Our “bestie” from Australia Diane Harvey compiled her top ten reading list for us! She wrote me a hand-written book review once, that completely floored me. Not only is she intelligent, but spot-on in her generous faith. She will be traveling to Cambodia with her church group in the next month, and promised to write all about it for us upon her return.
1) The Bible. I use the NIV version the most. You could call it my heart language. Whenever I hear different versions I am comparing it to the version that I know in my heart. There is so much that I love about it. I love all the golden threads linking this with that, sharpening and developing our understanding of things. I love how even though it is made up of different books, it is an integrated whole telling of how God loves and rules the world. I love that people can be saved by God through Jesus, and that this is not earned. It is a gift. I love that God is restoring all things and we have a glorious future hope in him with nothing broken – everything fixed forever – thanks to the work of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection to life!
2) Seven by Jen Hatmaker. I love the way she calls out to us in the Decadent First World to get a grip of ourselves, reign in our over-consumption, and look out for people other than ourselves. I cheered heartily at her message.
3) Jesus and Muhammad by Mark A. Gabriel. This book was written by a man who was brought up a Muslim and trained in the Islamic faith. The beginning of the book is the first part of his biography, the end is the later part of his biography, and the middle is a side-by-side comparison between Jesus and Muhammad. It was fascinating and well worth a read.
4) Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This is a fictitious tale inspired by the story of Hosea, which is itself an illustration of God’s loving-kindness despite the unfaithfulness of his people.
5) Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons by John Dickson. Dickson is really clear and focused on his task to understand, “What does the word ‘teach’ refer to when it says in Timothy, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” The topic is controversial, his conclusions are unpopular in his circle but his research is skilful and convincing. If you read any books by John Dickson I guarantee you will not be wasting your time.
6) Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller. The title says it all.
7) The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. This book has injustice as one of its main themes and follows the hero PK who encounters racial injustice as a child and who fights against it as he grows.
8) Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley. Who knew cleaning the kitchen sink was so important? Cilley tries to encourage you to get good habits to clean your house and I appreciate that about her. I am, however, still a work in progress!
9) The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis. I know this is a series and I’m cheating but they were a childhood favourite and an encouragement to me still.
10) The No.1. Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Another series and I’m cheating again but, delightful!
Special mention and not on my official list because I haven’t read it yet but I keep meaning to:
A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and his Prayers by D.A. Carson.
Which of Diane’s picks have you read? What are your favorites? We love suggestions!