Summer Reading at Our Home

One of my goals this summer was and is to simply take more time in my day to just simply read. To cut back on all the outside activities we could participate in and spend a lot of quality and personal time reading books. We’ve been cutting back on many things lately amidst the challenges of launching a business, so we can have more intentional family time together. Thus my absence from the blog recently (which will continue through the remainder of the summer). I love cuddling up during our daily rest time routine and read a quality novel or inspirational book. My goal…1 hour per day for my own personal reading and 1 hour with the kiddos reading classic chapter books. Bring it on!

Here’s our list:

Chapter Books With the Kiddos

Here’s A Penny & Penny and Peter by Carolyn Haywood

The Ralph Mouse Collection (The Mouse & The Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph & Ralph S. Mouse) by Beverly Cleary

My Personal List:

Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – This is an amazing classic and story of redemption that was simply fabulous. I want to keep a good mix of old and new books on my list to stretch my mind at all times. It has been my favorite classic yet!

Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff by Stephen Altrogge – We are all creative and we need to start living like we are. We each have unique gifts entrusted to our care. This ebook is a short and quick read that will get you motivated to create beauty in your sphere for your Creator.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – a retelling of the story of Hosea in California gold rush days, communicating the powerful love of God. Never read anything of Rivers so I am intrigued to read this one.

Knowing God by J. I. Packer – a rich theological book that beautifully describes the nature and attributes of God. Reading together with my hubby before bedtime and my heart is being renewed and strengthened while being enraptured into the splendor of our Creator.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser – Do you want to learn to write well? Well, I do. Thus this book is on my list. I want to take more consistent steps towards growing and improving my writing skills. Always learning, always writing…that’s my goal.

Shaping of A Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot – This book gives you a close up look into the way that Elisabeth Elliot was raised and how her parents took faithful and intentional steps towards raising their children to be godly and intelligent adults who desire to serve the Lord. Simple, Biblical wisdom.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – Loved this novel! I am always cautious when it comes to novels as they can be quite intoxicating and ultimately time-wasting if I get caught up in them at the sacrifice of my other priorities, but the occasional novel can be very refreshing break. What Alice Forgot tells the story of how Alice falls and forgets ten years of her life and was a fresh reminder to me of the preciousness of life. I have been inspired again to be intentional, to appreciate my husband, and to treasure the fact that the Lord has given me three special gifts of life in my children.

True Woman 101: Divine Design by Nancy Leigh Demoss & Mary Kassian – so far this Bible study has been A+! My mind is being challenged to truly know and hold fast to God’s beautiful design for me as a women. His design is at the core of the work of redemption because it is designed to image the glorious relationship of Christ to His church. I’m posting the audio for our discussion here on the blog each week.

Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen -thanks to Simple Mom‘s recommendation of this one, I was excited to pick up a book that would continue to challenge me to live intentionally for the Lord whatever the cost. We need these reminders on a regular basis in our culture when it is so easy to become consumed in ourself and our material accumulation.

That’s all for now! Can she read them all before the end of August? Well…I admit I did have a head start.

What’s on your summer reading list? Any good recommendations you want to offer?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

42 Responses to Summer Reading at Our Home

  1. Brittney September 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    I just finished reading “The Vow: The Kim & Krickett Carpenter Story” – what the recent movie was loosely based off of. I initially had no interest in reading it, but a friend recommended it because the book is focused on the woman’s passionate connection with God and how her faith persevered through her brain injury (even when other personality traits and memories were gone) and how their relationship with God impacted their marriage through that time. It was so refreshing to hear a story so tragic turn out blessings in the end through God!

    I thought I would share, since you share so many wonderful books that you’ve read!

  2. Gina Graham September 4, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Somehow I missed this post, Lindsay, but I thought I’d mention some of my favorites for you to put in your hat for a rainy day. I’m not usually charmed by modern fiction, so most of my recommendations are old books. Happily, these are found free online.

    Father Brown. Written by G.K. Chesterton. These are collections of short mysteries, meant to be read chronologically. Absolutely brilliant writing. Who-dunnits that are somewhat gory but super creative. I think there are three or four total collections. Actually anything by Chesterton will be beautifully written and supply you with food for thought, theologically.

    Anything by Charles Dickens. Start with A Tale of Two Cities and don’t stop until you’ve read everything! Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think that fictional stories can get better than these for plot, character development, humor & overall satisfyingly fantastic endings.

