Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy
by Frederica Mathewes-Green
I read Mathewes-Green's account of her conversion to Orthodoxy shortly before I was baptized; it seeded my imagination with images of what Christian community could be.
Things Seen and Unseen: A Year Lived in Faith
by Nora Gallagher
When I sat down to write my own memoir, I went back to Gallagher's account of her return to the Episcopal Church. My favorite line: "In my thesaurus, one of the synonyms for Eucharist is windfall." It is simple and perfect.
Miriam's Kitchen: A Memoir
by Elizabeth Ehrlich
Ehrlich, who grew up in a secular Jewish home, narrates her midlife decision to keep a kosher kitchen. I always tell Christians that if they are going to read one book about Judaism, it should be this one.
Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life
by Patricia Hampl
This is Hampl's account of trying to learn to pray. "Prayer only looks like an act of language," she writes. "[F]undamentally it is a position, a placement of oneself." Amen.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
by Harriet Jacobs
In this amazing 19th-century text, Jacobs provides an account of her life in and escape from slavery. She describes her time in the attic and subsequent freedom in Christological terms—as a kind of going down into the tomb and then being redeemed.
Lauren Winner is author of several books, including Girl Meets God.
Copyright © 2009 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Previous Top 5 lists have featured marriage, Lent, fiction books for the soul, managing your money, devotionals, how character shapes belief, food, Atheism, China, Presidents, World Christianity, Ancient-Future Faith, the Civil Rights Era, Social Justice, Church History, Popular Culture, the Civil War, Apologetics, Atheism, and Sex.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.