Looking for a book recommendations?
I asked around the English congregation at CLBC, and gathered people’s favourite books. Whether you’re looking for fiction, non-fiction, or spiritual books, you’re sure to find your next big read.
While the general typical response to “What’s your favourite book?” in our congregation is “Hmm when did I last read for pleasure?” Vicky, who’s always enthusiastic and eager to help out, was one of our most zealous recommenders, with three books to share:
01. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Her all time favourite is the classic (non-cheesy) romance Pride and Prejudice. Unlike the typical whirlwind romances of fiction — like in Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, or Twilight — the romance in Pride and Prejudice unfolds slowly, and goes through many shifts and turns. The characters are at times cringingly embarrassing, amusing, stubborn, and endearingly sweet (I’m talking about you, Darcy).
It’s a story of the inherent strength love has to change you for the better.
02. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Not for the faint of heart, this story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. And through it all, The Kite Runner weaves a good balance of bleak reality of human nature/sin, and heartfelt moments of friendship into an unforgettable tale.
03. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Of the three books, this was the one Vicky says was most impactful. According to Goodreads: With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recalls the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.
04. Vertical Church by James MacDonald
If you follow any of John’s social media accounts, you’ll know that cultivating his faith through sermons, books, music, and fellowship is his jam 24/7 (“The faithlife chose me”). Vertical Church addresses the increasing “godlessness” of American churches today, and what we as Christians can do about it. It’s challenged the way John sees the institution.
05. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis talks about Christianity in a way that is relevant and resonant with those that don’t believe. He points to the every day mundane aspects of life, perceives them in ways you’d never think to look at them, revealing clues to God’s existence and sovereignty. Mere Christianity is an incredibly eye-opening read for both Christians and non-Christians.
05.5 Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Tim loves C.S. Lewis and his favourite is also Mere Christianity. There’s just something in the clarity and logic of C.S. Lewis’s writing!
06. To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World by Arthur Newman
We all know Gabe as the chef guy, but who knew he was a history buff too? To Rule the Waves talks about how the island nation of Britain rose to create one of the most powerful empires the world has seen. From King Henry VIII’s time to the age of computer warfare, Arthur Newman tells the story of the mighty British Navy.
08. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Sharon had a hard time choosing her all-time favourite book, but knew right away that Crazy Love was her favourite Christian one.
Crazy Love deals with the idea of the average Christian’s love of God and learning how to further develop those feelings into a “crazy, relentless, all-powerful love” to reciprocate God’s. Unlike the traditional “Christian book” which is highly theoretical and jargon-rich, reading Crazy Love feels more like listening to the words a very enthusiastic friend is speaking to you in person.
09. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Remains of the Day is a story of a elderly dignified butler, and his journey across the countryside to visit an old friend. Throughout his travels, he remembers anecdotes and stories of the past. As you journey with him, you begin to piece together a larger narrative that’s slightly different from the one he tells you.
If you’re a fan of thrilling plots and fast-paced storytelling, you might not like this one. But if you’re looking for an unforgettable, heart-warming and heart-breaking story, it’s perfect.
10. The Philosophy of Jesus by Peter Kreeft
This is Matt’s current favourite book (I will ask again in a few months!). According to Goodreads, “The book discusses the “four great questions of philosophy” as taught/revealed by Jesus. The four questions are: What is real?; How do we know what is real?; Who are we who know what is real?; and What should we be to be more real?”
Did you find your next read?
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