This is the last day of 10 Books a Day for a Week. A late Sunday whim, this has been one of my favourite blogging weeks. I lost track of comments for a while, I simply couldn’t keep up with all of the wonderful suggestions. Many book lovers found each other in the comments, some of my favourite comments were: “Oh, my goodness! I love him! I can’t believe you read his books, too!” between other readers, with nothing to do with me or my list. I loved reading your lists, and tried to visit as many of your links as I could manage (while still keeping bodies and souls together here).

Readers are such lovely people.

To finish off the week, I’d like to share the handful of books I read daily, and 10 books of poetry. (I’m still trying to convince Brian to share his 10 books that changed his faith here tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath.)

The Message, a paraphrase of the Bible by Eugene Peterson. I read the Message almost every day, and it feels like Scripture is brand new to me. It takes Scripture into an earthy, Everyman language that resonates with me, it’s so real that it reads like poetry, and cleanses like a bath.

New Living Translation Bible. This is the Bible that Brian bought me right after we were married. He had my new married name imprinted on it, and I’ve loved it ever since. I grew up on the NIV and KJV, which I still like, but this Bible was my companion, and, in so many ways, my healing.

The Book of Common Prayer came into my life 10 years ago. I had been a Christian for 15 years before I discovered that there was a Church calendar, let alone liturgy or creeds. Who, low church? me? I began to attend a small Episcopal church in San Antonio on my lunch breaks, for Eucharist, and fell head over heels in love with it, right down to the smell of waxed wood and candles. I continued my lunchtime Eucharist habit at a stone Anglican church over the next few years. I found The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime (Tickle, Phyllis)) to be the best introduction to learning to pray the hours. I go through seasons with this one, times when I pray the hours daily, for weeks, and other times, when I simply don’t pick it up, usually because I’m using Common Prayer, below.

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. A series of daily devotions, this book is written from Scripture, as if a letter from Jesus directly to you. It’s one of my daily devotions, typically read over my coffee or breakfast.

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Enuma Okoro, and Jonathon Wilson-Hargrove. This book came into my life through a friend, during the season of Lent in 2011. I have used it daily, ever since, and I love it. I don’t always do the singing (that seems more communal, I guess) but the readings and Scripture orient me every day.  I read it every morning, and sometimes the evening prayers as well, but struggle to find the discipline or habits for the midday prayers.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. We give the tinies a Bible for their first birthday, and this was Evelynn Joan’s present. But all of us have fallen in love with it, and this is the Bible we have started to use for the tinies bedtime Bible story (along with their other two, okay three, all right fine four, other stories). It’s beautiful, weaving the story of Jesus throughout, and the illustrations are whimsical.


I wrote a bit about how I rely on poetry these days, and how it helps. I found out, I am not alone in that.

Witness yesterday morning: tinies were playing legos, Evelynn in the tub, me sitting on the washroom floor, cuppa coffee in hand, and a book. I snatch a moment, here and there, where I can, it’s what we do, isn’t it?

Here are my favourites:

I have a few anthologies of the Romantics, and one rather embarrassingly dog-eared copy of Irish love poetry, but these are ones I read most often these days.

Your turn: What books do you read daily? What are your favourite books of poetry?


We’re talking about 10 Books a Day for a Week. Share your own favourites on your blog, and post your link in the comments, or just let me know what you think or recommend. I love to snoop bookshelves, and this is my excuse – and yours – to talk books.

Sunday: 10 books that changed my faith

Monday: 10 books that influence my parenting

Tuesday: 10 books by Canadians I wish the world would read

Wednesday: 10 books for tinies and 10 books for older tinies

Thursday: 10 books I read over and over (and over)

Friday: 10 spiritual memoirs

Saturday: My daily books + 10 books of poetry

Disclosure: Affiliate links used. 





In which I share 10 (okay, technically 14) spiritual memoirs
In which I write a love letter (to my own body)
thank you for sharing...
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  • Here’s the books I use just about every day … they keep me halfway sane, focused, balanced … but only if they don’t gather dust!

    I’ve loved this series … thanks, Sarah!

  • Kelley Nikondeha

    Yes, Luci Shaw’s my favorite poet. Also Madeline L’Engle, Wendell Berry. And yes, the romantics!

  • Elizabeth Bishop’s Questions of Travel. I broke my own rule and I’m writing a dissertation on a book I love (I wanted to separate them into books I love and books I work on) and I’ve discovered so much depth in it in the years I’ve spent with it. I love anything by Czeslaw Milosz and Richard Wilbur, whose worldview I love as well (I don’t love Bishop’s). Rainer Maria Rilke’s little Book of Hours is my favorite, especially the poem that begins “She who reconciles the ill-matched threads of her life and weaves them gratefully into a single cloth…” I’ve really enjoyed Pablo Neruda and a little-known Brazilian poet named Cecilia Meireles.

    I’ll stop now–this could go on all day. I love bookworms who blog.

  • I love your poetry choices especially Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. And of course, if one write poetry, one must read lots of good poetry–poetry is my daily reading. Poetry is my life blood in this world, anchors me to the real and present and the beautiful. 

  • Jessica Schafer

    YAY poetry!! Love all of your choices although, Luci Shaw is new to me so I will need to look her up! Thanks!

    Rilke’s Book of Hours saved my faith, especially the poem that begins, “I’m still the one who knelt before you in monk’s robes wanting ot be of use. . . ” mmmm. Also love Daniel Ladinsky’s collection “Love Poems from God” and his translations of Hafiz. Hafiz is amazing.

