2015 Summer Reading List

Recently, I shared our family’s Summer of Learning plans. I think the summer is the perfect time to start new habits and learn new skills because we don’t have to compete with a million other things that are going on during the rest of the year.

This summer, in an effort to nourish my poor thought-deprived mind, I am committing to read for 30 minutes every day. When I’m reading books of substance — not trash that I escape laundry and hide from children in order to read — but books that stretch me and make me grow, then I actually have something beautiful, lovely, and life-giving to offer my children.

2015 Summer Reading List

But it requires making time for it. Who has any extra time? Well, we all have 24 hours in a day, so it’s a matter of setting aside 30 minutes solely to read. Not surf the net, not check Facebook or Pinterest, not watch TV, not fold laundry — Just read. {Just to be clear this is 30 minutes in addition to daily Bible reading. }

Charlotte Mason, the late 19th century British educator, recommended keeping 3 books going simultaneously:

  1. a stiff book
  2. a moderately easy book; and
  3. a novel

She also suggested taking up the one you most feel fit for in the moment. I currently have 3 books going: a mothering/homeschool one, a parenting one, and a Christian self-help book.

One of my favorite CM bloggers — Brandy of Afterthoughts — has a recent post entitled “The Summer 2015 Mother Culture Reading List” in which she shares her own very nice recommendations for each category. I’m drawing 1-2 books from each as well as a few others, and this summer I’m committing to starting this new CM habit to cultivate my own mother culture. I also plan to reread some homeschool books for inspiration as I plan for the new school year ahead.

Here are the books on my 2015 Summer Reading List according to each category:

A Stiff Book

These books require thought, quiet and concentration. They aren’t “quick reads” and I can’t read one while the girls play in the next room. But, just tackling one book for 10-15 minutes a day is worth something.

Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray — Required reading for CBS but one I’ve had on my to-read list for awhile.

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton — On Brandy’s list.

The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater — We’re going to start notebooking this fall, so I’m eager to read this book.

A Moderately Easy Book

These books require a little less thought but we’re still going to get something out of them. Mine are all nonfiction and pertain to homeschooling.

For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home & School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (a reread) — My friend Gabby mentioned this book last year, and after reading it, I realized this book will be one I come back to year after year.

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer (just pertinent sections) — Like Macaulay’s book above, this book is one I’ll read each year for planning purposes.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto — Another book on Brandy’s list and one I’ve been wanting to read for some time after I heard Gatto speak on this video.

Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson — My friend Sarah and I are having a little Book Club and going through this book together.

A Novel

Even though they are fiction, these books are not twaddle. They still invoke thoughts of beauty and goodness as you read them and will grow you in their own unique ways.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak — From Brandy’s list & a New York Times bestseller

The Complete Father Brown Stories by G. K. Chesterton — Also Brandy’s but recommended by another blogger I admire.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien — My husband and I recently watched the final movie in the Hobbit trilogy, so I figured it was high time I reread the book.

Okay, that’s a lofty list for summer reading, but I’m going to aim high and maybe I’ll get through a few of them. If I’m reading for at least 30 minutes a day, then it’s possible 🙂 Ultimately, though, I want to establish a new habit of daily reading. How about you?

I’m curious…

  • Do you make your own personal Summer Reading List, or do you select books spontaneously?
  • Do you read more than 1 book at a time? Are they of different genres? complexities?
  • What are YOU currently reading?



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  1. I love this! I just read the Hobbit for the first time and really enjoyed it. Now reading the Fellowship of the Ring. I have the Well trained Mind – that would be a good one to pick up. I think I may be reading about five books right now. I so love reading different books at the same time. Thanks for sharing your list!

    • I do too, Salena! Sometimes I’m in the mood for adventure, other times I’m needing spiritual nourishment or answers to parenting struggles. Right now I don’t have a novel going on and it’s driving me nuts!! Guess I need to get started on my list 🙂
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