Ambre's Birthday Book List
39 Books That Strongly Influenced Who I Am Today
For my birthday I like to do these personal favorites book lists every year.
This year's topic was chosen by all of you in the poll earlier this week on FB and took quite a bit of personal reflection to complete! Enjoy!
39 Books That Strongly Influenced Who I Am Today:
Understood Betsy by Canfield- "He puts the lonely in families." Don’t be overbearing and hover with kids but let them experience hard things for themselves and they'll surprise you.
The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis- Sometimes you don’t know your quest until it’s over. Just do what you know you’ve been called to. That’s enough.
Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink- It’s okay to adore the socks off babies and just love them to pieces.
Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John- Most powerful book on the modeling of forgiveness from my childhood.
Grace Based Parenting by Kimmel- This book at the right time broke through my walls and I physically felt God's grace which in turn allowed me to offer it to others more fully. This was the point in my life where I began to be able to see things in shades of gray and not all straight up black or white.
The Bible- Reading through the Bible for myself when very young was protective against twisted theology and lies being told to me. With this knowledge I was able to soundly reject a lot of garbage.
The Magical Drawings of Moony B. Finch by David M. McPhail- Entitled people gonna be entitled and I don't owe them anything. (this is the earliest book I remember reading and is just as satisfying to read today)
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery- There’s a place for everyone. "He puts the lonely in families." Also that I wanted a pearl for my engagement ring and a man who would write me letters.
Emma by Jane Austen- Emma showed me how to take rebuke from a friend and to find myself a Mr. Knightley.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen- Relationships are not cut and dry and they all require forgiveness. I'm also still trying to work through what I feel about Marianne and Colonel Brandon.
The Body Keeps the Score by van der Kolk M.D.- This book gave me hope that I wasn't always going to be drowning in PTSD and childhood trauma triggers. It encouraged me to try EMDR and to not give up.
Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful: Preventing Exclusion in the Early Elementary Classroom- The title alone helped me so much. I've never read past the first chapter but the title gave me so much peace when we were really struggling with two of our "not yet peaceful" children before they received diagnoses and interventions. It kept my eyes on hope for the future vs the struggle of the present.
The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera- This story brought my mind back to life and made me feel alive and excited about reading again after an incredibly long reading drought due to my chronic illness.
John Newton: the Angry Sailor by Strom- Showed me that anyone can be forgiven by God so I shouldn't view anyone as a lost cause. (Newton wrote "Amazing Grace")
Three Knocks on the Wall by Evelyn Sibley Lampman- I felt like Lampman was speaking straight to me. I was a child born out of wedlock who was told on multiple occasions that she was a constant reminder of her mother's sin. Lampman flat out rejected that with me and reinforced my own worth as a human being and a female separate from my creation story.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom- Have courage and do hard right things. Sometimes blessings look like curses (the fleas) so choose to trust it’s all in your best interest from God. Find a way to forgive the unforgivable for your own sake.
Medallion by Dawn L. Watkins- Be humble or be humbled. Be a Wise Woman and be prepared to serve those in need.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Speare- Don't allow your opinions of others to be formed based on judgements others have vocally cast upon that person. Weigh and measure for yourself.
The Trolley Car Family by Clymer- Your countenance carries more weight than your circumstances and anything can be an adventure when seen rightly.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Rawls- Love hard, grieve hard.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee- Sometimes people will bear false witness and there will be devastating results. Stay away from those types of people, Don’t die beholden to any substance (this became a core belief at a fairly young age and I struggle with what it means for me now as I have a body that doesn't make some basic stuff and it has to be supplemented for me to function. I have to remind myself that that's different from an opiate habit.) .
Charlotte's Web by EB White- it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. You don't have to be cruel or abusive to command respect.
The Runaway Princess by Millie Howard- Humility: be humble or be humbled. Don't be quick to assume you know everything about someone.
Clara Barton of the Red Cross by Nolan- Fight for those who lack representation. People who serve hard will go through cycles of pouring out and recovery. That's okay. It's human.
Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman- God is SO unbelievably faithful and kind.
Being Edie is Hard Today by Ben Brashares and Elizabeth Bergeland- I felt seen.
Hanna’s Cold Winter by Marx- Gives me hope for the future despite the certainty of hard times.
Once On A Time by AA Milne- We’re all just trying to fake it until we make it. Laugh a lot.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- You are not required to like a boy just because he likes you.
Shield by Dawn L. Watkins- Cultural preservation is a Noble Woman’s responsibility and I am not wasting my time on this whole "book thing".
Maybe Tomorrow? (a story about loss, healing, and friendship)- Best grief visualization I've found. Wish I'd had this book available to me as a child.
Robin Hood- You don't have to, and shouldn’t, take abuse laying down. Live nobly and you'll attract noble people to you and those who lack honor will fall to the wayside. Defend the defenseless.
Johnny Tremain- It doesn’t matter how bad it seems, your future may be quite different from your present so hold on and don't give up.
The Bridge by Massi- be prepared, bide your time, you can wield influence from the shadows that’s more powerful in protecting those you love than from the spotlight.
A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus- Growing up, the woman who I consider a second mother told me that God only brings so many children of the millions in the world across your path and none by chance. I've always tried to live by that and Nora is pretty much everything I hope I am.
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien- You don't need to feel confident before attempting hard things.
Bargain Bride by Evelyn Sibley Lampman- Removing yourself from abusive situations can be a process. It's not as easy as just leaving. You have to be prepared to set hard boundaries and defend them- but you CAN!
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas- Don't give up. You can rebuild from the ashes of your life as many times as necessary. Learn who to trust, adjust course as necessary.
From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler- You're probably a lot smarter and more resourceful than the people who know you give you credit for. That's okay. Let them be surprised. But, you should probably call your mom anyway…
If you'd like to see more of the books I've read and loved check out our always growing free literary catalogue and sign up for our newsletter to never miss out on what we're doing!