    I’ve recently fallen in love with Denise Levertov, especially her poem called The Gift, and I love Billy Collin’s humour.

  • Shawnab27

    Gerard Manley Hopkins. My favorite poet. I have loved your books posts. Thank you!

  • River

    I have an old collection of poems I absolutely love. It’s filled with poems like “The Lady of Shalott” and the “Rime of the ancient Mariner.” My favourite poem though is “If” sadly I’ve yet to get a collection with Kipling’s poems in it.

  • I loved this week so much. It also helps explain why you’re such a good writer – with influences like these. I’m coming back to these posts again and again and also need to read the comments for more recommends. What about your 10 favorite fiction books?

  • Amylee

    to be honest I am not one for poetry – but these look great – thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve been following your 10 books posts and seriously I think we’re kindred spirits. Add your 10 favorite YA books and we’re BFFs! (Just kidding – it’s okay if you don’t like YA fiction, I’ll still like you.:) ) I’m a poetry buff, and I love your list. I noticed you have Rilke on here – have you read his Book of Hours: Love Poems to God? I keep the book on my nightstand. It’s beautiful, raw, and lovely. Looking forward to checking out some books you’ve listed this week that I haven’t read. 🙂 

    • Stephanie

      I second Karissa’s suggestion to feature your 10 favorite YA books. There are quite a few treasures in that category.

  • Sarah Silvester

    For poetry you have to grab “The weather of the heart”, a compliation of Madeleine L’engle’s poetry. Beautiful. Especially “letters to a long loved love”. And my grandmother has given me another poetry book with various poets called “Staying alive: real poetry for unreal times” (I think that’s the title). So beautiful.

  • Joanne

    Thanks for this, I’ve found it really inspiring.  I love my common worship: daily prayers (CofE) which like you I sometimes do everyday and then I find myself needing something else.  I love Tom Wright’s for Everyone books which you can pick up as a devotional every morning, he’s really been God’s way of getting me excited about bible study again.  You’ve inspired me and I shall give some thought to some lists of my own.
    Thanks again

  • I love Luci Shaw’s poetry.  Years ago she wrote a chapter in a book where famous Christian women wrote about who influenced them. She wrote about a woman named Elizabeth Rooney. She is an “unknown” poet, but her family has published several of her volumes. You can google her and find them. I see why Luci loves her work too. I’ve really enjoyed her books. I actually really enjoyed Calvin Miller’s “The Singer” more for content and making me think than good poetry. Here’s a link to the site for Elizabeth Ronney… it has examples of some of her poems… I love Wild Geese…

  • Joanne

    I’ve done it! My ten most important faith books.  Thanks again for the inspiration.

  • Stephanie

    (1) You’ve convinced me to add Luci Shaw to my reading list.

    (2) I adore Emily Dickinson.

    (3) I look forward to hearing more about “What It Is Is Beautiful.” I noticed it’s not on Amazon?

    Also – Goodness! How do you ever find the time to read all of those books every day? Impressive. 

    • Justin

       Hi Stephanie: I work for the press that published “What it Is is Beautiful.” It will be available on Amazon, but probably not ’til this coming autumn (it has to do with Amazon’s requirements/schedules, etc, boring technical publishing stuff blah). For now, it’s only available through our company, at the link Sarah referenced in her post. Thanks for your interest!

  • I’ve fallen out of my Common Prayer habit lately but I’m sure I’ll get back on track soon. I’ve wanted to get Jesus Calling since a friend showed it to me in December. Last Christmas, I read from Watch For the Light, which was such a lovely anchor, and this past Easter I read from Bread and Wine. I wasn’t raised on liturgy but I really like the way these readings add to my understanding of faith.

    Poetry-wise, I adore Rilke. Adore. I have snippets of Emily Dickinson still memorized since my high school obsession. I don’t read as much poetry as I used to but I keep a notebook which is filled with favorites and page through it as needed. I’ve meant to read Mary Oliver and Kathleen Norris for awhile. I’d best get to it!

  • Lisa

    We recently purchased the Jesus Storybook Bible and I’m loving it as much as the boys! Best children’s bible I’ve come across yet.

  • Janell

    Thanks to your lists, I now have about 40 new sample books to explore on my Kindle. Sincere thanks to you for putting these lists together.

  • I used to read the NLT regularly, but I began to see how the translation was perhaps a bit too influenced by the theology of the translators. It’s easy to read, but I like to balance things out with the NRSV.

  • Oh my. I just discovered you today. You couldn’t know this, but we are kindred book friends! I spent the last 30 minutes adding 25 books to my Amazon wish list. I have never been so happy I am going to be on a plane for over 44 hours at the end of the month (technically 2 planes- one to Bangkok and one home to Chicago). Anyways, tomorrow I plan on loading up my IPad for the trip. If you had to pick ONE book to read, just ONE, what would you read? It doesn’t have to come from this list. Thanks for sharing!

  • Susie

    Hi Sarah! I just found your blog and have been so encouraged by your posts. I am at a crossroads with my blog and found your post on “Do it Anyway” to be incisive and affirming. I also really enjoy hearing about books that inspire you. Thank you for sharing – I look forward to following your blog!

  • Priscilla

    Thank you so much for sharing your books. I’m like preparing a list for my future birthday or christmas to have them all . Lol
    Believe me, being french I didn’t know that such books existed. I can’t wait for them to be written in french we really need this. Anyway ! THANK YOU