The books that shaped you?

While I’m on vacation, I thought it might be fun to ask this question again. I’d love to know the answer you have, especially you newbies we’re still getting to know. This was first published on September 2, 2010…


Tuesday, Helen Lee at Gifted for Leadership asked her readers (mostly women in positions of leadership in the Church) which books have most shaped their lives.

Her question was in response to a similar one asked of the Twitter followers of two marketing consultants and well as some influential business leaders. The result was over two hundred responses which were compiled in the list “Top Books Every Young Influencer/Leader Should Read.” According to Lee, “of the top 33 books that made the list, none were written by women.”

So, she posed this similar question to her readers, recognizing that most are female, Christian, and leaders in ministry: “Which books have had the most impact and influence in my own life as a female Christian leader?”

I’ve been curious to see the answers in her comments section. But I’m more curious to ask the same of you, friends. Knowing that you’re not all women or Christians, I will pose my question this more generic way: Which books have had the most impact and influence in your life? Don’t be afraid to list fiction, poetry or (shocker!) non fiction.

Leave a comment. And, if you’re up to it, follow this link over to Helen Lee’s post and leave a comment there as well.



Filed under Books

6 responses to “The books that shaped you?

  1. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger. Hmm…I don’t know if that’s even a good thing! lol

  2. danielle

    I am a horrible reader of late, but I love Frederick buechner’s “Telling the Truth: the gospel as tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale.” it’s only 96 pages, but its packed full of great stuff.

  3. The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Forgotten God by Francis Chan. Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. . . . Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (this one taught me to always go after my child at meet her where she’s at).

  4. Kasey McCollum

    The Jouney is Home- Nelle Morton, The Color Purple- Alice Walker, In the Name of Jesus- Henri Nouwen, The Unsettling of America-Wendell Berry, The low road and For Strong women- Marge Piercy,

  5. Anything by: Barbara Brown Taylor; Madeleine L’Engle; Marilynne Robinson; Eugene Peterson; David Benner; Gerald May; Parker Palmer; Anne Lamott; Luci Shaw; Mary Oliver; Wendell Berry; Fred Buechner; Walter Wangerin; Henri Nouwen; Anna Quindlen.
    Probably most especially: Taylor’s sermon collections or “An Altar in the World;” L’Engle’s Crosswicks trilogy; Robinson’s “Gilead;” Peterson’s recent 5-volume set on scripture and life, especially, “Eat This Book,” “Tell It Slant,” and “Live the Resurrection;” May’s “Addiction and Grace;” Palmer’s “Let Your Life Speak;” Lamott’s “Bird by Bird;” Buechner’s sermon collection, “A Room Called Remember;” Wangerin’s story collections for Advent and Lent. So many great books – so little time!

    • Gilead has to be in my Top 5 fiction books ever. I love your list, Diana. I don’t know if I’ve appropriately welcomed you, but I sneaked a peak at your blog and I want to be you when I grow up! Thanks for spending time over here!

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