Our Top 4 Recommendations for Your Summer Reading
We are officially three weeks into summer. The days are longer, the humidity is high, and our neighborhood pool’s Snack Shack already has my kids’ treat orders memorized.
I hold a special appreciation for summertime. After spending many past summers as my children’s designated cruise director (i.e. scheduling an endless variety of activities), I decided that this would be the year that I turned in my resignation.
The rapid race pace of the school year is over and I long for a slower speed. I do not want to sprint through the next two months. I want a leisurely summer saunter, which cannot be achieved without intention. So, I intend to sit more, talk more, play in the pool, go fishing, make s’mores and even head to camp. But above all else, I intend to work through my summer reading list.
This year I chose books that align with my goals of slowing down, staying present and spending more time passing on traditions, values, and wisdom to the next generation.
Book 1: At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
Father Tim Cavenaugh lives a peaceful life as a bachelor rector of a small parish in Mitford, North Carolina. Content in the quiet life, Father Tim passes the time serving the peculiar characters that call the quaint mountain town home. However, a jewel thief, a town secret, and a neglected boy looking for a family slowly begin to transform his heart and life.
This book caterers to those readers wanting to seek a small-town retreat without having to pack a single bag. The details add such charm and warmth to each character, making me long to sit on the front porch listening to Miss Sadie’s wisdom for hours on end.
Book 2: That Sounds Fun by Annie F. Downs
This book spoke to my heart. The author is also the creator of the That Sounds Fun podcast and devotes these pages to helping us all seek out what brings us joy. Each chapter is written in Downs’ witty style of storytelling and recounts locations that impacted her deeply, and how each one taught her to seek out fun even in the most challenging seasons.
From the first chapter, which focused on the memory of her childhood home, to the last chapter that highlighted her local soccer complex while tackling enneagram numbers, Downs encourages us all to unapologetically chase down everything that sounds fun and incorporate it daily.
Book 3: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale is the story of two sisters, drastically different in every way, who pursue survival and freedom in a Nazi-occupied France during WW2.
This novel is emotionally heavy, which I usually steer clear of, but so many had recommended the book to me that I had to read it for myself. I am so thankful I did!
Kristin Hannah masterfully crafts a story that speaks to the heartbreak of war and the beauty of courage, endurance, and grit in a delicate, respectful way. This is war seen from a woman’s perspective and I visualized every scene and felt every feeling.
I connected with each character and despised when the story ended. I know that I will read this book again and again for many years to come.
Book 4: The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
Don’t be fooled by the title, this is not a book teaching idleness. It is centered on becoming more efficient.
The most practical of all my book choices, The Lazy Genius Way educates the reader on how to incorporate systems into our routines so that we may slow down to embrace the important things in life.
Kendra Adachi teaches how to become a master in areas that demand our attention while adopting a more relaxed attitude in areas that consume our mental time and energy, allowing our focus to center on what truly matters.
I personally adored how each chapter offered a “Recap” section and useful application tips without becoming overwhelming. A great end-of-the summer read as we gear up for the school year.