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June 18, 2014
Latter-day Books
Recommended Reads from Two Years of Reviews
by Laurie Williams Sowby

After two years of writing this bi-weekly column for Nauvoo Times, I thought it might be well to take a look back over the 120 or so books Iíve reviewed here and list some of those which continue to make an impression in my memory.

You can find more detailed reviews of each in the Nauvoo Times archives. If youíre considering a book as a gift or just need a good book yourself, these would be among my top recommended reads.

I couldnít narrow it down to exactly 10, but here are few standouts, in no particular order or ranking:

God Remembered Me, an excerpt from A Distant Prayer, by the late Joseph Banks, a World War II pilot and P.O.W. It tells how he endured unimaginable treatment in a prison camp yet felt Godís presence throughout the ordeal. It could be the most uplifting $5 read youíve ever encountered.

For All the Saints, a history of the Church in New England, whose principles of commitment, member-missionary work, and building the kingdom are truly universal. The interviews, experiences, and superb writing by Kristen Dayley mark an exceptional LDS book.

Assisted, the upbeat, well-written autobiography of Utah Jazz basketball great and still-Catholic John Stockton. This show of gratitude to all whoíve helped him succeed in his life is an engaging read for all ages and interests.

Women of Faith, Volumes 1-3 (so far) a compilation of well-researched material from primary sources, often in the voices of the women who lived these diverse experiences as members of the Church in different time periods. It is a trustworthy and vital part of LDS womenís history.

The Power of Everyday Missionaries, an encouraging, real-life how-to guide from Clayton M. Christensen, the quintessential member-missionary, who doesnít separate his identity as a Latter-day Saint from his role as a successful businessman and professor at Harvard Business School.

I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring, a delight to read, not only for the personal glimpses into the manís personality but for the personally drawn sketches included in the layout. And I canít wait for the second volume of the biography of L. Tom Perry: An Uncommon Life,rife with stories, both happy and not-so, of challenges met and a life well lived for more than 90 years now.

Religion columnist Jerry Johnstonís Rescued ó A Prodigalís Journey Home, a standout for its honesty as a journal of the authorís re-entry into Church activity, with the encouragement and support of the late Apostle Neal L. Maxwell.

Six Sistersí Stuff (two volumes now), a project of six biological sisters who share their family recipes, craft ideas, and traditions. Despite the fact that I donít cook, itís my pick for the appeal of its colorful layout and creative ideas.

Why Iím a Mormon, chock-full of personal anecdotes and testimonies, told in first-person by members in a wide array of fields round the world. Also, the idea of introducing Mormonism to the world gets a creative and often humorous (but not irreverent) twist in Mormons, An Open Book (What You Really Want to Know), which is a lot more interesting than its blah cover suggests.


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