Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Summer Reading List

My friend Amanda is having a Dishing It! party to get bloggers talking, and this time the topic is (loosely) reading.


I've always been a reader, and I have fond memories of summers when I was about junior-high age...I would lay in bed reading until long into the night, and then sleep late in the morning.  In Michigan it was usually cool enough at night to have the windows open, and somehow that's part of the memory package:  cool night breezes blowing across my bed while I was deeply engrossed in a novel.

Now that I'm an adult with responsibilities, I don't always make the time for reading.  Well, I always have books going, but often it's some kind of self-help or parenting book that I can read a chapter here and there and have no problem putting the book down.  This summer I made a conscious decision to read for fun.

And I've been reading a lot.  It's "light" reading, mostly Christian fiction.  Our library marks the spine of the books with a sticker indicating the genre.  I've been going up and down the aisles looking for the blue cross.  I've found some new-to-me authors that way.

I always like to read a little bit before I turn out the light at night, but this summer I've returned to my youth and have been reading late into the night.  Craig is the one who has to get up and go to work in the morning, but he doesn't seem to mind having the light on while I read in bed beside him, plus my new lamps have two bulb sockets, and I put a 25 watt in one side just for my nighttime reading, so it's nice and dim and cozy.

Here's some of what I've been reading:

Karen Kingsbury:  I tore through all five of the Redemption series one right after another.  This series focuses on the Baxter family and their ups and downs.  I enjoyed it very much, but in hind sight I would have spaced them out a little bit.  By the last couple of books it was starting to feel  a little deja vu.

Melody Carlson:  a new-to-me author.  I read the 86 Bloomburg Place series (4 books--again, should've spaced them out), A Mile in My Flip-Flops, and These Boots Weren't Made for Walking.  Fun, light reading; romantic/relationship overtones, but clean (Christian), and not too heavy on the romance.

Robin Jones Gunn:  I have in the past read the Sisterchicks series (favorite:  Sisterchicks in Gondolas) and the Katie Weldon series (fun flashback to college).  Last week I read Gardenias for Breakfast, and I really liked it...the southern grandmother reminded me of my grandma.

Judy Baer:  I just finished Norah's Ark.  It was pretty good (maybe 3 out of 5 stars), and I appreciated the way Norah made seeking God's guidance through the Bible a daily thing.  Several months ago I read Recipes and Wooden Spoons, one of the Tales from Grace Chapel Inn series.  That series is huge and has several different authors (Melody Carlson is also one);  I'll read more of them at some point.

Now to answer Amanda's questions:
Genre: fiction (historical, Christian, chick lit, etc)
Favorite mags:  Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living
Island companion: Robinson Crusoe, maybe, because he knew how to survive
Make time:  at night
Fave book place:  public library
Next up: Limelight by Melody Carlson

Can't wait to see what everyone else recommends!


Kenzie said...

I really should be better about making time to read! I have issues with not being able to finish a book in a few days, I get really wrapped up in them and have a hard time putting them down! I was the same way in junior high, I would read until 1 or 2 in the morning and then sleep til noon! Dropping by from Amanda's!

Jessabells said...

All your book choices look really interesting. That is great that your hubby doesn't mind the light on. Mine would go nuts. lol.

Charity said...

I enjoyed Norah's Ark as well - it's a cute little story. Have you read anything by Sandra Byrd, Laura Jensen Walker or Erynn Mangum? All are fun authors - very light and enjoyable. Oh, and I love the Grace Chapel Inn series - so homey and relaxing! :)

Southern Fried Gal said...

Hello! I'm stopping over from the party. I stumbled across a new Christian fiction writer the other day in my state (Arkansas). I'm not a reader so I have no idea of her style or titles but thought I would share so you could check her out if you haven't already. Her name is Jenny B. Jones.

BTW - I love the picture you painted of the open window and cool breeze.

Paula said...

It's great that you make time to get in reading. I love finding a series and reading one after another. I haven't read any of the books on your list and now mine is getting longer!

Michelle said...

Great picks. I love Karen Kingsbury too! Great post too-

Melissa said...

Your memories of reading sound much like mine. My sister and I were both voracious readers, but we shared one small bookcase. We didn't own a lot of books, but we visited the library frequently.

The Melody Carlson books sound like fun. Thanks for the recommendation!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Ooo---you have a good list, Holly! :) I have read some of these authors, but I haven't read any of these books. :)

Have you ever read Lynn Austin's Hidden Places? It's one of my MOST favorite Christian fiction books, and one of my favorite books, period. Really good story!!

Thanks so much for linking up. :)

Lynette said...

I might have to check out some of those authors! I remember staying up late and reading... There were some nights I would go to sleep until the book was finished =)

Mary Joy said...

Oh wow! I love your list! I love to read! Melody Carlson and am actually reading one of her books right now! "Back Home Again". I just love the Tales from Grace Chapel Inn series! They are so hard to put down and they are living the dream I have of someday having a Bed & Breakfast to share the gift of hospitality and encouragement with my guests....I love daydreaming along with her! Thanks for sharing your other likes, I may have to try some too!

Richella said...

I wish I'd known you when I was in junior high. No, wait, you probably weren't even born when I was in junior high. Oh, well. I think my junior-high self and your junior-high self would have been good friends. We could have been good reading companions. . . neither of us would have ever said, "Put down that book and DO something." :)

Nadir @ Hodgepodge said...

Hi I'm visiting from Amanda's party! I love your book choices & have recently gained an interest to Christian fiction myself, I have yet to read anything but devotionals & studies but a friend reccomended the Beverly Lewis series. Have you read those yet? I'm definately going to check out some of the ones you listed. Happy reading!

Pam said...

I loved reading your book list. :0) I've always been a big reader, too - but, like you, these days it's usually something I'm needing to learn rather than for fun. When it's for fun I end up staying up half the night and then walking around like a zombie all day. One of my most favorite authors that I didn't see mentioned in the comments is Beverly Lewis. Most of her books feature the Amish (which I've always been fascinated by). Her 'Abram's Daughters' series is one I couldn't put down. Thanks for sharing!

FrouFrouBritches said...

You're making me want to give Christian fiction another try. It's been awhile since I read whomever it was and it was BORING! You make it sound a lot more interesting since reading is my escape. Thanks for the info.

I'd totally read into the night if I didn't hate staying up late without Hubby. I have a really hard time reading when the kids are awaks.

Shug said...

I have never been a big reader until recently. Seems like I never had the time to read. Thanks for your encouraguging words and reading suggestions. Definitely plan on checking them out.

Have a Blessed Day...

Becca Ray said...

Great list! I've read all the books but one in the redemption series. Every single book in both the Firstborn and Sunrise series... I've also read Dandelion Dust. But since I read most of those in a very short time span by the end it felt so deja vu that I haven't been able to read a Karen Kingsbury since. lol I love Robin Jones Gunn! Right now I'm working on the last few books in the Christy Miller series and am liking them a lot. Have you ever read the Theodora's Diary series by Penny Culliford? I think you would like it. It's very cute and kind of reminds me of the shopaholic series except this series is christian...
Thanks for sharing your list!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just stumbled across your blog, and noticed that you listed several of my favorite authors among your Summer Reading choices. I had a baby at the beginning of this year, and have had lots of time to read books (like you, a return to my youth). My favorites have been the Yada Yada series by Neta Jackson, as well as her House of Hope series. If you, like me, enjoy Robin Jones Gunn, Melody Carlson, and Karen Kingsbury... well, you are in for a treat!