Can you believe summer is just over a month away? That is crazy. Since summers are a little more relaxed around here with the kids being home with me, I wanted to take more time to read than I have been. I ended up creating a summer reading list for myself and wanted to share it in case there’s somebody out there looking for ideas. I personally love checking out these types of lists! It’s pretty heavy on the non-fiction so if you’re a big fan of fiction, this list may disappoint but there a few mixed in. :)
I have purchased a ton of books over the last year and have only read a handful so it’s time to dig in already! It’d be a miracle if I actually finish everything on the list but I’m gonna try. I plan on having the kids read for a little bit each day and I thought it’d be fun to read with them. As long as they aren’t like, “How many more minutes?” or “How long have we been reading?” or “Are we done yet?”. Ha!
I have included all or part of the synopsis from GoodReads for each book.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you have probably noticed I’m a big fan of personal development. Some people are turned off by the thought of “self-help” books but they’re something I’ve always had interest in. Personal development books have been a huge factor in helping me battle depression too. I just feel like my brain has needed to be reprogrammed after depression made it a really scary place. This might sound stupid to some people but personal development for me is kind of like shining light on a demon – it’s the only way to kill them. It just really helps me a lot mentally.
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living–a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.
- The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst.
Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?
Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In “The Best Yes” she will help you: Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love. Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no. Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process. Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.
- The 5 Love Languages of Children.
I read the original version of this book and loved it. Just after I finished reading it I actually saw the children’s version in a giveaway, so I entered…and I won!
Since 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman’s best-selling book The 5 Love Languages has helped millions of couples develop stronger, more fulfilling relationships by teaching them to speak each others’ love language. Each child, too, expresses and receives love through one of five different communication styles. And your love language may be totally different from that of your child. While you are doing all you can to show your child love, he may be hearing it as something completely opposite. Discover your child’s primary language and learn what you can do to effectively convey unconditional feelings of respect, affection, and commitment that will resonate in your child’s emotions and behavior.
Fiction books tend to take me the longest to read. I typically read non-fiction in conjunction with fiction and finish multiple non-fiction books before finishing up the fiction. I’m not sure why that is?!
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.
Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
I heart memoirs.
Memoirs have always been my all-time favorite genre of books to read. I always seem to read them in 3 days or less. I always get sucked in and find it hard to put them down!
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
- Unbroken by Tracy Elliott with Jenna Glatzer.
One thing, a cupboard, was the only thing in Tracy Elliott’s life that didn’t get shattered. As a stripper, Elliot lived hard and suffered the consequences. In Unbroken, she tells the deeply impacting story of how her life was put back together by the power and redemption of God.
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.
- Finding Me by Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford.
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.
*I started this and have not been able to finish. I barely got started before I had to put it down. It is rough.
- Fly A Little Higher by Laura Sobiech.
Fly A Little Higher is about Zach Sobiech (son of Laura Sobiech). He was a Minnesota teen with cancer who made waves around the country with his story and his song, “Clouds”.
“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”
This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.
Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” Fly a Little Higher is about how God used Zach to do something big.
Zach Sobiech KS95 Largest “Clouds” Choir
On December 6, 2012, during Ryan & Shannon’s KS95 for Kids Radiothon, KS95 debuted a song by Zach Sobiech, a teen with cancer, called “Clouds.” Zach and the song became a worldwide sensation, touching the hearts of millions. One year later 5,000 fans gathered at Mall Of America for KS95′s Ryan & Shannon’s Largest Clouds Choir to remember Zach, who passed away in May of 2013.
Here’s another video called My Last Days: Zach Sobiech “Clouds” Celebrity Music Video that’s really, really great too. <3
And that completes the list!