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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I am Grateful for . . . Authors who have Touched My Life

When I was in second grade, my teacher read the book Heidi to my class. I can still see the classroom and her standing at the front of the room, a blackboard behind her, a wall of windows looking out toward the grassy front lawn on her right. Her students sitting at desks lined up in neat rows. Daily she took us into the world of the Swiss Alps where the goats climbed high up to the meadows and Peter had to chase them, back at the cabin the Grandfather made his goat cheese, and the fir trees sang in the wind. I loved the characters and I wanted to be able to read that book again . . . and again . . . and again. Suddenly I was motivated to read a "big" book and I worked hard to be able to read Heidi all by myself. It took several months, but at last I could read it for myself and I haven't stopped reading since.

I am grateful for books and for the authors who have written them.

Authors who have entertained me:

  • Lilian Jackson Braun who wrote The Cat Who . . .  series. I was introduced to this series by a co-worker back in the early nineties and from the beginning fell in love with Qwill, Koko and Yum-Yum and their extraordinary exploits.  
  • Margaret Truman who wrote the Capital Murder series. The same person who introduced me to Ko-Ko and Yum-Yum also suggested I would like Margaret Truman's books and indeed I did.
  • Although a children's author, I didn't meet Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables until I was well into adulthood, but her books quickly became favorites to read time and again.
Authors who have taught me: 
  • Larry Crabb who is a Christian counselor and author of many books on counseling. His books were required reading in my counseling courses in college. Now I pick them up because of the impact his words have had on me and the value they hold to me.
  • Another set of Christian counselors whose books have helped to shape and form my thinking are Henry Cloud and John Townsend. From Boundaries to Safe People to Necessary Endings I have found advice and insights that have not only impacted my thinking but my relationships as well.
Authors who have both taught and entertained me:
  • Nineteenth century writer George MacDonald has entertained me with stories of the Scottish highlands with his strong characters like Wee Sir Gibbie, Malcolm, and my favorite Robert Falconer. At the same time the theology that he weaves through every story has given me cause to pause and evaluate my own understanding of God.
  • An avid fan and student of MacDonald's works, C.S. Lewis is another that has entertained me with stories of Narnia and outer space and in his storytelling given me a different perspective of God. One of my favorite quotes is from the Chronicles of Narnia: The question is asked "Is Aslan safe?" and the response given, "No, but He is good."
  • Last, but certainly not least is contemporary author Lynn Austin. The first time I heard of Lynn I was on a missions trip in Belize and one of the women on the team was lying on her bed in the afternoon reading a book. She mentioned that her aunt had just had this book published. I must confess I was a little skeptic since I didn't think I knew anyone related to a published author, but I was wrong. I knew an entire family related to her. Eventually someone loaned me one of her books and now I eagerly read her books each chance I get. She too is a gifted storyteller whose characters teach lessons of living a life of faith.
What about you? 
What authors have impacted your life through entertainment, teaching, or inspiration?

Note: I was not paid in any way for these recommendations. 


  1. Darlene, I, too, have always loved so much the story of Heidi! I have always wanted to go and see the Alps because of that story!! I agree that Lynn Austin is a wonderful author! We recently read one of her books in our church's ladies' book club, "Wonderland Creek". It was great!! We have two authors at our church that you may want to check out sometime, Amy Corron and Michele Howe. Amy writes historical fiction novels set in the Northwoods of MI where she and her husband have a cabin. Michele Howe started with a number of books for single moms and now, more recently, she has written several books about physical problems since she has a problem of some kind that has lead to the necessity of several shoulder surgeries. Thanks for your thoughts- I always enjoy reading them!

    1. Hi Patty, so good to hear from you! I loved "Wonderland Creek" and so did one of my nieces. Excellent book. Thanks for the hints for some other authors. I will have to look them up.