As if you didn't have enough to do...

A list of recommended books, some I love, some I was transformed by, some just made me uncomfortable (in a fruitful way, of course).  See also our McCropder list of Media That Informs Us.

The Bible: it must be said. Particularly favorite parts, both from a theology as well as literary standpoint include Psalm 107, the Gospel of John, and the book of Hebrews.
The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom: amazing story of hope and sacrifice during WWII.
A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken: a beautiful story of love and loss.
Most all of CS Lewis' work: especially Miracles, The Weight of Glory and Mere Christianity.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard: a rich and honest look at what we can really learn from nature.
Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller: Loved for simply being able to resonate so much with the content and the style.
The Reason for God, by Tim Keller: The best modern collection of Christian apologetics, full of sensitivity and clarity
Wishful Thinking by Frederick Buechner: I wish I could quote this whole book.
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, by N.T. Wright: A very useful paradigm shift for the work we do.
A Timbered Choir: Sabbath Poems by Wendell Berry


The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy: or any other of his novels. This opened me up to a whole new world of literature.
Godric, by Frederick Buechner: Maybe the single most artful story I've ever read.
The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
Narnia, Till We Have Faces, The Great Divorce, and the Space Trilogy, by CS Lewis: yes, this is pretty much all his major fiction. But it's so good.
The Pendragon Cycle, by Stephen Lawhead: Arthurian legend at its best, oddly enough by an American. I also recommend the stand-alone novel Byzantium.
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel: what a crazy fun book.
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok
Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling: Rarely, if ever, was such a long story ever put together so completely and satisfyingly.
Wit, by Margaret Edson: an amazing Pulitzer-winning play from the 90's about medicine, death, and John Donne.
The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency Series, by Alexander McCall Smith: wonderful stories we always recommend, mostly because of their charm and an uncanny depiction of everyday African life.
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
The Book of the Dun Cow, by Walter Wangerin, Jr. Animal Farm meets Tolkien
Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot Stories
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene

Wind and the Willows, by Graham Greene
Matilda, by Roald Dahl
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman: it does not get more recreational than this.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle: the whole series
Any Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A.A. Milne
A House Is a House for Me, by Mary Ann Hoberman
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick