter how unrealistic. This book was one that refused to bow to pressure and give the happy ending because it was unrealistic. And it was beautiful. So beautiful. There is redemption, guys, there is redemption. Sydney Carton is a beautiful portrayal of how far God can reach and how completely He can change a life. I want to share about that redemption, you guys. There is always hope and I will proclaim that.
10. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.
Ouch. For the girl who can hardly stand having a sore throat, doesn’t like spending more than two hours alone, and has intense love for people, this was rough. This book helped me get a grip on my complaining and lack of thankfulness. It also helped me get a grip on the fact that God knows what He’s doing and He knows best. That is a message I need so desperately…
Oh, and can we mention God’s Smuggler here too? Because it kind of deals with the same thing, with the addition of God answers prayer.
11. What Katy Did Series by Susan Coolidge.
These books really impacted me hard. The early Katy strongly resembled me, and I aspired so much to be the woman she grew up to be. Courageous, gentle, wise, skilled, beautiful in character… I want to be a Katy. Clover, too, is an amazing role model…
12. The Elsie Dinsmore Books 1-9 by Martha Finley.
I haven’t read the rest yet, but so far, these books are amazing. Each one slams me in the face with a reminder I needed. Elsie as a woman is another of my role models. What a good, wise, lovely woman she was! She may seem a little perfect, but I believe she really just found the strength in Christ to leave a good, pure life. And man, I aspire so much to be able to quote ropes of different Bible verses like she does!
1. Elsie Dinsmore.
3. Elsie’s Girlhood.
6. Elsie’s Children.
13. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.
First off, Rab. Can we just mention Rab for a minute? I really admire how he influenced Johnny so much for good. How much he changed Johnny without Johnny really noting. Second, this was the first American Revolution book that gave me a different side than the old “we don’t like authority” side. This gave me a lot to think about. I still don’t think the war was right, but I see Johnny’s motive and agree that it is a noble one. This was the first book to challenge my mindset about Britain and the first that made me admit, ya know what, England is composed of human beings and of course, she messed up sometimes. And there’s no shame in admitting that. It’s in seeing mistakes that you can fix them and avoid them. Since then, Sophia’s War, Redcoat in Boston, and Rebecca’s War also gave me some new perspectives on the Revolution, which I am grateful for.
14. Mrs. Dunlap’s Commentary by Isabella Alden.
This was a super sobering reminder to me. Does my life live out the Bible?
But that is huge.
15. In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon.
Whoa. What a powerful, convicting story. I admit I almost hated it because it convicted me so hard. What if I did live my life according to “what would Jesus do?” Absolutely amazing.
16. Three People by Isabella Alden.
Yes. Wow. Ummm… wow. Theodore is an amazing young man, and a tremendous role model. And boy, do I ever love the message about obeying to the letter… Yeah. This is just so full of amazing stuff and really taught me a lot.
17. People Who “Haven’t Time” & “Can’t Afford It” by Isabella Alden.
We’re kind of in the Alden stage, hm? Yeah. Isabella Alden is an amazing writer whose stories seldom fail to slam me with a message I really needed. This one, for instance. There are just SO many good reminders in this book… Pansy’s writing, is just awesome.
18. My Daughter Susan by Isabella Alden.
Can I just say I want to be a Susan and leave it at that? This girl taught me so much. Just go read the book.
19. A Modern Sacrifice by Isabella Alden.
Of all Pansy’s books, this one probably hit hardest. I am passionate about the message that we are a peculiar people now. And I do my best to live up to it and share it.
Obviously, these aren’t ALL the books that changed me but they’re probably the most important ones. Most of these books are free–the links lead to free copies, for the most part; the rest can all be read for free on Archive, I believe–so dig in! 😉
I hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks again to Ry for the idea. Let me know down below if you’ve read any of these books, and what are some books you’d classify as changed-your-life/perspective!