It’s SUMMER! Oh, yeah.
Truth is I don’t much care for summer. Not really. I don’t like heat. BUT I do like sun. Lots and lots of sun. I like the fact that people tend to be more interested in doing things in the summer. If you can work around people’s travel schedules, you can usually get people interested in coming over for dinner. (As an aside, you wouldn’t think it would be that difficult ever. I mean, hello, I will feed you AND bake you somethings scrumptious. All you have to do is come. And talk to me for a couple of hours. And eat my food. What about this is not appealing? Don’t answer that…I might not like what I learn.)
I don’t typically make summer reading lists. Frankly because I just don’t think about it. I mean I read what I read when I read it, you know? But I find myself facing a new reality in the fall. I’m going to be an official homeschooling mom and that means my time is even less my own than it was before. I know it’s only Kindergarten, but I’m an all-in type of person. So I have to start planning my reading a little better, because me without reading (or writing) time is not a pretty thing.
Anyway, I own dozens, yes, dozens, of books I would LOVE to read. That’s why I bought them! But I tend to stare at them and feel intimidated by the number of hours necessary to read them all rather than just picking one up. Then there are the days I feel overly ambitious and pick up too many. Which is why I’m reading six books right now. Yes. Six. In all fairness one is a cookbook, another is a long-term project (a post all its own), and a third I started reading with my mentor.
So these dozens of books. They are all (practically) the same type of book: Christian Living, Spiritual Formation, Women’s Interest type books. Dozens of them. Don’t believe me? Well, here.
Let that sink in a moment.
It’s sick. I know. And I just realized one of them, at least, is missing from this picture. People, I stopped working and started buying books. Lots and lots of books.
Up until a few years ago, I only bought fiction. As a kid it was Nancy Drew. Then Agatha Christie. Then YA novels (as a 20-something). Now it’s books about using the God-given gifts you have to glorify the God who gave them to you. Books full of great stories about amazing truth. (And Doctor Thorne, because I got the feeling I could read it faster than my husband and I could watch it with our children staying up with the sun, my pumpkin-like tendencies at midnight, and a season of Person of Interest in the queue.)
Then there are books about the writing life and craft. I own a dozen of those, too. Again. Not kidding.
Yeah. I’m not prone to exaggeration when it comes to books.
So I have a few books to choose from. Not to mention I need to start reading some books on homeschooling, because I’m a freak like that.
I mean “freak” in the most self-caring way.
And I still believe the reading of fiction is vital to the health and well-being of everyone. Yes I mean it. I LOVE IT. You should, too, but I won’t hold it against you if you don’t. Maybe. I’ll think about it. Anyway. I love it. Fiction is fabulous. Stories are the stuff of life and there is just something about a novel’s ability to carry you away.
Can you see my issue here? SO MANY BOOKS. So I have set myself a lofty goal of 13 books this summer. That’s one a week. But,
So let’s get lifting!
While reading Let’s All Be Brave (one of my currently reading books I will finish soon), I responded to a challenge to write down some dreams. Here’s a truth: I want to write. A lot. Hence this blog. But I need to work on my craft. To start I’m going to finish Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg and plan to read A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman, The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, and Bandersnatch: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings by Diana Pavlac Glyer.
Another truth I wrote down: I want my home to be a safe haven for my family and friends. A peace-filled place. This begins, of course, with me and my heart, my marriage, and my approach to parenting. So I’m already reading God As He Wants You to Know Him by Bill Thrasher, and an ARC of a July release about investing in your marriage even with kids in the house, For Better or For Kids: A Vow to Love Your Spouse With Kids in the House by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk. Then I plan to read The Life Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. AND I am super excited about the release of A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World by Katelyn Beaty in July, and while thinking about authors I met in Alaska, decided I should finally sit down to read All Right Here by Carre Armstrong Gardner, especially since the other two books in the series are published!
Some more fiction I’m planning to read includes People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks as a re-read for book club [update: Having already read the book I discovered myself less than motivated to re-read, so it didn’t happen. I wish I could have. I enjoy the story.] and Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift as a part of that long-term project I mentioned earlier. And just for the pure fun of it, I want to sit down and read S. by J. J. Abrams. I would love to have a day or two to read it straight through. So it might get pushed to fall if my husband and I do get to go on that trip I’m not-so-secretly planning.
Reading well can only enhance my writing and thinking and living. I just have to accept the fact that sometimes only a page gets read, rather than a chapter. The sooner I accept that the happier I will be, because I’ll be reading.
Join the conversation.
Do you plan your summer reading? What are you reading this summer?
Here is the complete list of my Summer 2016 weights (with Amazon affiliate links.* Read my disclaimer here.).
- finish Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs*
- finish Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg*
- finish For Better or For Kids by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk*
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks* [Update: So this didn’t actually happen. I tried. I remember enjoying the story. But a re-read this summer just wasn’t possible.]
- A Woman’s Place by Katelyn Beaty*
- finish God As He Wants You to Know Him by Bill Thrasher*
- Bandersnatch by Diana Pavlac Glyer*
- All Right Here by Carre Armstrong Gardner*
- The Writing Life by Annie Dillard*
- The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson*
- A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman*
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift*
- S. by J.J. Abrams*
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder [Added this because I didn’t manage to re-read People of the Book before my book club, and I want to read this with my daughter this summer!]