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Book List

We read a lot individually and as a family. Here are some of the books we have read or listened to as a family.

2016

Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn
The Attributes of God Vol 2, A.W. Tozier
Reilly’s luck, Louis L’amour
Hondo, Louis L’amour
Duck Commander Family, the Robertsons
Treasure Principle, Alcorn
Trial and triumph
Les Miserables (radio theater version), Victor Hugo
Mary Jones and Her Bible, lamplighter
Survivors, Rawles
Still working on updating the 2016 list…
Stuart Brannon Western Series, Stephen Bly
If you like Louis L’Amour as we do, you might like Stephen Bly. He has largely replaced L’Amour for us. Bly is a Christian who tells Western stories through a godly lens. The main character in this series is Stuart Brannon, who comes to trust God through many difficulties. Despite all the trouble that seems to find him, and the skill in putting trouble away, he maintains before God, “I am not a violent man,” and indeed he always seeks peaceful resolutions.

  1. Hard Winter at Broken Arrow Crossing
  2. False Claims at the Little Stephen Mine
  3. Last Hanging at Paradise Meadow
  4. Standoff at Sunrise Creek
  5. Final Justice at Adobe Wells
  6. Son of an Arizona Legend
The Tank Man’s Son: A Memoir, Mark Bouman
A heartfelt story about boy growing up with an abusive father who, “Love things and used people.”


2015

The Attributes of God, A.W. Tozer
We really enjoyed this book and all of Tozer’s insights. Being reminded about who God is always worthwhile.
Caleb in the Country, Jacob Abbott
A great story about little boy in the country. It seemed like the author had been watching our house, judging by the issues the boy had to work through with the world and people around him. Loved it.
The Luke Reports, Focus on the Family Radio Theater
While not technically a book, we loved listening to this imaginative rendition of Luke’s adventures as he travels around gathering information to write an account of the life of Jesus. I don’t think this is available anymore. There used to be a set available with all five or so “chapters” in the adventure.
Miscellaneous Essays, G.K. Chesterton
A nice collection of essays by Chesterton. Lots of laughs, not surprisingly.
Crossfire Trail, Louis L’Amour
We enjoy listening to LL, although I cannot remember which one this is. You know, they’re all kind of the same…
Big Country Vol 1, Louis L’Amour
Another LL.
Big Country Vol 2, Louis L’Amour
Yep, another LL.
Heaven, Randy Alcorn
I always enjoy listening to this book. It seems we do not talk about heaven much. Do we shy away from what God has actually told us about it because we are afraid to commit to anything? You can hedge your bets with the best of them, but God does tell us quite a bit about heaven.
Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
We loved this sci-fi book, and although the movie was kind of interesting, the movie was not kid-safe. The book is kid friendly. There are many interesting ideas discussed, and it is a fun adventure.
The Advocate, Randy Singer
A historical novel set in Jesus’ time about an advocate (lawyer) and his career including his time with Pilate during Jesus’ trial. Good book.
With the Allies to Pekin, G.A. Henty
About a British young man in China during the Boxer Rebellion. This book took us a while to get through.
Broken gun, Louis L’amour
Another LL.
Stuart Little, E.B. White
A cute book about a mouse that lives with a family as one of the family.
Ralph S. Mouse, Beverly Cleary
Classic story about a hotel mouse that rides his toy motorcycle around at night.
Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson
Ha! So funny and a good lesson as well.
The Colors of Space, Marion Zimmer Bradley
A fun sci-fi book about space travel where humans are trying to discover the key to “warp drive.” One of the few books we’ve read (listened to) twice.

(2015 count: 16, not counting all that we forgot)

