Well, it's time for my final 5 books.
As I have compiled this list, I have noticed that, for me, the books are only seldom influential because of their content. More often, they have been influential because they have made me appreciate good writing and good storytelling. These books are the foundation for my love of reading. The hope of finding more treasures like these send me to the library and book stores week after week.
5) The Baby Whisperer - This book was a God-send when I was home with my newborn and wondering if either of us were going to survive to his first birthday unscathed. This is the book I recommend to all new moms. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
4) Deadline - I tire of Christian fiction at times. The stories seem repetitive and often don't even grab my attention enough to pull them off the shelf, much less buy them. But Deadline is something special. I didn't even connect with the sequels as much as I connected with this one book. I read it over and over and over. The descriptions of Heaven are encouraging and inspiring. The character development of Jake over the course of the story is fantastic. Deadline
3) The Amber Photograph - This is another piece of Christian fiction that rises above the crowd. I read this one over and over, too - usually when I want to connect in a deep, emotional way to a story. The emotions are so well described and the characters are deep and delightful.
The Amber Photograph: Newly Repackaged Edition
2) The Harry Potter series - I resisted reading these for a long time, but when I finally read them, I fell in love - with the characters most of all, but also with the world and the complete story arc. I have so many "this is my favorite part" moments in the series. Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)
1) The Bible - I wish I could say I was the sort of Christian who had read the Bible cover to cover, studying it and pouring over it. But I am not. The Bible is a source of comfort and encouragement to me, time and time again in my life. It is a foundational book for life.
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Okay - that's my list. What books have been an influence on you or on your reading life?