Summer Reading List

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At the beginning of the year, I made a goal to read at least one book a month. This may seem like a pretty attainable goal for many of you that devour books at a one-per-week pace, but for me this seemed like a challenge. I love to read, but for whatever reason, I avoid it. It’s a little like the gym. Once I’m a couple chapters in, I’m so glad I started reading…or running.

We’re now halfway through 2019, which is pretty wild. But nonetheless, here we are, and per my goal, I should have read six books by now. Amazingly, I have! I have loved each of these books for different reasons and thought I’d share them with you since summer is a great time to pick up a good book. Take it on vaca, to the beach, or if you’re like my sister Hilary, take a towel across the street to a patch of grass and enjoy!

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1. Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

I’m guessing many of you have heard of, read, or been recommended to read this one. It took me a couple chapters to get into the characters and the rhythm of the plot, but once I did, I was hooked. It is both a coming of age story and a tribute to the strength of a woman who overcomes unbelievable circumstances. Reese Witherspoon is apparently producing the movie version, and although I can’t wait to see how she casts these characters, you’ll definitely want to read the book before you see the movie!

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2. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

This one might be my favorite. If I had to choose which one to read again, it would probably be this one. I cried in Where The Crawdads Sing, but I sobbed in The Nightingale. I think I also stayed up til like 3am to finish it. It’s a WW2 era story based on true stories of Jewish women. I am a total sucker for true stories and this one is absolutely incredible. It’s everything you’d hope for and more because the character development is so, so well done. This is being made into a movie (releasing in August), which I’m sure will be good, but there is no way it will be as good as this book!

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3. The American Marriage, Tyari Jones

I had no idea what to expect, but this one blew me out of the water. It was as much a suspense as it was a drama. The book goes back and forth from telling the story from the different perspectives of the main characters and the author does a fantastic job staying true to each character. If you read this book, let me know because I’m dying to talk about it with someone!

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4. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

One of my goals was to read fiction by diverse authors. Chinua Achebe is Nigerian and is an award winning author. Things Fall Apart is known as his most widely read book, so that’s where I started. This was a really interesting look at his Igbo (Nigerian) tribe’s first encounters with colonialism. A great glimpse into different cultures and the complex effect of the influence of Christianity and Western values on Igbo society.

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5. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero

This is the first non-fiction book I read this year and it has been pretty impactful for me. It is written by a Christian pastor who is aiming to equip readers to become more emotionally healthy based on the premise that we cannot truly grow spiritually without consistently working on our emotional health. Although this is definitely written from a Christian perspective, I don’t believe it would be in conflict with other faiths. If you are a person of faith, I highly recommend it!

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6. It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way, Lysa Terkeurst

This is a book all about disappointment and how to get through difficult circumstances. Unlike many self-help books, this one comes by way of the author, Lysa’s extremely difficult life circumstances - from back to back life shattering experiences, she learns firsthand and shares with readers how to live assured even when life “turns out” differently than we planned. I found it to be vulnerably written and very relatable even though my life looks very different than hers. This is especially great for someone who finds themselves in difficult circumstances that they did not expect, much less hope for.

If anyone has any recommendations for which books I should read next, I’m always taking recommendations!

Happy July + Happy Reading!