We love learning and hearing stories that help us think deeply, laugh, cry and relax. So we thought we would put together a list of resources that help us shape our walk towards hope. Many of the authors listed write from a Christian perspective (although that is a wide spectrum itself) but we hope that they will inspire you no matter your faith background. Enjoy!

Influential Books

Bookstall Paul’s Picks

Shane Claiborne – Irresistible Revolution

I read this book at a point in my life when I was questioning the point of faith, Church, God and all that. Shane shares the story of how Jesus turned his life upside-down and what it looks like to live a radical life that takes Jesus seriously. His story started me thinking about community, authenticity, justice, and living amongst the marginalised.

Rob Bell – Velvet Elvis

I love Rob’s thoughts about God, life and who we are. I could have put all his books down but I chose his first one as this helped me to start wrestling with my Christian worldview. Some people find Rob’s ideas too provocative but I’ve found them to be foundational in my evolving faith.

Tom Wright – Surprised by Hope

Tom (aka N.T.) Wright is a deep theological thinker. He is my go-to person when I am reflecting on a theme in the Bible. In this book he discusses heaven and how our view of the end of life affects the way we live today. He picks up on the themes of new creation, Kingdom of God, salvation. I found his words helpful in bringing meaning to my actions today.

Rob Lilwall – Cycling home from Siberia

I mention this book not because it is the best travel memoir but because it tapped into my adventurous spirit. Rob shares the story of his long cycle back to England, the hurdles he had to overcome and the people he shared life with. I’ve since read other travel stories by authors like Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron. These all remind me of the beauty of the world and importance to embrace opportunities to expand your comfort zone.

Ian Morgan Cron – Chasing Francis

This is a fictional story of a Pastor discovering who St Francis was through a pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy. The book is very easy to read and opened up the world of St Francis to me. In the last few years I’ve come to appreciate the saints that have come before us, especially the revolutionary ones like St Francis. Learning about these radical lives has taught me to value different traditions within Christianity.

Rachel Held Evans – Searching for Sunday

I realise that so far in this list that I’ve mentioned five books by five men. In the last year I’ve challenged myself to read more female authors. In this book Rachel shares her struggles with church in her real and vulnerable style. I’m encouraged and challenged by how deeply Rachel thinks about what an authentic faith looks like and how she stands up for our LGBTQI brothers and sisters.