~A list of favorite books from my bookshelf ~
My favorite Book of all! ❤ I couldn’t start this list without THE most important (and best-selling) Book of all time!
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” -Hebrews 4:12
Idols of the Heart – Learning to Yearn for God Alone by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Recommended Ages: 15-100
Do you feel discouraged, even defeated, in your battle against habitual sin? Are you dismayed or surprised by the situations that bring out your fear, anger, or distress? Elyse Fitzpatrick delves into the heart of the problem: deep down, we’re all idol-worshippers who put our loves, desires, and expectations in God’s place—and then suffer the consequences of our misplaced affections. Yet God loves his people and can use even our messy lives and struggles for his glory. Fitzpatrick shows us how to better search and know our hearts, long for our gracious Savior, and resist and crush our false gods. Includes questions for further thought.
When I first read this book a year or two ago, the Lord really used it to open my eyes to some heart issues I was needing to deal with. When I got done reading it (and marking it up with a highlighter, which is not normal for me), I thought “I wish I had had this book years ago!” Elyse Fitzpatrick shows how even a good thing can become a sin when we place it above the Lord! This book is so good, and it’s one I re-read at the start of every year.
In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
Recommended Ages: 12-100
“What would Jesus do?” When members of an ordinary American church are challenged to not take a single action without first asking themselves that simple question, their lives, their congregation, and their community are transformed. Yours will be, too, after reading Sheldon’s classic novel that’s inspired believers for more than 100 years!
Although this book should probably be in the fiction section, the message in it is so powerful that I had to include it in this list! This is another one that I re-read every year. 🙂 You will be motivated to be a better follower of Christ in following these characters as they actively seek to live in a way that brings honor and glory to Christ!
School of Biblical Evangelism by Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Robert S. Cameron
Recommended Ages: 16-100
This comprehensive study, for both new and advanced believers, offers an extensive course of thought-provoking topics in easy-to-read portions. Now with a fresh look and revised content, its 101 lessons will teach you how to share your faith simply, effectively, and biblically…the way Jesus did. Discover the God-given evangelistic tools that will enable you to confidently talk about the Savior.
With insightful lessons on subjects ranging from basic Christian doctrines to knowing our enemy, from false conversations to proving the deity of Jesus, you will be well-equipped to answer questions as you witness to anyone. This study course will help you to prove the authenticity of the Bible, provide ample evidence for creation, refute the claims of evolution, understand the beliefs of those in cults and other religions, and know how to reach both friends and strangers with the gospel.
Each lesson also includes study questions to help you absorb the material, with room for you to record your answers. Containing core content from the popular online School of Biblical Evangelism, this book provides all the lesson text at your fingertips, making it a convenient format to easy reference as you put its lessons into practice.
If you want to be more equipped, more bold in sharing the gospel, then I would highly recommend you read this book! Each lesson is convicting, eye-opening, and has wonderful examples of how to witness to people. Ray Comfort has a wonderful ministry, and I would encourage you to check out his website! LivingWaters.com
It’s (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia Botkin and Elizabeth Botkin
Recommended Ages: 18-25
It’s (Not That) Complicated is a humorous, hopeful, and deeply thought-provoking new look at guy-girl relationships in our times. Dealing practically with such complications as online interaction, Hollywood expectations, undefined relationships, and unrequited love, the Botkin sisters offer enduring biblical principles that can make it all much simpler.
This has been one of my favorite books on relationships so far! Not only do they talk about guy/girl relationships in a healthy, God-honoring, and practical way, but they also address sibling and parent relationships. When I read this book for the first time last year, it made a huge impact on my life and how I view relationships! I cannot recommend it highly enough!
When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy
Recommended Ages: 18-25
Eric and Leslie Ludy challenge singles to take a fresh approach to relationships in a culture where love has been replaced by cheap sensual passion. When God Writes Your Love Story shows that God’s way to true love brings fulfillment and romance in its purest, richest, and most satisfying form.
This book had a lot of gems in it. Some of the content is a bit mature, so I would recommend it for older girls (I was even uncomfortable with some of the stuff they put in it). It was an encouraging read, and here is one of my favorite quotes from the book: “I wasn’t truly ready to begin a journey toward marriage with my future husband until I learned to find my confidence, joy, and security first and foremost in Jesus Christ.”
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
Recommended Ages: 18-25
I Kissed Dating Goodbye offers an all-new approach to dating relationships, calling young adults away from playing the dating game and revealing how they can live a lifestyle of sincere love, true purity, and purposeful singleness. Honest and practical, this powerful book will inspire teens and young adults to remap their romantic lives in the light of God’s Word. Not just a book of theory, I Kissed Dating Goodbye includes healthy challenges to today’s cultural assumptions about relationships and provides solid, biblical alternatives to society’s norm
With Joshua Harris’ recent turning away from his book and Christianity, a lot of people were ready to throw this book out. I was disturbed at this reaction because there are a lot of sound Biblical truths and principles in the book. Just because a man decides to leave the Bible and it’s teachings doesn’t mean that we jump ship as well. That is why I am still recommending this book and will continue to read it. **There is some mature content in this book, so I would suggest (is you are a teenage girl) to have your parents read it first.
