Summer Reading (and a Giveaway)

There is not a room in my house where you won’t find words.  Books inhabit every nook and cranny in my home.  My husband believes the book have been secretly breeding and leaving book babies all over as there always seems to be one more title born.

Even the bathroom isn’t immune to my love of all things written.


Books have long been a source of joy for me.  My earliest memories are with a nose stuck in words and creating virtual playgrounds as I tromped through Narnia, Avonlea and abandoned railway box cars.

Because summer is my most favourite time to curl up with a great book I thought I would treat you to a summer reading list.  Books/authors, that if you haven’t already, you should read and ones I have loved from the very first moment I cracked their spine.



In the interest of full disclosure these will not be the latest or  biggest titles.   But a good book, a really good book, is like a best friend: They always find a way to speak to your heart no matter how many times you hang out with them.

Also, I am a fairly well rounded reader, so some of these titles are not going to be for every one.  I’ve included Amazon links to the post so that you can read book synopsis and reviews and make a judgement call based on your own style and love of reading.



This series by Liz Curtis-Higgs was life changing.  This was the very first book I read from Liz and because I worked in a Christian bookstore at the time I was blessed to read the manuscript that then editor, Don Pape , from Waterbrook Press left for us!  Let me tell you this allegorical tale of Jacob, Rachel and Leah set in the Lowlands of Scotland is stunning!  Impeccable detail and fastidious research to make the Biblical account come alive in a different time and place.  A Thorn in My Heart.


Really anything by Charles Martin is spectacular.  He has such a unique voice in Christian and mainstream fiction.  By the time I have turned the last page in many of his books I go back to the beginning and read them again, out loud and to my husband.  Reading words by Charles Martin is like coming home to tall glass of sweet tea on wide front porch on a hot summer day.  How’s that for imagery.  Unwritten 


Maeve Binchy.  I love her.  She weaves these beautiful stories of life in Ireland through delicious and often quirky characters.  I have devoured everything she has ever written and I am saving her last book for a day when I’ve got nothing but time and a beach.  Maeve passed away in 2012 and with her a legacy of storytelling that tugs at your heart.  Evening Class 


Newsweek calls Timothy Keller a “C.S. Lewis for the 21st century.”  After reading this book I will never be able to read the biblical account of the Prodigal Son without thinking about this book. Keller turns convention on its ear and allows the reader to see themselves in this story – A story that demonstrates God’s reckless and wild love for his children.  The Prodigal God 


Reading Barbara Kingsolver made me realize how much I love prose.  This stunning and achingly beautiful story weaves 5 different perspectives together in a story of tragedy, hardship and redemption.  I know this book was popular long ago when Oprah was touting it on her book club but it deserves continued recognition as a literary masterpiece. The Poisonwood Bible 


I could not finish this post with out introducing you to Diana Gabaldon and her epic Outlander series.   This book has time travel, historical fact, romance and adventure.  Outlander is the first book in a series of eight.  The eighth was just released last week.  Each book takes her almost four years to write as the research, historical accounts and continuity is impeccable.  I love this series so much that each time a new book comes out I return to the first book and read the entire series all over again.  That means that I have read Outlander no less than eight times.  What was that I said about books being like best friends?   (Note:  She also wrote a spin off series that started with Lord John Grey and the Private Matter which I did not like at all)  Outlander

These are just a few of my favourites.  I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!

And because I love all things booky – won’t you tell me what you’re reading this summer, I would really love to add some new favourites to my list and you never know you just might win a $25 Amazon gift card to get you started on your summer reading.
Summer Reading


  1. I always have an ongoing list on my Kindle. Right now I am loving Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner, I have enjoyed the Deep Haven books by Susan May Warren (lighter fare but some stunning dialogue at times), and the Hope Beach series by Colleen Coble. As far as nonfiction…really liked a book called Rule Number two by Heidi Kraft.

  2. My favorites list is here:

    The Princess Trilogy would be the first recommendation for you. I want to read all three books again!

    Have a little Faith by Mitch Alblom is the second.

