Books of my Life… Some. So far.


Tomorrow is the UNESCO Book and Copyright Day 2014. Here is a small list of selected books that have influenced me a lot. Enjoy!


1) The Bible. (Initiated and informs my worldview. Is essentially different than any other book I ever read in my life. Calls me to thank, obey, and worship my Creator; gives energy beyond measure; encourages me to live intentionally and to love unconditionally. Not there yet, but I started my journey…)

2) My Passport. (Only 32 pages. One protagonist. Several supporting/signing characters. Boring plot. Yet the first document I would save if my house catches fire. – Reminds me that I am, after all, not a cosmopolite, but a German. By nationality. Sometimes also by heart; not sure yet.)

3) Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White (The best book – besides the Bible – to get to know Jesus Christ. It’s short, concise, and practical as well as deep. Great for everyone who wants to know for him-/herself what Bible-believing Christians believe about their God.)



Ellen G. White (The most translated American author of either gender, and most translated female writer in history. Excellent insights on spirituality, Bible, education, health, critical thinking, Christian history, personal devotion, etc. Timeless, yet very timely.)

Stefan Zweig (Sternstunden der Menschheit/Decisive Moments in History. Schachnovelle/The Royal Game and many more. Excellent. For me the Johann Sebastian Bach of German-speaking literature.)

Ephraim Kishon (One of the world’s best satirists. The most popular Jewish author Germany has ever seen… and bought books from.)


OTHER FAVORITE BOOKS: (in chron. order; “most recently read” are last…)

– Jamila by Chinghiz Aitmatov (A Kyrgyzstani-Russian writer. A painter with language. You will want to travel to Kyrgyzstan after reading this.)

Le petit prince/The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (No words needed.)

– Der Vorleser/The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (Amazingly written story about curiosity, desire, and the distance only guilt can create.)

Mephisto by Klaus Mann (A portrait of the German cultural scene during the Third Reich.)

Job by Joseph Roth (Tragic story about a family who migrated from Russia to New York City. A fragile description of our fragile life.)

– La divina commedia/The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Italian epos. World epos. Language epos. I don’t agree with much of the theology represented here. A good read if you want to get acquainted with what most of Western Christians believed in the middle ages. Not fun, actually. And not so Biblical either. – And no: it’s NOT a comedy. Commedia is an old term for a story that lies between a noble tragedy and a piece of popular elegy, and has a rather positive ending.)

Inside Out by Larry J. Crabb (Best book on vulnerability, and the tension between being an unconditional lover and a down-to-earth realist.)

– Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (“Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.” — “Dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe.”)

– Addiction and Grace by Gerald G. May (An excellent source for getting informed re addictions… and an eye-opener re love for people and trust in God.)

The Seventy Faces of Torah. The Jewish Way of Reading the Sacred Scriptures by Stephen M. Wylen (We share a testament, so I wanted to know how Jewish believers read and interpret it. This book is a good starter.)

– Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America by Barbara Ehrenreich (Eye-opener re many aspects of US-American life and thought.)

A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis (Lewis’ reflections on the death of his wife Joy. A wonderful read for everyone grieving or wanting to understand elements of personal grief.)

Wenn die Götter auferstehen und die Propheten rebellieren (eng. When the Gods Resurrect and the Prophets Revolt, also here) by Oliver Glanz (Excellent introduction to the Biblical view of reality and God, written from a philosophical perspective. Should stand in every philosophical as well as Christian bookshelf.)

– Dictionaries (Many… . In recent times a lot of  … )

– Last but not least: Italian by Penny Stephens (The classic cookbook in our kitchen. The pizza dough recipe, for example, is priceless…)


What are your top three books and/or favorite authors?


3 thoughts on “Books of my Life… Some. So far.

  1. Christian authors:
    1. Biblical writers
    2. Ellen White
    3. William Miller

    Non-Christian authors:
    1. Michael Ende
    2. Halldór Kiljan Laxness
    3. Astrid Lindgren / Tove Janson / Ole Lund Kierkegaard

    I don’t recommend the latter group, but they were the most influential of what I read before becoming a Christian.

  2. paolinetta says:

    Thanks, Jón! I guess both of us were mostly coined – besides by Christian books – by our respective language group literatures (yours Scandinavian; mine German).

  3. RAK says:

    My favorite authors in order:
    1) C.S. Lewis
    2) James Herriot
    3) Alister McGrath

    It is more difficult to limit my favorite books to three titles.
    1) The Bible (that wasn’t too difficult)
    2) Goodnight, Mr. Tom
    3) Mere Christianity

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