I chose to read Ten Christians Everyone Should Know because I’m intrigued by the stories of people of faith and I must confess I knew very little about the people discussed in this book. I think books like these are a must-have for any home library. The great thing about Ten Christians Everyone Should Know is that the end of each chapter gives you the name of a more complete telling of the person’s story. While I realize this is a marketing technique (each of the biographies happen to be published by Thomas Nelson Publishing, the very same publishing house that published Ten Christians. Convenient, huh?), I appreciated having that knowledge available. It’s kind of tough to find some quality biographies about people like Jane Austen or Johann Sebastian Bach, and I will be searching out some of these biographies because some of the brief biographies I read in this book made me want to know more about the people.
It is no secret that I’m a big fan of St. Patrick. Not St. Patrick the legend, but the St. Patrick – the one who was kidnapped and enslaved. The St. Patrick who escaped his captors and then went back to share Jesus with them. The more I read about him, the more I want to know about him.
I also really appreciated the chapter about George Washington Carver. The only thing I’ve ever really known about him was that he was the token African American scientist you talked about in school during Black History Month because he came up with so many different uses for peanut butter. As I read Ten Christians, I realized that his story is much more than being the Peanut Guy. Personally, his story probably stands out the most for me. It is inspiring. It is challenging. It is also infuriating because of the way he was treated during segregation. I must admit there was one time where I came very close to throwing the book across the room because I was so angry at what I had read about the way some people had treated him. In my opinion, his story alone would make Ten Christians worth the read.
The full title of this book is Ten Christians Everyone Should Know: Lives of the Faithful And What They Mean To You (emphasis mine). I don’t think every biography in this book really touches on the “what they mean to you” part. If told well, the stories of Christians like Bach, Galileo, Jane Austen, Sergeant York, and others, should be inspiring and challenging to the reader. They should force us to look at our own lives and see if we’re using our talents and opportunities to God’s glory. Some of these biographies do a fabulous job of doing just that. Others, unfortunately, fell flat for me. At times that left me disappointed with the book. But that was just a few times. And that was probably because I expected too much from such a relatively short book. With that being said, however, Ten Christians is definitely worth picking up. I’m pretty sure you’ll discover something you never knew before about someone who was influential in his or her world.
Disclaimer: I am a participant in the BookSneeze program. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.