Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thoughts on Summer Reading . . .

It's pretty important to me to have a summer reading list. I make a monthly list every month, but when summer comes, I make a huge list for all the days I call "summer" (usually June, July, August). I try to go for 25 books in a summer, including one thick juicy classic (usually Dickens), and a variety of others.

Here is what I'll be reading this summer:

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
On Asking God Why by Elisabeth Elliot
From Homer to Harry Potter, a Handbook on Myth and Fantasy by Matthew Dickerson
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper
The Civil War by Shelby Foote (at least part of the 3-volume series)
*Edit: Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, per the suggestion of Christen and Karen*

That's what I've got so far! I'm up for suggestions! What will you be reading? I'd be happy to make you a personalized reading list. . .


Tony Kummer said...

I'm guessing LifeWay doesn't carry all those titles?

Are you going to do a review on the final Potter book? I wish more Christians would. It seems like people I know still want to burn them. I've read the others and found a lot that was well done.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't thought too much about summer reading yet, though I'm waiting to get Shepherding a Child's Heart and You Can Teach Your Child Successfully from the library. I'm also currently reading Any Child Can Write.

I looked back on the past school year and will do a post on 100 books, similar to the post you did last December. The 100 books will be my 100th post (I'm at 98 now)!

MadMup said...

I don't read near as much as I used to nor as much as I should. This looks like a great balanced list, Gret, and includes one of my favorites - Mockingbird.

My absolute favorite is "Of Mice and Men," but it can be too foul for some folk. Recommended with a caution :)

Hindto said...

I haven't compiled a 'list' yet but have a stack started. The list will come after school is done. Trying to finish the year well. This is what I have sitting here waiting to be read.

The Shaping of a Christian Family: Elisabeth Elliot

What Jesus Demands from the World: John Piper

Team of Rivals: The political Genius of Abraham Lincoln:
Doris Kearns Goodwin

What is Reformed Theology:
R.C. Sproul

Institutes for the Christian Religon: John Calvin

Johnny Tremain: Esther Forbes

Mark of the Lion Triology:
Francine Rivers

I have read this before--but its excellent historical fiction and long, so summer is a good time to read it.

GloryandGrace said...

Hindto - Mark of the Lion series is AWESOME (third book was my least favorite, but I couldn't put the first two down!!)

I just finished Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, and once things calm down around here, I'll definitely have my reading list up and running...

Gretchen said...

Tony -- I'm QUITE sure I'll write a review of #7. When #6 came out, I read it in less than 24 hours, then had no-one to talk to about it, and I wasn't in the blogosphere yet, so I wrote a review for Amazon, which quickly got lost in the shuffle of hundreds of other reviews. Likely I'll do some sort of Potter post in the summer pre-release, and then a review after I've read #7. I know what you mean, and I try to steer clear of controversy here on "Gret-reads-247", but I think I can do it "uncontroversally" :).

MR -- I have heard great things about Shepherding a Child's Heart -- it is required for a bunch of counseling classes here.

Mup -- want a list? I'll go easy on you! I mostly do 10-book summer lists. (and I LOVE Mockingbird, too! This summer I'm letting myself re-read old faves: Mockingbird, Witch of Blackbird Pond, Huck Finn).

Hindto -- You are amazing. We need to be next-door neighbors so we can share libraries! :) I read EE's Shaping last year, and it was wonderful. I ordered a bunch of books she recommends in the back, too. My husband Josh wrote a review of Team of Rivals -- he liked it a LOT! I still haven't read that one. I read Mark of the Lion last summer when we took the teens to camp in NY because I knew we'd have a LONG drive. . . I actually liked #3 BEST -- #1 was a little too "sinful", you know? Institutes?? WOW! The WHOLE thing, or abridged? You amaze me! You should write a post about your list!

Grace -- was it good? I am so very interested in that topic. You should read EE's A Path Through Suffering - I have it if you want to borrow!

Donette said...

I am so excited for the last Harry Potter to come out. I usually borrow them from our babysitter when she is done! Since I haven't bought even one yet, I probably won't start now. But even so, I may break down when it comes out!

I would also like to read Mockingbird, shamefully I admit to never having read it. It is continually on my list of what I want to read, but I get bogged down with the books I've already bought and haven't read yet!

Here's my list for summer: (I know it's short, but reading time is scarce with 2 little ones!)

Mere Christianity by the incomparable Lewis

Heaven by Randy Alcorn

War of Words by Paul Tripp

That's one a month, which is attainable for me. After I finish these, I have a list ready for Amazon!

Kevin Foflygen said...

I wrote an ode the Shane. You should read it (out loud in a Tennessee accent).

Hindto said...

I would love to read your DH review of Team of Rivals. Do you have the review I could read? I have it sitting on my shelf ready to go. Im putting it off until the end of the summer as next fall we begin with the study of the Civil War in homeschooling.

We studied the reformation this second 1/2 of the school year and we had a SS class for a quarter on the Reformation--so in that class I took the (private) challenge to read Institutes. Our teacher said something like (now he's a character, mind you) "every good Reformed Christian has read cover to cover Institutes of the Christian Religion" To which I mentally filed that away to do.

I have to agree about the 1st Mark of the Lion book. I was fortunate to have read this series as we were began our study of 1st Century Rome. I felt just engulfed in ancient Rome from reading those books. It is pretty amazing--how he goes back to Germania and evangelizes. Yes, if you can deal with the 1st one--which sets the state--it's a tremendous series.

I gotta look for your old post MRose was talking about regarding 100 books? My interest has been piqued.

Morn Rose: Shepherding a Child...is excellent. B/C you know...it truly is all about the heart, after all it is the well spring of life. You will enjoy and be challenged by this book and encouraged to take everything back to the cross of Christ. It's ALL about the Gospel.

