Summer Reading List

I’ve got loads of books on my shelf, and not just school books, but fiction and anthologies from my college days as well as ones I’ve picked up since. I love books. I love everything about them. I love the smell of new books, and how the spines crackle when they’re opened for the first time, and the rustle of thin pages. I’ve got a friend who will actually have time to read this summer, and I’ve made her a list of books to borrow, read, and enjoy. So, for the curious, and in honor of Cultivate Beauty month as it draws to a close, I will, Oprah-like, give you my recommended summer reading list, in no particular order:

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Beloved by Toni Morrison
How the Irish Saved Civilization (nonfiction) by Thomas Cahill
Proof (a play) by David Auburn
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Professor and the Madman (historical fiction, based on real events) by Simon Winchester
The Devil in the White City (another historical fiction) by Erik Larson
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Wit (a play) by Margaret Edson
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Had anybody read any of these? What are your favorite books, or some that you’ve lately read that you loved?

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17 thoughts on “Summer Reading List

  1. First off— I LOVE reading!

    lets see….

    for all you girls (and guys, if you wanna learn about a womans heart) read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge… tis ….amazing!!! no joke!!

    what else… ohoh.
    The Notebook-Nicholas Sparks
    The Wedding (sequal) Nicholas Sparks
    Thriving as an Artist in the Church
    Mere Christianity-CS Lewis
    The Sacred Romance- John Eldredge

    Theres one that IOm going to read this summer called Searching For God Knows What, that I have heard multiple good things about!!
    You should check it out too.

  2. Oh, boy, Allison… you might have gotten into hot water talking about the Eldredges! Does anyone know if the rumor about his theology is true? I heard he's an open theist, at least a little bit!

  3. I've read several of them. And I saw the stage productions of Proof and Wit at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Excellent, I might add, especially Wit. And the HBO Film version of Wit is also top notch. Haven't seen the film version of Proof yet.

    I haven't read many plays since my school days ended, but I've read Dinner With Friends by Donald Marguiles, as well as seen the play and the film version. I'd recommend experiencing it in any of those forms.

  4. Bobby, I saw an HBO presentation of Wit with Kristin Scott Thomas.

    Both of the plays are from my college days, but I really enjoy reading them, so I don't know why I don't pick up more. Especially since they're so inexpensive. I also own Antigone and A Doll's House, and have a bunch more in various anthologies — including, joy of joys, The Importance of Being Earnest.

  5. I've read Things Fall Apart- amaizing book!
    Just finished reading Cronicals of Narnia (all 7) I have now fallen in love with them. Highly recommend them.
    Then there's a series called Songs of Acadia. It's a Christian literature series about two women, one French one English, going through the Revolutionary war with their families. I couldn't put them down. I don't have them on hand so I don't know who the authors are, but I could find out if anyone wanted.

  6. Cold Mountain, Daughter of Fortune, The Awakening, and Beloved.

    Actually I just couldn't enjoy Beloved. Maybe it was just me — my mood or something at the time. It's been several years.

  7. I am reading The devil in the white city right now and I love it! Only I lost page 19-20 in a wind storm.

    I'm about half through, and it is so hard to put down.

    I also am a fan of What's so amazing about grace? (Don't you hate APA style of writing book titles? I did it that way only to drive you crazy!)

  8. Beloved is a tough book. I can say that I loved the poetry of the words, and parts of it, but getting through it was difficult.

    Bobby, you're a well-read guy!

  9. I'm currently reading “The Soul Winner” by C.H. Spurgeon — so encouraging! The chapter on the rewards of the soul-winner is what keeps me going out every Friday passing out tracts and trying to talk to folks, share God's grace, and/or invite them to church.

  10. Hey there Laura! Good to know you're keeping a blog too. Come visit mine when you have time:
    http://www.xanga.com/circleman2207
    As I said, half of the time I write in Chinese, but for an old-Chinese-woman-under-the-skin-of-a-young-white-woman, it shouldn't be too hard for you!
    I've been reading the Chronicles of Narnia too! Now on book 5. I like book 4 the best so far! The more I read the Narnia books, the more I like them.. the plots are getting more and more intricate and interesting. And I just LOVE Aslan! You get to see the theology of C.S. Lewis too!

  11. Ive never heard of any of those rumors, but I hope to death that they arent true… I really like the way he writes…. and in particular, Im really liking ythis book b/c its so true in so many ways… when I read it, I can just feel my desires how they were designed… ya know? how its supposed to be the way it is, and Im not just an over emotional being… its tight…

  12. Hey, Allison… just be on guard as you read. From what I've just read (reviews, etc.), it appears to me that Eldredge is probably not an open theist, but is definitely theologically sloppy — which can lead to some major confusion among folks who aren't trained to know the difference between good and bad theology. I know you're a smart girl, just beware of any discussion about God's character or sovereignty.

    I'll be home in two weeks!!! 🙂

  13. Honestly, I think there is a lot that is worthy in Eldridge's books. He's not teaching on the doctrine of God (at least in these books). It might be more worrisome if that were his focus. I enjoyed Captivating and recommended it.

    I, too, have read several of the selections you recommended. I'd add “Memoirs of a Geisha”, if you haven't read that. I read it many years ago, but remember that it was great. A book that I love that hardly anyone has heard of is “The Physician”. It's by an author named Gordon and is a fabulous historical novel, spanning cultures and continents by following an orphan boy from Wales who sets out with a caravan of Jews to ultimately study medicine in Persia. I think it's set in the 1500's or something like that… “The Good Earth” is also a great classic.

    One of the books on my reading list this summer is “The Feminist Mistake”—sounds fascinating.

  14. Oh yea, def.
    I guess you can never be too sure with “self-help” type books. I was a bit hesitant at first to read Captivating, everyone is talking about it, but its turning out to be some really good stuff, that I believe to be honestly true… It really really is a great book. You should really check it out!!

    Is there going to be a MAD this year>?

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