Day 6…Favorite Books You’ve Never Heard Of


One of my favorite kinds of blog posts to read is a book list.  I LOVE getting ideas for the next book I want to add to my ginormous, ongoing stack.  I’ve written many a book list post for this blog, and I’ll be sharing some unique book lists sprinkled in here and there throughout the rest of the month.

Hopefully, one or more of these books won’t be new to you.  (Serious bibliophiles will laugh at my headline, as they probably know most of these books).   These are some of my favorite titles that when I share with other readers, they usually haven’t heard of.  I got a lot out of them, and if you’re looking for a good read, I hope they’ll find a place in your own bookstack.

1. Friends For the Journey by Madeleine L’Engle & Luci Shaw

We’ve received the experience of each other as a gift.  Here’s to friendship!  And here–the gift of friendship given to you–holy; happy; tough, tender, wild, wacky, a sacrifice and a sacrament.

Madeleine L’Engle & Luci Shaw

Diehard fans of Madeleine (L’Engle) and Luci (Shaw)  will of course have heard of this delightful book.  But if you’re new to the work of these prolific authors, allow me to introduce you to a charming read.  Madeleine and Luci had a deep, rich friendship for many years (until L’Engle’s death in 2007),  and they write back and forth here from chapter to chapter, with reflections, quotes, poems, and even journal entries sharing their friendship, their faith and their wisdom.  Its a beautiful book, and features them both beautifully.  A must read for L’Engle fans.


2. Six Secrets To A Powerful Quiet Time by Catherine Martin

Think of your quiet time as an accordion that can be expanded or contracted according to your time, desire, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Catherine Martin

I can’t even remember when or where I found this little gem – most likely in the clearance section of my favorite Christian bookstore when I lived in Pennsylvania.  The cover of this one makes it look either dry and boring, or cheesy, but it is neither.  Martin shares both practical tips and wisdom, and deeper reflections for having a more meaningful and intimate quiet time with God.  I underlined this book like mad, and reference it often.  If you read to learn more about spiritual disciplines, this is a great book to check out.


3. A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances by Trish Ryan

And when Jesus brings you Mr. Right?  You’ll know he’s the one because the slipper will fit…He’ll have a dream, a vision, a goal–and will be making tangible progress in that direction.  He’ll see you as essential to this dream. But (and this is important) you’ll retain full mobility.  Your arms won’t be strapped down; there won’t be pressure to remain still, dormant, compliant in a way that feels like giving up.  You’ll be free in a new way, buoyed by a lightness you didn’t have before.  Suddenly, the world will seem like a vast place to live and work and play, your dreams of contributing something wonderful to that landscape closer than they’ve ever been. 

Trish Ryan

I read this wonderful book when I was still single–even though the crux of the memoir deals with married life.  I read and loved Ryan’s companion pre-quel to this book, Happily Ever After, where she chronicles her journey of faith, singleness and eventually finding the love of her life.  A Maze of Grace picks up where the last book left off.  Ryan is wise, funny, endearing and a fantastic writer – her narrative voice made me struggle to turn the pages fast enough.  There’s much wisdom, discovery and beauty in this book – if you love memoir, it’s a goodin’.


4. What Should I Do With My Life: The True Story of People Who Answered The Ultimate Question by Po Bronson

Looking for guidance and courage at [the] crossroads, I became intrigued by people who had unearthed their true calling, or at least those who were willing to try…Those who broke away from the chorus to learn the sound of their own voice.  Nothing seemed more brave to me than facing up to one’s own identity, and filtering out the chatter that tells us to be someone we’re not.

Po Bronson

So I recently heard an old Oprah show on satellite radio where she featured this book and interviewed the author, so perhaps some of you will know this book.  (The interview was in the 90’s, but hey – its Oprah.)  When I was struggling with whether to stay in the acting/singing profession, I read this book while on the road touring.  Its an insightful look into many different people lives running the gamut of every type of social, economical and occupational existence.  Bronson interviews each person to get to the heart of how they made the choice for their particular vocation/job/calling in life.  There’s so much wisdom to glean in this book–it was riveting to me hear so many other people’s stories.  No matter where or what you are in the world, we all have universal struggles, and aspire to find our true calling.  This book helps you figure that out by telling you the stories of those who’ve done so.


5. Sunbeams: A Book of Quotations – Edited by Sy Safransky

Placing certain quotations together is like seating strangers around a dinner table; you can’t be sure where the conversation will lead.  Also, its amazing how often a quote will affect us in a way the author never could have imagined.  Sometimes the meaning of a quote changes simply because it occurs out of context.  but its also true that certain words have a life of their own.  Clear as a window, they allow us to see through them; reading them, we see what we need to see.

Sy Safransky

When I worked at an independent bookstore after college, I discovered, among other treasures, the literary magazine The Sun.  A mixture of essays, poems and photography, The Sun was not like any magazine I’d read in print before.  I discovered the editor of The Sun, Sy Safransky, had edited a unique collection of quotes in Sunbeams.  Not organized by alphabet, or necessarily by subject, Safransky groups all types of quotes in subtle and undefined categories.  The result is a magical quotation collection that reads cover to cover – full of life and unexpected whimsy.  If you love quote books, you’ll love this one too.


What are some of your favorite books no one has heard of ?

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3 comments on “Day 6…Favorite Books You’ve Never Heard Of

  1. Nice list! I’ve never heard of a single one of these, so I’m looking forward to checking them out. The one about quiet time is leaping out at me, since I’ve really struggled with that lately.

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