The Shack, oh my God, The Shack.
Nonfiction I Didn't Finish: October 2012 edition.

A different type of "inspirational" book.

I have been thinking about my anti-The Shack rant on Wednesday, and, particularly after a kind reader suggested to me that yes, there were problems with the book, but there was still stuff there, particularly about the human need for independence (and how it sometimes gets us in trouble), that they could "take away" from the book and from which they could learn.

So I have been thinking that writing the rants is fun, but perhaps it would be more helpful to consider what type of book The Shack is, and if there are any comparable books that would be, you know, slightly better (and perhaps even free from dialect and obvious conclusions painted up as revelations).

So: Has anyone out there read any "Inspirational" books that were helpful to you, or books that you found inspirational, even if they were not marketed as such? What were they, and how did you find them helpful? Let's start a list so I am better prepared to offer alternatives to The Shack, rather than just ripping it up and down.

I'll start us off:

I found Norman Maclean's novel/memoir A River Runs Through It and Other Stories inspirational for its theme that you can love completely without complete understanding. I always remember that with people I like, but sometimes I forget it with people whom I don't like and with whom I don't agree on many issues. And yes, I know some people find this book boring because it is about fishing. But I really don't know how you could fault Maclean's writing skills.

I read it so long ago I forgot what I liked about it, but I remember thinking that C.S. Lewis's slim nonfiction volume A Grief Observed, about the dark period he went through after his wife, Joy Gresham, died from cancer, was very thoughtful.

So? What've you got for me?