Books that Cast Vision


If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Antoine de Saint Exupery

Vision begets action, and the dreams and desires of our heart manifest themselves in our thoughts and deeds. There’s much more power when people catch a vision, than when they simply follow orders. But the desire must begin somewhere.

A good book has the capacity to stir this longing for truth, to give a fresh perspective to reality. It can play a role in awakening the heart to yearn for something beyond the mundane–not for the vast and endless sea, but the far greater wonders of eternity.

Which books have served to broaden your horizons?

Image credit: greenfaerietree


    • Sarah Sawyer
      April 23, 2012 - 12:35 pm · Reply

      That was a fascinating series…and so different from Narnia. Till We Have Faces by Lewis also gave me a fresh perspective of our interactions with God.

  • sally apokedak
    April 21, 2012 - 10:59 am · Reply

    Lovely post.

    For me….

    Too many books to say–every book has changed me. Every book pushed me closer to Christ or pulled me from him.

    I was saved while I read a novel: PAPA’S DAUGHTER by Thyra Ferre Bjorn. So that book for sure awoke in me a yearning. I wanted to be loved by God and forgiven and when I read that book I heard God’s still, small voice, telling me that such a love and forgiveness were available even to me, covered in sin and helpless to change.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      April 23, 2012 - 12:42 pm · Reply

      Thanks, Sally! That’s a great point about every book changing us in some way–impacting our view of the world and our relationship with God. And what a wonderful testimony of the role a book played in drawing you to God. He has a way of putting things in our path that will turn our hearts to Him. πŸ™‚

  • TheQuietPen
    April 21, 2012 - 9:49 pm · Reply

    “A Wrinkle in Time”, “Many Waters”, and “A Ring of Endless Life” by Madeleine L’Engle.

    “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis.

    “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Silmarillion” by J. R. R. Tolkien.

    “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine. Such effective world-building and fairy tale retelling without going on and on with details. Also loved “Fairest” and “The Two Princesses of Bamarre.”

    “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams–just the sheer glory in goofiness. Also, his work was the first time I really noticed the impact of voice/narrative in telling a story–and it is a beautiful thing. This was huge to me, because I have an inescapably strong voice in my own writing. The trick is to make myself the actor–I can’t get rid of the strong voicing, but I can adapt and change it according to the needs of the scene and knowledge.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      April 23, 2012 - 2:36 pm · Reply

      Tolkien and Lewis without question impacted me. They were my earliest exposure to fantasy, and they sparked my love for the genre, as well as gave me insight regarding the nature of God.

      I haven’t read many of L’Engle’s books, aside from A Wrinkle in Time but your recommendation makes me want to seek out more of her works.

      A strong voice is a good thing, I think, and any book that increases understanding of technique benefits a writer. πŸ™‚

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