2014

Coral Island, R. M. Ballantyne
Three young men are shipwrecked on an island and have to survive pirates, cannibals, and the island itself. This book is a bit more gruesome than other Ballantyne books, but we all loved the book.
The 5000 Year Leap, W. Cleon Skousen
In progress.
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, Howard Pyle
One of the classic tales of Robin Hood. The kids ask, “Dad, isn’t he just stealing but with a smile?”
The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
An expedition to the Amazon tries to confirm earlier reports of dinosaurs living in a forgotten land. This is our second time through this book. It was requested on a recent trip.
In the Reign of Terror: the Adventures of a Westminster Boy, G.A. Henry
An English boy goes to live in France during the Reign of Terror and to attempt a rescue of the family he’s staying with, who is at risk of being executed by the bloodthirsty French mobs.
Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
A fanciful tale of a traveler who finds little people, big people, cloud people, horse people, and more. We find it interested to see that the author demonstrates (though I don’t know if it was his intention) that the Curse reaches to every part of Creation.
A Possums War Between the States; The American Civil War, Jamey M. Long
A humorous children’s story taking place during the Civil War. Apparently there is a whole series of these Possum tales.
The Man Without a Country, Edward Everett Hale
Great short story about a man who curses the United States and is sentenced to spend the remainder of his life at sea with instructions to the Navy not to let him ever hear of the U.S.A again.
The Beasts of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs
They all kind of run together, but we’ve been enjoying the various Tarzan books on trips.
The Land that Time Forgot and The People that Time Forgot, Edgar Rice Burroughs
A fun adventure though it takes Burroughs’ evolutionary perspective. In the second book, the native people progress through the imaginary evolutionary stages during their lifetime from birth to death.
Five Children and It, E. Nesbit
The adventures of some siblings who find that getting wishes granted does not always turn out as they hope.
War Horse, Michael Morpurgo
A sort of Black Beauty Meets World War I.
King Solomon’s Mines, H. Rider Haggard
An adventure into Africa to find the legendary riches of King Solomon’s mines.
Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter
In progress.
The Colors of Space, Marion Zimmer Bradley
The human race is trying to discover the secret to interstellar travel, but the only alien race who knows it won’t share the knowledge. A fun space adventure for kids.
The Gorilla Hunters, R.M. Ballantyne
The adventurers from Coral Island embark on an African adventure to find Gorillas.
Daddy Takes Us Skating
Hank the Cowdog, The Case of the Wounded Buzzard on Christmas Eve, John R. Erickson
Apparently another series, this was recommended by some friends for long car trips. In this episode, Slim the cowboy goes into town and has more adventures than one ought (or desires) on Christmas Eve. The buzzard that goes through his windshield in the snow agrees.

(2014 count: 17, not counting all that we forgot)

2013

Death Clouds On Mt Baldy: Tucson’s Lost Tragedy, Cathy Hufault
A sad, true account of some Boy Scouts who went up a mountain on a sunny day and encountered a freak snow storm that left upwards of seven feet of snow overnight.
Jessica’s First Pray, Hesba Stretton
Another great Lamplighter book. A poor English girl finds a friend who works at a church and then finds redemption. 15% discount using above link to book.
The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, Bob Garner
Encouraging stories of the brave and gallant aboard the Titanic.
The Golden Dream, R.M. Ballantyne
A story of the California gold rush. A young man from England seeks his fortune in California while honoring God and encouraging the men around him.
A Horse’s Tale, Mark Twain
Told from a horse’s perspective, the horse belonging to Buffalo Bill. He tells of his adventures and his fondness for a certain young orphan girl who becomes a sort of mascot for the army fort.
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
Some humorous tales about the origin of animals such as how the elephant got its trunk (an alligator tugged on its nose) and how the camel got its hump (from refusing to work and always saying, “Humph”).
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay
Only listened to the Holland Tulipmania portion. Love that bit!
Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert T. Kiyosaki
Really helped our kids think about how to make their money work instead of only working for money.
Beowulf, Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
This editing is actually called “Stories of Beowulf Told to the Children,” but do not let that fool you. It simply is an easy to understand rendering of the book — still full of gore and mystique and all the great elements of Beowulf!
The Swiss Family Robinson, Johann David Wyss
The movie is great, and so is the book.
The Tale of [Brownie Beaver | Master Mouse | Timothy Turtle ], Arthur Scott Bailey
Another series of books in the genre of alliterated animal names in the forest. We did not think these were as good as the “Adventures of…” stories by Thornton W. Burgess (listed below in 2012).
Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs
A classic adventure with plenty of excitement for everyone. Be sure to read the second book in the series, which really finishes the first. After that, the next score of books in the series are just more adventures.
The Return of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Really a necessary Part Two of the original book, “Tarzan of the Apes.” The relationship with Jane is resolved and sets the stage for the remainder of the dozens and dozens of books that follow.
The Three Weavers, Annie Fellows Johnston
This is a special allegory for fathers to read to their daughters. As the story goes, once upon a time there were three weavers, and to each was born a daughter. The ‘watcher of weavers’ prophesied, “A royal prince shall seek to wed thy child,” but she must weave a mantle for the prince that will be fair to look upon with rich cloth of gold, and it must fit him as perfectly as the falcon’s feathers fit the falcon. Each father is responsible to teach his daughter how to prepare for her prince. When should he begin? The father’s approach, coupled with his daughter’s cooperation, will decide the fate of her future. -Lamplighter
Jessica’s Mother, Hesba Stretton
In this sequel to “Jessica’s First Prayer,” Jessica, Daniel and the minister were at the church when a tragedy occurred. Daniel went home and discovered Jessica’s mother crouching on his doorsill. She looked like a heap of rags and defiantly demanded Jessica. Daniel grew spiritually closer to God as he sought to know how Jesus might respond. -Google Books
Jack the Conqueror, or Difficulties Overcome, Mrs C.E. Bowen
Great story about perseverance and sticking it out through difficult circumstances. We appreciated this message especially for kids with an entitlement attitude.
Deep Down, R.M. Ballantyne
An inside peek into the life of Cornish miners and their hard work and loyalty.
In the Reign of Terror: the Adventures of a Westminster Boy, G.A. Henty
A captivating tale of an English boy becoming a man as he helps a family amid the bloodthirsty times of the French Revolution.
Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Classic tale of Scrooge on Christmas.
The Man Who Was Thursday, a Nightmare, G.K. Chesterton
A mad tale of anarchists and police.
Story of the Treasure Seekers, E. Nesbit
A fun tale of a group of siblings looking for treasure to help their family.
The Wouldbegoods, Being the Further Adventures of the Treasure Seekers, E. Nesbit
A group of siblings really, really try to be good and “would be good,” but do not always pull it off.
Gullivers Travels, Jonathan Swift
Little people, big people, cloud people, and horse people – so many adventures for one man who’s not much of a father and husband but certainly sees the world.
Conquest Over Time, Michael Shaara
A space traveler looking to start some business on a new planet finds that astrology is the primary decision-making aid on the planet.
Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions, Edwin Abbott Abbott (yes, really)
A true geek geometry story of relationships among two dimensional beings.
Hunted and Harried: a Tale of Scottish Covenanters, R.M. Ballantyne
Persecuted Scottish Christians seek to worship God without interference from a cruel ruler.
Shipwrecked but Not Lost, Hon. Mrs. Dundas
A lad and his cousin take to the sea without his father’s blessing. It takes a shipwreck on the arctic island of Spitzbergen to bring them around.
A Bride Goes West, Victoria Botkin (adapted)