For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice
Recommended Ages: 18-25
For Young Women Only dives into the mysterious inner-workings of the teenage male mind so that you can begin to understand why guys say and do what they do. Exploring critical topics including respect, insecurity, appearance, physical affection, and the “tough and tender”-ness of guys, this book is also packed with “ask the expert” sections, quotes, and fun personal stories from guys in all walks of life.
A national scientific survey and in-depth personal interviews give you an unprecedented look inside the teenage male mind. This book will help you grasp how God wired the opposite sex so you can enjoy your relationships with them.
This book was SUPER helpful in helping me understand guys and how they are wired! It was interesting to see in the survey that respect is a big deal for young single guys as well as married men. Not only did it help me understand guys better in general, but it has also helped me in relating to my brothers and dad as well.
Crown and Covenant Series by Douglas Bond
Recommended age: 10-14
The Crown & Covenant series follows the lives of the M’Kethe family as they endure persecution in 17th–century Scotland. Douglas Bond weaves together fictional characters with historical figures from Scottish Covenanting history.
Book 1: Duncan’s War
Book 2: King’s Arrow
Book 3: Rebel’s Keep
This is my all-time favorite series! (And author, for that matter.) Although the main characters are boys, I thoroughly enjoy the books! This series was actually what inspired me to want to write and publish my own books. Douglas Bond has authored many other books, and I am anxious to get my hands on all of them! 🙂
Faith and Freedom Series by Douglas Bond
Recommended age: 10-14
The M’Kethe clan finds itself in pre-Revolutionary War Connecticut weathering a storm of religious and political upheaval.
The Faith & Freedom series, sequel to the Crown & Covenant series, chronicles new generations of the M’Kethe family who find freedom in 18th-century America. Adventure is afoot as Old World tyrannies clash with New World freedoms. Douglas Bond weaves together fictional characters with historical figures from Scottish and American history.
Besides the Scottish Covenanters and WWII era, the Revolutionary War is one of my favorite periods in history to read about! Continuing to follow the M’Kethe family, Douglas Bond does an excellent job with taking you on an exciting adventure in colonial America.
The Lamplighter by Maria Susanna Cumins
Recommended age: 12-100
An immediate best seller in 1854, and now Lamplighter Publishing’s signature book, The Lamplighter was second in sales only to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Mistreated and abandoned as a child, Gerty’s angry and violent disposition gradually becomes virtuous as she learns the lessons lived by the meek and gentle lamplighter. But there is much more to this story than meets the eye! As the plot thickens you will be tempted to read ahead – but don’t do it! The surprise will be worth the wait.
This sweet story is one of my absolute FAVORITES! I love following Gerty on her journey of learning to follow Christ amidst hard times and persecution from other people as she blooms from a child into a young woman. There’s a big twist at the end that makes this story VERY interesting!
The Princess Adelina: An Ancient Christian Tale of Beauty and Bravery by Julie Sutter
Recommended age: 12+
From eighth-century Germany comes the stirring tale of Princess Adelina, a virtuous young woman determined to fulfill God’s call on her life. The daughter of an Iona missionary to the German people, Adelina’s world is turned upside-down when a young pagan ruler, Hedan of Thurginia, falls in love with her and takes her as his bride. As a wedding gift, Hedan promises Adelina that he will allow Christians within Thuringia to worship and evangelize freely, spreading the Gospel among his people. But Hedan’s mother, Geila, hates both Adelina and Christianity, stopping at nothing to subvert her daughter-in-law and stamp out the fledgling German church. Based on a true story, this Esther-like tale recounts the deeds of courageous Adelina as she endures persecution, slander, exile, and the impending destruction of her people. Through it all, will Adelina remain faithful to her Heavenly King? Or will she fall away and leave the Culdee church to its fate? Find out in The Princess Adelina.
I love that this book is based on a true story of the Irish missionaries’ work in Germany. Adelina’s unshakeable faith and wisdom is very encouraging to read, and the story has a very sweet ending. ❤️
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
Recommended age: 16-100
“How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen!”
So begins ‘Stepping Heavenward’ by Elizabeth Prentiss, the journal-like account of a nineteenth century girl who learns, on the path to womanhood, that true happiness can be found in giving oneself for others. “This book is a treasure of both Godly and womanly wisdom told with disarming candor and humility, yet revealing a deep heart’s desire to know God,” says noted Christian speaker Elisabeth Elliot. “I do not hesitate to recommend it to men, who need to understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.”
