Summer Reading Challenge 2020: June 6-July 4
Here are the books I completed during the first month of my personal summer reading challenge.
Out of the Deep I Cry by Julie Spencer-Fleming
I am enjoying Julie Spencer-Fleming's Fergusson/Van Alstyne Mysteries. This is the third book in the series, and they are improving with each book. I think this one is my favorite to-date because it provided a retro-view of the community and the story behind a decades-long mystery. This series combines believable character development within the constructs of a quality murder mystery. If you are looking for a series to read this summer, I highly recommend this one.
Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde
I have read several of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books, and I have liked them all. Heaven Adjacent was published about two years ago, so it isn't a recent release. But, the main character's dilemma of seeking solitude after a major loss will resonate well with readers during this challenging pandemic. This is a book of fiction that provides insight and perspective about life changes and relationships with all their mixed emotions.
Who Speaks for the Damned by C. S. Harris
I finished listening to the fifteenth book in the Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries by C. S. Harris. I love the historical setting and details of this series as well as the character development that occurs throughout each mystery. This is another excellent series to add to a summer reading list.
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
I tried to read this book over twenty years ago. I simply couldn't get past the lack of grammar and the Hemingway-wanna-be style. It didn't help that I was working as an editor at the time and had trouble reading for pleasure at the end of the day. A fellow-reader friend read the book recently and guessed rightly that I probably wouldn't be able to enjoy reading it. But, I decided to give the book another chance by listening to it. I am so glad I did! It is a poignant yet humorous coming-of-age story. I hadn't realized it was a trilogy, so I am planning to listen to the other two books this summer. This book is an example of why it is sometimes rewarding to not give up on a writer's catalog.
Chronicles from Immerse: The Reading Bible
I know I am not alone in falling behind on yearly read-through-the-Bible challenges. If one can get past Leviticus, one usually stops altogether by 1 Chronicles. This is the first time I have been able to get through both difficult sections and continued to stay on track with my daily reading. If you want to challenge yourself to read through the Bible, I recommend this reading Bible. You will want to use another version for deeper study because this particular chronological New Living Translation does not use chapters and verses in the traditional sense, but rather focuses on genre forms and constructs.
Sermon on the Mount by Jen Wilkin
I chose this Bible study for personal use based on my One Word for 2020. I appreciated Wilkin's emphasis on reading through the entire Sermon on the Mount each week, her additional insights through the videos, and her focus on studying the Bible without additional commentaries. I was amazed how this study dovetailed into my other readings and my life. It's an excellent study for personal and group use. Renting the videos from Lifeway is an economical option if you studying on your own.
The Envy of Eve by Melissa B. Kruger
Although I am working through the study questions with my church group, I have finished reading this book. It's an excellent topical study about finding contentment. Since "content" was my One Word for 2019, I found it applicable and consistent with what I learned during my studying a year ago. During these unsettling times, this book provides relevant reminders for how to avoid envy and discontent.
I hope you will add some of these books to your to-read list. Keep up that summer reading challenge!