Favorite Book Ever

By April 29, 2006Writing

What is your favorite book? Singular. Not a list. What is the very best book you have ever read? And why is it your fave?

The novel that shook my world is a combination of satire on human depravity, meditation on faith, murder mystery, love story (or two), legal thriller, testament to courage, and ultimately an apologetic for grace, grace, grace: Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. One of the numerous Amazon reviewers who commented on this classic said, basically, “I’m an agnostic, but almost doth Dostoevsky persuade me to become a Christian.” This book convinced me it was possible to tell a story in such a way that people would fall in love with grace. And it could be pulled off without including one sermon, altar call, sinner’s prayer, “Four Spiritual Laws,” or iota of Christianese.

Your turn.

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Lyn-z says:

    My favorite book as of today is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is an amazing non-fiction account of the book of Hosea. Rivers’ novel deeply ministered to me the depth of God’s relentless love for His children. It is a must-read!

  • Kristine says:

    Their Eyes Were Watching God. I was so glad when Oprah made this into a movie last year (or was it earlier) because too few people were familiar with it. Hurston’s writing is beautiful and poetic, her story at once heartbreaking and uplifting.

  • Erin says:

    What a scary question, Sandi! I feel like you’re asking me to name my favorite child.;)

    I’m ashamed to admit that, while I love to read, I’m not very broad in my scope yet. (I just finished Peace Like a River, thanks to you and Mary recommending it.)

    The Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens is the one that comes to mind. Much like Brothers Karamazov, it’s a jam packed story that grips you by the shirt collar in places; in others, tenderly smooths your hair out like a mother with her child. In the end it paints a marvelous picture of grace and mercy. It’s another example of a work that says not a word about Jesus Christ, but yet speaks volumes about him.

  • James Michener’s Hawaii. Gripping, detailed historical fiction! His writing is beautiful. Account of the missionaries packed full of amazing lessons of God’s Grace. Good stuff on legalism and salvation. And it was the only time I sobbed, and I mean SOBBED(!) over a fictional character’s death like I did over Malama…

  • San says:

    This from Natalie via email: If I had to pick a fiction book that has impacted my life the most it would be East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I didn’t know about all the Biblical illusions when I picked it up (I think I picked it up because it was an Oprah thing) and I had no clue it would literally move me to a prayer of thankfulness about God’s love for me. The part that moved me the most was the part at the end
    where Kate finally dies. She has been completely horrible and wretched and Steinbeck makes it so clear from the beginning there is nothing redeemable about her. She was a prostitute for most of the book right (it’s been a few years since I read it)? Anyway when she died, the husband she left and used, falls into tears and promises he will take care of everything. That he will pay for everything because he loves her. At first I thought it was the silliest plot point ever but as I thought about it, I knew that was
    so much like me and my relationshp with God. To know that’s the kind of love he has for me blew my mind. It was and is one of the most powerful redemption stories I’ve ever read.

  • rhon says:

    I don’t mean to be picky but “the very best book” I have ever read is different than “the novel that shook my world”. Either I’m splitting hairs or I’m trying to find a loop hole where I can mention more than one book.

    Even though I’ve read Tolkien, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis and other masters, my favorite is “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Good vs. evil, children forced into adult situations, sci-fi “what if…”, insurmountable odds, moral delimmas, end-of-the-world threat, and a surprise ending. Not being a writer, I’ve chosen this book because of it’s entertainment value and it’s ability to engage my mind on all levels.

    The novel that shook my world? Stephen King’s “The Stand”. Why? It was the first real adult novel I ever read. My father gave it to me to usher me from Nancy Drew into adult reading. I had no idea stories could be like that: gritty, dirty, disturbed, challenging and warped. Characters were neither all good nor all evil. Reality was smeared with perceptions from the dark spots of our minds. And the oldest question in literature was introduced to me, “What if…”.

  • Greta says:

    I have read this post multiple times and keep thinking “must comment, must comment” but then I freak out over the choice. So, like a band-aid (Right Off!): my faovrite novel:

    Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher.

    This book hooked me like nothing else. It is not difficult to read nor particularly deep. It is just a well told story that every girl can relate to.

    I lent it to my boss when she went on vacation to Hawaii. When she came back I asked her, “How was the trip?” and she said “Oh….Judith! Don’t you just love Judith!”

    Judith is the main character in Coming Home. I knew exactly what she meant. It is comfort food for me.

  • Chris Howard says:

    I say The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

    Though I liked it then, I love it now. You know how you say when the theological hits you over the head years later?

  • Cathryn says:

    I realize this blog was written months ago, but I’ve just recently become a blogger and came across your name after Frank and Caroline were mentioned this week.

    We live near rts and carpooled with them and they remain close to us, especially our children.

    About my favorite book. The problem is huge for there are so many that I love (words and them put together have to be some of my favorite children). First you didn’t say fiction or nonfiction and then their is poetry, mystery, historical fiction, romance, sci fi, fantasy, classics, childrens, etc.

    All that said, I must go back to one of my first loves. Though I read avidly from 8 or 9 years I was not a guided reader until my conversion and attendance at Covenant College.

    Between college and grad school I was introduced to George MacDonald. I loved the Narnia tales but George MacDonald’s books stole my heart, especially Sir Gibbie, full of Scottish moors, families with good hearts and brave and giving Gibbie.

    thanks for your blog; encouraging, challenging,thinking, christian…

    Cathryn flowers Ritchie

  • Carol says:

    My all-time favorite book was by Laurens van der Post, named A Story Like the Wind. I needed a dictionary to read it, but it swept me away as in single paragraphs, I learned the entire history of African tribes. It is about pre-apartheid South Africa. Beautiful, expansive, dear and righteous as it tells an almost autobiographical story of the author as a boy who indeed grew up in that region. The sequel isn’t bad, either! Actually, Disney put Reese Witherspoon in its version of the story as her first movie. Not as good as the book!

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