Home > Reviews > Review – These 25 Books have shaped my spiritual life …

Review – These 25 Books have shaped my spiritual life …

Over the years I have built up quite an extensive library. Occasionally I’m informed of a potential clear-out coming my way but the threat has yet to materialise! However, if I did have to select my top 25 titles, which books would be the most important for me to keep? 

I’ve thought long and hard and here is that list – these are the books which have fed my soul, impressed my spirit and directed my life as opposed to simply informing my theology.

The main 10 – in order of priority

Celebration of Discipline               Richard Foster                Hodder 

Return of the Prodigal Son           Henri Nouwen                 DLT 

The Wonder of Worship               David McKee                     Faith Mission 

Enjoying Intimacy with God         Oswald Sanders             Moody Press 

Border Lands                               David Adam                      SPCK

In the Name of Jesus                   Henri Nouwen                  DLT

Awake my Heart                            J. Sidlow Baxter               MMS

The Glory Man – Billy Bray            Cyril Davey                      Hodder 

An Unfading Vision                         Edward England               Hodder 

Literature Evangelism                    George Verwer                 Authentic

Those next in significance

Unlocking the Bible                         David Pawson                    HarperCollins

Dynamics of Spiritual Life              Richard Lovelace             Paternoster

Knowing God                                     James Packer                   Hodder

The Church on the Way                 Jack Hayford                      Chosen Books

Wisdom                                               Larry Lee                          Highland

The Life God Blesses                      Gordon MacDonald          Word Books

Circle of Love                                     Anne Persson                    BRF

Ruthless Trust                                   Brennan Manning            SPCK

A Glimpse of Jesus                          Brennan Manning            SPCK

Soul Survivor                                     Philip Yancey                   Hodder

Those too hard to leave out!

Finding Sanctuary                         Christopher Jamison       Orion

Purpose Driven Life                        Rick Warren                        Zondervan

Walking the Edges                          David Adam                        SPCK

Epiphanies of the Ordinary            Charlie Cleverley              Hodder

Soulful Spirituality                            David Benner                     Baker

If you were hoping to find here a Guide to the 25 Essential Spiritual Classics, that book has already been written (25 Books Every Christian Should Read : Harper One : 2011) and is in itself highly recommended. It contains all the major Christian writers from past centuries and has been put together by a specially selected group of advisors by Renovare.

As a personal exercise, why not post here which books are important to you?  What titles would your own list include?


  1. November 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    These are not the books I need to own necessarily, indeed already due to my wandering feet (lincoln is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere!) most of the early years books are no longer in my physical possession but then they don’t need to be as they were so foundational they are fixed in my mind, heart and psyche, but these are the books that I consider the key books of my spiritual life.
    These are though the books whose names spring most readily and easily to mind.
    I’d also have to point out that I can’t so easily divest my theology and spirituality from one another, my faith has never been academic… even when it was 😀
    But I have taken most of the key ‘theology’ books out of the list where I can so as not to bore folk too much!
    I’m the first to admit it’s an unsual and eclectic list…

    On Being A Christian – Hans Kung (the book that caused my RE teacher from that point on to apologise for me to visiting priests – ‘melanie’s read Hans Kung…’) & The Church.

    This Present Darkness – Frank Peretti & the follow on Piercing The Darkness.

    Where is God When It Hurts – Philip Yancey

    The Grace Awakening – Chuck Swindoll

    Audacity to Believe – Sheila Cassidy

    Michelle – Carolyn E Phillips ( Abut a girl who lost her leg to cancer that was perhaps even more key to my outlook than the also very good Joni – Joni Eareckson-Tada)

    Don Camillo books -Giovanni Guareschi. (Fiction tells us many truths).

    Murder in The Cathedral – T.S Eliot

    Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit – (the books that triggered the very long discussion that really got me my entry into Heythrop College despite my forcast expected grades which wouldn’t have done the job! All fiction contains truth, especially just very good fantasy)

    Celtic Daily Prayer – Northumbria Community, Forms of Prayer – Daily & Sabbath, A Shorter Morning and Evening Prayer (all still used)

    The Antagonists – Ernest K Gann (another fiction one)

    Good Friday People -Sheila Cassidy

    Learning the Language of Prayer – Joyce Huggett

    In Search of Beyond – Carlo Carretto

    Markings – Dag Hammerskjold

    The Complete Gospels – Funk & Miller

    After The New Testament – Bart Ehrman (and quite a few of his other works, they made me think, question and seek to understand more)

    Natural Grace – Matthew Fox & Rupert Sheldrake (Also The Physics of Angels)

    THE LATER YEARS (or maybe it should be termed the now years)…
    Irresistible Revolution – Shane Claibourne

    Manual of the Warrior of Light – Paulo Coehlo ( a dipping book of profound insights that always talks to me)

    What’s so Amazing about Grace – Philip Yancey

    Jesus and the gods of the New Age – Ross Clifford & Philip Johnson

    Circles of Silence – Robert Llewelyn

    Actually at this point there are so many that are still fresh and teaching me things, luckily I own a bookshop… (and an ebook reader app!) so don’t have to worry too much about a cull anytime too soon!

    To be fair I’ve cheated as there are more than 25 and even then this doesn’t really encompass the true list that was in my head because truthfully doing something like this is a bit like picking out friends for the title of BFF and just how do you do that with so many excellent friends that you love so much!

    Thanks though Eddie for another fantastic thought provoking evenings exercise 😀

  2. brian.butler@talktalk.net
    November 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Hi, Eddie,. Your list is helpful and invited criticism and comment!
    No “Pilgrim’sProgress”– which would have appeared in everyone’s list
    a couple of generations ago (Spurgeon read it how many times? –
    25-50 so he said) –yet I would be surprised if it appeared on many
    people’s list today. No murray Mccheyne.

    I am glad to see Nouwen’s Prodical Son near the top. Perhaps I would
    have expected Philip Yancey nearer the top.

    I remember that back in the 50s Hugh Martin (then the editor of SCM
    Press) wrote
    a book called “Great Christian Books” –I speak from memory but I dont
    think any
    of his lot are on your list. But yours are more contemporary. You
    included any of the great Catholic classics, which again is not too
    I am sure you are familiar with Eugene Peterson–but none have made it
    to your list.

    I will mull this over a bit more an get back to you again perhaps.



  3. November 28, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Reblogged this on Self Publishing Advocate.

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