And how are you today?
Happy 4th of July and Happy Birthday America! Hope you’re out and about, enjoying the festivities of the weekend with friends and family today. It’s a bit of a different 4th for me. As I write, Jon and my older boys are airborne, on their way to Romania with a missions team. It’ll be quieter around here and I’ll be missing them. Looking forward to hearing of their adventures. So glad they have this wonderful opportunity, and the little guys and I will make the most of our 4th here. Might even light a few fireworks. That’s what Charlie says anyway. (Gulp.)
So if you’re a book lover, keep reading. Truth be told, I’ve been dying to write this Summer THLG Reading List 2015 for some time now. I love to read. There’s nothing better than a great book to take along on vacation. And if I can’t get away, a good book is vacation. There’ve been stages in life when I’ve read like a fiend. Other times, I’ve barely picked up a book in months. It’s all a matter of available time….
I’ve read all the books on the list below. Some I found on The New York Times Best Seller’s list. Others in the library. But most from friends, word of mouth.
In my book (pun intended), a good book is a real luxury.
And uninterrupted time to read? Now that’s extravagance.
This isn’t a comprehensive list, just a few favorites that came to mind.
Summer THLG Reading List 2015
- A Girl Named Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. Haven’s a storyteller. And that’s why I love this memoir. She’s quirky and she’ll make you laugh (out loud) with tales of her unusual childhood in Moreland, Indiana. Moreland is a sleepy little town with one stop light. And a boatload of characters. (And you know I do love characters.)
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Novel by the author of The Kite Runner. Hosseini is also a storyteller and he weaves a fantastic and believable tale set to true to life events in Afghanistan’s history during the last four decades. This is a moving book, violent at times, draws you in from the beginning. I was particularly struck by the poignant relationship of two women, main characters in the book. They start out as enemies by a strange twist of fate, but realize on the journey they desperately need each to survive. What an incredible friendship.
- Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. A mother of five. Aviator. Deep thinker, writer. In 1955, forty-nine-year-old Anne spent two weeks alone in a New England coastal cottage, penning her thoughts on aging, relationships, solitude, being a woman, caring for the soul. Those thoughts morphed into this thought provoking book.
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Jeannette is an accomplished writer and journalist, a former MSNBC news correspondent. Had the most unusual upbringing in a very poor and highly dysfunctional family. Her mother: a distracted starving artist. Her father Rex: a brilliant man, but an alcoholic out of touch with reality. Can’t hold a job, moves the family from state to state avoiding bill collectors. Draws blueprints for a glass castle he’ll build as the family estate when his latest invention takes off. But it never does. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry.
- The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken. But it’s not really Nik Ripken. That’s just a pseudonym. “Nik” traveled around the world preserving the stories of more than six hundred Christians in over sixty “closed” countries. True stories of how faith survives, let alone flourishes in places that are overcome by darkness, despair and hopelessness. These God stories will floor you, blow your mind. This is what’s happening behind the scenes, the insanity of God.
- Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. Greg outlines a “systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that’s not so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.”
- The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein. Harry Bernstein recently passed away, but he penned several memoirs, his first after he turned ninety. His is an amazing story. On the eve of World War I: “In a small English mill town, Harry Bernstein’s family struggles to make ends meet. Harry’s father earns little money at the Jewish tailoring shop and brings home even less, preferring to spend his wages drinking and gambling. Harry’s mother, devoted to her children and fiercely resilient, survives on her dreams…. Then Harry’s older sister does the unthinkable: she falls in love with a Christian boy. But they are separated by an “invisible wall” that divides Jewish families on one side of the street from Christian families on the other. When Harry unwittingly discovers the secret affair, he must choose between the morals he’s been taught all his life, his loyalty to his selfless mother, and what he knows to be true in his own heart.”
- The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. Laugh out loud funny. Definitely one of the funnier memoirs I’ve read. Don’t be deceived by the cover. This book is not intended for children and has considerable language. ( Cuz that’s how it was…..)
So have you read any of these books? Throw in your two cents today. I’m always pining for a great read, and I know others are too. Take a second and give us your book recommendation today!
Sallie Eisengrein says
Thanks for the book reviews! I just requested several from the library! I am looking forward to some fun reading!
I’m so glad Sallie, enjoy!!!!
THANK YOU, Miss Allie! I’ve been looking for good summer reading lists for a couple of days and what could be better than one from a friend? I’ll be sharing this list with Randy so we can make a common stack to share.
You are very welcome Miss Amy, my pleasure. Hope you and Randy enjoy. XO
Your timing is amazing! Inspirational stories when I need one, a recipe when I need one, a chuckle when I need one & now book ideas when I need one. I will be reading several of these I think. I know they will be good because you listed Zippy — one of my favorites — and no one I mention this to has read it. Thanks Allie. Enjoy your 4th with your younger guys. I’m sure Charlie will keep it interesting!
