Book Ideas for Summer

5 book cover images

My love of books was confirmed today when I went to my digital Hoopla account (available through our library!) and noticed I have 146 books marked to read at some future date. Ha! To be fair, some of those are marked for my son, but … still. And that’s not counting my amazon lists or the ones I’ve requested from the library or the stacks of yet to read books on my bookcase.

I might have a problem.

It’s also fair to say my son is becoming a book lover too (yes!). Our library recently had their book sale. When I told him he had $5 to spend on books, his immediate response was, “But, Mom, I want THOUSANDS of books!”

Me too, son. Me, too.

I’ve already chosen some books I want to read this summer. Books I can take with me in the car, to the pool, as I relax in the hammock, as we camp, before I sleep. Whenever and wherever I can steal a few minutes.

I’d encourage you to read this summer too. Carve out some time each day. Take a book on vacation with you. Listen to an audiobook while you exercise or clean. You’ll be surprised how quickly you finish it!

In case you’re looking for ideas, below you’ll find 5 books on my summer reading list. You can also read last year’s list that has a few suggestions for kids too!

I’d love to hear what books you’re planning to read this summer. Leave a comment!

As a reminder, I have an affiliate program with Amazon. Which means that they pay me a small percentage of anything purchased through a link from my site to theirs. The price for you is not affected at all. So, basically, I can earn a small amount by simply doing the work of linking you directly to great products and shortening your shopping time. Win, win!

5 Books on My Summer Reading List

cover image for book, Flourish

Flourish: How the Love of Christ Frees Us from Self-FocusThe title of this book resonates with me this year as it conveys a similar idea to my One Word for One Year, abundance. Jesus came so we might have abundant life – so we might flourish.

In this book, Lydia Brownback identifies the root problem that keeps so many from flourishing as God intended – self. In this day and age focused on self-care, we need wisdom to understand the difference between soul care and selfishness, boundaries and service, allowing God to meet our deepest longings or looking to things and people to do so.

I’m looking forward to listening to a voice of wisdom speak to this issue. (I’ll share a full review of this book on the blog once I’m done with it.)

book cover for Own Your Life

Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love

I read this book last year and am re-reading it this summer.

Sally Clarkson is encouraging and hopeful, as always, and stresses the importance of living with intention in every area of life. It’s easy to let life happen and live in the midst of everyday turbulence. But God desires something more. God desires to direct us through our days. His companionship is ours. His Spirit resides within. His desire is intimacy. Our responsibility is intention – owning the habits and structure of our days, our attitudes, our relationship with him, our relationship with others.

This book will inspire and offer practical suggestions without leaving you feeling overburdened by new or unreasonable expectations.

cover image for Now and Then

Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation

I’ve enjoyed bits of Frederick Buechner’s writings, but they’ve mostly been in the form of snippets found in other books. This second part of his autobiography picks up where his first Sacred Journey left off. In his introduction he says that he writes this book,

in the hope of encouraging others to do the same – at least to look back over their own lives, as I have looked back over mine, for certain themes and patterns and signals that are so easy to miss when you’re caught up in the process of living them. If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that he speaks to us largely through what happens to us, so what I have done both in this book and in its predecessor is to listen back over what has happened to me – as I hope my readers may be moved to listen back over what has happened to them – for the sound, above all else, of his voice.

Summer seems like a good time to pause and listen back over life. Don’t you think?

image cover for Tending the Heart of Virtue

Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination

There are some who contend that fairy tales distort children’s understanding of reality and, in fact, harm them in numerous ways. Others contend that true fairy tales ignite a child’s imagination towards goodness, redemption, and their triumph over evil and can form the soul in even deeper ways than music and art.

(As taken from the book’s description)…

[Vigen Guroian] argues that these tales capture the meaning of morality through vivid depictions of the struggle between good and evil, in which characters must make difficult choices between right and wrong, or heroes and villains contest the very fate of imaginary worlds. Character and the virtues are depicted compellingly in these stories; the virtues glimmer as if in a looking glass, and wickedness and deception are unmasked of their pretensions to goodness and truth. We are made to face the unvarnished truth about ourselves, and what kind of people we want to be.

(Here’s a post outlining more thoughts from this book by Sarah Mackenzie if you’re interested.)

I’ve only just begun to dip my toes into this topic. And if my suspicion is right, this book will take me plunging to the depths. But, why not!

Perhaps fairy tales really are truer than true. Perhaps they mirror the greatest story ever told and confirm in what our hearts already know to be true!

cover image for The Green Ember

The Green Ember Series (The Green Ember, Ember Falls, Ember Rising)

I read the first book of this series last year and couldn’t put it down. I literally read for HOURS into the night … or actually really early morning. It was the most delightful, rich story (or by definition, fairy tale) I’ve read in a very, very long time.

S.D. Smith is a dad with young children who started making up bedtime stories about rabbits whose lives are upended by the evil around them. Those stories have become a series. Here’s the description for book 1:The Green Ember –

Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.

Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?

Here’s a great story of good triumphing over evil that will thrill your heart and also be thoroughly enjoyed by any children probably 8 or older. It would make a great family audiobook on vacation!

GET ALL 3 FOR $.99 TOTAL – If you act fast, you can snag all 3 ebooks in the series for $.99 TOTAL. Two books are FREE and one is $.99. It’s only good for a few days I think, so go now if you’re interested! I just got books 2 and 3 yesterday, so you know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Happy Reading!

2 Replies to “Book Ideas for Summer”

  1. I sooo want to hear what you think when you finish Ember Rising!! Here’s to late nights reading great books! 🙂

    1. I’ll let you know! Here, here!

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