    Alexandre Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Muskateers are timeless classics for a reason. Way better than any movie versions you’ve ever seen!

    Wilkie Collins. The Moonstone, Woman In White and many, many other great stories. Contemporaries with Dickens, he wrote fiction prolifically.

    For the kiddos, Ginger Pye, Swallows and Amazons, Heidi, The Ransom of Red Chief & Understood Betsy have been fun read-alouds.

    I am going to add Crime and Punishment to my list, as I’ve not read that one yet – thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Amy Clark August 9, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    I know I’m a little late posting this, but hope you’ll see it anyway. I love seeing your books lists. I was wondering it you’ve read Lit! by Tony Reinke. The subtitle is A Christian guide to reading books. I found it to be a great tool with its advice about how to make decisions about what to read. Some of what he says I’ve always been doing, but wouldn’t have been able to communicate it the way he does.

    About the Francine Rivers books. I just read my first one, A Voice in the Wind. While there is more sensuality than I’m used to (and frankly, more than I cared for), the sensuality is presented in a negative light. It is never glorified. I’m still working through what this means for me as a woman whose desire is to glorify God, and whether the books are healthy for me to read.

    One last thing, Give them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson (as mentioned in a comment above), is one of the BEST books on parenting I have ever read (and I’ve read a number of them!) I will be recommending it to the mothers in our church (my husband is the pastor).

    • Lindsay August 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

      I just heard about Lit! recently and it is on my to-read list! Thanks for the recommendation. I do think it is very wise to be cautious about any Christian fiction as the majority of it is just romance novels, which can be very detrimental to our marriages and filling our lives with false expectations of our husbands. Redeeming Love is the first I have ever read. I think it is wise to seek to be discerning! It’s so important that we fill our minds with truth and guard against lies. That is awesome to see you describe.

  4. Kristin August 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I’m reading Redeeming Love right now! I also LOVED A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. It is an encouraging story of a young woman who grows up in the era right after Jesus was crucified. I love books that teach a little bit of history in a fiction story.

  5. Angela August 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Does anyone know a good book on either the topic of gardening for beginners or canning for beginners? I very much want to start a garden next spring, but have no idea how! Then I would like to be able to can what I harvest. Thank you to anyone with suggestions! :-)

    • Gina Graham September 4, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      I know this is late, Angela, but I found the Ball Blue Book of Canning (available pretty much everywhere) from the makers of Ball jars to be a great beginners guide to canning. HTH

  6. rachel g July 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, girl. I ordered the fiction book today from my library and hope to read it soon. xo xo Keep doing what you’re doing. :)

  7. Lisa July 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Hey Lindsay,
    I just found your website recently and have been so encouraged by reading some of your older posts! I was just telling a friend today (who has actually been reading your blog for a while) how sweet it was to be able to be encouraged in things I consider most important and dear. So thanks! I look forward to reading a lot more =)

    I did want to briefly say, as a couple other people have mentioned, that I think it’s a good idea to just be aware of sexual elements of Rivers’ books. I have read Redeeming Love a few times and it is a great story. While I did really enjoy RL, I decided that it wouldn’t be profitable for me to read it anymore because of her somewhat provocative descriptions. I have also read the first book in the Mark of the Lion series, but couldn’t continue on in the series because I found them to be more racy than RL. I know that RL is based upon Hosea and Hosea really is a wonderful picture of God’s relentless and purifying love for His bride, but I think it’s important to remember that even though Rivers based her book on Hosea, she isn’t inspired and is susceptible to going too far (whereas scripture is not).

    I truly don’t mean to get on a soapbox, but I think that Christian fiction is an area where we can have a bit of a blindspot. So, my two cents is just to proceed with caution =)

    A few books I have really enjoyed reading recently(ish) are Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick (a great parenting book that refreshes my heart in the gospel as much as it teaches me about parenting!). I also like some of Elizabeth Gaskell’s fiction (contemporary of Jane Austen). Wives and Daughters, and North and South are two of my favorites. And Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ is always a good option for a short read by John Piper.

    Thanks again. Sorry for the long comment. I hope I didn’t offend. Just thought I’d share my experiences.

    • Tawna July 31, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      Hey Lisa, I’m so glad you put up what you did about Redeeming Love. My first thought when I saw the book mentioned was, “Hm better be careful with that one.” I was going to leave a similar comment but when I saw yours I didn’t need to. Way to be discerning and trying to protect your sister :)

  8. Carrie July 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    I have to thank you for the suggestionof My Father’s Dragon, my 4 year old and I enjoyed reading it earlier this summer. We got it from the library and it may actually be one I purchase for her as we loved it so much! We even had fun painting some of the scenes afterwards.

