Moms’ Summer Reading List


Summer is here. For me, that means my kids and I will be headed to the library and loading up on books and DVDs.  I’m a reader, and my kids have become them by proxy.  Our summer library load-up became a tradition a few years ago.  We’ve gone through seasons of fairy book series, Star Wars, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other seemingly “junk” literature in the eyes of this college Lit major.  I’ve even held such reading hostage from my kids when they are grounded or in the middle of a large school project.

So, when summer arrives, reading whatever they want (aside from the school required book) is something we all look forward to.   I’m hoping to give you Mommas something to read while they are reading (try audio books too if they aren’t avid readers yet), so I’ll leave the kids’ reading list to your Google or Pinterest searches. 

I’m listing the 5 books I’m hoping to read this summer.  My choices came from the recommendations of friends (including the fiction book club that I’m in) and from listening to the “What Should I Read Next?” podcast Episode 77 with guest Allison Frenzel who is co-owner of a new independent Fabled Bookshop & Cafe soon to open in downtown Waco!  And since I haven’t read these yet, please forgive me if any of them disappoint you (we have a rule in our book club that anyone can stop reading a book if it’s offensive, or we just can’t find any redeeming value in it).  The four quoted descriptions come from Goodreads (see website below), and each has a link to purchase.

1. The Magnolia Journal – Summer 2017 edition (If you don’t want the subscription, I bought mine at Target and know it’s available at Magnolia or Barnes and Noble.)

I can’t wait to read all the articles about “People Who Inspire!”  Figured I’d start with a magazine for all that pool or airplane reading we moms might need.  There are also road trip ideas and inspiration for backyard movie night.  

2. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon  (Young Adult author of Everything, Everything – a movie opening May 19)  

“Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?”

3. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent  (movie releasing this fall)

“Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver’s life was still hopeless—until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together.

But slavery takes many forms. Deborah discovers that she has cancer. In the face of possible death, she charges her husband to rescue Denver. Who will be saved, and who will be lost? What is the future for these unlikely three? What is God doing?

Same Kind of Different As Me is the emotional tale of their story: a telling of pain and laughter, doubt and tears, dug out between the bondages of this earth and the free possibility of heaven. No reader or listener will ever forget it.”

4. The Summer Kitchen by Lisa Wingate (loved her book The Prayer Box) – this book was inspired by South Waco’s Gospel Cafe.

“With her adopted son missing and the rest of her family increasingly estranged, Sandra Kaye Darden is drawn to the little pink house where her Uncle Poppy once provided security. What begins for Sandra as a simple painting project, meant to prepare the house for sale, becomes a secret venture that eventually changes everything.

Cass Blue is having trouble keeping food on the table since she ditched foster care. When Sandra Kaye shows up with lunch one day, Cass has no way of knowing that the meeting will lead to the creation of a place of refuge that could reunite a divided community.

In this moving story of second chances, two unlikely allies realize their ability to make a difference…and the power of what becomes known as the Summer Kitchen to nourish the soul.”

5. Notes From a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider  

“The popular blogger and founder of the internationally recognized Simple Mom online community tells the story of her family’s ongoing quest to live more simply, fully, and intentionally.

Part memoir, part travelogue, part practical guide, Notes from a Blue Bike takes you from a hillside in Kosovo to a Turkish high-rise to the congested city of Austin to a small town in Oregon. It chronicles schooling quandaries and dinnertime dilemmas, as well as entrepreneurial adventures and family excursions via plane, train, automobile, and blue cruiser bike.”

I hope you’ll feeling the itch to read!  I also have some runner-up recs:

The Lunar Chronicles (4 part YA series) by Marissa Meyer – especially if you have a teenager

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Websites for further reading recommendations:


The Modern Mrs. Darcy

The Skimm

Who’s with me in striving to log more hours reading books than watching tv or social media this summer?  Let me know what you think when you read my suggestions (or if you already have – no spoilers please).  Feel free to share more of your book recommendations too!