Books by Poets and Children’s Writers
1. e.e. cummings. Not sure, but I think it was his A Selection of Poems which was the first book I read of his and it forever changed how I viewed poetry and self-expression. His avant-garde approach, rule-breaking, and visual presentation of a poem on a page broke my imagination into pieces in my early high school years.
2. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Do you protest too often about that which you do not like. Sam I Am reminds you to keep an open mind. A persistent plugger often prevails.
3. Mike Mulligan and His Steamshovel by Virginia Lee Burton. The story of a good challenge. You, too, may dig yourself into holes from which it is difficult to get out. A good reminder to create a way out for yourself when you’re in the thick of it.
4. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. Try not to smile as you read this. I dare you.
5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Transformation through loving sacrifice.
6. Any poem by Mary Oliver. Her words are ice cream to your heart and mind.
7. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
8. The Gift by Hafez. Sufi poetry so stunning, you may have to remember to breathe.
9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou for her powerful voice. This is a book of fiction, but I think of Maya more as a poet than anything else.
10. Frank Herbert’s Dune Trilogy. Any dripping faucet, while you read this trilogy, may drove you crazy! It still captivates me decades later.
11. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence. I still think about it forty years later.
12. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak for its POV, first and foremost; also, its use of color, plot, character development and historical storyline. How books can feed the soul.
13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Her unrequited love makes hearts ache.
14. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Finally learned there is a way to write with accents that don’t contain 155,000 apostrophes.
15. Michener’s Hawaii. He made me look up so much vocabulary! He taught me you could write the first hundred pages of a book about a volcano that was creating an island and not be boring. 16. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Two-to-three page chapters? Yes! I took five pages of notes. 17. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel will mesmerize you.
18. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Change the way you think and view failures and disappointments.
19. Seeds of Greatness: 10 Best Kept Secrets of Total Success by Denis Waitley helped me jump-start a multi-million dollar direct selling career by developing leaders.
20. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. Inspired insights and rules to live by.
21. Excuse Me, Your life is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings by Lynn Grabhorn.
22. Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Taosports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business, and Life by Chungliang Al Huang and Jerry Lynch. It may change the way you view sports, life, and Tao.
23. A Tree Full of Angels: Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary by Macrina Wiederkehr. Crumbs take on a whole new meaning. 24. Enduring Grace, Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics by Carol Flinders. A Protestant vegetarian magazine writer writing about Hildegard of Bingen, St. Therese Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Genoa, St Catherine Sienna et al in their own words. Provocative, moving, and satisfying.
25. Out of the Depths: The Story of Ludmila Javorova, Ordained Roman Catholic Priest, by Miriam Therese Winter. Did you know the Catholic Church had women priests? Interviewed in the Czech Republic, a courageous woman tells her story of her secret ordination behind the iron curtain when priests Nazis imprisoned priests and no one was left to baptize, anoint, or consecrate the Body of Christ.
26. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Racy Biblical fiction from a woman’s perspective.
27. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. She holds a secret.
28. Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer by Catherine De Hueck. She felt like a wise grandmother explaining the depths of spiritual experience. You may hold your breath at some of her words.
29. Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. You’ll never think of a broken glass the same way again.
30. He and I by Gabrielle Bossis. An introduction to colloquy by a French actress writing God’s responses.
I bow to these and many other authors. Comment below to add to this list. What books have made a difference in your life? The Bible, of course, supersedes anything written. It is the living Word of God, the most excellent transformer and Lover of all, the Author of life.
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