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!

                ***Memoirs***

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.

Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter


                ***Biographies***

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

                ***Non-Fiction***

Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagel

                ***Adult Fiction***

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

                ***Young Adult Fiction***

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

                ***Children’s Chapter Books***

The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
               The Boxcar Children

               Surprise Island

               The Yellow House Mystery

               Mystery Ranch

               Mike’s Mystery

               Blue Bay Mystery

               The Woodshed Mystery

               The Lighthouse Mystery

               Schoolhouse Mystery

               Caboose Mystery

               Houseboat Mystery

               Snowbound Mystery

               Tree House Mystery

               Bicycle Mystery

               Mystery in the Sand

               Mystery Behind the Wall

               Bus Station Mystery

               Benny Uncovers a Mystery

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