Books: Gift Certificates from God

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hi, my name is Amanda and I'm addicted to books.

Don't believe me? I've read 20 books this year and it's June. (All this while going to grad school and teaching. Sometimes I feel like reading is my superpower.) And I'm not talking about skimpy 100-page books. I'm talking about 300-400 page books, and even a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer that was over 600 pages.

Yes, I may have a problem.

Nevertheless, I consider books, more specifically spiritual books, to be gift certificates from God - pages we can "redeem" into improvement into our own spiritual life, no cost to us. In that spirit, I give you a top-10 list of my favorite spiritual books.

Top Ten Books That Have Inspired Me in My Spiritual Journey
(in no particular order)
  1. "Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in the Secular World" by Henri Nouwen
  2. "Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux" by St. Therese of Lisieux
  3. "Dark Night of the Soul" by St. John of the Cross
  4. "Gracias: A Latin American Journal" by Henri Nouwen
  5. "Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta" by Mother Teresa
  6. "Here I Am, Lord: The Letters and Writings of Ita Ford" by Jeanne Evans, Ita Ford
  7. "The Sign of Jonas" by Thomas Merton
  8. "The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom" by Henri Nouwen
  9. "Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God" by Rainer M. Rilke
  10. "Letters to Marc About Jesus: Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World" by Henri Nouwen
If I would continue the list, #11 would be "Spiritual Writings of St. Louise de Marillac: Correspondence and Thoughts" (which I continue reading) and #12 "The Way of Vincent de Paul: A Contemporary Spirituality in Service of the Poor" by Robert Maloney.

Which books have you read that you consider to be gift certificates from God? If you were to create a top 10 list of your favorite spiritual books, what would it include?

P.S. With the plenitude of blog entries lately, can you tell I'm at home with nothing else better to do?

(Clip art courtesy of

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