Gretchen--hugs to you down there from up here!

Josh said...

You can find my review of Team of Rivals in my May 2006 Archive.

MadMup said...

As much as I'd be interested in what you'd prescribe, I know there's pretty much zero chance I'd get through the list this summer. Thanks for the offer, though :)

Gretchen said...

Karen -- I think Josh told you where you can read his review. My post about 100 books in 2006 is near the end of 2006 archives. I guess I we weren't blog friends yet then! :) I am still impressed by your choice in Institutes! I think that is awesome that you personally read stuff that will enhance what you're teaching the kids. Wonderful.

Mup -- WHAT? Not even a 1% chance?? Would you read ONE book? (that would be hard)

Anonymous said...

Pa-LEEEZZ make me a summer reading list...I'm out of school now...I realize I won't have tons of time to read but I need something to do on those days when I do have time...plus, if we go to the pool or something.
PS Abby says to make her one too.

James and Christen said...

I need to add a few of those to my list too! I love the "Witch of Blackbird Pond." Maybe you should add "Safely Home" to your list! :) I am almost done with my reading list for BMM! I am finishing up with "Raising Resilient MK's." (It is over 500 pages)

I am looking forward to reading books of my choice! These have been really good but my list is growing. I would like to read "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "The Joy of Discipline" and I have picked up "Loving God with All your Mind."

Have fun reading!

I am sending you a catalog of craft ideas for Camp Outt. Lots of good cowboy stuff!

Love ya - Christen

James and Christen said...

I need to add a few of those to my list too! I love the "Witch of Blackbird Pond." Maybe you should add "Safely Home" to your list! :) I am almost done with my reading list for BMM! I am finishing up with "Raising Resilient MK's." (It is over 500 pages)

I am looking forward to reading books of my choice! These have been really good but my list is growing. I would like to read "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "The Joy of Discipline" and I have picked up "Loving God with All your Mind."

Have fun reading!

I am sending you a catalog of craft ideas for Camp Outt. Lots of good cowboy stuff!

Love ya - Christend

GloryandGrace said...

Gret - I'm actually going to blog about Piper's book soon, when I have a couple of minutes to write. You are MORE than welcome to read it, and given some recent circumstances, I have been especially encouraged in reading it. Let me know when you've finished the Elisabeth Elliot book - maybe we can just trade the two!

Hindto said...

eOkay, I thought I was done posting here and then I read the last entry about reading Safely Home. OMG--I read that on the way to Hawaii in February. It is a MUST read.

Randy Alcorn is the author and the story is basically about persecuted Christians in China.

My great-grandparents (maternal side) were pioneer missionaries to China (during the Boxer Rebellion) One of my grandpa's sisters, Hilda, was clubbed to death in a school house w/other children by these Chinese Radicals, while some of his other siblings escaped. Reading this book, although fiction, gave me such a respect and burden to pray for missionaries in closed countries. They truly lay down their lives for the call of Christ.

Randy Alcorn states at the opening of his book, that while this if fiction, many of the situations and events are based on factual information he has read/gathered and names were changed to protect. This is all from memory--as it's been several months since I've read it--so don't quote me on his intro, it said something like that.

I've recommended this book to many friends and if you haven't read it yet....I highly recommed it!

Hindto said...

Oh, anyone read Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss?

This is also a must read if you've never read it.

MadMup said...

It's possible I might get through one book... but I'm already in the middle of two and I have been for some time!

Gretchen said...

Emma, I get on that straightaway. And Abby, too.

Grace -- sure, let's trade for awhile. I read "Path through Suffering" a couple years ago, and reread parts from time to time.

Christen -- thanks for the craft ideas! I'll pass it on to Emily. I will add Safely Home to my summer list. I REALLY want to read it! I remember you said it was amazing! (watch for the edit on this post, I'll add it to my list!).

Karen -- I'll take your advice. I enjoy fiction that has a strong message, especially if it by a strong author! Side note: our music director at church is the nephew of George and Betty Stam who were killed in the 50's in China when the communists took over. They are fairly "famous" martyrs. And . . . YES! I have read Stepping Heavenward! I just read it in April, and lent it to Grace. It is EXCELLENT! It will be on my sister's reading lists! (seriously, we need to meet. . . this is ridiculous!) :)

Mup -- what are you in the middle of? Have you read the "Bone" books? For some reason I would think you'd like them. But maybe you don't dig graphic novels.

MadMup said...

I've got a whole shelf of Batman graphic novels that would tell you I do :)

But, no, I haven't read the Bone books, and the books I'm in the middle of are pretty much fluff.

sara said...

Hi Gretchen! Thanks for the reading under a tree with the kids idea- sounds like a good plan!

I would recommend Safely Home too (BEST BOOK EVER!!!!)

Thanks so much for the encouraging comment about my homeschooling book idea! I will go straight to the library to find the book you recommended. I'll let you know how things progress on the book project.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestions on children's books. Skinnybones sounds like something my boys would like, and I may have to read The Hundred Dresses for myself! Today I started my post on 100 books from this past year. I'm glad we read 100!

Kelley said...

I noticed you have Living the Cross Centered Life on your list. Excellent read!!! I read it right before I went out to visit Kevin. It only took me a couple days and I could hardly put it down. I'm sure you'll have it done in a day! :)

I'm in the middle of Under a War Torn Sky by L.M. Elliot right now. I started it over Memorial Day but didn't get to finish. I only have 100 pages left and am dying to finish it! Great little book! I'd never heard of it before, just found it in a used book store in DC and it looked interesting. Oh, but I should warn that I think there are a few lightly touched on objectionable thoughts in the book. Always gotta put my disclaimer in when I say a book is great. :)