Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.
This week’s topic is ‘Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most’. This is a fairly easy topic, although it could be hard narrowing it down to ten. Here goes:
1. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien. This is my favourite read of all-time, so it has to be at the top of my recommendation list. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it, but I never grow tired of it. If you’ve seen the recent movie, but not read the book, then you really don’t know the story. This book is always worth reading and Peter Jackson didn’t deserve to be allowed to make the movie after what he did to The Lord of the Rings stories.
2. Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis. I always recommend this one for anyone exploring the Christian faith. This is a well-thought out apologetic work, devoid of any of the emotionalism that can (too) often spoil books such as these. It’s more than 60 years since it was first published, but it’s still worth reading.
3. Pagan Christianity? – Frank Viola & George Barna. If your faith is stale or you are tired of the same old same old, then I’d highly recommend reading this book. This book totally changed the way I think and I am still working through the ramifications of that.
4. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This short book was Solzhenitsyn’s first and it is one of my favourite reads. If you’ve never read any of his works, then this is where I’d recommend you to start. Basically the book describes one day in the life of the titular character, who is imprisoned in a labour camp, or Gulag camp, in Siberia. It’s a book I return to every few years and I’m never disappointed.
5. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury. This is my favourite Bradbury book and it’s the one I always recommend first. It’s a great story and I hope I never have to live in a society where books are illegal and are burned.
6. Fatal Passage – Ken McGoogan. This is one of my favourite works of non-fiction, by one of Canada’s finest writers. The book is the untold, and true, story of John Rae, the 19th Century explorer and doctor, who, among many other achievements, discovered the fate of the lost Franklin expedition. This is a great book telling the story of someone who deserved more recognition than he did. The way he was treated was a disgrace and a travesty. Read this book and you’ll find out why.
7. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams. This is one of the most fun books you will ever read. Once you read this one, you’ll have to read the others in the series. It was essential reading when I was a teenager, but I’ve read it a few times more since then.
8. Serve God Save the Planet – J. Matthew Sleeth. This is a book that really challenged me as to how I live my life. It helped me to understand some of the responsibilities I have, not just as a Christ follower, but also as a human, in regards to being a good steward of our natural resources. It was also one of the books that prompted me to look at my eating habits.
9. Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell. I’d recommend all of Bell’s books, but I’d always suggest to start with this one, which was his first. I’d recommend it for pretty much the same reasons I recommend Mere Christianity, although it’s definitely not as heavy as the Lewis book. Bell is a great storyteller, which really comes through in this one.
10. The Harry Potter Books – J.K. Rowling. If you choose to read one of these books, you’ll end up reading them all! The movies are good, but the books are great. It has been a while since I read them, so I should really get back to them soon. There’s so many reasons to recommend these books, but if you haven’t read them, then get and do it now and you’ll find out the reasons for yourself.
I could have filled this list with books by two or three authors. I’d also recommend other works by the authors I’ve listed here, especially Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books and Lewis’s Narnia books, as well as The Great Divorce.