(2013 count: 27)

2012

The Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath, Ryan M. McGraw
I have mixed feelings about this book—though not 50/50 mixed. One thing I think he observes correctly is that people often “talk past each other” about the Sabbath by not defining terms and not defining the purpose of the Sabbath. I find many of the author’s proofs to be incomplete or invalid, yet I cannot deny that it has caused me to think seriously about what the Sabbath is, and that was why I got the book. Mission accomplished, I guess.
Revolution in World Missions, K.P. Yohannan
I only recently became aware of K.P. Yohannan’s efforts with Gospel for Asia, which encourages local-national missionaries rather than sending missionaries from other countries. This strikes a chord with us since a previous church we attended is heavily involved in encouraging local pastors in Uganda.
In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce, G.A. Henty
Intended to be historically accurate, to the best that Henty was able to research it, this novel about the struggle for freedom in Scotland gets a lot of Hooah! points from our family.
The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt, G.A. Henty
A story set in Egypt during Moses’ time (he makes a cameo appearance). You’ve got to love it when polytheistic Egyptians come to the realization that there is only one true God, a la Romans 1:20.
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain
Conquest Over Time, Michael Shaara
Courtship of Miles Standish, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald
King Arthur and His Knights, Maude L. Radford
Stories of King Arthur and His Knights, U. Waldo Cutler
Message to Garcia, Elbert Hubbard
The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
An expedition to the Amazon tries to confirm earlier reports of dinosaurs living in a forgotten land.
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?, Richard Maybury
The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Calico Cat, Charles Miner Thompson
California, J. Tyrwhitt Brooks
Call of the Wild, Jack London
Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling
The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk, Thornton W. Burgess
The Adventures of Johnny Chuck, Thornton W. Burgess
The Adventures of Paddy Beaver, Thornton W. Burgess
The Adventures of Reddy Fox, Thornton W. Burgess
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
All of Grace, Charles H. Spurgeon
Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne
Arabian Nights Entertainments, Anonymous, Dr Jonathan Scott
This is one we listened to (audiobook), but we didn’t finish all of this book because the readers were hard to listen to.
Whatever Happened to Justice?, Richard Maybury
A great discussion of natural law vs political (fiat) law.
Catechism of Familiar Things, Anonymous
This is like listening to an (interesting) encyclopedia. We are working through it slowly as backup material in between other books.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Burgess Animal Book for Children, Thornton W. Burgess
The Lonely Island, R.M. Ballantyne
Davy Crockett: His Life and Adventures, John S.C. Abbott
Sir Knight of the Splendid Way, Lamplighter Theater
Food Conference Talks, Vision Forum
Not a book but an excellent collection of talks from a conference on food.
The Wanderer in Africa, A.L.O.E.
Another great book from Lamplighter Publishers, this time about a boy who rejects his duty to his family, runs off to see the world, and has a hard time of it before repenting. 15% discount using above link to Lamplighter.
Tabitha’s Travels
We almost stopped reading this after the first day or two because of the way the girl’s attitude was portrayed, but we used it as a discussion opportunity and enjoyed the rest of the book.


