Friday, September 12, 2014

Favorite Summer Reads

I, like all true bookworms, make reading a priority all year long, sometimes all day long if it's an especially good day! However, there are those times of year that seem naturally suited to reading. The week between Christmas and New Year, for example, is a stretch of days where I tend to do not much more than lounge on the sofa with a book or two or five.

Summertime is another season that seems all the better for the happy enjoyment of a good book. Since we are now in September and at the close of another one of those perfectly suited reading spells, I thought I'd offer to you a list of some of the best of the best of the books I read this summer and I read some really good ones! In no particular order...

Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent by N.D. Wilson. I mentioned this book in an earlier post here at this site and, really, words fail me when I attempt to describe what I appreciated most. It is certainly an unusually written book, the first I've read by Wilson. Suffice it to say it won't be the last. I laughed and I cried and I thought, a lot. All marks of a good book, in my opinion.

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin. Jen's passion for women to know and love the Bible and to know and love the God of the Bible echoes my own. Her book is practical and encouraging. I am grateful for it and I hope many women read it and take its message to heart.

Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World's Difficult Places by Tim Keesee. So, so encouraging to read of the advance of the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world.

Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God's Image by Hannah Anderson. Hannah takes on the issues of gender and all the many complications therein in this smart, engaging, and encouraging look at what it means to be made in the image of God. Like Jen's book, this is one that needs to be widely read.

Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith by Jen P. Michel. It didn't matter what Jen wrote about necessarily, I might have loved it for her prose alone! But this book is more than its beautiful and honest expression; it is an examination of desire and of prayer and of authenticity in each. Jen does write beautifully but she also writes with great wisdom. I loved this book and its message.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. An utterly fascinating look at the US men's rowing team, the elegance of the sport and its demands, and the world just before WW II.

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. Al Capone, Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and more, all in one summer in 1927. This book also falls into the utterly fascinating category.

Good News for Weary Women: Escaping the Bondage of To-Do Lists, Steps, and Bad Advice by Elyse Fitzpatrick. The title says it all. Yes and amen.

I didn't read a lot of exceptionally good fiction this summer and not for a lack of want to! I did stumble upon Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Stay with me here, but it's a cyborg meets Cinderella mashup which I actually enjoyed very much. Very clever storytelling! I've since the read the second of the series and eagerly await the arrival of the third at my library. I also just finished reading Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, the much awaited (and long overdue) latest installment in the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I loved it because, well, Mitford. And Father Tim.

I told you I read some good ones this summer! What about you? Did you enjoy any good reads this summer? What do you recommend?

Note: this post contains affiliate links. 


  1. I really enjoyed Women of the Word as well. I'm partway into Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good - love it. Haven't read N. D. Wilson before - sounds intriguing. One of my best reads of the summer was Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi. Also really enjoyed Undetected by Dee Henderson and Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay, the latter about a girl who grew up in the foster care system and has been offered a grant to college on the condition that she writes regular update letters to her anonymous benefactor, who goes by Mr. Knightley. It's replete with literary references and a great story.

    1. Ooooohhh, I think I may need to look further into Dear Mr. Knightly! *Fingers Crossed* as I check my library's availability... Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Just got Teach Us to Want and the Mitford book in the same shipment. Haven't read them yet but I know that if you loved them, I will.

  3. I read "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson while we were on vacation. What an interesting read!! If you like historical fiction, you'll like this one.