[Today’s post “Great Summer Reads for Moms” was written by contributor Michelle Habrych.]
I have always loved reading. It started as a young girl and continued into my adult years. There were a few years where I don’t remember reading much—those would probably be the preschool and early elementary years of my two teenagers—but then a friend decided to start a book club for moms. That reignited my passion for reading! I now read an average of close to 50 books a year, including Bible studies, textbooks from which I’m teaching, and audio books. Here are some summer reading recommendations for moms.
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman is a wonderful example of how a good story can transcend cultural differences in more ways than one. Bachman is a Swedish author, and this best-selling novel made him an international success. I first encountered this author because we read another of his books for my book club (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry). Ove tells the story of a curmudgeon who bristles whenever someone or something disrupts his routine. Not too far into the story, it is learned that something has happened in Ove’s life to make him no longer want to live. Being the way he is, however, makes it difficult for Ove to end his life on his terms. Things keep coming up which stop him, and he gets pulled, almost kicking and screaming, into the lives of his new neighbors, as well as the others he encounters. This is a heartwarming story that had me laughing out loud, as well as crying.
Other fiction that would make for great summer reading includes these books: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, and Austenland by Shannon Hale.
A lot of historical fiction is available centering around World War II, and I’ve read a bunch of it. One book that I keep sharing with people is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This book is an epistolary novel, meaning it’s entirely composed of letters. Don’t let that put you off, though. It was for my book club, so I had to keep going, despite my initial aversion to the idea of telling a story through letters. Potato Peel Pie hooked us all in with the emotional story of people living on the tiny island of Guernsey as it is occupied by the Nazis during WWII. I may re-read it this summer since it’s been five years since I first enjoyed it. Other recommended WWII historical fiction books include The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
If you prefer non-fiction and want to better understand your pre-teens and teens, I recommend For Parents Only: Getting Inside the Head of Your Kid by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice. This is a light, quick read which you may use as a reference through the turbulent teen years to have an idea of what is going on in your child’s brain. The authors share results of their surveys of over a thousand teenagers, helping parents to see the reasoning behind the behaviors which don’t seem to make sense. I saw Shaunti speak at Hearts and Home and had a light-bulb moment as she discussed how the teen brain works regarding perceived loss of freedom. I’ve already loaned it out twice since reading it.
History and Biography
Other non-fiction books I have enjoyed in recent years revolve around historical events or people. If you want to spend time reading a well-written true story which reads like a novel, here are some recommendations: The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt, Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Lauren Hillenbrand, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson, The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough, and One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. I have found that reading these types of books helps my understanding when we are studying the time period, and piques the interest of my teens too.
There are many more books I’d share with you if I had the room here! You may follow me (Michelle) on Goodreads if you’d like more reviews.
Michelle Habrych reads whenever she has free time and is not often found without a book. Her favorite authors are Liane Moriarty, Frederik Bachman, Sarah Addison Allen, Fannie Flagg, Nicholas Sparks, David McCullough, and Jane Austen. Not all of the material in these books is suitable for all readers. Please use your own discretion.
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