Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gretchen's Christmas Reading Picks

Here it is! My choices for the best books you can buy this year for Christmas presents. Some are new books, some are older, just new finds to me! I tried to make suggestions for all ages and genders. Even though I have all the titles linked to Amazon, I want to encourage you to buy your books from a local bookstore -- independent, if possible. I like Amazon as much as anyone, but supporting local bookstores helps ensure that in the future, people who love to pick up books and browse through the selection, reading snippets and examining the artwork will be able to continue doing so.

Stepping off that soapbox now . . .

For Kids:

1.The Little Lights Series by Catherine MacKenzie in this series are short biographies of Corrie Ten Boom, Amy Charmichael, Hudson Taylor and George Mueller. I love Catherine MacKenzie's God-centered books published by Christian Focus. I would call them early readers, but they have pictures on every page, so they would make great read-alouds.

2. The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit or anything else by her. In case you are a new reader of my blog, you can read a review of that delightful book here. Really, this book would be great for anybody who likes to read.

3. The Dangerous Book for Boys .

I liked this one so much better than its com
panion, (The Daring Book for Girls) -- because it is just so BOYISH. The back cover says it all: "Recapture Sunday afternoons and long summer days. The perfect book for every boy from eight to eighty."

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I know, I know. Same tune! I cannot pipe up about this enough! If you do not have this Bible get it (unless you are a person I am buying for this Christmas, in which case, one might be on its way!). If there is a child in your family, church, neighborhood, they need it. :) Here is my long ago post about my favorite ever storybook Bible. Perfect "Family gift" for those relatives who don't get so juiced about another ornament or fruitcake. Ha ha!

For grownups:

1. Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney. This light book is aimed at the hea
rt, and the perfect present for a woman of any age or position of life. Who doesn't need to learn how to better manage their time? How can I not recommend this book that has changed my life?

2. Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I first heard this book mentioned by Mrs. Mohler when she spoke on the subject of worry, but I have been intrigued by it ever since. It is an older book (like the era of Christian's Secret to a Happy Life), and tells the allegory of characters like "Much Afraid", trusting the Shepherd as He leads them to the high places. I have not actually read this book yet; it's sort of a Christmas hopeful for me, too!

3. Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon. Some mornings at work we read the day's selection from this book, and I have been so blessed by each little devotional by the eloquent Spurgeon. This is perhaps the new book I want most of all, to read each morning and evening.

4. The
Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever. This new little book is both practical and theological, on a subject that is rarely done well (not over-simplified, or over-analyzed). The author, Mark Dever, dedicated this book to my children's ministry director, Ryan Townsend, because Ryan was the fruit of Dever's personal evangelism. Knowing Ryan and what he used to be and who he is now is sort of "proof in the pudding" for me, and I am eager to listen to what Dever has to say about living the life of an evangelist.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This classic edition makes a great gift for a book collector or avid reader.


GloryandGrace said...

Hinds Feet on High and you'll discover the origin of "GloryandGrace"!!

Seriously, my prized book in high school/early college.

brianne said...

Hi Gretchen,

I'm a longtime lurker-delurking to ask if you have any ideas for me. My sister was married in June of this year, and I have her husband's name for Christmas. He and I are still getting acquainted, and I'm not sure what to get him. He loves to read, and will devour anything. And you are the perfect person to ask in the book department. I bought the Jesus storybook Bible on your recommendation, and have been VERY pleased with it. My almost three year old loves the illustrations. I love how the simple stories challenge ME!

I know we have not met, but I wanted to tell you that just through reading your blog, I appreciate you. I also want to to tell you that you are a testimony to me on how to be a better wife and godly woman.

I sincerely hope that this is not weird or awkward for you. Maybe this tie will help: Jeannie Wetzel and I grew up together, and I found your blog through her's. We miss her greatly!

Anyway! Thanks in advance for any help you can give me, and thanks for being you.

God Bless,


Gretchen said...

Grace -- I'm eager to discover!

Brianne -- great to meet you! Not weird at all. It's good to know there are lurkers out there at all! I don't monitor my hits, so I always assume I have as many hits as I do comments. :) I'm so glad you've found my blog useful and encouraging. That's why I HAVE a blog. Here are some suggestions of books my husband and I have enjoyed. I guess I should ask if he is a believer? Nonetheless, here are some options:

1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark -- great fiction book from 2006. Very Tolkien-y. I LOVED it.

2. The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott -- the author is a professor here, a wonderful godly man who teaches Biblical Counseling. For a new husband, this might be perfect!

3. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens -- does he like classics? This is one of my favorites.

4. The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights edited by John Steinbeck -- beyond classic, this is awesome.

Does that help? I have other Christian/Theological or historical suggestions.

brianne said...


Thank you so much for your suggestions! He is a Calvinist. I'd love to see any other ideas you'd have. I'll certainly be asking my sister about these!

Thanks again!

Curious Deb said...

send me your email address.....

Gretchen said...


Okay, here are some others:

1. God's Greater Glory by Bruce Ware (he is an elder at our church, and I am dear friends with his wife)

2. Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon -- wonderful devotional

3. The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett -- beautiful puritan prayers (every good Calvinist loves them some Puritans!)

4. The Life and Diary of David Branierd by Jonathan Edwards