You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their books. Some are fascinated with murder mysteries, others are infatuated with romance novels, well me, I love soul searching!

When I got up this morning I glanced at my bedside and laughed at myself. This stack of books…I’ve read almost all of them, some multiple times and can’t put them away. They’ve replaced the stuffed animals I used to have on my bed as a child, they are some of my dearest friends. When I first started reading Chesterton, I wept with great sorrow that he died one week after my dad, King Jon, was born. As I was reading Tremendous Trifles, it was like truly meeting GK Chesterton in person, and becoming dear friends. When the realization hit me that he’s been dead for 81 years, I was overcome with grief! I never got to be in the presence of my dearest beloved friend!!

After reading Hemingway, I wept with shame. I had avoided reading Hemingway my entire life because I judged him harshly for ending his. I now realize he is a kindred spirit of mine. He just had so much emotional, mental, and physical pain that he finally gave into the despair. I love his description of ordinary happenings…he makes them significant and meaningful with his intricate detail tinged with both humor and sadness.

John Eldredge helped me wake up and feel fully alive as a believer in Christ, Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul is PRICELESS to mine, Richard Rohr’s Everything Belongs opened my eyes to the vastness of God’s reach and His grace, Dr Scott Peck is also one of my best friends I never got to meet, Jenny Lawson makes me laugh at our whacked humanity, The Shack taught me to live with expectancy instead of expectation, and the others are on my to do list! I must note that Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel is not in its usual place on the stack because I keep giving it to others. It’s actually my favorite of all.

There was a special group of friends and authors that regularly met to bounce ideas off of each other in the 1950’s and they called themselves “The Inklings.” JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Madeleine l’Engle were some of its most significant members. I often dream of having my own Inklings group in heaven with no barriers of time or age or language. All of these authors in this post would be in my group, and I would also add Dickens, Emerson, Austen, Alcott, Rumi, and Brene Brown. What joy!!! What learning!!! Such iron sharpening iron! Ah can you imagine the brilliant conversations and arguments over wine and hor d’oeuvres???

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