Do you enjoy reading? I absolutely do, but I don’t do nearly enough of it. However, each summer I try to focus on reading for enjoyment. Maybe it’s a result of all those years in my childhood that my mom enrolled my brother and me in the summer reading program at the library. You, too? Summer just seems like a great time to get lost in some good books. So today I’m sharing what I am reading this summer.
Now since these are books on my “to read” list for Summer 2023, you need to understand that I’m not endorsing them, just sharing. I may have read one or two of them by the time this post goes live. (I’m sharing it while I’m on vacation!) But as I write this I have not read any of the books in this first section. I’ve purchased them on the recommendations of others and after reading the summaries.
I try to read mostly fiction during the summer simply because I tend to read more non-fiction books the rest of the year. And I like light reading at this time of year, too, especially while I’m on vacation.
While I prefer Christian fiction or at least books that are not filled with bad language or illicit scenes, I do have some books on my list that probably are not squeaky clean. I tend to appreciate writers who are a little older and who write about more seasoned women, too. But I do occasionally read books by younger authors and with younger central characters.
My favorite Christian authors are Lynn Austin, Francine Rivers and Elizabeth Musser. But I think I only have a book by Austin on my personal list for the summer. I’ve not read any of her biblical sagas, so this summer I’m opening Return to Me, based on the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah. My absolute favorite of Austin’s novels is A Woman’s Place, which takes place in the states during World War II.
I’ll be reading Nancy Thayer’s All the Days of Summer and Nora Roberts’ Summer Cove. I’ve read several books by each of these authors and know somewhat what to expect. But Rebecca Serle (One Italian Summer) and Denise Hunter (A Novel Proposal) are new to me authors. Have you read anything by them?
Honestly, I tend to judge a book by its cover. Doesn’t the cover of Denise Hunter’s A Novel Proposal look fun?
I’ve also downloaded the Kindle version of Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. I’d heard good things. I read the first chapter before I ordered the book, and I was quickly hooked on this very gentle, easy read. At least that’s how I’d describe it so far. I could be very, very wrong. Ha! Anyhow, this is actually the first book I’m reading this summer.
I do read some books through the Kindle app on my phone. It’s definitely convenient. But I really prefer to hold a book in my hands. I read The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe a few months ago and really enjoyed it. So I wanted to mention it in case you’re looking for a good fiction book based on a true story. I thought it was masterfully written and very interesting. I had never even heard this story before, but it was quite scandalous and yet sweet somehow, too. And of course there’s the tragic ending. Hm…
So these are the fiction books I’ve taken with me to Maine. I certainly won’t get through them all. I’m a slow reader…quite intentionally. I sound out the voices in my head and savor the scenes. Anybody else???
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I’ve filled the shopping widget with the books I’m reading this summer (I’ve shown or mentioned them all above), but also a few extras that I’ve already read and highly recommend. And I did indeed include a few of my favorite non-fiction books here, too. Happy reading!
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Blessed for My Day
I tend to drink books in. I guess that’s another reason I read a little slowly. I have to stop and think about what I’ve read occasionally. Yes, that even applies when I’m reading fiction. And I tend to be a little sad when a book is over. What about you?
But there’s one book that doesn’t just move me or cause me to pause; it absolutely changes me. I don’t read the Bible to check off a “to read” list. Nor do I read it out of compulsion or even just curiosity. I want my time in the Word of God to transform me. That means I have to yield to it. I have to read it with the aid of the Holy Spirit and I need to read it humbly, desiring to be challenged, guided and even convicted. This summer I definitely encourage you to read fun and light fiction books. We all need a little escape. But don’t neglect the one Book that can absolutely transform your life.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. ~ James 1:22