“You’ll be the same today as you’ll be five years from now except for the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie T. “Tremendous” Jones

Jones was right. You can tell a lot about a person by the people they surround themselves with and the books to which they entrust shelf space. This is my “essential” collection, so to speak: the books that have been the most influential in my life and that I return to time and again.


Love Does, by Bob Goff

The Orphaned Generation, by Dr. Scott Wilcher

The Myth of a Christian Nation, by Greg Boyd

The Revolution, by Ron Paul

The Underground History of American Education, by John Taylor Gatto

Creativity, Inc., by Ed Catmull

Chasing the Scream, by Johann Hari

Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin

On Writing, by Stephen King


To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee

Goodbye, Mr Chips, by James Hilton

The Hidden Hand, by E.D.E.N. Southworth

The Mysterious Island, by Jules Verne

The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling

Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Waterson.

Other Books

The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare

Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes

The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Great & Terrible Quest, by Margaret Lovett

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski

The Candle in the Window, by Margaret Hill McCarter

What are some of your must-reads and go-to books? I’m always looking for new titles to add to my reading list!