Books contain more than words.   A book can guide, or open one’s heart or mind to a different point of view.  A book can expand an interest or inspire travel to a far away place.  A book  may explain and understanding may grow.  But some change the direction of a life.

I have been thinking about which books have very likely changed the path of my life.  Some helped me to understand, some influenced a decision I was contemplating, some created a world that became real to me.

The Bible.  (inspiring faith, revealing God, and guiding life decisions)

Family Medical Guide (Reader’s Digest) — (elementary age – looking at the plastic pages with illustrations of the human body and organs – grew an interest in “medical stuff” = ultimate journey through x-ray tech school, and after years home with kids, on to nursing school)

Reviving Ophelia.  Mary Pipher (helped convince me to finally say yes to homeschooling request of middle aged school daughters)

Women are from Mars, Men are from Venus.   John Gray  (oh yes – that book – actually helped me understand that my often quiet husband was not “mad at me” and helped me better understand gender differences – at least the ones that mattered to me and my husband)

Outlander.  Diana Gabaldon (Someday, I will get to Scotland, and Jamie and Claire are real (or feel like they are) and the series of novels starting with this book were a bit of an obsession for a long, long while…)

The Strong Willed Child.  James Dobson  (Discipline with love – one of the first books that helped in the challenging job of trying to raise children into wonderful adults)

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – LLL  (Helped me be more successful in breastfeeding my own children which likely unltimately influenced the fact that I am working in the job I am currently employed in)

Nancy Drew Mysteries (began and fostered a life long love of reading)

Then there are the books that stay with us for decades – or will – for a variety of reasons: The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom), The Cross and the Switchblade (David Wilkerson), Roots (Alex Haley), Gift of the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindburgh), Our Town (Thornton Wilder),  Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank), Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey),  To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and a few more recent reads: Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand), Bonhoeffer (Eric Metaxas), Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller), Praying for Strangers (River Jordan).

Fellow readers – what books have influenced you? Or stayed with you for a long, long time?

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