2020 is now in full swing! At the beginning of each new year, I pull out a journal and record a list of all the books I want to read by the time the clock strikes midnight 365 days later.
To begin this year, I decided it would be a delight to help you compose a 2020 reading list by providing four of my favorite books for your list.
Number One: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Yes – I know this is a trilogy, but The Lord of the Rings is one complete story filled with adventure, bravery, captivating dialog, breathtaking imagery, friends, and foes. Roughly 1140 pages, this journey is quite tedious but can be accomplished over the summer by reading one chapter a day for three months.
Tolkien knows how to pen a story that draws you in, whether it’s a sinister wood, a cozy hearth, or a raging war. The characters feel as if they are companions with their vivid and deep personalities. Relating with certain characters, the reader becomes a part of the story, learning life lessons along the way. The Lord of the Rings manages to capture a story of true friendship and resilient bravery, teaching that no matter the obstacle, hope remains in the bonds of brotherly love shared by hobbits and humans alike.
Number 2: 1984 by George Orwell
We’re fed ideas through social media, news, and conversation. But how much should we believe in the sound waves? How often should we stand alert to the lies and dangers being shared through mainstream channels?
George Orwell answers all those questions and more in his terrifyingly spectacular dystopian masterpiece, 1984. Set in the state of Oceana run by the totalitarian ruler, Big Brother, the story surrounds the life of a man named Winston who questions the mantras proclaimed by the main party. Using simple diction to convey complex thoughts, Orwell forces the reader to question the information before accepting it as true. Orwell uses his disturbingly realistic work to show readers how susceptible they are to social and governmental pressure, advising minds to discern and process before partaking in the deceiving feast of promises offered by broken leaders.
Number 3: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
It is a given that every homeschooled child has read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe one time or another, but I encourage you to read it again this year. As you read it again and again, Lewis’ biblical symbolism stands out boldly amidst the delicate words. The grace of God shines from the glossy pages. You will be reminded that our God is a good God, a just God, and a companionate God. You will stand in awe of the character of Christ that Lewis so beautifully understood. The Lord used the hand of C.S. Lewis to inscribe a gracious story onto the lives of many, young and old alike. This book has blessed my life, and I have no doubt of the awaiting blessing it will be to you.
Number 4: Peace Like a River by Lief Enger
It is not often when one reads a book that is sheer beauty. Lief Enger succeeds in telling a heart-wrenchingly gorgeous novel about a young asthmatic boy named Ruben, his runaway fugitive brother Davy, his sweet and spunky younger sister Swede, and his devoutly Christian father Jeremiah. A story filled with sibling love and the Christ-like self-sacrifice of a father for his children, you will witness what love in action looks like in a family, but also how God manifests his love through us. Through the pain and joy, the Land family stands by one another’s side and serves as a reminder that even through the darkest times, the Lord’s love prevails. To conclude the narrative, Enger also offers a breathtaking picture of heaven, emphasizing the ultimate hope of heaven and eternity believers have in Christ. Peace Like a River encapsulates the beauty and hardships of earthly life, offering an uplifting and all-around spectacular work that everyone needs in their lives.
There are dozens of other works that deserve a spot on your reading list for this year, but these happen to be my top four! I would love to hear what your top four books are, so please leave a comment with them below.
May these books bless your heart as you did mine and may your New Year overflow with reminders of our Lord’s goodness and mercy.
Photo Credit: Alessandra Gugliotti