    Although I guess a but controversial, my summer reading so far was Cutting for Stone. It was one selected by my book club. I found it to be a very interesting book.

  9. Cassandra July 30, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Redeeming Love is my favorite RIvers novel. The story moved me to tears and gave me a new view of God. I’ve been meaning to buy a copy for awhile now!

    The Elisabeth Elliot book sounds really good and I’m going to add it to my to-read list. Thanks for posting your reading list!

  10. Holly July 29, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    I am just trying to finish up my bible study and read one book this summer, “Sacred Parenting” by Gary Thomas. How and when do you find time to read? I’m sure it’s a discipline of it’s own I guess. I have trouble finding much time to read with my 4 little ones at home.

  11. Jill July 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    I haven’t read an extensive number of books, but Redeeming Love is by far my favorite. I’ve read it 3 or 4 times and I just started it again! There are parts that are a bit provocative, but I think Francine Rivers handles the subjects involved in retelling Hosea’s story very tastefully. if you know the story of Hosea, retelling it effectively can’t be done without writing about certain things. Love it!

  12. emily July 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Thanks for the sweet reminder about the blessing of saying no to outside activities and staying home … Not with the perspective of ‘missing out’ but rather on the gift of rest and sweet time together. Needed that.
    My husband works from home – right nowc literally in our living room – so I do struggle with logistics and contentment in crowded quarters. :)

  13. KellyinPA July 27, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    The Shaping of A Christian Family is an old favorite that I re-read every couple of years. Love Elisabeth Elliot! I am currently reading “What Alice Forgot” and while it makes me laugh out loud in spots and think more about being intentional with my husband/children, the language is a bit shocking for those of us who read mostly Christian fiction. Just a warning:)

  14. Jenni/Life from the Roof July 27, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    I have been able to read an hour a day too this summer, and it’s really encouraged my heart and invigorated my mind! I read Susan Schaeffer McCauley’s “For the Family’s Sake,” and am now working through “Thou Shall Prosper,” by Daniel Lapin. It’s a book that connects business to the way God set us up to relate to one another. He’s a rabbi, and discusses a lot of Old Testament stories, so I find it interesting from a spiritual point as well. I’ve never considered myself a business person, but reading this book has made me think more about it because of the way he sets it up: as a way to truly serve others and give to them, not just take. Even as a mom I see a lot of insights that I can apply if I view myself as a manager of my home.

  15. Aletha July 27, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Hi Lindsey. While I DO love Rivers’ books (great writing, great messages, hands down best Christian fiction author!) I think it should be mentioned that some of her older books (Mark of the Lion Series/Redeeming Love) tend to be a bit sexually provocative. While I’m all for romance and the embracing of sexuality within marriage, I just want to give a bit of a heads-up that I found Rivers earlier books to be a bit steamy. Maybe it depends on the person, I don’t know. Just saying…!

    • Lindsay July 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks for the word of caution.

    • GroovyMoments July 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      They totally are, as you say. But, I find her style of writing to be very straightforward, very real. She doesn’t graze over the harsh stuff, or sugar coat anything. The world is real, and very real and harsh things happen in it. I think that is why I love Francine Rivers as a Christian novelist so much. Redeeming Love is my all-time favourite book – I’ve read it about 6 times. The Mark of the lion series is also amazing. Even my hubby loved those books.
      Another Major favourite is THE VEIL, by Diane Noble.
      and I really loved the Sisters of the quilt series, by Cindy Woodsmall.

  16. Sheri July 27, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    So glad you have Redeeming Love on your list–it’s one of my top Christian fiction books with classics like Pilgrims Progress: it really is that good.
    And thank you for your recommendation of Crime and Punishment. That’s a classic I’ve never read so I will definitely give it a try. If you haven’t already read it Les Miserables is a really great redemptive story as well.
    I hope you have a wonderful time reading this summer!

  17. Paula July 27, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    I just picked up Julie, by Catherine Marshall, off my own shelf to read again. I am also reading through Instructing a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp. My favorite book this summer was Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry.
    What Alice Forgot is on my long list of to be read.

  18. Heather July 27, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    I am so glad for some new book recommendations! Knowing God sounds really good, and I think it would be something I could enjoy with my husband as well.