  3. Ah, will you tell me a little more about Prodigal God? This is the second time this week I’ve heard about it and now I’m interested! I know there’s the Amazon review.. but I’d rather hear more of your thoughts. 🙂

    • Kaitlyn – where to start…

      I think most of us hear the prodigal story and immediately think about the son that ran away – we forget that there is a whole other cast of characters in this story. Keller has a way of making you look at things in the Bible beyond the conventional. For instance did you know that “prodigal” does not mean wayward… “according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary [it means] ‘recklessly spendthrift.’ It means to spend until you have nothing left. This term is therefore as appropriate for describing the father in the story as his younger son…” Also this promo is well worth the watch and you’ll get a glimpse into the book…

  4. Oh my stars… I love all of those books! Well – anything by Binchy, and that series by Liz are among my favorites! I too keep hearing of Timothy Keller so that may have to join my ever growing list for summer reads! I love Barbara Kingsolver too and now I will have to be on the lookout for Charles Martin too!

    My reading list? Well – it changes all the time but right now I am reading Atlas Girl by Emily Wierenga and The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith. My stack STILL includes some books from Allume last year and I will have to get my hands on Spiritual White Space and Notes from a Blue Bike among others!

    I just read The Fault In Our Stars and must see the movie and then read all of John Green’s other books too… so many books, so little time!

    • Karrilee you will LOVE Charles Martin – L.O.V.E. his writing. PSA: You will need kleenex – always have kleenex when reading his books.

  5. I’m reading the book about Operation Christmas Child and I love to read on the back porch swing in the evening after the kids go to bed. 🙂

  6. So fun! Thanks for the giveaway! This summer I am reading “God Is Just Not Fair” by Jennifer Rothschild, “PROOF” by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones, and “Love Idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee. And hopefully by next month I can start some more new books!

  7. Books! I miss them. I hardly touch them anymore because I’m too busy with the kiddos and this dang computer. 🙂 I’m reading The Watery Part of the World right now. These all look so good!

    • Kirsten – I can’t go to bed without making sure that I have book to read… sometimes it takes me weeks to get through one just because I’m so exhausted I can only get a page or two read.

  8. Oh, I love me some books! My goal this summer is to read MORE and watch tv LESS. 🙂 Right now I’m finishing up Finding Spiritual Whitespace, but I’m going to read it again and journal through it. Atlas Girl, Love Idol, and The Fault in Our Stars are the next ones on my list. (And awhile ago, I was debating on The Poisonwood Bible…thinking I might finally read that this summer, too!) 🙂

    • Ooooh… I want to read The Fault in Our Stars as well… I can’t recommend the Poisonwood Bible enough… beautifully written book!

  9. Oooh, you’re making me think I should do a book post too! I LOVED The Poisonwood Bible and it stays with you long after you finish it. I’m also a fan of Maeve Binchy. I’d love to read Prodigal God too. I just started a Mary Higgins Clark, but I’m also reading Notes From a Blue Bike and The Nester’s book. I just finished Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty, another favorite author.

  10. Great suggestions!! I will be adding at least three of these to my ever-growing list.

  11. Carol G

    My book list is huge. Sadly, I haven’t given myself permission to just sit and read in a long time. Use to be voracious. Reading/studying now. Aching to get back to/ finally add in simply reading. That said this book list of yours sounds intriguing. Some authors I have not tasted.
    My stack (non study) is Enduring Faith+ blessed to be given a pre-launch copy for review. Liz Curtis Higgs “Mercy Like Sunlight”, the last of Neta Jackson’s House of Hope series, so I can read my stacks of her other series. Still have Wanda B.’s “The Half-Stitched Amish Quilt Club”calling my name. Have a sample but want the real book “When Others Shuddered”. I also have “Surprised by Motherhood” on my stack. Oh so very many books. 🙂 what a great giveaway!

    • Carol – it sounds like your stack looks a lot like my stack! But is there anything better than a stack of great books ready to be read? Thanks for some new titles and authors.

  12. Loved Poisonwood Bible, one of my all time favorite reads. Her writing blew me away in that one. Also Tim Keller is amazing. I listen to his podcast sermons every morning. He always gets me back to that extravagant love found when we dig into the gospel. I was so sad when I heard Maeve Binchy passed away. She does great characters. I reread at least on of her books every summer. Perfect for the beach!

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