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If you’re on Twitter, maybe you’ve seen this little challenge making the rounds:

I’ve accepted a challenge from Joe Blow to post covers of 7 books I love — no explanations or reviews, just the cover. Each time I post a cover, I’ll ask someone else to take the challenge. 1/Day for a week. My day 1 nomination goes to Jane Doe. #books

Yesterday, I got tagged into in the challenge by a sweet and lovely follower, and I wanted to participate.

But I didn’t like the rules.

You see, there are some “books I love” that I love just because they tell a good tale. Gone with the Wind. Biographies of the Reformers. Animal Farm. Pretty much every legal thriller John Grisham has ever written.

But there are other books I love for other reasons. Reasons that have less to do with what’s between the covers and more to do with the story that explains those reasons.

So today I’d like to take the challenge…but I’m breaking all the rules. I’m sharing photos of all seven books (and more) today. I’m sharing them here instead of on Twitter. I’m sharing the story behind why I chose each book. And, I’m not tagging anyone in particular – but I do invite you to share the name of a book you love, and why, in the comments section (or on Twitter) if you’d like.

 

1.

I have had this little red New Testament since I was a child. I’m not sure how old I was when I got it, but I remember carrying it to Sunday School and church from a very young age. It must be an antique by now!

 

2.

These books (and several others) were written by my maternal great grandfather, Dr. John Caylor, who was a pastor and also served in various capacities with the SBC, including on the Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board). A Path of Light is a compilation of missionary biographies. The Great “I Am’s” of Jesus examines twelve of Jesus’ “I am” statements. This particular copy of the book was one he autographed to my paternal grandparents.

 

3.

This was the textbook for the first theological class I ever took, New Testament Survey, when I was a freshman in college. I don’t know if it was the professor, the book, my lame brain, or some combination of the three, but it was the most boring class on the Bible – in church, school, or anywhere else – that I’ve ever taken in my life. I hated that class. It made a big impression on me:
The Bible is the most interesting book ever written.
No book or class about the Bible should ever be boring.

 

4.

This is my favorite Bible ever. My husband gave it to me the Christmas after we started dating. When he gave it to me, it only had my first name imprinted on it. The following Christmas, just days before our wedding, he sneaked it away and then gave it to me again – this time with my new last name imprinted on the cover. (It’s a NASB if you’re wondering.)

 

5.

When my husband and I got married, we weren’t really close to any little girls who were the right age to be a flower girl. But we were close to two special little boys – Joshua and Caleb – my husband’s sons. So instead of a flower girl, we had a ring bearer (Joshua, below right) and a Bible bearer.
This is the Bible Caleb (below left) carried in our wedding.

 

6.

 This is the book that made me a published author. It was a joy to write. It taught me about the publishing business, marketing, public relations, promotion, and Christian retailing. It introduced me to a lot of wonderful people, and it stretched me in ways it would take far too long to describe. I love this book for everything except its hermeneutics. (Jacob is no longer in print, and, because of those unlovely hermeneutics, I would not recommend it to you if it were.)

 

7.

 

Technically, this is a booklet, not a book. It’s the leader guide for the Fall 2016 edition of one of the SBC’s Sunday School curricula for young adults: Bible Studies for Life. I wrote the discussion questions for one of the units. It was my first paid contract writing project, and it was a really interesting and informative experience.


 

How about you? What’s a book you love, and why do you love it?

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