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The Great Big Her.meneutics Summer Reading Listhypotekyfidler / Flickr

The Great Big Her.meneutics Summer Reading List

Jul 2 2014
Beyond chick lit: Books actually worth reading and savoring during lazy summer days.

Time to fire up your e-readers, update your Amazon wishlists, or head to the local bookstore: We have dozens of summer book recommendations to inspire, educate, distract, and enchant. Despite the connotation of a "summer read," we don't skip over the good stuff for guilty pleasures during the summer months. Here you'll find stirring fiction, deep devotionals, historic reads, poetry, biography, and more.

Enjoy our picks and share yours in the comments. Happy reading!

For when your devotional life is wilting in the heat: Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.

On vacation I pause my chapter-by-chapter daily Bible reading and spend the week focusing on one particular passage. This year, I'm looking forward to using Women of the Word to guide my reading. Wilkin is simple, practical, and unapologetic about the plain hard work of Bible study—just what I need to get my head out of those fluffy white clouds.

- Megan Hill

For a good listen on a long roadtrip: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is dark and brooding, but it is so extraordinarily well-crafted. Tartt masterfully portrays the fragility of human existence and the terror of facing it without faith. I heartily recommend the audiobook—that is, if you have 32 hours to spare.

- Jen Pollock Michel

For those who are craving grace:Home by Marilynne Robinson.

If you've never gotten around to reading Gilead by the same author, you needn't do so in order to enjoy Home, which can be understood as a retelling of the Prodigal Son. For anyone who has ever loved someone who seemed to be unredeemably lost, and for anyone who has ever felt themselves wandering in search of home, this book is a balm.

- Rachel Marie Stone

For grown-up English majors: The Whole Five Feet by Christopher Beha.

This memoir takes us through the year Beha decided to read the Harvard Classics in their entirety. In addition to a meditation on the value of reading, Beha weaves together thoughts on faith, family, and what matters in life in a remarkable readable story. (I'm also looking forward to Beha's new novel Arts and Entertainments, out in July.)

- Amy Julia Becker

For the hard-working woman: The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley and Nora Shank.

I often struggle to find purpose in my work as a stay-at-home mom, and while the book discusses varying types of work, I was helped by the emphasis on seasons of a woman's life. I felt free to embrace my season with young children without having to do everything I want to do before I'm 40.

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The Great Big Her.meneutics Summer Reading List