  19. Priscilla Frazier July 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    What they all said… :) about Francine Rivers is so true… I LOVE her books, but far and away my favorite is the Mark of the Lion series (3 fairly thick books). It will make you think about the relevancy and reality of God’s Word and God’s faithfulness down through the ages. The books are in a setting dating shortly after the time of Christ, and the events of the books are not so unlike some of the conditions around us today… I would recommend them to anyone.

  20. camille July 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Redeeming Love is one of my all time favorites, and is actually what brought me back to reading….Francine Rivers has a gift! I’ve read most of hers, the Mark of the Lion series is by Rivers and is my other favorite…amazing historical christian work that deepened my walk with Christ. So many books, so little time.
    I just read Thomas Jefferson Education By Oliver DeMille- Now reading Leadership Education by DeMille and LOVE IT!!! I t has inspired me to pursue my own education while educating my four kids :-) I’ve read Anne of Green Gables, The Chosen, and am reading Little Britches by his recommendation and am learning sooo much.

    • Lindsay July 27, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      Wow. That resource about Jefferson Education sounds intriguing. I was inspired through the Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer to begin reading more classics to help strengthen and continue my education. It must be a similar thrust as she has a thorough list of classics to read and how to read them in the book. Will have to check out that one as well!

  21. Jessica R July 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    If you’re looking for an uplifting classic, Little Women is my all time favorite novel ever. It shaped me! Pride and Prejudice is also fun.

    • Heather July 27, 2012 at 5:31 am #

      Love Pride and Prejudice! I might have to pull it out :-) I am reading Persuasion to my kids right now.

      • Nicole July 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

        I’m reading Persuasion to myself right now! Love that book. I’m interested to know the ages of your kids…and are they enjoying it? Seems like it might be a little over some kids heads. I’ve been wondering about that while I’ve been reading it through this time around.

  22. Brooke July 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    My son’s favorite chapter book read aloud has to be Charlotte’s Web. We read it last summer, when he was 3. Reminds me, we have to read that one again soon.

    I totally agree about novels taking away from other priorities. That said, I will read anything by Tracie Peterson. A great historical, Christian fiction author. Bring her on a road trip or vacation so you don’t feel as guilty.

  23. natalie July 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    I recently read Roots, by Alex Haley and could not put it down despite its i timidating length! I am currently reading Breaking Through Concrete, Building an Urban Farm Revival, by David Hanson and Edwin Marty.

  24. Rachel July 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    I recently finished Crazy Love by Francis Chan and would highly recommend it. The Lord really spoke to me through it and I found the book seriously convicting. And thanks for your blog, Lindsay. You are a blessing to many!! Enjoy your summer :)

    • Lindsay July 27, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      Love that book! I could read it again an again! Right up there with John Pipers Don’t Waste Your Life.

  25. Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) July 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Redeeming Love is one of my all-time favorite books (a sentiment shared by almost everyone else I know to have read it). It’s so moving and inspiring. Look forward to hearing what you think of it! (If you enjoy it, then I highly recommend Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion Trilogy – also amazing!)

    • Lindsay July 27, 2012 at 6:43 am #

      I love reading how everyone loves Rivers’ books. The Mark of the Lion series will just have to go on my to-read list!

  26. Kimmie July 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    what a fun and diversified list of books. trying not to let jealousy rise up, as my reading time isn’t doing too well in this stage of motherhood. I am proud of myself for getting back to the adult section (after 14 years of just kids section) and actually checking out some books for Mama.

    I will keep an eye out for these.


    mama to 8
    one homemade and 7 adopted

  27. Sarah July 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I read The Shaping of a Christian Family and found it to be very inspiring. Another really good book by Elisabeth Elliot is: Shadow of the Almighty (the life testament of Jim Elliot). It’s so encouraging to read biographies of people sold out to God. May we not forget that although it’s good (and we should) to read books that will help us in our walk, they can very easily take the place of God’s Word in our lives. God bless you Lindsay! You are dear to me even though I haven’t met you!
    A Sister In Christ,

  28. becca July 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Redeeming love is one of my favorite books! Ive read it three times (it’s a pretty quick read and I am not an especially fast reader…just one you cant put down). Oddly enough I just leant my copy to my sister yesterday with rave reviews. I cant wait to hear what you think :)

    • Lindsay July 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Yah! Thanks for the review. Glad I picked a good one! ;)

  29. Krissa July 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I read What Alice Forgot this summer too and loved it!