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Recs for your summer reading list

The goal, simply: to give you some summer reading ideas without giving away the endings


Fiction


The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant


I actually picked up this book a couple of times before and couldn’t get into it. Recently I’ve been into reading fiction, so I decided to give this one another try. 'Twas a good decision. Themes I particularly enjoyed: curiosity, cultural rebellion, the resilience of friendship. Sometimes it's hard to come across stories that aren't primarily based on a couple whose in love. This one mainly featured a girl in love with life and keen on finding out how to live it as best she could. A pleasure to read.


Recommended pairing: read while sitting in a coffee shop, on a front porch, or at the beach


Wonder by R.J. Palacio


A sweet and simple read for everyone! I mostly admired how the author used middle school language to convey a message that is powerful for any age.


Recommended pairing: read a few minutes each night before bedtime


Memoir


Good God, Lousy World, & Me by Holly Burkhalter


This woman knows what to do with pen and paper. Or a laptop - whatever method of writing she uses. Whether or not you agree with all of the content, I think you will enjoy Holly's writing style more than anything. She's so funny, candid, and sharp. I had the true pleasure of sitting down with Holly and a small group of International Justice Mission interns to hear her story firsthand, and I left feeling wonder. In a nutshell, Holly shares her story of living as an atheist as she searched the tender question, How can God be good in a world that's not? And her answer is beautiful. And very raw. And very good.


Recommended pairing: read on a slow weekend morning (if those exist for you)


Remember God by Annie F. Downs


She is so easy to read because it feels like you're talking to her. This book was amazing and I really couldn't put it down. Annie didn't know how this book was going to end as she was writing it - and it was her life. And I hold on to the fact that at the end, her story didn't close as she'd expected. But she held even more tightly that God is still good and kind and worth trusting, even though sometimes it feels like He breaks our hearts. This book gave me permission to accept the broken edges of things that don't look sensible or pretty yet.


Recommended pairing: seriously whenever, wherever - but you won't be able to put it down


Personal growth


The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg


Absolutely outstanding book. Some wonderful takeaways: 1) Rest can be one of the most spiritual things you do. 2) We should make time for celebrations because joy is a crucial ingredient in the life of a Christian. 3) Each piece of our life is purposed by God and we are not meant to carry out the same routines in the changing seasons of life. (A new mother may feel that her responsibilities stand in the way of her ability to grow closer to Jesus, but she is in the process of Godly transformation as she serves her children, just as a preacher who is given two hours a day at work to study the Word and prep his lessons is being transformed through his quiet time.) These bits of wisdom really helped free me from many of my own disabling perspectives about Christianity.


Recommended pairing: read during whatever alone time you spend with Jesus (bring a pen/highlighters)

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst


This book rocked my world. I was challenged to stop comparing myself, stop trying to compete, and start embracing the particular beauty of the road that God has me on. I keep this book on me almost always because there's so many underlined sentences that I have to re-read from time to time. Thank God for this beautiful author!


Recommended pairing: in a space with minimum distraction so you can have room for reflection