Summer Reading Snapshots: What Are YOU Reading?

I am a sucker for a free book. I’ll admit it. If you click on the sidebar of this blog and look at my “categories” column, you’ll see that I’ve got a long-standing habit of reviewing books in order to feed my free book habit.

(You might be wondering if I’ve ever heard of a place called a library where I can get all the free books I want. Yes, I’ve heard of it, and the town in which I live has a really good one. I plan on stopping there today, in fact.)

It occurred to me that it’s been quite a long time since I got to choose most of my own reading material, as reviewing comp copies of a book means I am willingly placing myself on the book promotion timetable of an author or publisher. I don’t mind, because I really enjoy being a part of the conversation surrounding a new book when it releases.

But as a result, I haven’t spent much time reading what I most want to read. To give you an idea of what happens when I choose my own reading adventures, I took some time out from reviewing last fall to read two books about genetic issues in the Jewish community.

That reviewing hiatus was so much fun that I’ve decided to do it again this summer. I’m not a big fiction reader, but am working an occasional fiction title into the mix, along with memoir.

Here’s my current reading list – not a single review copy in the mix:

  • The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James – I’ve read this one before, but am going through it again in preparation for a Bible study in which I’ll be participating this fall. 
  • How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage by Milan and Kay Yerkovich – At the suggestion of a friend, my husband and I are reading this one together. We’re about a third of the way through the book, and its provoking some new insights for both of us. 
  • Blue Hole Back Home: A Novel by Joy Jordan-Lake – I must have seen this title mentioned on one of those “free for your Kindle” lists or twitter feeds somewhere. I finished it recently, and commend this coming-of-age story to you. It told the truth, which is the mark of well-written fiction. 
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls – I’ve avoided this book like its covered in poison oak because of the subject matter, but decided it is time to woman up and dig in. I’ll let you know how I fare.
  • Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup – I think this memoir has a particular message for me at this moment of my life, and I’m anxious to start this title this weekend.
  • Pilgrimmage Into The Last Third Of Life: 7 Gateways To Spiritual Growth by Jane Thibault and Richard Morgan – Because this topic just won’t let go of me.  

What are YOU reading this summer? 

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  • Hi Michelle, you asked for it, so here goes… I’m reading Yancey’s Where is God When it Hurts as part of my preparation for teaching Job next year, The Equipping Church by Sue Mallory in preparation for a new ministry my husband and I are starting, The Good and Beautiful Life just because, and since i always have a novel beside my bed, I just started And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Another novel that I just requested from the library on the enthusiastic recommendation from my sister-in-law is Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar. Happy reading! Judy

    • Michelle Van Loon

      Love Yancey, and love James K.A. Smith. I’d like your thoughts on The Equipping Church – I bet there’s some good stuff in there!

      I really enjoyed The Kite Runner (though it was painful and incredibly sad in places). Have you read that title by Housseini? I’ll look forward to hearing from you how Echoed compares and contrasts.

      • Yes, I read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (with material I found more painful than Kite Runner’s). He doesn’t shrink from disturbing content, does he? But, here I am reading another one of his books! Stay tuned… I forgot to mention that I’m also reading Inside the Box: a proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg. Fascinating read.

  • It’s easier to show you than to tell you:

    • Michelle Van Loon

      You’ve got a fascinating list going! My husband is currently reading Rudolph and Willits’s MJ book. And I’d never heard of The Divine Arsonist, but clicked the link from your site just to have a peek. The title intrigued me! (Isn’t that what sharing reading lists is all about?)

      • It certainly is. “Divine Arsonist” was written by a local author (Boise, ID) so I decided to check it out. Not a great book and in fact, quite derivative, but they call can’t be best sellers.

        I got to meet Rabbi Carl Kinbar, one of the contributors to the Rudolph/Willitts book, last May. A thoroughly charming person.

  • Tim

    I just finished Jennifer Grant’s Love You More. It is outstanding!

    I went to the library and saw that Terry brooks has started a new Shannara trilogy and the first two book were actually available, so I brought those home and plan to get through them tout de suite! He’s a fair enough prose writer, but his story-telling is excellent.