Books That Have Changed Lives

Books That Have Changed Lives
Photo by Tom Hermans / Unsplash

Not long ago, I asked some friends to tell me about a book that had changed their lives. I didn’t want a book that people found cute or interesting but rather one that profoundly impacted them.

My friends really came through. Check out this list!

As I mentioned in response to one of the posts, many people who responded here would put the Holy Bible first. With that assumption, those for whom that is true are putting their secondary and tertiary life-changing books below. 😄

The results are below.

From Aimee – What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey — God literally spoke to me through this book in 2010. More books by Philip Yancey

From Christiana – Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers – Five women are connected to the lineage of Jesus. Other books by Francine Rivers.

From Bruce — If You Want to Walk on Water, Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg. Other books by John Ortberg.

From Jay — Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey — Definitely worth it! I was so thrilled to be able to bring him to NNU’s Wesley Center Conference so many years ago. A bucket list event for me! Other books by Philip Yancey.

From Allen — Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say by Preston M. Sprinkle — Great book! Other books by Preston Sprinkle.

From Brian — The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt – A book that is still relevant in our day and age. I got to meet Dave Hunt in Meridian in 2007. Other books by Dave Hunt.

From LeCrecia —Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. Other books by CS Lewis.

From Gene– The Return of the Prodigal by Henry Nouwen. Other books by Henry Nouwen.

From Chris & Pam— A Theology of Love by Mildred Bangs Wynkoop. Other books by Mildred Bangs Wynkoop.

From Tara – Holy Bible

From Christine – Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – Don’t start reading it until Friday night when you get off work. Note from Steve: I recently finished this book. It is a great story of complicated, unconditional love. Other books by Francine Rivers.

From Lindsay— Unclean by Richard Beck. Other books by Richard Beck

From Lindsay – The Critical Journey by Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Geulich.

From Timo – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Note from Steve: I read this book several years ago, and it’s excellent! Other books by Charles Duhigg

From Dave – Arrow Pointing to Heaven by James Bryan Smith. Other books by James Bryan Smith.

From Darren – When the Well Runs Dry by Thomas Green. Other books by Thomas Green.

From Jaeson – Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson. Other books by Don Richardson.

From Deborah — Aint I a Woman by Bell Hooks. Other books by Bell Hooks.

From Joni – Anna Karenina by Tolstoy –  an amazing God encounter and realization that also dawned on me during my days of questioning. Other books by Tolstoy.

From Robert — 2 Corinthians by Paul.

From Jeremy —It Will Never Happen to Me: Growing Up with Addiction as Youngsters, Adolescents, and Adults by Claudia Black. Other books by Claudia Black.

From Robert —Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Other books by CS Lewis.

From Jeri — Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire. Other books by Paulo Freire.

From Sarah — A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle — Among other important themes is the idea that we have value, even when we don’t see it in ourselves. When I first read this book, this was an important message to my young teenage self. (And continues to be, if I’m honest.) Other books by by Madeleine L'Engle.

From Seri — Leading Decisively Leading Faithfully by LeBron Fairbanks. Other books by LeBron Fairbanks.

From Suzanne — Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger. Other books by LeBron Fairbanks.

From Bob & Kim — How to Walk into a Room by Emily P. Freeman. Other books by Emily P Freeman.

From Wylie— The Four Spiritual Laws by Bill Bright. Other books by Bill Bright.

From Karyn — Mister God This Is Anna by Fynn. Other books by Fynn.

From Vanessa — Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie –  She does an absolutely masterful job of transporting the reader back to medieval Mainz! Other books by Alix Christie.

From Virginia  – Who is God by C.S. Cowles  — The title is not very engaging, but the message is life-changing! Other books by CS Cowles.

From Riki —  The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers — It’s the first Christian novel I’ve ever read. I didn’t even know there were books in that genre. MIND BLOWN!!! Other books by Francine Rivers.

From Anita —Soul of Desire by Curt Thompson. Other books by Curt Thompson.

From Jonathan — 

From Nick — Holy Bible. Note from Steve: I really enjoy the Cultural Background Edition.

Finally, here are a few of my own:

From my mother, I have a deep appreciation and love for C.S. Lewis. Among those books, there are three that I remember having a profound effect on me at various stages of my young life:

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving decades after reading it, I still think of it and reflect on its powerful story. Other books by John Irving.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugoa powerful story that spoke to my heart. Other books by Victor Hugo.

The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey— the first book that challenged my “default” view of Jesus and my Christian faith. More books by Philip Yancey.

Madagascar by John Cunningham — reading it first felt a nudge toward cross-cultural (overseas) ministry (Not in print).

The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney— reading this book was the first time I saw my natural introverted nature as a strength.