Friday, May 30, 2014

My *2014* Summer Reading List

One of my summer goals is to read - for fun!  I used to be a reader, not as intensely as my sister or my sister in law, but I enjoyed good books and made time for them in my life. Even in law school when I literally read all day long, I would find simple fun novels and read a chapter or two before bed. I found I slept better with stories in my head, not case law! Sadly, once life gets busy, reading is the first thing I let go.  When I was working so much this winter, I would come home, watch one episode of TV then drift off to sleep!  Additionally, marriage has limited my reading because I spend a lot of my "down time" with D, watching TV, catching up, taking an evening walk. Seriously, I have probably read only 5 books total since we got married! But, life and marriage has slowed down and I am excited to dive back into reading...which is perfect because for some reason, summertime signals reading to me. Maybe it's based on school traditions of assigned reading or the fact that lots of travel occurs during the summertime which lends plenty of time for reading. Perhaps its the fact the sticky thick summer heat makes other activities seem too demanding so the solution is escaping with a book in an air conditioned living room!

Reading for leisure really is the ULTIMATE pastime for so many reasons - challenging, enjoyable, an escape!  Not only is a good book enjoyable, it's practical -- It can be carried around and enjoyed on a part bench, the metro, lunch break or curled up in bed.  Allowing someone else's words to create ideas and paint images in your own mind is challenging and educational, causing you to think of new people, places, circumstances and viewpoints! Finally, when your own life is tough and you need encouragement or escape, reading someone else's words can provide the comfort and rest that you need.

I am excited about my reading goals for Summer 2014: I imagine beach bags full of new chick lit to devour by the pool and the scent of chlorine and sunscreen pouring out of the books when I pick them back up at home. I envision thumbing through pages of an exciting read while sipping coffee or a cocktail on the front porch (FYI, I don't have a porch or patio, just patio envy, so Saturday morning porch reading isn't likely going to happen....). I picture lying on a quilt in a grassy park with D studying for his next licensing exam and me curled up beside him, nose in a book, learning about a new topic or experiencing some character's life. I anticipate curling up in bed with a good book, on top of the sheets, on a sticky July night in our tiny 650 square foot apartment with fans blasting and the sound of hot summer rain outside.

Truthfully, I know my summer reading fantasies are a bit dramatic, but I truly am thrilled to take time to enjoy some good books over the next few months!

Here's my Summer Reading List--- in categories for YOUR  my convenience and enjoyment (What can I say? this girl loves a good list!) I wanted to cover a range of topics (political, religious, nonfiction, decorating, novels!) Also, the list was supposed to be 15 books, but honestly, I couldn't pick which one to eliminate, so 16 it is! I'd love to get through all 16, but I am realistic. You never know what curve balls life will throw you, so my realistic goal is 10 books - and I am almost finished with my first (Divergent)

Christian Encouragement

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

* I read Ann Voskamp's blog sometimes and she is such a talented writer -- using words 
to encourage and uplift and point others to Christ. So, I know I will LOVE her book!

Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

*This book is about learning to deal with emotions, so its particularly applicable
 to ladies (D is probably glad I am reading this book, ha!) It has been 
quite popular and it's already downloaded on the
 family kindle account, so it should be an encouraging read.

A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller

*I started this book a few years ago, but life got busy and I never finished it.  
I enjoyed what I read, so I am taking a second crack at it!


The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

* A Travel Memoir about Paris AND Food? Um, yes please!


11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative by Paul Kengor

*For those that know me outside of blog land, does this actually surprise you?


Divergent by Veronica Roth

*Yes, I know, I am way late to the band wagon! I am 
already halfway through and I love it!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

*Tween Fiction -- Who cares? It got RAVE reviews! And maybe 
I can finish it in time to still see the movie in theaters!

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

*I needed to include a little Mississippi Writing on my list.  Natchez is D's 
hometown and local writer Iles is very entertaining, so I look 
forward to jumping into this southern novel.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

*Raise your hand if you grew up on Gilmore Girls or love Parenthood! 
Me Me Me! Well, Lauren Graham is apparently more than
 an actress. She is also an aspiring author!

The Right Thing by Amy Conner

*This is a coming of age story set in Jackson, MS. Guess what? I came of age
 in Jackson that guarantees I will love this book, right?

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty 

* This book got great reviews....and it was already on the family kindle account, so
 it seemed like a no brainier to add this to my list!

Non Fiction

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

*This was on the bestseller list for MONTHS....non fiction isn't always 
entertaining, but everyone loves it, and it was free to me on the family kindle account!)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

*I love THE MINDY PROJECT on Fox, so I look forward to 
Mindy Kaling's clever humor on paper!

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

*What a motivational young lady - child activist, shot by the Taliban! 


Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

*A compilation of stories on food, family and community (I support all three!) 
Plus each chapter has a recipe attached.  The blog world has gone crazy 
over this book, so I can't wait to dive in (next week on my vaca!)

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

*This is another book that the world wide web has given a lot of 
attention -- tips from a popular design blogger about decorating in a 
messy, not so perfect world!  We both work, live in 650 square feet and don't have a 
ton of money so I want our house to be beautiful but homey and still look 
stylish despite imperfections! It's a book full of bright colorful pictures so I 
ordered a hard copy (as opposed to Kindle) and am eager for it to arrive from Amazon!

If I have time....  
(which let's be honest....16 is pushing it, so it's doubtful that I get to 
these books before Fall 2014, but even so, I am listing 
the "runners up" for my 2014 reading list!)

Allegiant and Insurgent by Veronica Roth (might as well finish the series! 
My friend said that once I read one, I will want to read them all...
I am halfway through Divergent and I agree! Plus both are 
already downloaded on the Kindle account!)

I Thought it Was Just Me by C. Brene Brown

Sarah's Key by Kristin Scott Thomas (Everyone seems to love this 
book and I already have a copy due to the shared kindle account)

Eight Twenty Eight by Larissa and Ian Murphy (Eight Twenty Eight 
is about this sweet married couple and it would be on my summer reading 
list except it is not being released until Labor 
Day Weekend.  That's OK, I will just read it this fall!)

The Paris Wife  by Paula McLain (Also a popular book I have yet to 
read which is already on the Kindle)

Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free by Tullian Tchividjiian (also already 
on the Kindle, thanks family!)

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller (I love Tim Keller and 
this is one of his recent books which I have yet to read-- and 
guess what? It's on the Kindle!)

So - there you have it: my summer reading list....a mix of fiction, nonfiction, educational and just plain fun.  What about y'all? What books are on your summer reading list? (Seriously, I would love suggestions for the future!)

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you posted this. Because Stephen and I live about a million miles away from our families, and are too cheap (and broke) to buy plane tickets, we road trip all the time. We've already got three planned for this summer. I needed new books to read while he drives. What's the point of having a husband if he doesn't do the driving, right?