Summer is a great time to read. Though I’m not floating in the middle of a pool with an umbrella-studded drink in my hand, sitting down to read is so wonderfully opposed to multi-tasking, it makes me feel like I’m on vacation. Here’s my vast and varied summer reading list.
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (reading this with my book club)
I was blown away by this ground-breaking social experiment in the 1960s. It’s shocking how racism gripped the Deep South in the not-so-distant past. Another eye-opening read on race relations is The Help by Marilynne Robinson. Loved that one.
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (reading this with my small group)
I’m not far into the book, but it’s already challenged my idea of heaven as this place up in the clouds where we’ll “go” when we die. Instead, Wright argues, it’s more like a new world order coming down to us. I’m incredibly interested in heaven and the after-life, which is the book’s focus; I sometimes even think I have an unhealthy preoccupation with death. But learning more about heaven and what we can reasonably expect when we get there might prove exciting and comforting. I hope so.
So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore (reading this with the girls in my small group)
Like a lot of women, I’ve spent a lot of my life battling insecurities. I also tend to take them out on my husband and get lost in a forest of introspection. One day I just got fed up with it. A dear friend gave me this book for my birthday, and I dove in eagerly. I haven’t been disappointed. My favorite chapter so far has been “A Cocktail of Ego and Culture.”
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. (reading this to learn how to make Jack take naps)
Let’s be honest: You don’t exactly read books like this for fun. But I’ve had a lot of fun reading this book. It’s delightfully authoritative and practical, and contains an encyclopedia’s worth of information on sleep. I am currently learning about night waking.
W.R.I.T.E. 10 Days to Overcome Writer’s Block. Period. By Karen E. Peterson (reading this because when I’m not on assignment, I perpetually have writer’s block)
My husband got me this book while we were dating, and I put it down without finishing it. However, I recently picked it back up and found it to be exactly what I needed to cure an insufferable bout of writer’s block. The first several chapters detail the battle between our equally demanding left and right brains and how we can actually “trick” our brains into more successful writing. I know, it sounds kooky. But it’s really quite fascinating. It’s kind of changed my life.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (reading this because I love her)
To me, Anne Lamott is a warm blanket I want to curl up in and a jolt of caffeine at the same time. She is my favorite author, hands down. This book includes everything she knows about writing—and that’s a heck of a lot. This one occupies the honored spot on my bedside table. I read it every night before bed and always fall asleep feeling hopeful.
You’re right—it’s a lot of books, but I am going to finish them all. Promise.