One of my favorite ways to enjoy summer is to sit and savor a good book. While I often read theological or devotional books, sometimes it’s nice to relax and read a good story or biography that’s well told. I always ask friends for recommendations, so today I’m sharing some of their picks that I enjoyed this past year. I’d welcome any of your ideas for this summer, so feel free to add more of your favorites in the comment section.
1. The Wright Brothers Currently this is my favorite book that I’ve read this year. David McCullough writes non-fiction that reads easier than most fiction.
2. The Nightingale I just finished this book last week at the beach. It’s now my favorite fiction book that I’ve read this year. It’s set in France in WWII and tells the story of two sisters and their stories of survival in the midst of war. It’s excellent.
3. The Bird in the Tree One of my friends recommended this book to me (she always finds the best books). It wrestles with the potential negative effects of eating from the fruit of personal happiness at the expense of others. It begins slowly, but it ended up being one of my favorite fiction reads this past year. I enjoyed the entire trilogy.
4. The Astronaut’s Wives Club I picked this book up on a whim at the library. My parents met in Cocoa Beach during this era (my dad worked for Boeing on some of the Apollo missions, my mom and her best friend moved to Florida in hopes of meeting an astronaut… she ended up with an engineer). I found this book interesting both for its insights into the space program and the daily life of women in the 1960s.
5. Orphan Train – Through an unlikely friendship, this book weaves together two stories, both containing secrets and loss. It’s an enjoyable fiction read.
6. Why Can’t We Just Play? What I Did When I Realized My Kids Were Too Busy I thought this book offered helpful encouragement for moms, especially as summer approaches. It’s a memoir about one summer in which the author put aside all work, all camps, and busyness in an attempt to recreate a 1950s summer. She writes, “I was so exhausted from making it special all the time that I was too tired to enjoy it. I was so busy creating moments to savor that I didn’t have time to savor them.” Yes!
7. Jayber Crow It’s a story about small town life and community, told from the perspective of Jayber, the town barber. In a world full of hurry, this book reminded me to enjoy and savor the everyday moments of life.
8. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter This book explores how one lie can change the course of a marriage and family. As the story unfolds, the dangerous effects of hidden sin become increasingly apparent.
9. Gilead – I finished this book last month after many people recommending it to me. I enjoyed it just as much as they told me I would. I’m looking forward to reading the second book (Home) this summer.