Summer Reading Recomendations

I walk to the garbage can, lift the lid and toss the book in. It is a hard cover, too. I think about doing it after reading only a few pages but it feels kind of wrong to throw away a nearly new book. Know what I mean?

Finally, though, I can’t read another word.

I’ve read oodles of books over the years, in every genre imaginable, but never once thought of throwing a book in the trash. This book gave new meaning to the word “garbage”.

I stare down into the trash can. The book sprawls across old coffee grounds and watermelon rinds. I feel a twinge guilty but even more empowered. Is that weird?

Good summer books are hard to find sometimes.

Since it’s already mid-summer (gasp!) you might be experiencing two things:

  1. You (like me) are probably in need of a great beach/pool read.
  2. You might be feeling a little stale in your spiritual life (the summer break in routine can do that to the best of us).

I have a solution to both: some fabulous books that are both inspiring and great reads, too.

As I type these words our family is enjoying the last days of our vacation get away; I know what it’s like to comb the shelves for something good to read while you’re doing a little summer chillin’. Although I haven’t found many great summer reads yet (though one was pretty good), last year I hit the jackpot.

Typically I read Christian non-fiction during the school year and fiction during the summer. Last summer, though, I shook it up (for me, anyway) and read some awe-inspiring autobiographies. They left me encouraged. They left me motivated. They made me want to keep reading page after page. I was sad to see each one end. That’s when you know you’ve read a great book.

Best of all, though, they made me want to love and follow Jesus more than I already do.

So in the spirit of summer reading you won’t want to throw in the trash, here’s my list:

  1. The Hiding Place A classic. Written years ago, but timeless. It’s the true story of Corrie ten Boom and her family’s quest to hide Jews during World War II. I read it eons ago but loved it as much the second (or third?) time around.
  2. Same Kind of Different as Me This one was a best-seller and book club favorite.  I loved the writing style as well as the message.
  3. Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me Dubbed “a memoir…of sorts”. You’ll think what in the world??!! as you read this guy’s life story. Some parts made me laugh out loud.
  4. Left to Tell Intense, but a great book. I was wowed and learned so much about the war in Rwanda. And people.
  5. The Girl in the Song You might find this one encouraging if you’re praying for a prodigal child.
  6. Unbroken If you missed the movie, read the book. The story is incredible.

These are a few of my top recommendations for inspiring summer reads. What are yours? I would love to know. Fiction. Non-fiction. If you have a great recommendation, we’d all like to know, so leave a comment.

That way I won’t be throwing anymore books in the trash.



  1. Sue Dietsche

    Well, let’s start with you! Donna, the Lord keeps using your words to speak to my heart. Sometimes the timing is plain unbelievable – exactly what I need, when I need it. Thank you for sharing your heart and wisdom! The best book for me to suggest is “You’ll Get Through This” by Max Lucado. It’s based on Joseph in the Old Testament – amazing lessons! I read it last year and it changed my life. Every day I would greet my sweet husband at the door with “Wait until you hear what Max said today!”. It didn’t take long for him to get his own copy! I’m blessed to be one of four leaders of a weekly Bible study at church. So when we met last summer to pray and choose the books for the year, you know what I recommended. Once again, God used it in my life and those in the group. Donna, please know that the Lord is using you to further His Kingdom and bless many of us along the way. May He bless you for your faithfulness to Him. With a grateful heart, Sue

    1. First, thanks for your encouraging words, Sue. You touched my heart. And I love the book recommendation. Joseph is one of my favorite Bible characters; Max Lucado one of my favorite writers, so I’m definitely getting the book. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  2. You are right on Donna! What you read feeds your heart, mind and soul. Please consider Rejoice Christian Bookstore in Mission Viejo California if you happen to live in the local area. They have almost all of the titles mentioned and more. Help keep your Local Christian store around! We also carry terrific titles by Donna and J.P. Jones. Happy Summer Reading!

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