this is by no means a complete list, but here are some of my bedside favorites… i have read most of these more than once, and i will add to them as i come across more. enjoy!


mistress of the art of death
by ariana franklin
first, a disclaimer: this is not a book for the faint of heart!  set in the middle ages, this is the story of a female doctor from italy called upon to “make bones talk.”  children are dying gruesome deaths in the english countryside and adelia is called upon by the king to prove that the jews are not to blame.  adelia battles prejudice from all sides as she fights for the rights of the victims while trying not to end up as one of them.  part fox television’s “bones” and part medieval who dunnit, this page turner blew my mind!


the secret of lost things
sheridan hay
when rosemary walks into the arcade bookstore in new york city for the first time, she is fresh off the boat from new zeeland.  her mother, who is also her only true friend, has just died and rosemary is starting a life fresh on her own.  the arcade becomes her entire world: books, friends, and finally love all find her there. in the end, it is the mystery surrounding a lost melville manuscript that teaches rosemary who she is in the world and shows her how to be free from the burden of memory that she carries with her.  astonishing in it’s storytelling and language, this is a book that i read from cover to cover, bearly putting it down.  it is a wonderful story indeed!  


faith and the city: a girl’s search for post college meaning
by jennifer ruisch
this memoir tells the story of a discovery that faith is more than words and church services… it is life and love.  as we move with miss ruisch from sheltered college life to the big city we are given a reminder that we each affect every life we touch for either better or worse and that it is up to us to decide how we will let God shape those relationships.  this book is laden with questions that have few answers but it leaves the reader desiring better communication within not only his or her community, but within a daily walk with Christ as well. 


the saffron kitchen
by yasmin crowther
this is a book about the boundaries we set for ourselves in order to protect our lives and hearts from pain.  set alternately in london and iran, the saffron kitchen tells the story of maryam, an independant soul born into a culture of honor and tradition.  this book is about hard choices and the consequences of those choices but most of all, it is a love story.


astonishing splashes of colour

by clare morall
the story of a woman slowly going mad, this book is amazing. i don’t think i have read a book in which the things that happened to the main character actually felt like they were happening to me the way they did in this one in a long time. this story is gut wrenching and honest about what happens to people when they feel they have no hope left in the world.


dangerous angels
francesca lia block
a “luminous saga of interwoven lives”, this is a collection of books that i found in high school. weetzie bat, witch baby, cherokee bat and her goat guys, angel juan, dirk, duck, and my secret agent lover man form the most loving, caring unconventional family in california. this is a book about family in the places that you least expect it, growing up on your own terms, homosexuality, music, ghosts and above all love.


necklace of kisses
francesca lia block
necklace is the follow up to dangerous angels. weetzie, a teenager who grows into her mid twenties in the first book, is now a woman in her forties. my secret agent lover man, her life partner, comes apart at the seams after 9/11, so weetzie goes “away” for a while. weetzie finds out that there is more to life than your expectations, and lover man finds out that while the world is not a safe place, there are people within that unsafe life that make it worth living.

velvet elvis
rob bell
this is the book that finally made being an american christian less of a burden for me. he speaks honestly about the downfalls we all take in our faith lives and he calls us to live the life of Christ daily… this book is easy to read… so much so that amante even liked it!


painted deserts
donald miller
in this memoir, miller takes us along with him on his journey from texas to oregon. it is a journey in which he finds himself both emotionally and spiritually. more than a guidance book, as velvet elvis was, this is a book about personal discovery and what can happen to a dry faith with a small amount of willingness to step outside your comfort zone.
(also by donald miller: searching for god knows what, blue like jazz)


the forgetting rom
nick bantock
the forgetting room is a story about a man who returns to his childhood home in spain after the death of his grandfather, an artist. an artist himself, the man spends days on a treasure hunt in his grandfather’s studio looking for the item his grandfather left him. while he searches, he takes a dreamworld journey into his grandparents past, and discovers an important truth about how his actions have deep impact on the lives of those he loves.
(also by nick bantock: the griffin and sabine books, the egyptian jukebox, the museum at purgatory, and many more)

jesus in the margins
rick mckinley
this is a book about being an outsider, and knowing that God sent His son just for you. it is real and honest about how God’s word addresses the hurts and insecurity felt by the “outsiders” He walked the earth to save.

the complete e.e. cummings
e.e cummings
all the poems he ever published. what more is there to say?


One Response to “read.these.books”

  1. I like the idea! cool!

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