Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Reading

Growing up, summer meant lots of time to read. And though I wasn't much of a reader back then, the summer reading program at my local library lured me to read with promises of a certificate and a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. But more than the certificate and pizza, I think it was the competitiveness of reading lots of books over a short period of time that captured my interest.

Last fall, the stack of books I wanted to read grew as I prepared and taught class each week. All work and no reading made me one unhappy gal. I promised myself I could read for pleasure as soon as all the grading was done in January.

But then, I started the Beth Moore study on Esther (which was fantastic), a study on Psalms with my small group, and the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class. Obviously, I had a little trouble saying "no," except when it came to my reading my stack, which sat untouched.

But now the time has come. Actually, I started a bit early. After I finished reading and reviewing Sticks and Stones, I read Words That Hurt, Words That Heal by Carole Mayhall during April and underlined a ton in that little gem. Definitely one to read.

Next up was 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey, which I mentioned in a previous post.

Then, I read Loving People by Dr. John Townsend. Another one to buy so you can underline.

My friend Krista had recommended Sacred Influence as a good book to read before marriage. I read it last week and underlined a ton in it as well. (There's a theme here: If it's nonfiction, I buy it to highlight in it.)

And most recently, I read When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. In a word = AMAZING! Beautiful character development. Powerful story. And as I watched the pages dwindle in the span of a day, I secretly wished that the book was 2,000 pages long instead of 342 because I didn't want it to end. And now, I find myself missing the characters.

So that's what I've been doing. I hope to keep up the pace and read a book a week to put a dent in my stack. In the immediate queue are Gifted Hands by Ben Carson with Cecil Murphey, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day by Mark Batterson, the Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers, Cold Tangerines, and hopefully many others.

But knowing my tendency to set a goal like this and then pursue it with all of my being, I have already had to set some boundaries. Those require me to make sure that I use the summer to invest in relationships with my real friends, not just characters in books. I've already planned some get-togethers with friends over the next few weeks and hope to plan more. Hopefully this outlook will help keep me balanced.

Most, if not all, of the books on my to-read list came as recommendations from friends. So what books do you want to read or do you recommend?


BJ Hamrick said...

Aha! Someone else who was bribed into reading by Pizza Hut. :) Great picks for summer reading.

kasogayle said...

My kids picked up their summer reading logs yesterday at the library. I don't think they use pizza to lure them in's a whole gift bag full of stuff!

You made me want to put "When Crickets Cry" on my summer reading list!

michelle said...

love it! I'll buy you a personal pan pizza if you read them all.

Krista said...

Wow girl-- Oh to read like you!! See the problem with me, is I would read When Crickets Cry AGAIN-- ruining any time for new stuff. So glad you loved that one. Wrapped in Rain by him will be my beach read this summer. I want to hear about one I see in your stack and pre marriage or post marriage, I need to read Sacred Influence over and over.

Jean said...

Wow! You're quite a reader. I'm printing your list out to add to my MUST READ list.