We must be on the same wave length then, Erin. Because I’m just randomly writing whatever I’m thinking about at the time. 🙂 We try to please at Alice’s Restaurant…Yup, Zippy was fun alright. And the sequel too, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Hope you enjoy the reads and that all is well!
You have listed some of my favorite books and some new ones for me to enjoy! Happy 4th!
Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says
I too love books. The last book I read was “The Boys in the Boat” which I highly recommend. I read it last summer. That was the last book I read 🙁 I just don’t have time anymore and if I get in bed to read I usually fall asleep. 5:00 a.m. comes awfully quickly. I pretty much need to read books I own since it will take me forever to finish it.
How long will your guys be gone? Sounds like a great opportunity. Have fun with your littles. The boys bought some fireworks but know that they can’t use them until we get some rain (which wont be any time soon) Too dry here to risk it.
Hi Karen! I bought that “Boys in the Boat” book for Jon last year but I’ve not yet read it myself. Yeah, I hear you about the reading. I’ve done less reading this last year than ever before. I know it’s because of the behind the scenes work with setting up the blog, etc. But I’m hoping things will equalize so I’ll be able to get back to a good read. I’ve really missed it. It was misty and rained all day here, wish I could send some raindrops your way…my guys will be gone for ten days…already missing them. Hope you guys had a great 4th!
Susan Kline says
Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions for good books. I will definitely be reading some of these. I just finished Ian McEwan’s book Atonement and heartily suggest that you read it. Warning: You will reach a point where you can’t put it down.
You are very welcome Susan, I hope you enjoy the reads. And many thanks for your book recommendation. I love a good book. Hope you had a great 4th, and many thanks for dropping by today.
Aunt Margie says
Reading, my secret pleasure! Many of those on your list of favorites I have loved, too. A recent winner and beautiful book, “Language of Flowers”, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, was a Christy recommendation. Another sweet escape was “The Empty House” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Your hands are full the next few weeks without your big helpers, but they will have their eyes opened in Romania, and do a great work besides. Thanks for some NEW suggestions to load on my kindle for Vermont! :~)
Thank you so much Aunt Margie for the book recommendations. I’d not heard of either of these and I’m so excited to have some new ideas. Woo hoo. Yes, I’m really missing my guys. Today was an especially tough day Hudson-wise. Ch & H & I went to a 4th of July party this afternoon and friends very kindly helped with Hudson who is in a very busy and difficult stage right now…phew. Two days down, eight to go. XO
Susie Mandel says
What a great list. You are so right–a good book IS a vacation. Although it’s not light reading, “The Hardest Peace” by Kara Tippetts was one I read recently that really got my attention.
I hope that you, Charlie, and Hudson don’t have too many dangerous “adventures” while the three Js are away!! 😉
Susie – thank you so much for this book recommendation. I think you may have told me about it, because it definitely rings a bell. I so respect Kara Tippetts and I know this will be a wonderful and poignant read. Thank you. Charlie is leaving for overnight camp tomorrow for the week, but tonight while he was supposed to be packing upstairs, I noted how silent it was. I didn’t find him upstairs. Or downstairs. But the basement bulkhead was open and he had bolted. Found a pair of rollerblades while looking for sneakers in the basement. He was out rollerblading in the driveway. The problem is he’s never been on rollerblades before. And we need an injury around here like a hole in the head. (Pun intended.) Especially with Jon gone and especially right before he heads off to camp…
Susie Mandel says
Charlie is not afraid of anything, is he!! Praying there are no injuries before he leaves for camp…or while he’s at camp, for that matter! Love you–and your adorable family 🙂
Linda Jenkins says
Thanks for the reading suggestions. I have read some of them, a couple because of your suggestions. Can’t go wrong with those, for we seem to enjoy the same types of stories. Haven’t felt well for the last week; therefore, have survived on the couch reading a few romance novels. These are mindless, but they take my mind off my hip and leg pain (had a cortisone shot yesterday). Hoping to feel better by the weekend so I can search my kindle for more serious reading. Love reading your blog! And still doing my prayer duty! May the journey be a good and valuable one for all.
Linda, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve not been feeling well. What a shame. And what a rotten time of year to be down and out with hip pain. I’ll be saying a prayer that cortisone shot works. Thanks for your encouragement friend.
I just finished reading Gift from the Sea. So good! So much wisdom! The book really resonated with me because as Anne described, the beach is a sacred place and a place where I also have learned many pivotal life lessons. Thank you so much for the recommendation!
Dear Maggie, I’m so so glad you got a chance to read it. It was such a restful book for me. I could read it every year and not get bored. I especially loved Anne’s perspective and that she realized how important it is to take a little time out to nurture ourselves so we can in turn nurture others. I’m learning, but I still have a long way to go. XOXO