Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sometimes Old Books are the Best Books

Though I've read a lot of books over the past two years (probably more than I'd read in the previous 10 years), some of my favorites are still the old ones.  One of them came to my mind this morning, and I think I'm going to go read it again.  Here are a few that have really encouraged me...

Great Women Authors: Their Lives and Their Literature by Betty Carlson and Jane Stuart Smith

This book is a collection of short biographies of women writers.  This was one of the first books that made me realize how interesting biographies can be.  The chapters are short and easy to read.  The two women who wrote the book are/were residents at l'Abri fellowship.  They are thinkers, but this book isn't intellectual.  I thought it was well written when I read it.  You can see a preview of it on Amazon if you're interested.

I have realized over the years that many books sit on my shelf and I never pick them up again.  This is a book that I've actually picked up many times and gone back over...
Seduction of the Lesser Gods by Leslie Williams
She defined idolatry in a way that I hadn't read before.  The lesser Gods are the good things like love and friendship and family that can become idols for us when we give them more of our time and energy than God--we put them before God and make them idols.  This book was very convicting and helpful to me.

A third book is one that I read in the first few months I got married. 
Feminism:  Mystique or Mistake by Diane Passno 
I was very much an evangelical feminist when I got married.  Then, God convicted me and helped me see what the Bible really says about submission and what He says about marriage in His Word.  This book is one that God used to help me see that.  Diane Passno speaks plainly and bluntly, but she's forthright and honest.  And, though I wasn't a mother at the time, I read the final chapter and have reminded myself of her advice many a time.  Basically, that last chapter is about stay at home moms vs. working moms and how each is jealous of the other for different reasons.  Instead, we need to show each other grace.

A final out of print book is one that love because it has been just the right thing for me and my children.
(I couldn't find an image of it to post.)
The Bible Illustrated for Little Children by Ella Lindvall
Ms. Lindvall's Read Aloud Bible Story books (4 volumes) are the best Bible storybooks I've found for 2-4 year olds.  And now my 5 year old feels such an accomplishment when she reads the stories aloud to me.  But, back to this book.  It is really quite a tiny book.  It is about the size of a photograph.  But, each entry is two pages with 3 questions afterwards.  I have found the stories to be very biblical and it has been wonderful for my children when they are 3, 4, and 5.  It has helped them with beginning reading comprehension.  They listen to the short story (one long paragraph) and then I ask them the questions.  I think part of the reason I love this book so much is because it was one of the books that the Lord has  brought into my path that was exactly what my children needed at the time.  I love how God does that with everything in our lives--including books.

Each of these books has encouraged me in a different way.  I am sad that they are out of print, but thankful for the used book market where we can still find copies of books.

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