Friday Favorites: read any good books lately? {summer reading plan}

Lately, I have been in a total book worm mood. In high school, I read constantly and I have so missed the freedom to read that much since becoming a wife and mom. So, I have made myself a promise to read more, to go to the library, and to go for a book before I turn on Netflix.

The only problem is, there is a whole lot of junk in books nowadays and I have started 4 or 5 books that are either sexually explicit or just plain boring.

I have put together a list of the books I am going to be reading this summer, from some suggestions from friends and numerous amazon reviews. I am into fantasy, thriller, mystery and dystopia, as well as a good Christian non-fiction or fiction thrown in the mix. I am hoping to post reviews of each of them as I go, as a help to you & a way to keep me accountable! Here’s what I have come up with:

Lynn Austin – Gods & Kings
the first in her series of biblical novels, Austin tells “the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah’s mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country.” {Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings.}

G.K. Chesterton – Manalive
Manalive pits a group of disillusioned young people against Mr. Innocent Smith, a bubbly, high-spirited gentleman who literally falls into their midst. Accused of murder and denounced for repeatedly marrying his wife and attempting to live in various houses, Smith prompts his newfound acquaintances to recognize an important idea: that life is worth living.”

Veronica Roth – Divergent Series
“In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.”

Pastor Mark Driscoll – Who Do You Think You Are
“WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DEFINES YOU? WHAT IS YOUR IDENTITY? How you answer those questions affects every aspect of your life: personal, public, and spiritual. So it’s vital to get the answer right.”

Susan Merrill – The Passionate Mom
“The logistics are easy. Anybody can do laundry and carpool. But what makes a mother the best mom she can be? It’s not better scheduling. Or more activities. Or less. It is passion—the passion to teach, protect, study, and prepare her children for the future. Great, but how?”

C.S. Lewis – The Great Divorce
“In The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis again employs his formidable talent for fable and allegory. The writer finds himself in Hell boarding a bus bound for Heaven. The amazing opportunity is that anyone who wants to stay in Heaven, can. This is the starting point for an extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment. Lewis’s revolutionary idea is the discovery that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. In Lewis’s own words, ‘If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.'”

Diana Gabaldon – Outlander
“Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another… In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.”

Ernest Hemingway – For Whom The Bell Tolls
“The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal.”

Francine Rivers – Redeeming Love
“California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.”

Lois Lowry – The Giver, Gathering Blue, & Messenger
The Giver: When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out for special training from The Giver. Now it’s time for Jonas to learn the truth. There is no turning back.
Gathering Blue: Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. When she is given a task that no other community member can carry out, Kira realizes that she is surrounded by mysteries and secrets—and finds that she possesses an extraordinary power.
Messenger: Matty has always been proud to be Village’s Messenger. But now that Village is closing its once-welcoming doors, Matty must make one last journey through the treacherous forest—and one great sacrifice to save the place he loves.”

C.S. Lewis – Til We Have Faces
“Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche’s sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god’s face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer.”

C.S. Lewis – Space Trilogy {who knew that C.S. Lewis wrote science fiction!? Well, now we do.}
“Dr. Ransom . . . is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.”

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One thought on “Friday Favorites: read any good books lately? {summer reading plan}

  1. thank you for this beautiful short list. “who do you think you are?” …. hmmm … what a belief-revealing and identity-forming question …. i think i’ll read this one. tony

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