This gem is not only an amusing read but very thought-provoking. It is written by the woman who penned the words to the hymn “More Love to Thee, O Christ”; and although the story is a fictional one, a lot of it is drawn from the author’s own personal experience. I related to Katy so much, and there were even times when it felt like I was reading about myself.
I will say that there is a small amount of romance (a character talking about her feelings for another man and a husband and wife embracing), but it is very sweet and clean. After chapter nine it gets into Katy’s married life; my parents had me wait until I was in my older teens/early twenties before I read those chapters. I’m glad I did, because I don’t think filling my sixteen-year-old mind with that kind of stuff would have been the wisest thing.
The Auschwitz Escape by Joel Rosenberg
Recommended age: 17+
A terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz’s beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans — especially Jews like Jacob and his family — are treated like dogs.
When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare — trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.
As World War II rages and Hitler begins implementing his “final solution” to systematically and ruthlessly exterminate the Jewish people, Jacob must rely on his wits and a God he’s not sure he believes in to somehow escape from Auschwitz and alert the world to the Nazi’s atrocities before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.
I don’t read any of Joel Rosenberg’s other books, but this one about Jacob Weisz’s escape from Auschwitz during WWII was really good. Being a WWII novel, it is a little intense and there were some scenes we had to mark out to make it clean (i.e. describing men undressing in front of guards, soldiers having improper conduct with women, detailed description of two characters’ embracing; there is also a kiss, but it is not described in detail).
That Printer of Udele’s by Harold Bell Wright
Recommended age: 12+
Dick Falkner’s childhood consisted of poverty and abuse from an alcoholic
father. Recognizing his life for what it was, he ran away from his home, but he
could not run away from all of his problems.
Sixteen years later he found himself hungry of body and empty of spirit in a
small Midwestern town. He was determined to make something of himself and to
not be controlled by alcohol.
Initially, he finds no help in this so-called Christian town. Eventually, he
is taken in by George Udell, a local publisher and a kind-hearted man. George
Udell gives the young man a job, and something more important: spiritual
support. Through hard work and Christian morals, the man who becomes known as
“that printer of Udell’s” rises above his past to a new life with
God, inspiring those around him along the way.
I love this book because it reminded me so much of In His Steps. The main character, Dick, shies away from Christianity because of hypocrites in the church, but after hearing a pastor preach about Jesus’ call to “Follow Me”, he makes the decision to accept Jesus as his Savior and starts helping others to live as Christ commanded us to.
This was the book regarded by Ronald Reagan as the most influential in his life. He stated: “That Printer of Udell’s had an impact I shall always remember… The term ‘role model’ was not a familiar term in that time and place. But I realize I found a role model in that traveling printer whom Harold Bell Wright had brought to life. He set me on a course I’ve tried to follow even unto this day. I shall always be grateful.”
In the original version, there are multiple uses of God’s name, but the version that Lamplighter put together has those removed. Also, there is a love story, but nothing improper.
Men of Grit Series by John J. Horn
Recommended age: 14+
The Men of Grit Christian Fiction Series are gritty adventure novels that captivate the imagination of boys. Author John Horn aims to inspire boys to embrace their high calling as Christian men. Enter the 1830s, a time brimming with mystery, unexplored territories, and new technologies bursting on the scene, as Old World fighting tactics are still in play. But now, as then, the ever-present need for men to demonstrate manly honor and courage remains.
Book 1) Brothers at Arms: Treasure and Treachery in the Amazon
Book 2) The Boy Colonel: A Soldier Without a Name
Book 3) Secret of the Lost Settlement: The Duty of Warriors
Book 4) The Mountain Fortress: Escape to the Outback
Once again, this series was written for boys, but my sisters and I really enjoy them! John Horn’s books are action-packed and full of mystery, suspense, humor and a wonderful Christian message. There is some romance, but it is pretty wholesome.
Baker Family Adventures by C.R. Hedgecock
Recommended age: 11+15 (although I can say from personal experience that 20 yr. olds all the way up to 70 yr. olds enjoy them as well!)
The Bakers and their four children are a Christian family who love serving and helping others, but they have a knack for finding adventure while they’re at it! Exciting reading for youth in the seven volumes of the Baker Family Adventures Series by C. R. Hedgcock.
Book 1: Summer of Suspense
Book 2: Peril on Providence Island
Book 3: Riddle of the Ruby Ring
Book 4: The Treacherous Trail
Book 5: Prisoner of the Pyrenees
Book 6: Iceland Intrigue
Book 7: Hunting in the Highlands
I’ll have to say, when my sisters kept telling me about this awesome series I needed to read I was….a little skeptical. Being a historical fiction lover, stories set in modern times just weren’t my cup of tea. 🙂 I decided to go ahead and give them a try, and after reading the third book – I was hooked! I laughed and cried and even stayed up till all hours of the night with this series. If you have not read The Baker Family adventures, then GO READ THEM NOW!! XD
p.s. It is very important that these books are read in order. Just sayin’…;)