On My Summer Reading List: 10+ Books to Visit this Summer 14

I have really been focusing on getting my little ones reading this summer and they have been doing great!! We read together every day and they are loving it!!

kshelton / Pixabay

Over the past few years, though, I haven’t been reading as much.  I used to be a voracious reader, and then suddenly there wasn’t as much time (or I didn’t take it).  So, I decided to put a few books on my summer reading list.  Here are some that either I have read or want to read this summer, in no particular order:

1.  Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I have wanted to read Lindbergh for quite some time, and I love what her daughter Reeve says in the introduction: “The book makes it possible to quiet down and rest in the present, no matter what the circumstance my be.  Just to read it–a little of it or in its entirety–is to exist for a while in a different and more peaceful tempo.”

I lived by the sea for a year.  I remember the first time I went out in a small boat.  We entered from the river and as soon as we were on the sea, I felt it.  Really.  I felt it.  There is a heaviness to the sea, but a peace.  A comfort.  A rolling cadence that seems to drag your heartbeat and breathing together as one.  I was lucky enough to live in a condo that overlooked the ocean.  I would turn on the wood burning stove and leave the sliding glass door open.  I can sometimes still hear the waves.  It is something that cannot be described, but must be experienced.  

I hope you all get the opportunity to sleep by the sea sometime in your lives.  Leave the door open.

PDPhotos / Pixabay

2.  Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman

I have read this work before by Seligman.  I seem to relate to this crotchety old guy in some manner.  Perhaps because my natural tendency is to see the negative, but I am desperately striving for the positive.  I think this deserves a reread.


3.  Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate

I read this several years ago and ran across it again at my mother’s house.  I decided it was definitely worth a reread.


4.  Beauty and Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Again, these are books that take me back.  They are a classic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and I read them both as a young college student and they hold fond memories. Definitely worth a reread.


5.  Hadley-Hadley Benson By Jody Wind Durfee

This is my most recent read.  It was wonderful, enjoyable and over too quickly.  It gives you some perspective on life and faith.  One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from Indira Ghandi: “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”  What a great reminder to us all.  I think adults, young adults and teens would enjoy this book.

This was especially nice because I am acquainted with the author.  Thank you Jody for filling my summer evening with a thoughtful and enjoyable story.


6.  When Bad Things Happen to Good People and When All You’ve Wanted Isn’t Enough by Harold Kushner

This takes me back to my college days.  I was at BYU when Rabbi Kushner came to speak.  I had read several of his books and was so excited that he would come to the center of Mormon Valley.  I still remember what he said when he began.  He said, “I think this is the only place in the world where I would be considered a gentile.”  (paraphrase).  He was delightful.  His books are thoughtful, honest, and filled with meaning for anyone searching.

I even took my book down for him to sign and he graciously did.  I just wish I knew where that book was…


7.  Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson

This is a book on creating positivity in your life and the research that shows how good it is for you!  Dr. Fredrickson has shown how being positive, and practicing it daily can help you flourish.  I read this last year, but need a little positivity now.  Worth a reread.


8.  Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

After watching the movie, I would really like to read the book.  I should have done it before (I know) but I didn’t.  Maybe it will make the book that much more enjoyable!

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9.  “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber

I know this is really a short story, but it counts as reading!!  I read this story as a teen.  When I watched the movie (I very much realize they are not the same…), I enjoyed it so much!  I really wanted to go back and revisit Thurber’s work.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the film (I know it’s not Thurber…but even movies can have great quotes):

From Life magazine’s motto:  “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”


10.  The Scriptures.

This should have been first, but I placed it last on purpose.  It is a good reminder of what should be the last thing on our minds as we head off into the world.

I have been reading the scriptures in the morning with my children.  I find that when I do so regularly, my life is filled with greater peace, comfort, and strength.  I also find that I am more able to distinguish promptings from the Spirit, and this helps me regularly through my day.  I cannot tell you the strength I get from doing this regularly.


What is on your summer reading list?  Read anything fantastic lately?  Be sure to let me know in the comments.  Maybe I can add a few more to my list!


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Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul.I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!
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About Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul. I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!

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14 thoughts on “On My Summer Reading List: 10+ Books to Visit this Summer

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      I am excited to read Heaven is for Real. I did enjoy the movie. How exciting that you got to read it right from the publisher. I love a good book!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      I love a good book. I sometimes get too busy and lose my reading time, but I need to remember how much joy and peace it brings me. You can always visit a new place in a book. Thanks for stopping over and have a wonderful weekend!!

  • Reply

    I loved that ‘Heaven is Real’ book… also I see you have the Positivity book on there.. A few years ago when I needed a positive boost, I started a thankful journal. Each night (or whenever I remember) I write down 10 things I am thankful for. Big or small.. no matter how petty. Then you go to bed with happy thoughts… it really made a difference for me! 🙂 have a great day!
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    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Lauren, I love that. I have done a gratitude list off and on, and it is such a beautiful way to stay centered on what is good and right in our lives. It does make a difference. Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      I am reading it right now. There is a peace and it is written almost like poetry. Beautiful! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy your summer reading!

  • Reply

    I’m always a sucker for reading lists and book suggestions. I’m glad I found you (through a link up). I will have to check these out and pick a few. I’m in a reading slump. I can’t stick with anything, which is so unlike me. Take care and have a good week.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Michal, I have been in reading slumps as well. I used to read anything and fast, but lately I have had a hard time focusing!! Must be brain overload. I think that is why my book list includes some easy reads. I need that right now. Thanks for stopping over!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      OK. Your post on cream cheese chicken enchilada nachos is just making my mouth water. I am heading over there now!! Thanks for stopping by here!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      You do have to prescreen books for the kiddos now, right? I agree. Thanks for stopping by. I have been on vacation for a few days, so getting caught up again!!