Summer Reading

877268_55080226I love to read all year but it just seems as though there is a little bit more time in the summer. Now personally, my favorite spot to read is under an umbrella, on a tropical beach, with a very slight breeze. Of course, I live in Minnesota so that doesn’t really happen very often. But, on a nice summer day I can be just as happy sitting outside or on our screen porch pretending that I’m on a beach someplace.

I am always interested in what other people are reading and thought maybe this would be a good place for us to chat about books.

I’ll be honest, novels are my favorites and I recently finished a series of books that I loved. Generally I like to read Christian fiction in an effort to avoid sleazy scenes but a friend recommended a series of books called the White House Chef Mystery Series by Julie Hyzy. I loved this series. Each book focuses on Ollie (Olivia Paras), who works as a chef in the White House Kitchen. Before she even gets into the kitchen in State of the Onion, the first book in the series, Ollie finds herself smack dab in the middle of a foot chase between an intruder and the Secret Service across the White House lawn. Let’s just say that Ollie often finds herself in the midst of trouble. What I liked about the series, all told from Ollie’s perspective, is the mysteries aren’t so intense that you find yourself unable to sleep and there is a fun look into the “behind the scenes” of the White House kitchen and how it runs. Of course, I recognize that it’s fiction but it’s still pretty fascinating to read about all the things that White House chefs have to think about as they prepare meals not only for the president and his family, but also for State dinners, and visiting dignitaries. As an added bonus, for those who like to cook, there are some great looking recipes at the end of each book. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a great deal of humor mixed into the drama of the stories. And no sleazy scenes.

Another genre of books that I enjoy is biographies. Seriously, people are fascinating. I don’t know if you saw the movie The Vow but I was a tad bit disappointed when I saw it. My dissatisfaction stemmed from the fact that even though I’d heard it was a Christian couple that inspired the movie, their faith was totally left out of it.  So, when I saw that The Vow; The True Events that Inspired the Movie was available on Kindle for next to nothing I decided to splurge on “the rest of the story.” The true story of Krickitt and Kim Carpenter was and is an amazing story of love, hope, and undying love. In case you don’t remember the movie, Krickitt and Kim had been married less than a year when they were in a serious collision that left Krickitt in a coma and later with amnesia that completely blocked the past 18 months from her life. She had, and still has, no recollection of marrying Kim, but that didn’t stop him from standing beside her through some incredibly challenging times honoring the vow he’d made on their wedding day. I had a hard time putting this book down. I highly recommend it.

Of course, every now and again I like to dig into a book that will help me grow spiritually. I’d heard great things about Frances Chan’s books so when they were all available for free on Kindle last year I took advantage of the opportunity and downloaded them. I decided to start with his book titled Forgotten God, but, I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous to read this book subtitled Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Different denominations have differing opinions of the role of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life and I was afraid that we might have opposing views on this topic. That was not the case but what I can tell you is this, Frances Chan does not mince words. If you are looking to be challenged in your faith, this is a great book. It left me with a new thirst to depend more of the Holy Spirit in my life.

How about you, what are you reading this summer? I’d love to hear what you recommend.