It has been awhile since I took the time to share what I have been reading, and I am so excited to share all about a new series that I found and some other great books that I have been reading.
If you have followed the blog long, you probably know that I typically read more non-fiction than fiction. However, in the summer I always like to try to get in a little fun fiction. With the world feeling so stressful right now, I found that reading fun fiction was a great way to de-stress and step away from it all without ever having to leave my house.
I started the summer with the Sisterchicks Books by Robin Jones Gunn. I had read several of her young adult series in high school and was excited to realize she had also written books for adults. The Sisterchicks Books were funny stories about sisterchicks aka close friends, that went on an adventure to another country. Each book featured two different friends and a different country. They were lighthearted and fun, but yet also managed to be inspirational and help bring my focus back to God. It was a great combination. In addition, I also read Gardenias for Breakfast by Robin Jones Gunn, which was a book that had been in my too read basket for awhile.
After finishing the Sisterchicks books, I thought I was moving on to another author. However, my daughter really wanted me to go back and read the Christy Miller series. I had read the first part of the series in high school, but since that was a few years ago, I did not remember all the details. I read the first and last one in the Christy Miller series and then read all three of the the Christy Miller: The College Years books. It turned out to be a really fun way to connect with my daughter. I want to do better at making it a habit to read and discuss fun books with her and not just ‘school books’.
After I finished the Sisterchicks books, I asked on my Facebook page and got several series suggestions. I was planning on trying those, but another series ‘fell into my lap’ and I am reading those first. My husband and I were blessed to be able to visit the mountains for a couple of days to celebrate our anniversary. We stayed at an adorable Bed and Breakfast while we were there. I had finished reading the fiction book that I took with me, and did not really want to read the non-fiction that I had brought along. I noticed a series of books that were on display in the hallway and decided to give them a try.
They were called the Amish Inn Mysteries. I found them to be the perfect fit for my time reading and relaxing at a bed and breakfast. They featured a lady named Liz who had just bought a bed and breakfast in a small town near an Amish community. The books tell fun stories about the ladies in the small town, and each book contains a mystery that Liz helps to solve. There are hints at romance, but mostly these are fun mysteries. I read the first one at the bed and breakfast and enjoyed it so much that I ordered the first five books in the series. I just finished reading the last of those five and am planning to order more in the series.
In my unintentional them of finding authors I had read in the past, I also read the book Jennifer by Dee Henderson. This is the first book in a series about the O’Malley siblings. I had read the other books in the series years ago, but somehow never read that one. I enjoyed it and plan to see if I can find the rest of the series to re-read.
I read a lot of fiction this summer, but I did take the time to work on a couple of non-fiction books. I am currently reading Awaking Wonder by Sally Clarkson and The Coddling of the American Mind.
Awaking Wonder is a great book that explores the idea of awaking wonder in our children. It shares the big ideas of how we can teach them and help them to grow. I started reading it in August with the digital version, but was excited to get my hands on a hardback copy a couple weeks ago. I really wanted to be able to highlight and make notes.
The Coddling of the American Mind is a little more political than I normally get in my reading, but so far I think it is well written and speaks to a topic that has been concerning me. I don’t agree with all of the details and examples, but overall in what I have read so far the authors have done a great job making their point. The do not take a left/right side but share their concerns about how we have been shutting down free speech and teaching college students to fear speech that they do not agree with. I want to finish it before I make any final decisions, but I am leaning towards having my children read it prior to going off to college to help them understand.
Finally, I also read Debt Free Degree by Anthony O’Neal. My fourteen-year-old son just finished reading it as well. It is a great book to read with your middle or high schooler and walks them through some steps they can take to be in a position to get a college degree without debt. We have been discussing his ideas together and working through a plan to have my son on that track. My twelve-year-old daughter will be reading it this year as well.
Overall, I read more books this summer than I have read in a long time. It felt really good to be enjoying so many books and even sharing some of them with my teens. With all of the stress in the world, I have a goal this fall of continuing to read some fun fiction as well as the non-fiction that I want to read.
What good books have you read lately? Do you gravitate towards fiction or non-fiction?
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