(2012 count: 37)

2011

Tortured for Christ, Richard Wurmbrand
We read this in preparation for meeting some Voice of the Martyrs workers at a homeschool family camp one year. It opened our eyes to the persecution going on against our brothers and sisters and was quite humbling.
Restricted Nations: North Korea, The Voice of the Martyrs with P. Todd Nettleton
This short book led a good deal of study we did on North and South Korea and the history of the area.
Restricted Nations: China, The Voice of the Martyrs with Riley K. Smith
This followed our study on North Korea and is a timely book for our present indebtedness to China.
Restricted Nations: Iran, The Voice of the Martyrs with Riley K. Smith
Our third book in the Restricted Nations series deals with Iran.
Fox’s Book Of Martyrs, John Foxe and William Byron Forbush
This had long been on my list of books to read, so I am glad we finally got to it. We trouble figuring out which printing to get and found it confusing. Then we learned that the book was originally about 2,000 pages long, so most people only ever read abridged versions. The one edited by Forbush is a good edit, and he added some material from after Foxe’s death in 1587.
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?, Richard J. Maybury
I’m pretty sure I had an economics class somewhere in my past, but either it failed me or I had forgotten everything, because this book was a real eye-opener to me. We are going to read more of these “Uncle Eric” books.
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends, Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally
A very engaging book encouraging siblings to invest in their relationships with each other. The many humorous anecdotes left us all laughing.
The Madman and the Pirate, R.M. Ballantyne
This one we listened to (from Librivox.org) in the car. A great story of the good news of Christ transforming whole islands, as always with plenty of adventure and this time with pirates too. The trouble with Librivox is that it is hit or miss with respect to the quality of the readings; this book had a different reader for almost every chapter, and some readers were very poor. Oh well, with some things, you get what you pay for.
Fast in the Ice – Adventures in the Polar Regions, R.M. Ballantyne
Another book we listened to (from Librivox.org). In this story a ship gets stuck in the ice during a winter in the Arctic, and the crew must survive the brutal cold.
Ten P’s in a Pod : A Million-Mile Journal of the Arnold Pent Family, Arnold Pent III
I’ve been looking forward to this one for some time. It’s about a family with eight kids who travel around the country in the 50’s and 60’s (I think). We loved Cheaper by the Dozen, which took place fifty years earlier, and we are sure to love this one too.
Fighting the Flames, R.M. Ballantyne
We enjoyed this book about London firefighters in the 19th century. Some parts had us in an uproar laughing.
Coral Island, R. M. BallantyneThe Man Without a Country, Edward Everett Hale
A man revokes his citizenship in a rash oath, and the judge calls his bluff.
Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis
A man is kidnapped and taken to Mars where he finds that they have brought sin into a non-fallen world.
Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
Sequel to Out of the Silent Planet. The same hero is brought to Venus, which is a new world where the first man and woman have not yet faced the decision to obey or sin.


(2011 count: 14)

2010

The Moral Compass: Stories for a Life’s Journey, William J. Bennett
We’ve been working through this massive collection of short stories and poems for some time. It’s a sort of “backup” when someone’s missing from the meal or we need a short filler.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
No, I am under no illusion regarding the “spiritual value” of this book, but it’s hilarious and prompts good discussion (everything prompts good discussion in our home).
Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
A humorous and encouraging story about a large family and their devotion to each other.
Belles on Their Toes, Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
A follow-on to Cheaper by the Dozen that we all enjoyed about as much as the first one.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, Francis Chan
An inspiring book that challenged us in our walk with God.
God’s Design for Heaven and Earth: Our Universe, Debbie and Richard Lawrence
As part of our exploration of God’s creation, we enjoyed this book that looks out into the heavens.
The Cannibal Islands, R.M. Ballantyne
This is an adventure with Captain Cook (the Captain Cook) during his times in the South Seas. History, geography, and adventure all in one.
Fighting the Whales, R.M. Ballantyne
(included in our printing of The Cannibal Islands) Back when whaling wasn’t considered a “mortal sin,” it was an exciting and dangerous life for a young man. We enjoyed learning details about the whaling experience.
The Dog Crusoe and His Master, R.M. Ballantyne
This became an instant family favorite. Set in the pioneer days, a man trains a young pup, which becomes his faithful, obedient, and very competent companion on a journey seeking peace with native tribes across America’s wilderness. (Later we also listened to this as an audio book from Librivox.org.)


(2010 count: 10)