My Ideal Bookshelf
November 7, 2013 62 Comments
There’s a book that my in-laws got me for Christmas last year, that I absolutely cherish. They found this book recommendation on Dr. Russell Moore’s blog, and were correct to think that I needed this book.
The idea is simple. Writers, chefs, reporters, designers, artists, and other people with a significant status within their occupation were asked to compile their ideal bookshelf and present a short blurb about why they chose these particular books. Jane Mount beautifully recreates these personalized bookshelves with her gorgeous paintings of the book spines.
Having just finished the book, I was inspired to compile my own bookshelf. Some of them I don’t yet own, so I’ve been requesting them from the library for the last week or so. And since I’m not a painter, and Jane Mount isn’t likely to paint my shelf, I took a picture of my compiled all-time favorite books. Read on for my blurb.
I never could have guessed how much fun it would be to collect all of my favorite books in one space! It felt like I had all of my best friends, past and present, in one room. You’ll notice quite a few history books in my collection, which may be odd since I’m not a historian. But I see history as more than old, grainy photos and faded portraits. Some authors can open history up the way Dorothy first opens the door to Oz, and next thing you know, you’re transported to a new world, making friends with people who you never thought could be just like you.
I haven’t read all the Dickens novels in that meaty collection of his. But A Christmas Carol is by far my all-time favorite book of his. No movie could touch the splendor of redemption and Christmas cheer that his pen does (although The Muppet Christmas Carol comes closest).
The Phantom Tollbooth, if I remember correctly, was the first “real book” I ever read. The words themselves were like pictures, and I’m so excited to share it with my kids one day. I’ve also got Bone: Out from Boneville up there. I discovered this series long before it became popular a few years ago. If you ever read this fantasy epic (which I highly encourage anyone with a sense of fun to do), do a little digging for the black-and-white version. It’s the real deal.
Mere Christianity and Colson’s Born Again are the best Christian books I’ve ever read. I don’t see how someone can remain an unbeliever after chewing on Lewis’s arguments in defense of Christianity, and the late Charles Colson gives the most raw, honest account of a testimony I’ve ever read. It also serves as a great history book as he served Nixon during the great Watergate scandal.
I’m a huge Steinbeck fan, even though I haven’t read all of his books. But The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men are pure genius as far as “slower books” go. I can read them over and over and over. But (forgive me for this) if you want a heart-pulsing adventure novel that keeps you up all night, I have yet to come across one that is more suspenseful than The Man in the Box by yours truly. I’ve read Grisham and Koontz and King, but compared to Box, they lack a lot of opportunities for suspense that my book takes hold of. I’m currently editing it for it’s second edition, and even though I know how it ends, I’m still on the edge of my seat, and highly enjoying it.
And of course, no Pixar fan is truly a fan unless he’s got the history of Pixar in The Pixar Touch, and a few of the illustrated guides. I keep a pretty tight fist around my wallet, but when I saw To Infinity and Beyond: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios years back, I didn’t hesitate to drop close to $90 for it. Worth every penny, like when I bought The Office Season 1 without ever having seen it (the U.S. version), and my wife’s engagement ring.
Let’s see YOUR ideal bookshelf! Post it on your blog and share the link below, or simply list some of your favorites in the comments section.