Recommended Reads

Given my distractibility, it is rare that I finish a book–cover to cover.  The following works, however, were engaging enough that I had to finish them.  Highly recommended!

Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery (listened to between 2012 – 2014.  Each is available as a free audiobook download at Librivox.)

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Avonlea

Anne of the Island

Anne of Windy Poplars [Willows]

Anne’s House of Dreams

Anne of Ingleside

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert  (read June-August 2011)

This is a memoir written by a woman who took an advance on a proposed book to spend a year finding her peaceful center in pleasure-filling Italy, devotion-inspiring India, and balance-promising Bali.  One of the most touching things about the book–besides her excellent writing–is her experiencing unmistakable grace moments, which sent shivers up my spine.  This books delivers on the promise that “When you live in your heart, magic happens.”

Help Yourself by Dave Pelzer  (read early 2011)

This touching but troubling book by child-abuse survivor Dave Pelzer is a fountain of encouragement.  It provides a sublime opportunity for readers to very seriously consider the idea that, no matter the adversity, they can grow in resilience, self-empowerment, and gratitude each day of life.  With advice such as, “Hate no one.  Get closure with the person you need to forgive . . . Everyday, wipe the slate clean,” he reminds us–as did Viktor Frankl–that our attitude is everything.  Given that there are no guarantees for tomorrow, he counsels: “Why [waste this day] waiting for happiness to find you? . . . Make your own happiness . . . right now!”  I like that idea, and am glad to know it’s possible.  Dave Pelzer is living proof.

Expecting Adam by Martha Beck  (read summer 2010)

In this memoir, Harvard-trained Beck describes the pressure she received from her academic community to abort the Downs’ Syndrome fetus which she learned (via amniocentesis) she was carrying.  Yet in beautiful episodes of transcendant grace, she comes to believe her angel child wants to be born.  Choosing to face her fears as well as her ideological foes, she prepares to carry the child full-term.  Interspersed with vignettes about Adam, the book reveals that special-needs kids are gifts to our world.

Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagel

Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Harriet: The Life and World of Harriet Beecher Stowe by Norma Johnston

The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter

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