Favorites Friday -- Part 5

Is it possible to have just one favorite book? I don’t think so. In fact, the list of my favorites changes more often than my socks. Ha! Just kidding. I change my socks every day, I promise. I do, however, have several books that stuck with me. Books that I think about and keep rereading. On Favorites Friday, I share a few of those books with you.

Our journey so far walked us through the world of kid books, past the sticky adolescent realm and now we’re hunting through adult fiction. If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, you can find them HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. Also, please sign up for my email list. I promise not to sell your information to cyborgs or spam you with anything. 

(Side note: Each book title and photo is a clickable link to the book on Amazon. If you buy the book through my page, I receive a minuscule amount of the purchase price. More info can be found at the bottom of THIS page. Thanks for helping to keep me in books!)

 

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Price family is turned upside down when Nathan decides to move his family to the Congo to be missionaries. The difficulties and culture shock the family experiences are made more severe by Nathan’s refusing to bend to local customs. Nathan’s four daughters struggle to understand their father’s God and their place in the world.

Barbara Kingsolver likely didn’t intend for this book to strengthen anyone’s faith, in fact, it was probably the opposite. She usually presents a very negative view of anything looking like Christianity. But, in writing this book she asks some very good questions. What should missions look like? Should missionaries adapt to the culture around them? Which parts of Christian beliefs are cultural and which ones transcend the way people live in a given area? Reading this book forced me to ask, and answer, these questions for myself. Reading this book strengthen my beliefs, and my love for Africa. Bonus: it’s a really well written book!  

 

My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith

Writer Paul Stewart needs a change of scenery to finish his book. When he decides to vacation in the town Montalcino, Italy, he is blissfully unaware of the ways his life will soon be turned upside down. His adventure truly begins when he arrives to find that there are no cars available to rent but… there IS a bulldozer. 

This laugh out loud book from the author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is sure to please. The shorter length makes it perfect for a day in a lounge chair on the beach or a night on the couch under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. 

 

Everything is Coming up Josey by Susan May Warren

Josey is minding her own business in her home in Gull Lake, Minnesota when she hears the call from God to be a missionary. In Russia. What follows is an adventure that is by turns funny and poignant. Can Josey figure out what God has in store for her? Did He REALLY want her in Russia?

Written by my personal hero, Susan May Warren, the Josey books introduced me to the best form of chick lit - the kind that encourages and edifies you, while not being preachy. Walk along with Josey as she learns about love, faith, family, and getting it right. 

 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This classic thriller tells the tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his creation - a monster made of human parts. 

There are so many things that intrigue me about this novel. First, Mary Shelley basically wrote it as a result of a dare. I love the thought of going to a weekend party and coming home with a novel. Second, Frankenstein’s monster just wants someone who is like him. More than a sum of his parts, he wants to know and be known for who he is. His desire to be in community shows just how human this “monster” is. 

 

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

Amidst political turmoil, men still long for beauty and when the dutch city of Haarlem offers a prize to the tulip fancier who can prove they’ve grown a black tulip, gardeners far and wide throw themselves into the contest. Just as Cornelius van Baerle believes he has succeeded, his life takes a definite downturn. Can he trust Rosa with his secret? Will he ever see the precious black tulip grow from the bulbs he carefully protects?

This little known gem of a story by the renowned writer of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo is chock full of intrigue, misfortune, and love. It is my favorite story by Alexandre Dumas (second favorite? The Count of Monte Cristo - I even named a daughter after one of the characters!). My advice? Ignore the Dutch political history (unless you’re into that kind of thing - it is actually very interesting), and enjoy the story as a classic look at what happens when life, love, and obsession collide.

 

That’s it for this week’s list. Next up: Non-fiction.