Readers of The Bridge offer their own reading recommendations for your enrichment
Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
"Part devotional, part theology, part story telling, part autobiography about her own faith journey... this book is one I feel I can't put down, but that I need to set aside after a chapter or two, just to digest the profound reflections that Norris brings to the most challenging "vocabulary" of Christianity. Her life is so interesting - returning to her faith among the Benedictine monks of North Dakota - and yet so ordinary... no exotic world travels or journeys of self-discovery. Just an ordinary woman seeking to know God and her faith better, in very ordinary ways."
—Jaime (McMillan) Horst '99
Independent People by Nobel Laureate Halldor Laxness
"A novel that that transcends its corner of the world (and I do mean corner) with universal themes, characters, and an unexpected object lesson about the mortgage crisis."
—David Reitman (parent)
A Thousand Days in Venice and A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi
"Marlena de Blasi, normally a chef and cooking author, uses these two books to tell of her unusual romance and marriage to a Venetician, and her introduction to and assimilation into Italian culture. Beautifully written, humorous at times, frequently touching, these books will fan the flames of any Italiophile."
— Richard M. Rayner (parent)
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
"It's a science fiction novel that explores the questions of morality and missions and the love of God in a totally new way."
—Gretchen Gignerich '03
El principe destronado by Spanish author Miguel Delibes
"A comical look at a typical day in the life of a 4 year old child. His interpretation of the adult world is hilarious!"
—Heather Shelford '95
Breath by Tim Winton
"In this coming-of-age story, set in Australia, Winton really nails some of the universal truths of male adolescence--things that transcend cultures and generations. Though the story isn't necessarily a happy, there are moments worth holding onto. And Winton's prose is spot on, too."
—Vince Caperelli '93
"An excellent book about birding."
— Jessica Broucek '03
Stand Your Ground by Evan Offstein
"I have had the privilege of speaking with Evan on more than one occasion. I find his personal story very interesting, though it is not the subject of his book. He began his walk with Christ at the close of his 4 years as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His senior year roommate had been an authentic believer and that relationship was instrumental in his conversion on graduation day (if my memory is correct). Though I did not know him at the time, I was also a cadet at West Point and was in the same class. (I ended up transferring to Messiah in 1991... now THAT is a long story). Interestingly, I knew his senior year roommate as we were in the same platoon our first year there.... incredible guy... graduated first in his class and is now a professor at West Point (the roommate, that is). Evan is great, too, of course. Anyway. In short, the book approaches the subject of being an honorable leader."
— Mark Hopkins '94
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
"One of the freshest, most deeply spiritual books I've ever encountered."
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
"A bleak, desperate novel and, in many ways, an apocalyptic warning for our present age."
"For humor, I'd recommend anything by David Sedaris or Sarah Vowell."
— Devin Thomas '09
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These resources are recommended by readers and do not represent materials endorsed by Messiah College.