The stories in books shape people, they make people, the word *control* could almost be used. They lift us up, they tear us down, they take us where our feet cannot go, they bring us to the lowest dungeon, and to the highest mountains. Beneath slashing rivers, along quiet streams, amongst the war and amongst peace. They stir within us a sense of justice, and bring our emotions out of the frail shell of humanity. They create heroes and heroines, and declare the villains and evil for what they are. They encourage a sense of adventure, a sense of longing for better, a sense of discontent, remorse, and dejection, and everything in between.
As a young adult, I breath in books, just like everyone else. They are a sort of air.
The air in LA, California, where I have visited, is full of gunk. A brown smaug shadows that place, we get the feeling that…maybe it’s not the most clean or healthy air to breath, where as in the countryside of Washington, such a feeling is banished in the clear air. Books are no different.
From after the fall in the Garden, maybe Adam and Eve, or their children, figured out how to write, the stories written down weren’t healthy, they weren’t wholesome, they weren’t clear. No book is, as long as it is of man, and every book is, except the Bible. Yet, clearly, some books are far better than others, and the kind of junk that will inhabit, even the library shelves, is surely enough to set any young (or old) person coughing and sputtering, or enjoying the unhealthy aroma of man’s depravity.
I have started a collection, with the help of several friends, of books that would be healthier than randomly closing your eyes and laying down a finger on the county library shelf and picking up a volume of…questionable health. This list will be expanding, but at the moment, it rather select.
If my book list is inadequate for you, (or, likely as not, you have read all of them), I will (re)find a webpage I ran into with an excellent, but less detailed list. 🙂
The Bible– the number one book, ever.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. ~2 Timothy 3:16
How can I summarize the Holy Book? I cannot. God’s word goes beyond my ability to explain. You must read it for yourself.
The movies: I recommend the Nativity Story, for Christmas time, others I have not seen, but Heaven is For Real is one that should not be viewed due to heretical and false pretenses.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy– by J.R.R. Tolkien. A popular, fantastical book written by Tolkien and is greatly admired and loved throughout our time! It is well written and exciting, featuring a good plot. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat in anticipation! Good and evil are combatting and in the middle is an unlikely hobbit in possession of a powerful ring. With a company of friends he sets out to destroy it, but countless enemies, terrors and trials are in his way. This book is suggested for ages 10+ because of confusing vocabulary, intense action and several words that should not be repeated. Including fantasy, action, and thrilling adventure, this book has been known to improve the vocabulary and writing styles of those who read it! Series includes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.
The movies- DEFINITELY read the books first, because the movie misrepresents a great deal of what Tolkien wanted us to see. They are very well done, but in some parts are lacking, and the books and movies have different views on certain characters. The movies are suggested for 12+ because of the visual violence and intensity.
The Chronicles of Narnia– by C.S.Lewis. Narnia, another world, another place, another story, beginning in England. One of the greatest writers, C. S. Lewis, takes his pen to the paper and creates one of the most beautiful stories ever. The Magicians Nephew starts us on how evil came to Narnia, and introduces the first “comings and going between this world and Narnia.” The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the four Pevensie children driving winter away under the highest king: Aslan. All of the books are a joy to read as you travel through the concepts of sacrifice, revenge, courage, betrayal, Kings and Queens. A story for children of every age, but suggested for 6+ or so, because of the reading level. This series includes: The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; The Horse and his Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle.
The movies- are inaccurate, as always, the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is very good, but reading the books first is best. The movies, however, are for older, more mature children.
The Hiding Place– by Corrie Ten Boom. A beautiful book written first hand that shows the reality of the Nazi dictatorship in Austria, it shows hope in hopeless situations, honesty, faith, and endurance, it is the true story of standing up for what was right, and God’s flawless provision for the situation He puts you in. It is recommended for that ages 10+ because of intense suffering, bodily abuse, cruelty, and details of the situation of Nazi concentration camps. Also several words that children under ten shouldn’t be repeating. This amazing, historical autobiography contains self-sacrifice, action, suspense, truth, and a little bit of romance! It was noteworthy of the heroism that is portrayed, the faith in God, honesty and courage that Corrie records in her story.
The Sillmarillion– By J.R.R. Tolkien. This is the history of Middle Earth, mainly the creation of the world and the first age (The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit take place in the third age). I loved this book and probably is one of my favorite books of all time. The in-depth story telling of Tolkien and the beautiful threads that he weaves through it blew me away. The start of the book is a but slow, I will agree, however once it starts to pick up it is fantastic! The story of Beren and Lúthien is worth the read alone, and couple that with everything else… utterly amazing. Definitely worth the money to buy it and I would contend that the stories of middle-earth will become classics for ages.
This specific edition doesn’t have that great a map, I would recommend getting a fuller one of the whole of Tolkien’s world to make reading a little easier.
It took me a while to get through it because I wanted to read it slowly, but also because it took a little while to pick up… It’s intimidating.