It’s summertime and time to relax, chill by the pool, soak up some rays and go on vacation. On those days when it’s just too hot to get out or perhaps when you need some down time, pick up a book and take the opportunity to dive into some good reads. Here are our list of suggestions of both new and old favorites.Click to see Brittany Senseman's List
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
A perennial favorite of mine chronicling Jane’s difficult life and eventual acceptance of her whole self – body, mind, and spirit!
No Drama Discipline (workbook by Dan Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD)
Practical advice for disciplining children based on brain research. Nerdy and helpful all at the same time!
Brain Rules (John Medina, PhD)
Highly scientific, but easy to read book about how our brains work and how we can optimize them.
Boundaries (Cloud & Townsend)
This classic book gets into the details of how to draw effective boundaries in a variety of relationships (Christian worldview).
Harmony (Caroline Parkhurst)
A contemporary novel about a family who changes their entire lives to help one of their children, who has behavioral issues. A wonderful story, and speaks to the great lengths parents will go for their kids.
How to Walk Away (Katherine Center)
Contemporary novel set in Austin about a young business school graduate who sustains a life-altering injury in an accident. Heartbreaking and heart warming, funny and generous. A great summer read.
Present Over Perfect (Shauna Nyquist)
A memoir that talks about how our lives would be different if we lived more in the moment, and worried less about the things that don’t really matter in the long run.
Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say (Kelly Corrigan)
Non-fiction essays by the hilarious and honest author, about 12 powerful phrases we use to strengthen and sustain relationships.
Everybody, Always. Becoming Love in a World full of Setbacks and Difficult People (Bob Goff)
A follow-up to Love Does, this book is inspiring and entertaining as it talks about loving others without inhibition or restriction.
Gospel Treason (Brad Bigney)
A practical resource for those interested in identifying what is holding them back in their spiritual growth. It is both convicting and encouraging. I found it to be very helpful in illuminating hidden motives and underlying character issues that I want to change and heal.
Stronger Than You Think (Kim Gaines Eckert)
Written by a Psychologist and counselor, this book is an excellent resource for anyone who has believed the lies that they are not good enough or are unworthy of love and belonging. By combining a Christian worldview as well as clinical expertise, the author presents practical and relevant tools for growth and healing. It is also wonderful to work through in a group setting.
The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
This beautifully written memoir is about a deeply dysfunctional family system and one child’s struggle to love and accept her parents while also breaking free from their destructive patterns. It’s a remarkable story of resilience and redemption.
The Meaning of Marriage (Timothy & Kathy Keller)
This is my absolute favorite book on marriage! It is helpful for both married and single people who want to better understand a Biblical perspective on God’s intention for the covenant of marriage. It presents a strong theological foundation as well as very practical applications for couples facing the complexities of married life.
The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (Matthew B Crawford)
This is basically a philosophy book by a fascinating guy who doubles as a philosopher and a motorcycle mechanic. He talks about the ways that technology has caused us to become disconnected from our world and, therefore, from ourselves. Get ready for a dense but (in my opinion) enjoyable read.
Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty)
This is a fun, girlie novel that also hits on some tough topics like sexual assault and domestic abuse, concealed within picture-perfect suburban lives.
Bold Love (Dan Allender & Tremper Longman)
This is a book about love, obviously. But it talks about scenarios in which love can be very difficult and also can look very different from what we might expect. It talks about how to love people who have wronged us, people who are foolish and untrustworthy, or even people who are downright evil.
Harry Potter (J K Rowling)
Just read this whole series. It has everything: good vs evil, courage, friendship, self-sacrifice, mother (and father) love, triumph, grief, and a happy ending. It’s magical.
Anticancer Living (Lorenzo Cohen & Alison Jefferies)
This is really a book about more than cancer. It talks about the many facets of our lives that influence our biological health, including our diet, sleep, stress, and relationships. The author is a researcher at MD Anderson who has solid, scientifically researched info to share. I find this book incredibly inspiring and motivating when it comes to making choices about my lifestyle.
Hillbilly Elegy (J.D. Vance)
The tagline is “a memoir of a family and culture in crisis.” The author presents a healthy dose of the realities of poverty, addiction, and class divisions in modern America by telling his own story of growing up in Appalachia. [Warning: adult themes and language]
The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah)
Novel about two sisters lives during WWll and their fight of survival.
The Whole Brain Child (Daniel J Siegel)
This book explains the science of how a child’s brain is wired to help parents respond in helpful healthy ways.
Mark of the Lion Series (Francine Rivers)
Three Biblical historical fiction novels about the life of a young Jewish girl captured to become a slave in the Roman Empire and a German soldier captured to become a gladiator and how their lives intermingle.