5 Books That Changed My Life: Author Beth K. Vogt
Choosing five books that changed my life ranks up there with the challenge of choosing one book as my all-time favorite. I love books, so much so I don’t believe in getting rid of books—ever. I tried once. And then I cried over the small stack of books my husband, Rob, pried from my hands. I have To Be Read piles. Plural.
Rob cheered when I purchased an e-reader, envisioning all my books disappearing into virtual oblivion. Didn’t happen. I just added an invisible TBR pile to the ones beside the couch and our bed and my desk and favorite chair.
But for the sake of this blog post, can I choose five books that changed my life? Yes.
All authors are asked—many, many times—what their favorite book is. I always dodged that question until I realized my favorite books are the books that helped me learn to read. Why? Because those oh-so-simple volumes opened the world of story to me. (And yes, I realize I’m lumping a series of readers into one.) I recall sitting at my first-grade desk, turning the pages that held just a few words and simple illustrations. With each book, the more I understood, and the more there was to learn.
was the first book I reread many times. I loved the March family as if they were real people: wise Marmee, bossy Meg, impetuous Jo, patient Beth, and yes, even spoiled little Amy. I lost myself in the pages of Alcott’s book, catching a glimpse of the power of story to touch our emotions and to challenge us, to change us.
It wasn’t until I was 21 years old that I understood that God wants a relationship with us. In my thirties, I taught women’s Bible studies for almost 15 years, and the first one I ever taught was
Lord, I Want to Know You
by Kay Arthur, founder of Precept Ministries. This devotional study examines the names of God, such as Elohim (Creator) and Jehovah Shalom (The God of Peace). Understanding who God says He is—instead of settling for letting other people tell me who God is—deepened my intimacy with Him.
I came to admire Elisa Morgan, who was the president of MOPS International for 20 years, when I was the editor of MOPS’ leadership magazine. In
The Beauty of Broken
, Morgan’s willingness to be honest about her hurts and wounds invited me to own my brokenness too.
Susan May Warren is a dear friend and a respected mentor. If it weren’t for her, as well as author Rachel Hauck, I wouldn’t be a published novelist. And that is not overstating the truth at all
. The Story Equation
is the best tool for crafting a compelling, layered novel. Her work text is
as good as sitting down with Susie and talking with her because it contains all her best writing tips and tricks.
Beth K. Vogt is the author of the Thatcher Sisters series, including Things I Never Told You
, available to redeem for points in the Reader Rewards store!
This article was originally posted on The Arc.