It’s no secret that I love to read. I’m a former English teacher who once had a goal of reading 50 books in a year…the same year I finished grad school! With 3 kids, a house to keep, and our homeschooling to plan, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, but I still love settling in with a good book.
Summers are perfect for that. We don’t homeschool in the summer, so we all focus on reading more than usual. Here’s my summer reading list for this year. I’d love to hear what’s on your list too!
This post contains affiliate links, though you’re never obligated to make purchases through them. Anytime you do, it helps support the running of this website. Thanks! But be sure to check your local library for these titles too and save some money.
Next spring, our family will move once again, but this time we’ll move across the yard! We’re building our new home on the same plot of land where we currently live. As we think through the details of our new home, I’m also looking for practical advice on creating an inviting and peaceful home for our family and friends, but in a kid-friendly way. We live in our home–we’re home most of the day, homeschooling. I want a home that really works for our family. So I’m doing a little bit of reading this summer to prep me for the task.
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith: This one has been on my list for a while. If you want a book that’s going to show you how to spend a fortune to have an impeccably furnished home, then this isn’t the book for you. If you want something that helps you embrace your stage of life, embrace your budget, and repurpose items to create beauty, then this is the decorating book for you. I’m about halfway finished with it and I’ll leave you with this quote. “If you lower your expectations and decide that perfectionism isn’t the goal, you’ll be amazed at what you’ll let yourself try.” (p 80). It’s just the book for recovering perfectionists like us.
Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide by Gabrielle Blair: I’ve heard this one is incredibly practical too, so I’ve got it reserved at the library. And she’s got a pretty fabulous name, doesn’t she?
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell: I’ve read several articles from Modern Mrs. Darcy recommending Elizabeth Gaskell’s works. Essentially, if you’re a Jane Austen fan, you’ll love Elizabeth Gaskell’s works too (though they are far more political than Austen). I loved watching all the BBC versions of the Gaskell books last summer, when I was stuck in bed with pneumonia. This summer, I’m working my way through her best-known books. I started with Cranford and I’m working my way through the following.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (free on Kindle): I put off reading this book for so long because the movie was just incredible. Could the book really be better? Oh yes, it always is. Reading the book enables us to get into John Thornton’s head, which is infinitely better than even those smoldering looks he gave Margaret in the BBC film. I think I re-read the ending 4 times.
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (free on Kindle): I told you I’m on an Elizabeth Gaskell kick this summer! In fact, I’ve already read the above Gaskell books and Wives & Daughters is the only one I have left to read.
Isle of Canes by Elizabeth Shown Mills: This is the only one on my summer reading list that I’m hesitant to recommend just yet. You know I like my books & movies to be pretty PG rated. I suspect that Isle of Canes is going to violate that rule. It comes highly recommended, however, for its historical accuracy in depicting slave life in Louisiana.
Elizabeth Shown Mills is one of the best known genealogists. She thoroughly researched a family in Natchitoches, Louisiana and used the information she learned to write this work of fiction. In Isle of Canes, we’ll see the family as slaves, purchasing their freedom, owning their own plantation and slaves, and then their decline in a post-reconstruction society. I would love to tour the Melrose Plantation one day, the home that inspired the research and novel. Within a month or two of my family’s move back to Louisiana, a dear friend & historian mailed this one to me so that we could both read it. I’m finally getting started on it this summer!
Adopted for Life by Russell Moore: When enough people tell you this is an amazing book, eventually you listen. I decided I’m finally ready to read this one and I’ve recruited a dear friend to read it with me this summer too.
Why Christian Kids Need A Christian Education by Doug Wilson: This is my “homeschooling” book for the summer (it’s also pretty short!). I love reading something that’s going to challenge and encourage me in my role as a parent and educator. This book gets bonus points for being free on Kindle Unlimited.
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert: I’ve been intrigued by this book since I first heard about it, and now a small group at my church is doing a study on it. As Christians, we should be very concerned about helping the poor, but we need to find productive ways of helping. This book addresses ways to help that are truly beneficial and not harmful.