Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tagged Part II

I was tagged once again by my brother, Evan; this time for a list of top-ten most influential books in my life. It took me several days to compile a list and, like Evan, I am certain it will change over time. I am an avid reader and because of participation in an excellent book club have read many great books in my day, but trying to come up with a list of the MOST influential---well, was a difficult task. But here it goes:

Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmermann – this book, along with my first master’s degree, changed the way I taught forever. This book can be accounted for my love affair with the teaching of writing.

Turn My Mourning into Dancing by Henri Nouwen – there are amazing healing qualities in the prose of Henri Nouwen. I could read this book over and over again and still find aspects I had not considered. Isn’t that the mark of remarkable writing?

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller – the honesty of Miller and his struggle to come to terms with his faith resonated with me.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – this is the most current book on the list. It was selected for my book club and I was less than excited to read yet another book about Afghanistan HOWEVER this one is beautifully written and once I started I couldn’t put it down.

The Blessing by by Gary Smalley and John Trent – I first read this right after my first child was born (he is now 18) and it not only was the best parenting book I ever read, it also gave me pause to be thankful for “the blessing” which was given to me by my parents.

The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll – I never questioned my faith until I was in my 20’s. This book was the first I read that helped define what it was that I believed.

Let Me Grieve, But Not Forever by Verdell Davis - On June 28, 1987, four Dallas-based Christian leaders were killed in an airplane crash as they were returning from a Focus on the Family retreat in Montana: Verdell’s husband, Creath, was one of those men. This is a story of her journey from great loss to healing-such an inspiration for me.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion – This work is extremely raw with the emotion of losing her husband The part that resonated with me was when she states "Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." Didion explores the year following the death with the openness I wish all understood. I believe it is now a play.

What Great Teachers Do Differently: Fourteen Things That Matter Most
by Todd Whitaker – Whitaker’s book simply reinforced what I feel that I do in my classroom. His writing is motivational and supportive.

Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams – This is my most favorite children’s book of all time. I share it every year with my students and they fall in love with it also. It is a magnificent story of acceptance, courage, insight, and inner peace. Plus the extraordinary illustrations by Mercer Mayer are breathtaking!

As far as tagging others---if you read this blog consider yourself tagged, but be sure to email me or leave a comment so that I know you have responded. More than anything, I know the written word has great power to transform our lives.

This I know for sure…


Annie said...

Okay, I'm "it". Look for my list tomorrow on my blog. Don't know if I will tag anyone though. Most of my readers aren't bloggers, but who knows? May make someone think about a book they read that they haven't thought about in a long while.

Marsha said...

yipee Annie---I can't wait to read it.

annie said...

Marsha, thanks for taking a look at my list:) It was a much harder assignment then I thought it would be, but a good one. Thought about things I hadn't in a while. Take care!

Marsha said...

Of course my literary brother berated the fact that I didn't have any classics on my list---but to tell you the truth---I haven't read classics in years---think I need to get on that? Oh well--my list is for the "common" reader---LOL

annie said...

Need to read classics? Need is a bit strong, I think. Personally, if a book doesn't speak to you in some way after you've previewed it, I say don't read it. Reading is not the mental eqivalent of eating your veggies, imo anyway. There are a lot of "classics" that aren't worth destroying a single tree for. Interesting that your brother contacts you to discuss books and mine calls to tell me about his latest eviction and hint around for money. A brother who you can discuss books with is priceless. Have a great weekend!