Wouldn’t it be nice if A World Such as Heaven Intended made someone’s Top 10 Book List someday?

There’s been lots of posts on Facebook lately where people are listing the top 10 books that have stayed with them in some way. That got me to thinking about my book, A World Such as Heaven Intended that will be available on Amazon October 27. Wouldn’t that be something if my book made someone’s list someday? Maybe it will inspire them to live their dreams or write their own book, who knows! This is my first novel, so I’m getting super excited to see it in print. The first copy should be in my hands next week.

This topic made me pause and consider what my top 10 books are that have stayed with me through the years. They are listed below, in the order in which they were read.

Little House in the Big Woods — Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read this probably around third grade and it instilled in me a passion for history and reading. I still have all the books in the series  and have added other books that are related to the original series. I loved Little House on the Prairie when it became a television series. Michael Landon was my favorite actor on the show, it’s so sad that he passed away at such a young age. (Side note, I was also a huge fan of the Nancy Drew series of books.)

A Wrinkle in Time — Madeleine L’Engle. I discovered this around fourth grade and I read it more times than I can remember. It made me very interested in time travel. So interested, as a matter of fact, that one of the next three books I’ve got on the drawing board is about this very topic. Stay tuned!

The Diary of Anne Frank — Anne Frank. This book was difficult for me to read because I always wanted it to have a better ending. I read it in junior high and it inspired me to learn more about World War II and the Holocaust, which is another potential manuscript I’ll be taking on at some point.

Ashes in the Wind — Kathleen Woodiwiss. I discovered this book in high school through my mom, of all people. My copy is in tatters, I’ve read it so many times. This to me was the best novel set in Civil War times that I had ever read and this was the biggest motivating factor for me to write my first novel set in that era. Hopefully Kathleen is looking down from Heaven and enjoying my work.

The Once and Future King —T.H White.  Read this in high school and was intrigued by how this author went in depth with the story of King Arthur. Even though I was only 16-months old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, I have had a fascination with him my entire life. It’s been said that his favorite Broadway show was Camelot which happens to be one of my favorites as well. People often compared his time in the White House to the Camelot years, he and Jackie were the closest thing to royalty the United States had ever known. It still makes me sad thinking of his tragic death. Speaking of royalty,I was infatuated with Princess Diana as well, who also left us way too soon.

Gone with the Wind — Margaret Mitchell. When you think of novels about the Civil War, the first one that comes to mind is Gone with the Wind. Such a classic book and another one of my inspirations. Someone who read my manuscript for A World Such as Heaven Intended actually told me that it was like Gone with the Wind, only better and would make a fantastic movie. Wowza, now that’s a compliment! BTW, I loved the sequel to this book, Scarlett, written by Alexandra Ripley. That was a hard act to follow but the book was excellent and it had a better ending. Totally worth the read.

The Aladdin Factor — Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen. I read this book in my young adult years after being introduced to the concept of personal development and it was absolutely life-changing for me. This is the No. 1 most influential book in my life. I apply the Aladdin Factor in my life every day — I am constantly asking for things from life and from the people I encounter because you know what? Ninety-five percent of the time the answer is yes when you ask for things but when you don’t ask, the answer is no 100 percent of the time.

Whitney, My Love — Judith McNaught. This book was recommended to me by my dear friend Deanna. She loved it so much, I had to read it and since it was historical fiction it was right up my alley.  I was blown away by the main characters because the interaction between Whitney and Clayton was so dynamic and their conversations were so humorous, I was literally laughing out loud when I was reading it. Reading that, I knew I had found my style. I wanted to write a novel about a serious topic but infuse it with humor because isn’t that how life is? We need to find something to laugh or smile about, even during our darkest hours.

The Greatest Salesman in the World — Og Mandino. I fell in love with this book after meeting Og Mandino in person at a conference for a company I worked for in the late 90s (here’s a shout out to all my fellow TPN folks, best television network ever, thanks to Jeff Olson and Eric Worre). Something that Mr. Mandino said on that stage all those years ago has stayed with me since. He said something to the effect of, you know how they tell you to live like it’s the last day of your life? How about living your life as though ever person you meet throughout the day, it was the last day of their life? If you were the last person they would ever encounter, what would you want that encounter to be like? Wow, that really makes you think. Several years later I had the experience where I met a young lady who worked for my friend’s husband and tragically just a few hours later she and her fiance were killed in a house fire. We had such a nice conversation I was glad to recall.

The Secret — Rhonda Byrne. If anyone had ever told me even five years ago that I would be studying the topic of quantum physics, I would have told them they were crazy. But this book is mind-blowing! We just watched the movie The Secret last night and it just reinforced how powerful this is. Here’s the scoop (but seriously, read the book or watch the movie).

  • The great secret of life is the law of attraction.
  • The law of attraction say like attracts like, so when you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you.
  • Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think thoughts, they are sent out into the universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source — you.
  • You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts. If you want to change anything in your life, change the frequency by changing your thoughts.
  • Your current thoughts are creating your future life. What you think about the most or focus on the most will appear as your life.
  • Your thoughts become things.

There you have it! These books shaped my life. What books influenced your life? I’d love to see your list!