Favorite Books of Summer 2020

This summer has been one for the books, hasn’t it? I took a break from blogging and cut down on my social media consumption, and you know what? It was a good thing. So good, in fact, that I’m thinking about making it an annual habit. I’m not too old to start new habits, am I?

Here are a few of the books that I devoured over the summer. Are you hungry for good words, compelling thoughts, and beautiful stories? If so, I hope one or two of these titles will serve you well.

Classical Music For Dummies

Like many children, I took piano lessons when I was young, and, with them, a small spattering of music history and theory. It wasn’t until I had married a musician that I realized how insufficient my knowledge of classical music truly was. I saw his passion for it, his love of chords and tempo, composition and movement, and I wanted to know more. What is a fugue? What makes a symphony a symphony? What is the significance behind the eras of music? Who were Wagner, Bach, and Copeland? Although this book’s title may seem self-depreciating, it is wonderfully comprehensive, interesting, and hilarious (violin jokes galore!).


Those Who Would Be Free: Where the Civil Rights Movement Went Wrong

In this essay, Dr. Alan Keyes offers an important look at the history of the Civil Rights movements, its principled beginnings, and how it changed through the decades. A short read, but a helpful one in gaining perspective in our current social climate.


Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

“100 key teachings in plain language” is an excellent summary. R. C. Sproul sets up a comprehensive breakdown of Biblical doctrine, complete with sources and bullet summaries of each section. A great book for individual or group study, or for those curious about the Christian faith.


Seeing Jesus from the East: A Fresh Look at History’s Most Influential Figure

Sadly, Ravi Zacharias died this spring. His work on this earth is done, but the light of Christ that shone through him is still bright. In this book, Zacharias, a native Indian, partners with Abdu Murray, a former Muslim, to examine Jesus from an Eastern perspective. From the use of parables, to His conduct and claims, they both dive into the words of this Man from Nazareth, and how those words affected their lives in drastic ways.


Ivanhoe

Jousts, disinherited knights, daring rescues, and a habitually drunk friar. All this and much much more in a tale for the ages. I also have to note that I was pleasantly surprise with how Sir Walter Scott wrote his female characters. Full of depth, integrity in the face of blatant antisemitism, and intelligence, they showed their feminine glory in a way that made me cheer more for them than the fellas. Good one, Sir Walter. Good one.


The BFG

I remember reading this as a child, and I was so excited to read it aloud to my own kiddos. My heart sang watching them delight in the story of a lovable runt of a giant, his dreams, and the little girl that changes it all.


A Wind in the Door

Madeleine L’Engle did it again. Just when I thought she couldn’t amaze me more, this book came along and blew me away (see what I did there?) Honestly, I loved this one more than A Wrinkle in Time, so that should say something. In this sequel, we join Meg Murray once again on a quest to save her little brother. Along the way, we meet new, and sometimes terrifying, creatures, and learn the incredible importance of growing up.


I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats

Ever wonder why cats are the way they are? What goes through their strange, little brains? Well, now you can know, and in poetic form that rivals Shakespeare himself (maybe not, but I’m not about to upset a cat with harsh critique. I know too much now…). Note: not all of these poems are child appropriate, but every one will leave you giggling. And wondering. And maybe worrying…


And Still I Rise

Maya Angelou was an incredibly lovely, amazing lady, and her words radiate that essence. Anyone else remember this scene? I mean, come on. Glorious. Her poetry captures the reality of rough depths and great heights. Power and struggle. Love and hate. Beauty and passion. All of these painted in the vivid colors of her words.


Peak

Is talent truly a prerequisite for excellence? Is exceptional intelligence necessary to becoming a master in a field? Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool examine these assumptions with a fine tooth comb, and their conclusions are fascinating. If you’re looking for a book that challenges how you view your own habits and goals, then this is a great one for you.


Wife in Pursuit: 31 Daily Challenges for Loving Your Husband Well

I recently finished this 31 day guide, and found it both convicting and wonderfully helpful. Each day’s reading is short, but sharp in its focus of guiding you closer to your husband. Full of ideas for dates, Scripture to pray over, and daily goals to extend love to your husband, this book is a great aid for wives at any point on their marriage journey.


What were some of your favorite books from this crazy summer?

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