Since being on this great American road trip, I’ve had nothing but time to read… and read… and read… And it’s been GREAT! In nearly every town I visit, there’s a “Free Library” (you know, the cute little libraries on the side of the road). And at almost every campground, there’s a library filled with books campers have left behind! So, while traveling I’ve picked up a lot of great books I never would have discovered otherwise. Here are the books that I’ve read this summer (so far). 😎
There’s a good mixture here, some religion/philosophical books, some fantasy, some mystery, and some crime. I’ll break them up into two categories.
Books that will make you think
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism | Timothy Keller
If you’re a Christian who also believes in science, faith can be hard at times. Have you ever caught yourself wondering why God lets bad things happen? (Cancer, job loss, wars, mass shootings.) Are you a believer of science, evolution, dinosaur fossils, The Big Bang? Then this is the book for you.
The best part, is that this book doesn’t try to prove God’s existence, it simply makes excellent arguments for why it is reasonable to believe in God. Amazing, amazing book. I highlighted it from beginning to end. I can’t wait to reread it!
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose | Eckhart Tolle
No matter your religious or spiritual background, I think it’s safe to say everybody strives to live a better life and build a better world. This book brings in philosophical thinkers and religious leaders to contemplate the reasons for human suffering, egotistical mindsets, and how to heal your heart in order to find your purpose in this life. (Hint: get rid of your ego, and you’ll find that enjoying life and prospering is much, much easier)
This is another highlight-every-single-word type of book, and I think to really grasp it, I’ll need to read it twice over. But Tolle is an incredible writer, so I’ll find no problem with this 😊
Untamed | Lisa Harper
If you’ve ever sat through a church sermon, you’ll notice how a great pastor/preacher weaves their own life experiences in with biblical teaching. Why do they do this? Because it makes relating to the bible so much easier. In doing this, you’re able to take bits and pieces of the bible and apply them directly to your own life.
That is exactly what it feels like reading Untamed. It feels like I’m one-on-one with Harper, getting a really good and personable teaching of the bible and how to best live my life the way God intended – free and full of joy.
Books to read for fun
The Great Alone | Kristin Hannah
I first mentioned this book when I was getting ready for my road trip, and since then I’ve finished it and fallen in love with a new author. Before picking up this book, I’d never heard of Kristin Hannah, but now she’s easily one of my favorites.
The Great Alone follows a family to the ends of the earth. The father of the family is a former POW, who suffers from PTSD and takes his outbursts out on his family. In an attempt to try and salvage their relationship, he decides to move them to Alaska. There, they face the dangerous Alaskan wilderness AND his wildness. It’s an incredible book about survival, love, family, and how far you’d go to protect yourself from yourself.
It’s so beautifully written. This is definitely one of those books I’ll keep forever.
Magic Hour | Kristin Hannah
After I finished The Great Alone, I went to the store and picked up the first Kristin Hannah book I could find. Magic Hour is all about struggling to put the past behind to move forward when life’s obstacles stand in the way. A girl appears from deep within the Olympia forest. She can’t speak, she’s alone, and she doesn’t know who she is. The local police chief decides to call her sister in for help – a child psychiatrist who is trying to make it past a scandal that left her career in ruins.
Magic Hour is full of twists and left me guessing until the very end. If you love mystery/crime stories, this is a really great one!
The Child | Fiona Barton
The Child is the second book in a series, but it’s written in a way so that you don’t necessarily need to read the first book to understand this one (you know what I mean?).
In this book, a newborn’s skeleton is found at a construction site, and a journalist investigates. It’s a great crime novel written by a former journalist! As she investigates further, she finds out more and more than she wanted, including things she didn’t want unearthed. It kept me turning pages until the very end.
If you’re interested, the first book is The Widow (and it’s amazing)
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone | J.K. Rowling
I’m extremely late to the party, I KNOW. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, I’ve seen the movies (at least a dozen times), I’ve been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, taken the sorting hat quiz countless times in hopes that I’d be in Gryffindor (I’m still Hufflepuff every single time). BUT I’ve never read the books. I picked up the first one and finished it in a day, and I can’t wait to find the second one! ⚡️
Vanishing Acts | Jodi Picoult
I’m a huge Jodi Picoult fan. Ever since My Sister’s Keeper, I’ve always been drawn to her stories. She writes about the every day life, and that’s just really appealing to me.
This story follows a woman who is planning her wedding and plagued by flashbacks of a life she can’t remember. When a policeman knocks at her door and reveals a secret that changes her world as she knows it, she’s faced with uncovering the truth — even when it jeopardizes her life and the lives of those she loves.
Tell me that doesn’t make you want to pick it up and never put it down? Picoult never disappoints!
Want more book recommendations?
Books on my Shelf Right Now – Two of my favorite poetry/quotes books, an incredible mystery debut novel, and a guidebook for when you’re feeling lost in life.
Books I’m Reading Right Now – Tom Hanks’ fiction novel debut, a strikingly honest memoir to help you get through heartbreak, and a guide to help you live through fear.
What are you reading right now? What should I add to my list? ❤️
*Disclaimer: Some links may be affiliate links, because a Dalmatian puppy won’t buy itself! 😉