There’s something innately satisfying to me about list-making. Everything in my life can be a chaotic jumble, but setting pen to paper and filling lines of a simple spiral notebook eases my tension.
I’ve always been a list-maker. List of books I’m reading and another list of books to read. List of classes to take. List of cleaning projects and a list for writing projects. List of summer plans (typed up in Excel and charted out with space for recurring activities, day-trips and special events). Grocery shopping lists. To-do lists. Song lists.
My brain essentially exists on paper.
It’s little surprise then that one of my favorite activities is making a summer reading list. It’s something I enjoy almost as much as actually reading the books!! Some of you shared with me your top choices, so here is our joint compilation of book recommendations. I’ve already read some, but others are sitting on my shelf waiting for their turn.
You can also comment on this post with your own summer reading ideas. It’s never too late to add to the collection and it is one of my great joys to hear from you!!!!
- Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break by Kelly Minter: Both Beth Moore and the Women’s Bible Cafe will be running online studies of this great book. If you want to participate, though, find a copy of the book now!!! With thousands of women studying together, these will be in huge demand.
- Anything by Priscilla Shirer—Two of my most favorites are: Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted or One In a Million.
- James: Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore–This book packs so much power into a few short chapters and the study was a great in-depth challenge!
- Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life by Lois Tverberg—There are so many aspects of Jesus’ teaching that become clearer when we understand what in the world He’s talking about. Many times He used Jewish idiom and Hebrew phrases that we’ve twisted and overlooked and misunderstood.
- A Heart Like His by Beth Moore: This is one of my favorite Beth Moore books, a study on David’s life covering 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Chronicles and much of the Psalms. She’s re-released the book in paperbook, so it’s a great time to pick up a copy! You can read my full book review here.
- What Women Fear: Walking in Faith That Transforms by Angie Smith. I read this book at the beginning of the year and it was beautiful, challenging and encouraging.
- You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be by Holley Gerth: This is one of those books that came from your recommendation and I am so excited to read it!
- Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free From Emotions that Control You by Andy Stanley: I loved this fresh and insightful book by Andy Stanley. He discussed anger, guilt, jealousy and greed in such a unique way and he offered specific, practical ways to overcome these strongholds. You can read my whole book review here.
- The Defender’s Guide for Life’s Toughest Questions by Ray Comfort: Another one of your recommendations. Here’s some of what Heather Pantano has to say: “He is an apologist who has compiled tons of questions (with his response) sent to him by detractors (primarily atheists) through his career. He covers everything from evolution to philosophy. He is irreverent and sometimes downright sarcastic but he speaks directly from the Bible and answers some really tough questions with simple straightforward frankness.”
Non-Fiction–Books on Marriage:
- Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs: Hands-down, no contest my favorite book on marriage. I’ve recommended it to so many struggling couples because it so accurately identifies two huge pitfalls in most relationships, and (no surprise) it comes straight from Scripture.
- The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller: This is the best marriage book I’ve ever read for singles. As a tool for those already married, it offers a few practical insights to address problems. But, the majority of Keller’s time is spent talking about marriage theory—as a covenant relationship—and why God’s ideas about marriage are so good, so it’s a fantastic tool for those deciding how to behave before marriage, why to get married, and what to expect when you say, “I do.”
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian: I love praying through these prayers for my husband. My copy is worn to pieces!
- The Power of Prayer to Change your Marriage by Stormie O’Martian: For marriages that are struggling, this is my go-to recommendation for prayer ideas. This book specifically prays through 14 major threats to lasting marriages.
- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas: This biography of the famous German theologian who led the German church in a resistance to Hitler does more than just tell facts about his life. It completely altered my perspective and understanding of the Christian fight against the Nazi regime and informed my theology.
- Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce by John Piper: This is another biography that can change how you live by reading how someone else lived. William Wilberforce, the great English politician who led the nation’s fight to abolish slavery also influenced the British church’s involvement in issues of social justice and showed how you can serve God wherever he has placed you, not just by entering into full-time ministry.
- Safely Home by Randy Alcorn: I’m not normally a Christian fiction connoisseur, but this one came at your recommendation and I’m excited to read it. I looked up the reviews on Christianbook.com and people were saying it was a “life-changing” read. Even Jesus believed in the power of story to change lives!
- If you’re looking for some classic literature to dig into over the summer, can I recommend one of my most favorites (I have so many!!)? I’m a Dickens fan and my favorite had always been Bleak House. A few years ago, though, I read Little Dorrit and it is now a rival for my top spot. With all of Dickens’s normal satire on class politics and social injustice, it’s more importantly a book about imprisonment and how even when we are physically free, we can be chained by our past and destroyed by shame and the incessant worry that others might discover the truth about us.
So, whether you’re reading in the car on vacation trips and traveling, kicked back by the pool or the beach with a good book, or flopped on your sofa during a summer storm, I hope there’s a book or two in here you can enjoy this summer!
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King