When Books Feel Sacred

April 2017 Inspirations

Have you ever read a book that feels sacred? A book that speaks so deeply to your soul that you want to hold your breath and release it gently because to exhale with great power would sweep it away? As most of you know, I enjoy reviewing books.

I adore reading books.

I can’t remember a time that I didn’t.

Books have been my best friends, my best escapes, and the most crazy adventures. I’ve almost always wished to live life from within the pages of these novels, except once. But that’s a thought for another day.

When Books Feel Sacred

I can’t be the only person who finds that some books feel like a sacred experience. I know I’m not because I just finished reading The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. And Nina, the star of that story, sees the world through her books.

Seriously, I relate. I just went searching through all my storage space in my bedroom (for some super sweet wall hangings), and I discovered that I not only have two bookshelves crammed with books, but I also have four big boxes of books. Apparently, I have a book problem. And I’m not sorry.

Anyway, in the last year, I’ve read four books that have felt sacred to me. I’ve read SO many good books since last summer, but these four…I struggled to find the right words to adequately review them. How can you speak with words a quiet shift in your heart center? Prompted by ink and paper?

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

When I read Waves of Mercy, I just finished the hardest two years of my life (to date). And I relished an author who wrote about difficult decisions and heart-brokenness on a number of levels. Categorized as a historical fiction, I could have read this in my morning quiet time because it met me in such a deep part of my soul. Here’s my larger review @CordiallyBarbara.

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

I love love. I think I’ve finally come to grips with that fact that I get a little weak in the knees over romantic books and movies. But A Severe Mercy was not the love story that I expected, especially with a title like that. I cried over those pages because of the love that the couple had for each other, and I sobbed over the severe mercy that the book is titled for.

Most of all, Sheldon Vanauken is a poet, and his prose only benefits from his understanding of language. I share more of my review @CordiallyBarbara.

The Mountains Echoed Back by Khaled Hosseini

It took me three weeks to gather my thoughts on this book to try to write a review on it. The Mountains Echoed Back haunted me for days, weeks, and now months. I know that Khaled Hosseini is a famous author, and I’ve read others of his books now. But this one. The Mountains Echoed Back layered story in such a way that it has become unforgettable to me. Read more of my review @CordiallyBarbara.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

[I don’t have my own picture of this one because I listened to it as an audio book]

I understand now why the friends who recommended All the Light We Cannot See to me spoke of this book with such reverence and wonder. Anthony Doerr opens the door to a part of World War II that I have yet not experienced. Interlaced between the day to day business of surviving is the lore of myth and the magic of science, but most of all, the importance of connection impresses the heart.

Having just completed this book in the last week, I still don’t know how to express myself. I write a few more words over at @CordiallyBarbara.


If you read, then you know that there is a certain tone of voice that accompanies the word “good” when you speak about a book. A quick, high-pitched “good” signals that the book lifted the spirits and tickled the funny bone while a longer, lower-pitched “good” reflects a book that spoke to the reader in a deeper way.

Listen to the way that people speak about their favorite books. Tone is everything.

Have you read any books that felt sacred? I’d love to know so I can read them too!

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