I'm an avid reader (understatement of the century), and so, if I were to overthink this topic, this blog would never get written. The top three on my list are the standing top 3, they'd never change, and would always be on my list in this order. Probably a blog on "If I Could Give Everyone Just 10 Books" would have been more accurate, but most folks won't read one or two, so shoving 10 at you would just be overkill.
So, If I could give everyone just 5 books, I'd give these:
1. "The Bible", by God - Red Letter of course, probably New International Version or the New Living Translation, for teens I'd give "The Way" Bible, it's what I used as a teen myself and is my most used and abused Bible to date.
2. "To Kill a Mockingbird", by Harper Lee - I can't say enough about how beloved this book is to me. The story is never old, it always touches a deep place inside the heart and conscience. No wonder Harper Lee never released another book to the world, she didn't need to. It doesn't get better than this.
3. "The Littlest Angel" by Charles Tazwell - the family tradition for my immediate family of two, is to read this book every Christmas Eve night. I dare anyone to read it outloud all the way through without at least choking up a little. Me, I bawl. Give yourself the gift of this book, you'll be glad you did.
4. "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" by Betty Smith - full of hope and inspiration, a story of a family living in less than ideal circumstances, how one sucummbs to those circumstances, how some survive them, and one who overcomes them. *
5. "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller - I have such an intellectual crush on Donald Miller I can barely stand it. His writing is just like cool, soothing water. Ever been disillusioned with church? With a parent? With life? Yeah, well so had Don - and he ain't afraid to tell you about it and to also tell you how he moved through it and on to the brighter side. I LOVE THIS BOOK. (Thanks Kelly!)
* Number 4 was really a toss up. I could have easily included "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck here. If you haven't read any Steinbeck, do yourself a favor and add this book to your reading list. It will take some real effort, and a copy of the Cliff Notes (there's an entire chapter on Dust - deeply moving believe it or not), but it will be worth it. I promise.
What 5 books would you give?