Top Ten Tuesday Freebie: Ten Most Inspirational Books of My Life

Via The Broke and The Bookish

Ten most inspirational books of my life

These are books that have impacted some area of my life.  
Most I have read more than once and still desire to read them again and again.

1.  The Bible
For daily inspiration of Truth!  I especially appreciate John MacArthur's commentary, which I think is longer than the entire Bible itself.

2. A Mom Just Like You: The Home Schooling Mother - Vickie and Jayme Farris
Vickie Farris is a homeschooling mother of ten children who inspired me to trust God. I read this four times, including during a time I miscarried.

3. When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling - R.C. Sproul, Jr.
This book took a huge weight off my shoulders regarding the education of my children.  It answers the questions: who should teach our children, what they should be taught, and what the goal of education truly is.  Education is really simple, but man has complicated it.

4. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
I love this book.  It is way too ambitious for me - or if I had one child, it may have been possible to implement; however, it changed the way I plan our studies.  I learned how to base our learning on history and literature, so that every topic is connected and follows chronologically.  I do wish I was classically educated; I would have loved school!

5. Walden and "Civil Disobedience" - Henry David Thoreau
I read this in college and connected instantly.   I identified so thoroughly with Thoreau's principles that they inspired some of my college work, and I even named our homeschool after the title (though It has since changed.)  This month I finished reading Walden for the second time; I wondered what I would think because my worldview has changed drastically, though part of me is still the same.  I'll write about my conclusion later this week.

6. A Thomas Jefferson Education: 
Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century - Oliver DeMille
In my early homeschooling days, this book inspired me to look at education differently from how I was taught.  It teaches the importance of self-education through reading, writing about, and discussing the classics or great books.  

7. The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had -
Susan Wise Bauer
This book encouraged me to just start reading, writing, and developing that classical education I never had.

8. Let's Roll: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage - Lisa Beamer
Lisa Beamer wrote this after her husband Todd was killed on September 11th, 2001, on Flt. 93.  I cannot do this story justice in a short note; however, I was and am inspired by Lisa's strong and steady faith.  She clung to God as she learned the details involving her husband's last minutes, and while facing a future without him, including giving birth to their third child. 

9. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
I read this at least two times, but it is due for another read.  In high school, I wrote about Anne as a hero (simply for her courage that I only wish I had an ounce).  

10. A History of the American People - Paul Johnson
This is the only other book on the list that I have read one time.  It is huge!  (I'm talking War and Peace huge.)  However, it inspired my love for history, especially American history, and I hope to dig into it again very soon.


  1. Great list! You never know when reading an innocent looking book is going to change your life forever. You mentioned a few of my all-time favorites. However, most of those homeschooling books (besides the Susan Wise Baeur ones) were new to me. I'll have to look them up when I get to that stage of life.

    Keep reading forever,

    1. Thanks. This is true. I never imagined a little book could change my life, but when I look back, I can see how it has. It's amazing.

  2. Really good list, Ruth. I've been wanting to check out that Thomas Jefferson one.

    1. TJE is a great way to self-educate. In a way, you're doing it yourself right now, by reading, writing, and discussing great books. : )

  3. My family has that History of the American People and I was supposed to read it for school but somehow skipped doing that. I don't recall if it was purposeful or accidentally.... ;)
    These are some great choices! I know my family has some of those classical education books and they definitely influenced how my parents chose to educated my siblings and I. :)

    1. Wow! You were supposed to read that for school? It's a whopper.

  4. I still have to read the Thomas Jefferson book complete; I've skimmed it and what I saw looked excellent.

    I'm anticipating your Walden post in hopes that you can help me appreciate it perhaps more than I did. :-)

    And ..... I just purchased #3 on your recommendation and am looking forward to reading it!

    1. Nice! #3 is super easy reading, and heads up on Sproul's sarcasm. He just is.

      And I can't wait to see what you thought about Walden - even if you didn't like it. It's more personal for me, but you'll see, I had some conflict w/ Thoreau, too.

  5. These look like really good books. I love history too and am going to have to get Johnson's book. I also am interested in the Well-Trained Mind and Well-Educated Mind. Great list!

    1. I love Johnson's History. I'm going to have to carve out a huge chunk of my life to reread it - maybe next year.

      I think you'll The Well-Educated Mind; it's all about discerning good literature. It's a little like How to Read a Book (Adler), but only for the modern day busy mom.

  6. Love this list! I need to read those homeschooling books soon. Those days are fast approaching for this little family! A well-trained mind has been on my list for a while.

    1. If you get to read some of them, I hope they are beneficial to you.

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  8. Wow! What an inspiring list. I discovered the homeschooling philosophy and read the Well-Educated Mind halfway through my kids' education. Of course I was always dedicated they got excellent educations but in the early years I was all about being involved with their school activities and supervising their homework. A few years in my worldview underwent a change and I became disillusioned with how they were being educated first in public and then private schools. They both ending up homeschooling for high school (which we finished last year) and that worked out well, but I so wish I had read all of these books before they were born! Maybe I can do something toward encouraging younger people and parents-to-be to consider these things ahead of time. At least I am pretty sure both my sons will want to home school their future children. I've had the Paul Johnson book on my reading list for a while. Maybe I should get started. : )

    1. I think it is great that your sons completed high school homeschool and will probably homeschool their own kids. (So far mine say they will homeschool their kids, too.)

      Oh, great that Johnson's book is on your TBR list. It's a biggie, but well worth it.

  9. Oops. This second sentence should be "Of course I was always dedicated to making sure they got excellent educations...."

    I was typing fast and see that the sentence does not make sense as I submitted it.