My Summer Reading List

readinglistReading brings me a lot of joy because I love IDEAS and INFORMATION and INSPIRATION. So today I’m sharing my summer reading list. Some of them I’ve already gotten through, others are on the list but yet to be cracked, others are in mid-read (yes, I am one of those people that reads 4 books at once- a sure sign of a scattered mind). Never-the-less, I love getting book suggestions from others…so I thought I’d share mine, and possibly you’d be willing to add a few ideas for my fall reading list in the comments! (Like I’ll get a lot of reading done with a newborn around…)

Disclaimer: I cut and pasted the descriptions under the titles from Amazon because there’s no need to reinvent what somebody who is already well more qualified than myself has already done. The descriptors in front of each title are mine. 🙂 Happy reading!

Inspiration for Living a Creative Life: A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman

A Million Little Ways uncovers the creative, personal imprint of God on every individual. It invites the discouraged parent, the bored Christian, the exhausted executive to look at their lives differently by approaching their critics, their jobs, and the kids around their table the same way an artist approaches the canvas–with wonder, bravery, and hope.

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Women and Work: The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCully with Nora Shank

Should a woman work? Can a woman be feminine, godly, and ambitious? Is work only for women who need the income? Is there any sanctified ground between the stay-at-home mom and the aspiring executive?  Whether you are married or single, young or old, and whether you work inside the home or in the marketplace, Carolyn and Nora create a rich vision for fulfillment through an understanding of the compelling foundation for the biblical call of productivity.

Far from the stone-throwing arguments that often occupy the discussion around women, work, and the home, Carolyn and Nora show how the redemptive message of the gospel allows the Bible’s teaching on the role of women to coexist with ambition. It creates a fresh vision for the profit we all gain from encouraging female contribution in the home, society, and church.

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Pretty Heady: God’s Word to Women by Katharine Bushnell

From Genesis to Revelation, Katharine C. Bushnell provides a thorough exposition of every Bible passage that touches on women. As a scholar of Hebrew and Greek, she studies the passages in their original languages and in their historical context, discovering insights sometimes obscured by Bible translators. The book emerged from Bushnell’s lifetime of working for social reform on behalf of women, in which she observed correlations between the status of women and misunderstandings of Scripture. Scholars have leaned on her groundbreaking work since its first publication in 1921, deeming it one of the best, whole-Bible approaches to the question of women’s role in the church and home.

Short But Powerful: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

“I’M TOO BUSY!” We’ve all heard it. We’ve all said it. All too often, busyness gets the best of us. Just one look at our jam-packed schedules tells us how hard it can be to strike a well-reasoned balance between doing nothing and doing it all.

That’s why award-winning author and pastor Kevin DeYoung addresses the busyness problem head on in his newest book, Crazy Busy — and not with the typical arsenal of time management tips, but rather with the biblical tools we need to get to the source of the issue and pull the problem out by the roots.

If You’re in the Mood to Cry: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Letting Go of Your Control Freak Streak: Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

‘This is what I’ve come to believe about change: it’s good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it’s incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God’s hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be.

‘I’ve learned the hard way that change is one of God’s greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we’ve become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I’ve learned that it’s not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God’s graciousness, not life’s cruelty.’

How to Study THE Book: Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

We all know it’s important to study God’s Word. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. What’s more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible? Offering a clear and concise plan to help women go deeper in their study of Scripture, this book will equip you to engage God’s Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.

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How A Christian Should View Work: Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller

With deep insight and often surprising advice, Keller shows readers that biblical wisdom is immensely relevant to our questions about our work. In fact, the Christian view of work—that we work to serve others, not ourselves—can provide the foundation of a thriving professional and balanced personal life. Keller shows how excellence, integrity, discipline, creativity, and passion in the workplace can help others and even be considered acts of worship—not just of self-interest.

Like Having a Conversation With An Old Friend: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Bread and Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest, and vulnerable spiritual memoir. Bread and Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. It’s about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.

To Tackle the Art of Baby Naming: The Name Book by Dorothy Astoria

Baby-naming has become an art form with parents today, but where do parents go to find names and their meanings? The Name Book offers particular inspiration to those who want more than just a list of popular names. From Aaron to Zoe, this useful book includes the cultural origin, the literal meaning, and the spiritual significance of more than 10,000 names. An appropriate verse of Scripture accompanies each name, offering parents a special way to bless their children.

You Were Made for More: Restless by Jennie Allen

Restless explores this important question: “Do I matter?” And Jennie asks, “We livewith lots of things, lots of people…but do we live for something?” Using the story of Joseph, Jennie explains how his suffering, gifts, story, and relationships fit into the greater story of God-and how your story can do the same. She also introduces Threads – a tool to help you see your own personal story and to uncover and understand the raw materials God has given you to use for his glory and purpose.

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Get Your Parenting On: Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Hubbard

Do you find yourself threatening, repeating your instructions, or raising your voice in an attempt to get your children to obey? Are you discouraged because it seems you just can’t reach the heart of your child? Through personal experience and the practical application of Scripture, Ginger Hubbard encouraged and equips moms to reach past the outward behavior of their children and dive deeply into the issues of the heart. Ginger’s candid approach will help moms move beyond the frustrations of not knowing how to handle issues of disobedience and into a confident, well-balanced approach to raising their children.

Most Compelling Biography: Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds — against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn’t fit the mold. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa or Beryl Markham’s West with the Night. It will transfix readers everywhere.


  1. Linda F says:

    I like Carolyn McCully! Let me know how that book is please. 🙂
    I read Fault in Our Stars – I didn’t cry much about it though which made me feel wierd because so many people said they cried though the whole thing. May have been because I read it from the perspective of a mom thinking about my teenager reading it because it’s really being pushed as a young adult/teen book and lots of Teens and Tweens I know are reading it. I’m glad my teen’s not asking to read it because I’m not sure I’d want to navigate that conversation yet.
    I’m reading “The Church Planters Wife”, still working though “Unseduced and Unshaken”, and with my kids I am reading “Voices in the Wilderness – 100 inspirational snippets of courage and faith from around the world”.

    • I LOVE Carolyn McCully’s book. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. You never know what books will make you cry and which won’t…I’ve had that happen too. You get all set up for expecting certain emotions and then you don’t have them…I did cry a lot in that book, which not that many books make me cry, so something touched me. I think it was thinking of seeing my own children go through a terminal disease…and then pregnancy thrown in…it wasn’t pretty. I wonder about how I’ll deal with “popular culture” influencing my kids when they come of age to experience it more…. could be detrimental in that it normalizes certain behaviors or it could be a good conversation piece about why we do things differently. Thanks for the other suggestions, too!

  2. My last few favorite were:
    Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford
    Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
    Say Good-bye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
    Am I Messing Up My Kids by Lysa TerKeurst (this one is more of a devotional, but I found it VERY encouraging in this season)
    Hope you’ve enjoyed all your amazing reading and thanks for sharing – i noted a few for my own list:)
    Love you!